(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they've been watching, why it's worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)
The Show: "Stranger Things"
Where You Can Stream It: Netflix
The Pitch (Item #1): In the interest of science, I've decided to make an itemized list of everything I learned from binge-watching the last three seasons (2–4) of "Stranger Things."
2. "Stranger Things" is one of Netflix's most popular shows, a water cooler phenomenon that is probably overexposed by now.
3. "Stranger Things" also trades in nostalgia, so think of this as of the tweetstorm equivalent of one of those rewatch podcasts (except it's an article).
4. Am I late to the party? You betcha, but the beauty of it is, you can relive the party with me as I catch up on all the fun I missed.
6. There's not much Barb because she's already gone (unjustly so).
7. Future generations will watch the child stars of this show grow up onscreen the way I have, in a matter of hours, like in Richard Linklater's "Boyhood."
8. I'm hoping you'll take my hand and journey back with me into the Upside Down as I record my pithy "Stranger Things" observations via these bullet points.
9. It's better than watching "Stranger Things" as a passive form of entertainment.
10. Not that there's anything wrong with vegetating. Come to think of it, Vecna does rather look like a walking cabbage head — and occasional spider.
11. Consulting my Dungeons & Dragons spellbook cards, I feel optimistic about this endeavor.
12. And away we go!
Stranger Things 2
13. "Stranger Things" loves its low-angle shots and group shots.
14. Hopper scoffs at the idea of Russians, but even I know he'll wind up in a Russian prison. They foreshadowed his fate early on.
16. Hopper sure is one shouty surrogate dad. Eleven attracts bad father figures.
17. The show self-consciously engages with criticisms when Max wishes aloud in the back room of the arcade that the story Caleb recaps for her were more original.
18. It doesn't feel that derivative in the way of carbon-copy legacy sequels.
19. The exception is when it begins echoing scenes and even exact lines from movies like "Aliens," as in, "Stay frosty."
20. There must be some unwritten rule that the more an ensemble cast grows, the more you must keep characters apart.
21. Maybe it's just cheaper and logistically easier to break actors off in pairs or sub-groups or have them operate individually with their pet Pollywog.
22. Streaming shows are no more immune to bad one-off episodes than network shows.
23. I agree that "The Lost Sister" might be the worst "Stranger Things" episode.
24. It's like that "Lost" episode detailing the backstory behind Jack's tattoo.
25. Upon closer inspection, what's really at play is the Nikki and Paolo effect, whereby new characters (Eleven's punk Chicago friends) suddenly show up and expect us to like them.
26. This season is longer than it needed to be, but it builds to a satisfying finish.
27. Bob is lovable but expendable, a one-season guest who exists to die. The finale waves a big "He's a goner" flag over his head before he becomes Demodog fodder.
Stranger Things 3
28. Just make "Kill Bill, Vol. 3" with Maya Hawke already. She looks and sounds too much like her mother Uma Thurman for this not to happen.
29. At last, I understand why I kept seeing all those images of Hawke's character and Steve Harrington in blue sailor outfits online circa 2019.
30. The Mind Flayer resembles a giant spider from another dimension — and Will has a Spider-Sense on the back of his neck capable of detecting him.
31. I see they're still going the Mrs. Robinson route with Mrs. Wheeler.
32. Billy is the worst fat-shaming lifeguard.
33. Look, we've all gone through a phase in middle school where we had an imaginary girlfriend.
34. This is turning into "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." And I like it.
35. Could I make a floral shirt like Hopper's work?
36. Cary Elwes just can't seem to escape torture. Jigsaw made him lose a foot, and now Hopper's going to cut his finger off?
37. Fights like Eleven vs. Billy and Hopper vs. the Russian Terminator get the pulse pounding.
38. Is tying Robin and Steve's chairs together back-to-back like that meant to be an "Indiana Jones" homage, or am I just overthinking it?
39. I like what they did with Robin and Steve's relationship. It would be easy to hook them up, especially with him on the rebound from Nancy, but this feels truer to life.
40. Counterpoint: they're more comfortable than any real person would ever be on the floor of a public restroom.
41. Hopper's heart-to-heart letter to Eleven is extremely moving.
42. "Stranger Things 3" puts the show in Starcourt blockbuster mode and gets a bit loopy in places. But it's less of a slow burn and more consistently entertaining than "Stranger Things 2."
Stranger Things 4 Part 1
43. With the return of Papa and Hopper, the show follows the comic book rule that no one ever stays dead.
44. I saw a guy on the train in Tokyo wearing that Hellfire Club shirt.
45. Ah, so the Hellfire Club is a D&D thing, not an X-Men thing. And yet...
46. Eleven is a telekinetic Phoenix rising, like X-woman Jean Grey, and the series outright calls her a superhero.
47. Eddie Munson, with his tongue-and-horns energy, is my new favorite character. I only wish I could pretend his death hadn't already been spoiled for me.
48. Who among us hasn't wanted to bludgeon a bully's nose with a roller skate?
49. The actor who plays Enzo: where have I seen him before? Hey, that's Jaqen H'ghar from "Game of Thrones!"
50. Forget what I said about "Stranger Things" not feeling too derivative. The Pennhurst Mental Hospital location features scenes ripped straight from "Shutter Island" and "The Silence of the Lambs."
51. At least they cast Robert Englund as Victor Creel, thereby acknowledging that Freddy Krueger is Vecna's nightmare father. (Freddy also goes after a girl named Nancy.)
52. I'm so out of touch with music that when I saw buzz about Kate Bush online, I thought she was a new artist.
53. Bringing back "Running Up That Hill" really brings out the feels at the end of "Dear Billy," as Max levitates over her brother's grave and experiences a montage of memories.
54. If they kill Max...
55. Dustin and his take-charge expositional dialogue are starting to annoy me.
56. Did anyone not guess that the evil-looking orderly was Vecna, and that he was the one truly responsible for the Hawkins Lab massacre? I'm genuinely curious if this landed as a twist for anybody.
Stranger Things 4 Part 2
57. Will Byers has been through a lot since the first season, but the worst thing he's had to endure may be that bowl cut. The poor young man's still saddled with kiddie hair...
58. That said, Noah Schnapp brings a stoic quality to Will, and his scene in the back of the pizza van — as he works through his unspoken, unrequited love for Mike — tugs at the heart strings.
59. Ditto for brother and newfound pothead Jonathan's later expression of unconditional love and support for Will.
60. Between "Stranger Things" and his role as Red Guardian in "Black Widow," no Russian prison can hold David Harbour.
61. The ease with which these kids waltz into an Army-Navy surplus store and buy guns is alarming. It recalls the gun show coloring-book corner in "The Boys" season 3.
62. In the finale, Eleven sees a sign that reads "Scenic Route Ahead." That could apply to both this 2.5-hour, super-sized, movie-length episode and the whole protracted 782-minute season.
63. Sign me up for Max's Blue World and the sanctuary of positive memories.
64. Haven't really commented on Vecna's practical design, but I dig it.
65. Less successful this season was the shrunken, digitally de-aged Millie Bobby Brown, and how they kept flip-flopping between her and the older Eleven.
66. The finale goes crazy with the cross-cutting. We spend minutes in one scene, then cut back to another scene where only seconds have passed.
67. Hopper's sword gives new-old meaning to "get medieval."
68. I love how they just casually bisect the jock leading the Satanic panic in Hawkins by having the fault line rip through him.
69. So, they didn't kill off Max, but they really did a number on her bones and eyes, eh?
70. Cliffhanger ending!
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The post The Daily Stream: A Perfectly Unnecessary, Itemized Batch of 70 Stranger Things Notes appeared first on /Film.