Less than two months after Stranger Things 2 was released on Netflix, the streaming giant renewed the popular series for a third season. The news wasn’t at all surprising, given that the show is one of Netflix’s more successful and well-received original series.
What’s also not surprising about the news is the show’s creators, brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, have mentioned their ambition for four seasons of the show.
From their interview with Vulture back in August:
They do confirm there will be a season three and, in all likelihood, one more beyond that. “We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out,” says Ross. By then, the original band of adorable preteens will be ready for college. “We just have to keep adjusting the story,” says Matt.
This quote got me thinking about where Stranger Things could go in season 3 and, ultimately, the final season 4. After season 2 wrapped up, our own Sean Keeley tossed around some ideas about where the show could go from here.
One idea he presented was this: Should the Upside Down Take a Timeout?
My answer is yes, but the time out should be permanent. It’s a conversation I’ve had with other fans of the show, and my argument is pretty simple. The first two seasons were very similar, in that some supernatural monster emerged from the Upside Down to take Will hostage and kill everyone else. This story has been told in two different ways, and telling it for a third or fourth time would be tiresome and repetitive.
So instead of doing that, the Duffer brothers should take a bold step forward and shut down the Upside Down. Instead of focusing on the supernatural during seasons 3 and 4, Stranger Things should instead tell the story of what it’s like for a group of teenagers in high school and college to grow up in Hawkins, Indiana.
Some of the best scenes in season 2 involved a couple of our beloved characters dealing with real world issues, not D’Artagnan and the Demodogs. Like when Steve gave Dustin girl advice.
And then later, when Steve dropped Dustin off at the dance.
The way season 2 wrapped up, with the six beloved young characters (Mike, Eleven, Dustin, Lucas, Will, and Max) at a school dance was perfect. Forget the last bit where the Upside Down was shown, and focus on the dance part of it all. The six characters acted out a brilliant scene where they awkwardly tried to have fun at a middle school dance.
This one scene leaves viewers in a spot where by the time season 3 rolls around, the beloved group of six would be around high school age in a small Indiana town in the 1980s. That itself is a good enough plot line for a show.
Don’t believe me? It’s extremely similar to a cult classic show that was canceled after one season called Freaks and Geeks. Since it ended, many people have applauded Freaks and Geeks and stated that it was canceled too soon.
The 1999 sitcom was ahead of its time in a way, but nearly 20 years later, Stranger Things seasons three and four can fill its shoes.
You have the group of six ninth graders who finished off dealing with a middle school dance in season 2, the awkward love triangle between Nancy Wheeler (high school senior), Steve Harrington (college freshman), and Jonathan Byers (college freshman), the over protective parents on all sides, and finally, their watchful police officer Jim Hopper, a father figure to all that will probably bust them for drinking underage or smoking weed at school.
The story writes itself, really.
We’d get more fantastically written and acted awkward high school party scenes.
Young high school freshmen fighting over love when they don’t really know what love is.
Friends fighting stupid fights related to amazing 80s pop culture references.
And incredibly awkward high school sex talks.
In a way, maybe the Duffer brothers were already thinking about dumping the Upside Down for great 1980s high school drama in seasons 3 and 4 by writing all these scenes into season 2.
With House of Cards being knocked off its high mantle and Stranger Things arguably taking its place as Netflix’s most popular show, the Duffer brothers might have more creative freedom. If so, they can use the groundwork they already laid out to make a bold writing move and write out the entire plot line and world that made their show so addictive to begin with.