Stranger Things 3

Rated 4.0

The third season is the best yet for the Duffer Brothers’ ’80s throwback series. Much of the action, including a final showdown with the Mind Flayer monster from the Upside Down, takes place in the Starcourt Mall, a mighty authentic wonder of art direction (Sam Goody and The Ground Round make notable appearances). Of course, the Russians now play a prominent part as Hopper (David Harbour) tries to protect his adopted daughter, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), from the Reds, demons, and, most notoriously, her new boyfriend Mike (Finn Wolfhard) who likes to kiss way too much. Steve (Joe Harrington) has his best season yet, working in an ice cream store with new cast member and major standout Maya Hawke (daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman) as his co-scooper. The special effects this time around are top-notch, with nice nods to, once again, John Carpenter, Stephen King and The Blob. Harbour gets a little goofier in this round, and it’s a lot of fun watching his Hopper trying to date Joyce (Winona Ryder). The finale provides some major cliffhangers for the inevitable season four, which could actually wind up in a completely different series. It’s good to see the show make a comeback after a middling season 2; it’s a total blast, and it features a nice ode to The Neverending Story.