Welcome Back to Hawkins, Indiana

The 4th of July. A time to celebrate the American colonies separating from England, and making the foundation for the United States of America. On this day many Americans choose to celebrate with BBQs and fireworks, but on this particular 4th of July, you could also choose to celebrate the freedoms of America by binge-watching episodes of the third season of Stranger Things on Netflix.

That’s right, the hit Netflix show is back, released on the 4th of July this year. And with only eight episodes it’s a nice and easy binge you could knockout in less than a day, even with scheduled breaks to get up and stretch or go to the bathroom.

I personally have a love/hate relationship with binging shows. Most shows I tend to watch have upwards of twenty episodes per season, at least the regular broadcast shows do, and that makes it difficult to binge more than three or four episodes because there’s no end in sight. I also tend to get uncomfortable when seated for too long, even in a reclined position for hours at a time. But with your Netflix shows and even Amazon Prime, the new norm for streaming shows are twelve or less episodes per season. You can easily burn through a show and then immediately rush to the internet to chat about it.

Now, given that the show just premiered, I am going to avoid spoilers, seeing as some people will actually be celebrating the 4th of July with their families and will probably only get around to watching Stranger Things over the weekend. Regardless of when you decide to watch it, and I sincerely hope you do, you will not be spoiled here.

So I will focus on the obvious things, things that have already been given away in the trailers and based on the events of the previous seasons. All our regulars are back: Mike, Eleven, Dustin, Will, Lucas, Steve, Nancy, Jonathan, Hopper, Joyce. We also have the newcomers from Season 2, Max and her brother Billy.

Each season has brought us to the town of Hawkins at a different time of year. The first season was in the winter, the second season had us in the fall, and now this season gives us Hawkins in the summer and a big 4th of July celebration. The kids are free to roam around the town all day, and then meet up at the town’s new mall at night. With everything that the kids have been through together as a tight-knit group, we begin to see a divide as the teenagers begin to grow up and discover the ups and downs of dating.

We begin the series with the kids all still on summer break from school, ready to welcome their friend Dustin home. Dustin went away for a month to summer camp and returns home to find Mike spending all his time making out with Eleven, Will just wants someone to play D&D with him, while Lucas tries not to get dumped again by Max. Nancy and Jonathan have found internships at the local paper, The Hawkins Post, and Steve has a job at the ice cream shop in the mall. Joyce is having a hard time moving on from the loss of Bob, and is hesitant to go out to dinner with Hopper, just as friends of course. Hopper meanwhile can’t stand the idea of Mike and Eleven making out under his roof and wants to do everything in his power to separate the two teens. Billy meanwhile is making all the moms at the pool hot and bothered with his California bad boy vibes as one of the lifeguards. Sounds like lots of fun in the sun for the residents of Hawkins. Until things turn upside down…as they tend do in Hawkins. Although, this season is clever with the way things fall into place, with a new type of horror aspect.

Everything you loved from the first two seasons is back in the third. The 80s clothing and hairstyles, music, movies, and references. This show is never one to lack in the nostalgia factor. The acting continues to be excellent, the writing is top notch, and it seems that the special effects budget got a bit of a boost from Netflix as well. All in all, it is 100% worth watching. And if you are new to the series, do start from Season 1. You only have eight episodes in the first season as well, plus nine in the second, you will be caught up and ready for Season 3 in no time.

So grab your 80s mixtape and your favorite neon colored shirt and settle in for your eight hour trip to Hawkins.

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