Stranger Things 4 - Any good?

Ryujin

Legend
So apparently the door Nancy is removing planks from is a push door. She could have just stepped over the last pieces of wood and left the room. She had Disadvantage on her perception check because Vecna was there.

I didn't even notice. Did you?
Yup, was head-desking pretty heavily over that one, so laughed hard and long when the meme surfaced.
 

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Dausuul

Legend
Who here thinks Hopper acquired some kind of super resistance to pain because of his experience with chemicals in Irak? The punishment he can take is phenomenal.
Vietnam, not Iraq; but yes, I agree. Dude clearly put all his ability increases into Constitution.
 


jerryrice4949

Adventurer
I really adored season 3, especially the big fireworks fight at Starcourt.

I've been having a great time in season 4. I'm up to episode 5. I think episode 4 was probably the best TV experience I've had in a while (with a caveat that I'm not up to date with Better Call Saul).
Me too. Loved the Starcourt mall. The nailed the mall nostalgia; it was almost exactly like the mall near me that opened in the 80s.

I liked season 3 better than four. Don’t get me wrong I still like season 4 but they have too many locations and the whole Hopper storyline does not really seem to move the plot forward.
 

Naturally you'll run into problems when you write a series a year at a time. The showrunners allegedly intended the series to be more of an anthology, rather than following the same characters every season. If they had planned for Vecna to be the big bad way back in season 1, they could have set things up for the reveal and made sure that when they had stuff happened, it would pay off.

Like, if you're going to involve Russia in season 3, you'd imagine it would matter for the climax, right? Going from Hawkins to California and Russia makes for a less tight story, though of course reality isn't neat and tidy.
 



embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
Just finished watching Season 4.

First of all, talk about a loving tribute to 80's slasher horror... Strong Nightmare On Elm Street 4: Dream Warriors vibes. Not a ripoff but a definite homage. And I was definitely here for it.

Storywise, it was all lore, all the time and, again, that's what I'm talking about.

What worked for me: the "Goonies never say die" vibe of the main plot. When Eddie and Dustin connected in the final episode, that's Stranger Things at its finest.

What didn't work for me: The USSR B plot. It started silly and proceeded to ridiculous and then culminated in ridonkulous. Hopper with a Conan sword at the end is exactly what Teen Titans GO! were mocking in "Nostalgia Is Not A Substitute For An Actual Story."

Soundtrack was fairly off-the-hook. Philip Glass' "Prophecies" is starting to become a musical trope, right up there with Barber's "Adagio For Strings." However, they still know how to tug heartstrings just right, even with the anachronistic use of Moby.

Overall, I liked that they really focused on (a) a definite and coherent plot and (b) relationships. Whether it was the Eddie/Dustin dynamic or Steve and Nancy just charming the pants off me in the Winnebago, it's a nice return to form.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
What didn't work for me: The USSR B plot. It started silly and proceeded to ridiculous and then culminated in ridonkulous. Hopper with a Conan sword at the end is exactly what Teen Titans GO! were mocking in "Nostalgia Is Not A Substitute For An Actual Story."
Yeah I think it went a bit off the rails after Hooper escaped and then was caught and brought back. Up to that point I was pretty invested, Hooper was having a rough go, Joyce and Murray got to go save him....I'm on board.

Then....back to the prison, and I think it just lost all the momentum at that point.
 

I still have to watch the final episode, and that could of course turn everything around, but so far I enjoyed this season a lot.
The new characters work pretty well. Even though the whole Russia plot so far lacked believability.
I dislike that the characters are seperated so much, but every reunion will feel so much sweeter that way, I think.
Of course, there is a lot of "furtuitous timing of events" as well that stretches credibility in ways otherworldly dimensions of horror don't.
 

payn

Legend
One thing that was immediately apparent to me, and then immediately forgotten, was that Dusty's girlfriend and older sister were in the van one min, and then just gone the next. Did I miss something?
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
Overall I thought the season was alright. I actually liked Season 3 better, the mall setting was a lot of fun.

What worked for me: how scary it was. I actually had to cover my eyes during the death scenes. I always enjoy the Upside Down, and I like that more characters got to go there. I always enjoy how this show is willing to let its characters play around and figure out the rules of the supernatural. The focus on relationships is great and really invests me in the show.

What didn't work for me: the pacing! One minute the show would be cutting quickly between three or four different storylines, the next it would spend a long time with a character just... walking across a room, or readying a weapon. The storyline was a little too scattered, though I liked how all the characters came together in their efforts towards the end.

But the biggest flaw for me was:

Their plan didn't work. I get that they're saving Vecna for Season 5 or whatever, but that was a lot of watching time to invest in a plan that failed. Especially since everyone worked so hard and sacrificed so much! It really felt like a DM who had a villain they really loved, so even when the characters were smart and lucky, they refused to let the villain die. It left a sour taste in my mouth.

Overall I enjoyed watching it, but we were considering canceling Netflix, and this season wasn't good enough for me to hold onto the streaming service for a future Season 5
 

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
One thing that was immediately apparent to me, and then immediately forgotten, was that Dusty's girlfriend and older sister were in the van one min, and then just gone the next. Did I miss something?
After Suzie's computer wizardry, they exited to house to find Eden (Suzie's sister) in the van making out with Argyle, but the girls did not leave with them.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
But the biggest flaw for me was:

Their plan didn't work. I get that they're saving Vecna for Season 5 or whatever, but that was a lot of watching time to invest in a plan that failed. Especially since everyone worked so hard and sacrificed so much! It really felt like a DM who had a villain they really loved, so even when the characters were smart and lucky, they refused to let the villain die. It left a sour taste in my mouth.
Answer to the spoiler
But, fundamentally, they weren't lucky. Their luck was hosed by outside actors - the (psycho) army guys who thought Eleven was the threat to Hawkins and then Jason "I'm gonna grow up into a smarmy televangelist" Carver at the house. That's not the characters being lucky - that's the characters being unlucky. The lucky part is they did as much as they did while (mostly) surviving. This is The Empire Strikes Back/Goblet of Fire moment for the Stranger Things cast.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
Answer to the spoiler
But, fundamentally, they weren't lucky. Their luck was hosed by outside actors - the (psycho) army guys who thought Eleven was the threat to Hawkins and then Jason "I'm gonna grow up into a smarmy televangelist" Carver at the house. That's not the characters being lucky - that's the characters being unlucky. The lucky part is they did as much as they did while (mostly) surviving. This is The Empire Strikes Back/Goblet of Fire moment for the Stranger Things cast.
I guess it just was not successfully sold to me as such, especially because

their plan did actually work, despite setbacks. They tracked Vecna, surprised him, set him on fire multiple times... And then he just somehow survived and got away. No explanation. It wasn't set up by the show that he could survive such a thing (in fact, the show repeated how much creatures of the other world hate fire), he just vanished. It felt like a cheap victory by the villain. Again, like a DM who is too attached to their BBEG. For me, if they wanted him to win, I'd have preferred there be a reason shown in the story. Maybe they burn off all the tentacles but because he's partially human that part survives. Or his survival reveals something new about the Upside Down. Instead he just... got away.
 

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