Stranger Things 4 is exactly what Netflix needs right now

One of Netflix’s most popular shows is back, and it’s exactly what a streamer needs to face the setback.

Stranger Things should be big. Netflix needs to be big.

A streamer under siege must counter a flurry of negative press and declining subscriber numbers with a massive series of events that remind his subscribers, especially those he’s lost, that Netflix is ​​still home to a must-see show. .

So, very strange things went big, very big. Or at least it took a long time. The shortest episode of the fourth season is one hour and three minutes long, while the finale will run for a full two hours and 30 minutes.

The season is split in half, with seven episodes airing this week, with the last two episodes delayed until July.

The length of the episodes is just one way for fans to know about very strange thingsambition and scope – and this time it’s vast, its narrative tentacles stretching far beyond Hawkins as the team is spread across California, Russia and Alaska, and across time periods.

But traveling the world is not why very strange things became a huge part of the zeitgeist when it burst onto the scene in 2016 – a combustible mix of wild, innocent adventure, the sheer horror of its horror elements, and the emotional weight of its well-written and even better-acted young characters.

All of these elements are here in Season 4, only a step up. To hell with restraint.

Season 3, released in the pre-pandemic times of 2019, is more of a hack than a panic, but this new installment is heading back into spooky territory. The horror is both psychological and physical as a malevolent force haunts Hawkins, focusing on the past of its victims.

The atmosphere is often more like Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) or J.A. Bayon (Shelter, The monster is calling) than George Romero (The day of the Dead) is a quiet restlessness that culminates in a truly grotesque setting that reminds you, yes, very strange things exists to scare you more than to support the culture of the 1980s.

The new episodes take way too long to rebuild everything – you don’t have to build the world when the world is already built – but in the second half of the second episode, it reaches its climax. While those first two hours may feel a bit sluggish, there is a familiar charm to all the textures of just hovering in this world without screamers.

And it’s always rewarding to watch Millie Bobby Brown do her thing with her emotional maturity and empathy because she’s just such a talent. The scene in which she remembers Hopper (David Harbor) is impressive.

Hawkins is besieged by both the supernatural threat and the more socially dangerous satanic panic in which morally decent Americans genuinely worried about cults and ritual sacrifice, a hysteria that extended to Dungeons & Dragons, among other things.

Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) are now high school students and soon become embroiled in the death of a grizzly when another friend becomes the prime suspect.

Meanwhile, Eleven (Brown) and Byers are driving cross country in California, separating Eleven from Mike and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) from Nancy (Natalia Dyer).

Joyce (Winona Ryder) learns that Hopper is still alive when she receives a mysterious package in the mail from Russia and recruits conspiratorial Murray (Brett Gelman).

The cast, which also includes Sadie Sink’s Max, Noah Schnapp’s Will, Maya Hawke’s Robin and Joe Keery’s Steve, are all involved in heartbreaking drama.

very strange things remains one of the most outstanding Netflix shows because it does what few others do. If offers an unabashed spectacle requiring emotional investment and more than a few fears along the way. He’s not perfect, but he always tries.

Will this be enough to save the streamer from himself? Only if Netflix is ​​willing to invest in more shows with ambition and scale very strange thingsinstead of throwing around dozens of indistinguishable, forgettable shows that some people might like but no one likes.

The fourth season of Stranger Things premieres on Netflix on Friday, May 27th.

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