“Stranger Things”: the summer show


Photo provided by: Amelia Galliford

Released on May 27 and Jul. 1, the fourth season of “Stranger Things” showed new characters, more 80s references, and representation for a diverse community.

Amelia Galliford, Staff Reporter

There has been rising excitement in the Stranger Things fan community since the recent release of the series’ fourth season. The release of the season was split into two parts: the first half released on May 27 and the second on Jul. 1. I, myself, watched this new installment and can say I was absolutely hooked.

With a new season, obviously there must be new characters. In season four, the audience is introduced to various new characters—both good and bad— like Eddie Munson, Argyle and Vecna. Vecna has a great introduction as we can see him murdering various citizens of Hawkins. Similarly, the character Jason Carver is also introduced and we witness him try to kill Eddie a multitude of times. The latest characters are great additions to the show as we see that they are all able to interact in ways unseen with prior Stranger Things characters.

While the introduction of the many new characters was a great addition to this season, one of my favorite aspects about Stranger Things were the mentions of the 80s consistently throughout the season. For instance, the video store is a treasure trove of 80s references, as it has many nods to 80s classics like Gremlins, Teen Wolf, Nightmare on Elm Street and Splash. My favorite reference in the show was also probably the smallest: when Dustin Henderson is on the phone with Steve, on the phone booth there is graffiti stating “ET phone home.,” referencing the iconic movie ET, which was released in 1982, but one of the most noteworthy 80s moments in the season was the use of the famous song “Running Up that Hill” by Kate Bush. This song is constantly played in the show and has been made popular all over again.

On the other hand, throughout the season certain storylines were introduced to deal with meaningful topics that the show had not yet explored. The main character, Max Mayfield, represents one of these topics, as she struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression while grieving the death of her brother. The show brings up the fact that mental health is important and clearly expresses the need to open up to others. The season also references the impact that bullying can have on teenagers, as it shows students ganging up on others with the influence of their peers when Jason Carver attempts to get every person in Hawkins to go after Eddie. Additionally,  the show has more representation of the LGBTQ+ community. We see Robin talk more about her interest in other women; and even though he doesn’t explicitly say it,  the audience can assume Will is struggling with his relationships as a person who is gay. The representation for those struggling with mental health and those who are in the LGBTQ+ community gives me a new appreciation of the show. Even though these are delicate topics, the directors of Stranger Things found great ways to include them in the show.

I was absolutely thrilled with this new release of Stranger Things. We received what is, in my opinion, the show’s best season yet. With the confirmation for the fifth season, I am definitely excited to see what the future will hold for Hawkins, Indiana.