Stranger Things‘ has become the series sensation on Netflix, delighting and amusing fans, but also breaking the hearts of many. It’s been three seasons since we first met Eleven, Will, Mike, Dustin, Lucas and company. In the meantime, we are faced with a lot of nostalgia for the 80s and a plot focused on adventure and friendship between children.

created by brothers Ross Duffer e Matt Duffer, Stranger Things It is one of the biggest series of the present time. In its four years of existence, it has received no less than 31 Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe nominations, not counting the award for Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards. As Netflix doesn’t regularly release audience numbers, it’s not possible to get an exact dimension of the series’ success, but it’s pretty clear that we’re dealing with a pop culture phenomenon.

Freely inspired by the universes of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, among other big names, the series has delivered, so far, three good seasons, although it is possible to recognize some problems here there, in addition to ups and downs. With that in mind, the CinePOP decided to rank the seasons so far, from worst to best.

Check out our order.

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04 – Season Two (2017)

It’s not like the second season of Stranger Things it was a complete waste of time. We have really cool stuff and the introduction of characters that are beyond captivating. But it’s impossible not to recognize that it was the most problematic season so far, with the famous seventh episode, completely expendable and uninteresting, which to this day is criticized by fans.

Strengths:

Steve’s development and his friendship with Dustin; the introduction of new characters like Max, Erica and Bob (#RIPBob); the maintenance of the nostalgic and referential atmosphere; and delicate moments, whether in the relationship between Eleven and Hopper, or between the children, as in the beautiful ball that closes the season.

Negative points:

The seventh episode (what was that?) and the failed attempt to do something X-Men-like; the bad development of Billy, who appears as a kind of villain, but who is always shallow and uninteresting; the feeling of being in front of a “bridge season”, whose only function is to trace the path to what comes next, without offering anything really very special.

03 – Season One (2016)

It was not easy to make the decision to place the initial season in second place in our ranking, after all it was responsible for introducing wonderful characters and a really fascinating universe. it was not by chance that Stranger Things became a cultural phenomenon and most of the reasons are present in the first year of production.

Strengths:

An atmosphere of nostalgia and great use of people’s affective relationship with the 80s; accurately selected charismatic children’s cast; talented supporting cast, entitled to resume the career of Winona Ryder; engaging script that mixes adventure and science fiction, and refers to the classics of the 80s, such as Count on Me, Goonies, ET and company; superb soundtrack and art direction.

Negative points:

Plot a little drawn out in the first few episodes; Jonathan’s bizarre approach at first, especially in his sneaky stalker moment taking pictures of Nancy; exaggerates a little in the number of references and easter eggs.

02 – Season Four (2022)

The fourth season of the phenomenon Stranger Things gave me something to say. That’s because for the first time since the show’s premiere back in 2016, Netflix decided to adhere to the spaced-out episode format, instead of delivering the entire season in one fell swoop. This was the format for consuming series initially implemented by Netflix, which ended up popularizing the concept of “marathoning” its series. Three years after the third season, the series returns with a much darker atmosphere and one that leans towards multiple cinematic references, from the comic and self-conscious reliefs with ‘Halloween’ to the scenographic structure of ‘The nightmare time’ (which even extends to the characterization of Vecna). However, while the impeccable visuals help to engage us in the new story, the script is the one that suffers the most for oscillating between a narrative drag and a conclusive frenzy. The last two episodes are delightful in their entirety and already set the tone for the fifth year.

Strengths:

The awesomeness. The series achieved cinematic status with a greater investment in visuals, as we have a Hollywood atmosphere in the action and horror scenes. It is visible how Netflix has put a lot of care into the special and practical effects, including the spectacular characterization of the villain Vecna, as well as starting to tie up the loose points of the plot.

Negative points:

By dividing the series into three cores, the script gains an anticlimactic rhythm, which drags on at times when some plots do not have the same urgency as others. Despite the spectacular visuals and great character development, the pace of the plot doesn’t keep up as well as in previous seasons.

01 – Season Three (2019)

After the skids in the second year, the series is increasingly mature, without losing innocence and nostalgia. It managed to keep the adventure/science fiction dynamic and was still able to add new elements, such as the political intrigue between the United States and the Soviet Union – something classic from the 80’s movies. The evolution of the characters is also notorious and the division by groups works, mainly because of because of the emergence of a wonderful new quartet.

Strengths:

Good suspense construction; great relationship between Max and Eleven, which leaves behind the competitive atmosphere of the second season; Robin’s introduction; perfect dynamics in the Dustin-Steve-Robin-Erica core; better development of Billy; 80s spy movie mood; heartbreaking captivating finale; thought-provoking cliffhanger for season four.

Negative points:

Plot a little drawn out in the first few episodes; The dynamic between Joyce and Hopper feels exaggerated, albeit with good moments; Billy remains hampered by a performance above the tone of Dacre Montgomery, as much as the character gains new layers; excessive soundtrack.

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