Stranger Things goes deeper and darker in fourth season

THE ADVENTURES of Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Max, Will, and Eleven continue despite their separation and having to adjust to life as teenagers in the fourth season of Stranger Things, which the stars describe as “the beginning of the end.”

Since its release in 2016, the American science fiction horror drama Stranger Things — created and executive produced by Matt and Ross Duffer — has garnered over 65 award wins and 175 award nominations, including Emmys, Golden Globes, and Grammys. Its third season recorded 582 million view hours, ranking as the second Most Popular English-language series in the Netflix Top 10 in 2019.

In an interview with Collider in August 2021, the show’s co-executive producer and director Shawn Levy says that the fourth season has been delayed due to the pandemic and a very tightknit team of producers.

“…we chose season four to be by far and I mean, by far, far, far, the most ambitious of the seasons,” Mr. Levy said.

In the same interview, Mr. Levy said that he shares the directing chair with the Duffer brothers each season. “We have to be in the edit room and lay hands on all of it ourselves,” he said.

Season 4’s story begins six months after the tragedy in Starcourt Mall. Struggling with the aftermath, the group of friends are separated for the first time and coping with the complexities of high school has been difficult. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down, a dark alternate dimension filled with monsters.

‘BEGINNING OF THE END’In an online conference with press from the Asia Pacific region on May 13, the cast described this season’s storyline as “the beginning of the end.”

“We’re approaching the beginning of the end. We’re approaching kind of a sort of feeling of everyone really changing and becoming the person that they’re going to be,” said Maya Hawke, who plays the Russian language translator Robin Buckley, who was introduced in the third season.

“We’re starting high school without a good chunk of our friend group. We miss them very, very much. Obviously, it’s also a very transitional time for us and not only are we struggling with dealing with regular things like fitting in and the new the new social climate, but also trying to cope with everything that has gone on in the past six months,” Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin Henderson, said of the main characters’ status in the latest season.

“I just watched the first two episodes… and it just shocked me how crazy and scary it is,” said Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers in the series.

The series is known to present a variety of interconnected stories that culminate at the end of each season.

The show also stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and Priah Ferguson. Joining the cast this season are Jamie Campbell Bower, Joseph Quinn, Eduardo Franco, Elodie Grace Orkin, and Robert Englund.

This season, the strong-willed Eleven, played by British actress Millie Bobby Brown, struggles with regaining her psychokinetic and telepathic abilities.

“We really have to dig deep into her beginning — who she is and the people around her, and how to gain that autonomy and become this woman on her own,” Ms. Brown said in an interview with The Late Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on May 14. She also noted that the season was “the beginning of the end.”

Ms. Brown guaranteed that the fourth season has “definitely lots of answers, lots of crying, and lots of laughing.”

As per the possibility of Mr. Matarazzo’s character Dustin performing another duet of “Never Ending Story” with childhood sweetheart Suzie (played by Gabriella Grace Pizzolo), the actor said: “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Stranger Things Season 4 Vol. 1 premieres on May 27, while Volume 2 premieres on July 1. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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