‘Stranger Things’ season 4 adds more teen drama and bigger scares

“Stranger Things” has been a huge success since it first aired mixing 80s nostalgia, good characters and scares. Season three, which was released in 2019, was, in the view of many, the best of the series. Covid delayed production, and season four has now arrived three years later. Since the release of the season’s volume 1 on May 27, the show has retained its wild popularity, making Netflix’s top ten.

The show follows the main teen characters, El (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Max (Sadie Sink), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Will (Noah Schnapp), who are now all freshmen in high school but no longer all live in Hawkins, Indiana.

The season begins with all the characters dealing with the traumas from the previous seasons. El and Will have relocated to California with Will’s mother, Joyce (Winona Ryder), following the presumed death of El’s surrogate father, Hopper (David Harbour). The story picks up with Mike coming to visit what he believes to be a seemingly happy El in California, but El has not told Mike that she has been the victim of severe bullying at her school. Joyce is trying to recover from the loss of Hopper, but evidence comes to suggest that Hopper may not be dead.

Meanwhile in Hawkins, Robin (Maya Hawke) and Steve (Joe Keery) are now best friends and working at a local video store, while Nancy (Natalia Dyer) is working hard on her school newspaper. Dustin, Mike and Lucas are a part of the Hellfire Club, a Dungeons and Dragons group run by the eccentric dungeon master Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn). Lucas is also on the Hawkin’s basketball team and has a plan to get Dustin, Mike and himself in with the popular crowd. Following the horrific death of her brother in season three, Max is trying to cope with her trauma.

The characters’ hopes of a peaceful advancement in their lives does not last long, and as every seasoned viewer knows, life in Hawkins will never stay quiet for long. With Hawkin’s connection to the Upside Down and supernatural monsters in town, signs point to oncoming distress that will pull the Hawkins High teens into another deadly mission.

I give this season of “Stranger Things” an A+. There is great character development and plot points when it comes to all of the characters’ problems. The new season ties in nicely with season three and carries on the subplots that were showcased previously. The monsters are truly scary and add to the psychological horror of the show. The long awaited new season is a great continuation to the shocking show that is “Stranger Things.”

Volume 1 of season 4 premiered May 27, and volume 2 will drop July 1.