From Hannah: I have no idea why we haven’t done an episode on Stranger Things. But with Volume 1 of Season 4 currently released on Netflix (and breaking ratings records … such that they are things), and Volume 2 about to drop next weekend, I thought it was time. Besides, as a podcast with connections to Durham, NC (the hometown of the Duffer Brothers that gets referenced in the show so many times), we are basically obligated. (Some Durhamites get pretty excited about Stranger Things too. The Bulls have had themed nights for the show, for instance.)
This is the penultimate season of the show, and the newest trailer makes things look darker and more tense than ever.
As a co-host of a pseudo-academic roundtable, I have some topics in mind: How does Stranger Things play with the eighties? How is it both speaking to a time of nostalgia (even if all of its viewers weren’t even alive then) and the contemporary? What are the more interesting ways it plays with different genres (there’s so much to say this season especially about the horror film … I’ve loved the Nightmare on Elm Street references in particular)? How does it conceive of small-town American life? (And I think we can even think back to our recent episode on mall cultures with how Season 3 used Starcourt Mall.) Also: I really, really want to look at the Hellfire Club from the show … and talk about the historical Hellfire Club (Note From Mav: yeah, yeah, yeah… we know… and the direct reference Marvel Hellfire Club). It’s like the writers’ room knew I was waiting for an opportunity to get in my eighteenth-century references!
But as a fan, I’m just … very concerned about what’s going to happen. If a two-minute trailer makes me emotional, what about the actual show? Where we be left until the final season drops? And, most importantly of all, is Steve going to be okay? But really, is Steve going to be okay?