Opinion: Stranger Things should quit while it's ahead

Opinion: Stranger Things should quit while it's ahead
Photo credit: Netflix

This article contains very minor spoilers for Stranger Things 3.

OPINION: Stranger Things is great but I hope it gets cancelled immediately.

After season one, I was positive I couldn't love a television show more purely. After season two, I thought  "Hey that was fun, let's just forget episode seven ever happened."

As the credits roll on this latest batch all I think is "Okay, enough now."

It's not that season three is bad, it's just that season five probably will be. The seeds of a bad show have been planted so let's move on before they sprout. 

The intro episodes catch us up with the loveable misfits, now older and hornier, as they navigate teenhood, romance and changing friendships in their hometown of Hawkins. Then the horror ramps up midseason for a surprisingly gruesome home stretch.  

All the while, '80s nostalgia is laid on thicker than ever. How thick you ask? Well, Eleven has a shopping mall montage set to Madonna's 'Material Girl'.

And it's good! Very good occasionally. It's fun to see Mike and Eleven's endearingly awkward relationship grow, it's fun to see Billy smouldering his way around the pool and into my heart, it's fun to see the John Carpenter-esque body horror of the mind flayer unleashed. 

But there are red flags.

The script is losing its spark and as usually happens when scripts go soft, spectacle gets ramped up to plaster the cracks (season eight of Game of Thrones anyone?) 

The core of this show used to be as a missing boy, a single monster, and a group of losers adopting a lost girl with strange powers. There was wholesome mystery paired with creeping danger that didn't require the world to be at stake.

But "big is better" may as well be embroidered on America's soul and this is about as American a show as it's possible to get. This time around everything is bigger, the cast, the monster, the children themselves! The scale grows but my investment wanes. 

The magic of Stranger Things is getting more diluted with each instalment. Season one was a loving homage to the great stories of the '80s. Season three feels like a call back to the great stories of season one.

If Stranger Things wants to evoke the great films of the '80s it should learn some lessons from them. Do a decent trilogy and then stop. Is anyone glad Indiana Jones continued past the Last Crusade? 

One of my favourite UK series of all time, Fleabag, finished abruptly after its second season this year. The ache of knowing I'll never get another episode is so potent I feel like I'm missing a tooth.  

The British know how to leave you wanting more, Americans will stuff television down your throat long past when you're full. 

Please leave me now Stranger Things, while I'll still miss you.

Finn Hogan is the host of NerdsPLUS, Newshub's pop-culture discussion podcast.

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