“Chapter One: The Hellfire Club”
Okay, I have finally been able to start Stranger Things season 4, which debuted on Netflix Friday. I had several other commitments to watch and could not start until this evening.
What the hell did I watch?
Season fours premiere episode was really odd. Sure, we saw our favorites from the past season and learn where they are currently at, the show threw at us a ton of new eccentric characters, giving them an excess amount of screen time.
At first, I was kind of into what we were seeing, but as the focus increased on the new characters, I got less and less interested. I liked the way some of the characters we knew from before were being portrayed. There were plenty of troubles for our heroes as their friendships have been tested, and their lives have been messed up.
Max (Sadie Sink) is clearly struggling since her brother was killed in the finale of season three. Her troubles were engaging as we saw her withdraw from the group and break up with Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin). Speaking of Lucas, he has joined the basketball team and is finding that he is being pulled away from his friends. The whole basketball game story was bizarre and made little sense.
Jane, aka Elle aka Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is going through plenty of typical high school problems in her new school in California. She was involved in several scenes right out of the “mean girls” playbook, which are made even more difficult since her powers seem to be gone.
Of course, maybe that is a good thing since we saw a flashback to 1979, with a distinctly de-aged Millie Bobby Brown murdering the entire group at Hawkins National Laboratories. That opening scene was great and intense and really set the tone…
Except it didn’t.
The tone of the rest of the show was pretty campy. Every once in awhile, there would be a tense scene that did not feel so hokey, but they seemed to slip into the unknown. By the second half of this episode, I was not sure what I was watching and was hoping it would end.
There was quite a bit of disappointment over this episode. The use of characters that I did not know was oft-putting for me and the characters I did know seemed to be acting in manners that didn’t fit or were painfully cliché.
I hope this gets better.