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So I just got done with #StrangerThings3 and I have to say, I liked it WHILE I WAS WATCHING IT—but having digested it, I'm not very fucking impressed and I can tell you why. I don't usually do threads, but here goes: 1/
The thing that really struck me about Season 1 of #StrangerThings was its clarity of vision. It wore its Eighties influences on its sleeve, and they were quite specific influences: Spielberg, Carpenter, and King. They aimed for a tone that combined them... 2/
...and the combination of the three was as well-calculated and evocative as you might hope for. The middle ground between Eighties Horror Movie and Eighties Kid Movie was a long-neglected field that turned out to still be fertile when the Duffer Bros. arrived. 3/
But that clarity of vision has been lost over time—not because the Duffers strayed from their primary influences but because they continued ADDING to them all through Seasons 2 & 3. In trying to add colors to their palette they messed up a previously simple & elegant picture. 4/
Now it's Eighties Horror + Eighties Kid Movie + Eighties Action Film + Eighties Romance + Eighties Dystopian SF + Eighties Political Thriller + God knows what else. Like they've crammed the entire goddamn decade into a blender & expect the results to automatically taste good. 5/
The tone of Season 3 is all over the place, as if the show can't keep track of what kind of story it's trying to tell. The comic relief has grown broader and broader until you spend more time laughing at the characters than being AFRAID for them. 6/
The frightening moments are the best, the ones that make the show WORK, and they're increasingly few & far between. And the comedy keeps deflating the tension before it can get off the ground. It's not even all that scary anymore, and thus not very compelling either. 7/
Can you honestly look at #StrangerThings3 and tell me you can detect even an atom of Carpenter or King in that muddled mess? The show's original vision has seemingly disappeared behind its bigger budget; it's grown ambitious, but in a way that severely hampers it. 8/
In the Duffers' mad dash to cram in more nostalgia for absolutely everything, the horror element—and the FILMMAKING that made Season 1 so good—has gone underutilized. Stranger Things used to be compelling purely by virtue of its style. 9/
That style has gone by the boards. Season 3 honestly feels like a LOLSORANDUM grab bag of Eighties shit—they just picked up literally everything they could and threw it at the wall to see what stuck. Season 1 didn't feel like that; there was a sense of purpose behind it. 10/
And this is before we even get to the sloppy character writing. Season 1's characters felt like people; Season 3's feel like cartoons. Everybody's given lines that are bigger than life, and encouraged to ACT them that way. 11/
Sure, you got acting like that in the '80s—especially in B-movies—but Season 1 didn't demand that of EVERYONE. The main characters were allowed room to be real, credible *people*, instead of caricatured collections of tropes. /12
I don't understand how you can think it's a good idea to take a brilliant, talented cast like this and proceed to run them through the worst cliches imaginable just to get them to where you need them to be for your next big-budget special-effects set piece. 13/
The writing/producing/directing skill shown at ST's outset is no loner in evidence. And I pass with minimal comment over Season 3's occasional succumbing to the temptation to Stop Entertaining And Say Something *Important*, Goddamn It—a common Netflix affliction. 14/
I'll cut this long story short here: #StrangerThings3 is not the same terrifying, heartrending series I first fell in love with. In becoming all things to all nostalgic audiences, it's utterly lost its unique savor—and frankly, I've seen political cartoons with more depth. /END/
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