4. Stranger Things season 3
When season 3 of Stranger Things premiered on Netflix, some critics called it a comeback for a show that had stagnated in its second season – and in many ways it really was. It was bigger, bolder and badder than its predecessors, promising to take the story outside of Hawkins in the hopes of changing things up.
This time, the gateway to the Upside Down had been reopened by external forces and it’s once again up to Eleven, Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas, Max, Steve, Jonathan, Nancy, Joyce and Hopper to figure out what’s going on and put a stop to it. However, things get more complicated when Max’s brother Billy gets sucked into it and the town’s new Starcourt Mall houses a dangerous secret.
There was so much good in Stranger Things 3, including the emotional stakes, the friendship between Eleven and Max, the fresher approach to extending the story and the introduction of Robin. What ultimately lets it down is the fact that it often leans into some of the show’s goofier tendencies, resulting in what used to be moments of light comic relief overwhelming the story and resulting in questionable character decisions.
That said, its season finale, “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt”, may just be the greatest hour the show has ever produced.