My, how time flies... it was six years ago when audiences were transported back in time to the mid-1980s as a group of young people try to understand and navigate middle school. However, when their friend, Will (Noah Schnapps; Waiting for Anya) goes missing, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard: Ghostbusters: Afterlife), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Mazarrato; The Angry Birds Movie), and Lucas (Caleb McGlaughlin; The New Edition Story) go searching for him. Along the way they discover a young girl named Eleven - Elle for short (Millie Bobby Brown; Enola Holmes), they find out Will is alive and that there are evil, supernatural forces lurking just below the surface - literally.
Fast forward to a post- covid world in the year 2022 and the highly anticipated Stranger Things Season Four is finally ready to premiere on Netflix. As season three ended Elle lost her powers. The supernatural entity had been contained/destroyed and most of the little town of Hawkins went back to normal. Mostly, everything was right with the world again...or was it? The gang is now in high school and sort of going their separate ways. Steve (Joe Keery; Molly's Game), is still the perpetual babysitter, and Nancy (Natalia Dyer; Tuscaloosa) is applying to colleges while juggling her duties on the school newspaper. But then, teenagers wind up dead and the peace and quiet the earth was enjoying abruptly comes to an end.
The cast, besides those who were already famous, became household names. Brown, Wolfhard, Mazzarato, and McGlaughlin were the newest "it" kids. Nobody wanted to wait for season two but wait they did.. almost a year and a half. Netflix had a hit on its hand but would need to "tread carefully" to maintain its momentum. Luckily, there was no need to worry because, from there, things only got bigger for the show.
The streaming service is ready to run Season 4 Volume 1 on May 27, 2022, with part Volume 2 coming on July 1, 2022. Here is what I can tell you so far: Season 4 is decidedly darker than previous seasons, CGI is extremely well done and those kids grew up A LOT in the last six years. The cast seems to have built a camaraderie making them a cohesive unit ready to fight whatever comes their way and, while there is still witty and amusing dialogue, there is also something sinister stalking the town of Hawkins.
Season 4 may just be the best one yet which shows how well the cast and crew have done creating something worthwhile. With so many shows taking a nosedive by their fourth season (if they even make it THAT far) Stranger Things seems to age like a bottle of fine wine and only gets better. One of the few drawbacks of the show and its release schedule is that, when working with kids, they tend to grow up and morph into young adults which could make portions of later seasons somewhat awkward. For example, when the first season was taped Keery was a twenty-four-year-old playing an eighteen-year-old. Now he is thirty portraying a nineteen or twenty-year-old and it just doesn't work as well.
Fans of the show will be pleased with Season 4: Volume 1 and will anxiously be awaiting Volume 2 to come out this July. So far, there are some interesting answers to questions we didn't even know we wanted to ask. We fear for most of the cast as plot twists and turns seem to be coming out of left field. I only pray they don't mess up Vol 2 as they have started off season 4 with grotesque killings and a mystery we're not sure we want to solve.
Fear not fans! Netflix has already announced season five will be here...eventually.