21 thoughts on “Stranger Brews n Things 3 eh

  1. A place to discuss ST s3! (Van’s cynicism be damned!). I have plenty to say, so I’m good for a few comments. My 9-5 is going to be a bit nuts for the next few weeks, so I’ll be posting later.

  2. So…… Here goes.

    I liked S1 a lot for what it was, but I loved S2 even more for the way it developed the mythos and the world – – and the way it raised the stakes, going from one monster to legions (like Alien to Aliens), while introducing the big bad Mindflayer. And the stuff with the other powered-up kids in Chicago was only meh, but it was still a cool expansion and build-up of the ST universe.

    Then S3 threw all of that away.

    The good: interesting new monster effects and powers, a powerful, emotional ending and coda.

    The bad: otherwise, a lot of meh. There were so many silly, ridiculous moments; the cheesy comic relief definitely outweighed the genuinely good. I know they felt like they needed to incorporate a mall into the story as some kind of 1980s social commentary, but 90% of the scenes involving those 4 kids from the ice cream shop were just painful to watch. And I imagine they thought it clever to throw the Russian baddies into the mix (because the 80s!!). . . The Russian characters did have a few great scenes, but for the most part. . . they were kinda cartoonish.

    And wow – – that Neverending Story reference. . . . talk about taking a joke way too far.

    Overall, though, I’m still glad I watched, and was still glad to see the next chapter. S3 was the weakest of the 3 seasons, though – – by far. Cute the cutesy nostalgia-bait; get back to the world-building and main, core group of kids.

  3. I liked season three better than two, actually.
    Although, I can’t decide it I liked or disliked the tear inducing ending. ,ore because of the feels it brought out

    I even liked the Never Ending Story bit.

    • I’m in this camp. I thing Season 3 was tighter and better paced than Season 2 and brought back a lot of things that made Season 1 a joy.

      I’ll add more thoughts later.

  4. Overall, I liked season 3. It may be the weakest one, but the characters of the series are fully realized. A weak point for me was that they may have focused too much on the comic/profane banter of the kids as if they were apeing “Bad News Bears” and “Stand by Me”. I liked the idea of the Russians under the mall, but I wish they spent a little more time fleshing them out as real characters than just cartoon bad guys. We never really knew what their motivations were. Perhaps we will find them in season 4. Another weak point is they made Hopper sort of one dimensional. I know that his temper was played to comic relief, but we want to root for this guy, and they didn’t give him enough redeeming qualities this season. I actually liked the “Never Ending Story” bit at the end. I think people would have liked it more if they hadn’t overplayed the goofy banter. Another thing I noticed was I didn’t realize how much I missed the Paul Rieser character until his short appearance at the end. He brought a certain amount of intrigue that was missing. His character or one like him to add a bit of mystery or foreboding would have been an improvement.
    Still, even with all the weakness pointed out, I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next chapter.

  5. Hey, the 80s were my era too 🙂 I did plenty of time with cheesy 80s sci-fi, like Cloak and Dagger, and that one where the kids build the spaceship.

    To clarify my Neverending Story complaint: I thought it was funny, but then it went on for so long, that I wanted to hit the FF button.

  6. I liked S3, and S1, and S2. I’m not a big fan of trying to stack which thing I like more or less than other things. Once took me 3 weeks to respond to someone’s question of which was my favorite Rush song (and I only responded at all because he’s my best friend, anyone else would have received a firm “how the hell should I know”). The thing that struck me as most impressive in S3 was that there were a few times (Hopper’s death, people leaving for another town at the end) where it would have been very easy for them to pull back and give people an out. I kept waiting for Hopper to show up again due to a miracle of some sort or the car to turn around and have everyone come back to stay in town after all. I was very,very pleased that they held firm in all cases.

    I do agree that the Neverending story bit was good, but went on too long.

    I am, pretty much exactly the age of the main kids in the show, so much of the sentimental stuff rings true for me. I saw the main street of my town slowly die as the mall increased in popularity. I saw Star Wars Episode 4 at the movie theater at the mall. I spent many hours playing video games at “Aladdin’s Castle”, shopping at the Chess King, etc. In smaller town when you were too young to drink, it really was kind of the only thing to do and the center of the universe, socially.

  7. Alright, we just finished the season. I actually enjoyed this one more than the others. I think I finally appreciate it now more as a cartoon with live people instead of animation.

    I think the big reason – agreeing with Rhettro – the kids characters don’t have to be introduced anymore. We know who they are and are getting to see them grow up and have the kind of banter that I found authentic from my dim recollection of those days.

    While the mall setting made sense – I don’t recall seeing an actual arcade. There should have been some Gauntlet, Tempest, or Time Pilot in this season somewhere!

    I’ll probably have some more thoughts after I’ve been able to let it sink in a bit more.

    • The town already seemed to have a stand alone Arcade in S2 so it was already addresses (at least in their minds) and I’m not sure a town that size could support two arcades. At least at a guess.

      • As I recall during the times, Malls sometimes had some machines within the concourse, but never a devoted arcade within the mall. That seems to have happened much later once arcades were accepted. In the early 80s, they were still rather seedy.

        Different areas probably had different experiences.

        I did like the protests about the mall killing Main street. I thought that was a nice touch of realism.

  8. So, first off the bat, I really enjoyed S3 and thought it was a great ride. The end was emotional, and if the show ends here, I’d be happy. I still hope for a S4.

    What didn’t I like? Yes, the Neverending Story bit went on a bit too long, but I was willing to forgive that since Suzie wasn’t imaginary, there was fun chemistry between her and Dustin, and the other characters’ pain paralleling ours made it work for me. I also loved the burn in the coda.

    I also thought the cartoonish Terminator shtick went on a bit too long. From the music to the similar looking wounds made me thing repeatedly, “Yes, I get the reference. Get on with the story!”

    While the Russians were too one-dimensional as a whole, Dr. Alexei made up for that. He was turning into a lovable character, especially during the carnival. And the bromance with Murray was perfect. He will be missed.

    I also understand how a lot of people claim that Hopper was ruined in Season 3. He was one of my favorite characters and I certainly wasn’t happy with his character arc. But, it wasn’t a surprise either. He exhibited a lot of those tendencies in the first two seasons. It was a risky move to do this, but I appreciate that the stakes were upped in this season. Plus, the coda’s reference to “the American” makes me wonder if we haven’t seen the last of Hopper.

    There was a lot that I loved during the season, but I won’t detail everything. I thought El’s character arc was great. And I also loved Cary Elwes’s corrupt mayor portrayal.

    I certainly want to sit down and watch the whole thing again. I can’t say that for a lot of shows. 😀

  9. #### And that cameo appearance from Tom Selleck was spot on!! #####

    I thought for sure that we were going to learn in the final moments that Hopper was still alive, just that he’d been sucked through the breach into the Upside Down right before getting vaporized.

    • And they might do that. They certainly left the door open. But I really hope they don’t: it would lessen the emotional impact. Three months have passed, so we really don’t know who is in that cell. Murray? Someone new?

      • Speaking of leaving the door open, they seemed to show that there was a door out of the “wall room” that was located on Hoppers side of that energy field. So there was an escape route for him – just a matter of whether he took it. Could’ve escaped the room and then been nabbed by the Russians.
        I noticed they made a point of showing that there were zero Russians in the facilities when the army got there. So the Russians escaped and could’ve taken Hopper with them.

        • I’m totally ready to get my inner Misery going if they take a route like that. He didn’t get out of the cock-a-doodie explosion!

          At least not if they have any integrity.

          • You’re messing up the story, Grampa! Get it right!
            By all rights, everyone in that room got vaporized by the explosion. I will accept that Hop jumped into the Upside Down through that breach – – but I won’t love it.

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