Riveting Riffs Logo One  Stranger Things - Season Four
Stranger Things Photo One

Stranger Things Photo TwoIf you have followed the Netflix series Stranger Things from season one, you have watched the cast members grow up before your eyes. While Millie Bobby Brown garners most of the attention as Eleven, it is the depth of this cast and the superb casting by one of the industry’s best Carmen Cuba that has allowed the show to maintain fan interest despite lengthy delays in launching season four, mostly due the COVID pandemic. On May 27th Netflix gave us the first half of season four, with Volume Two scheduled to stream on July 7th.

Matt and Ross Duffer wrote some great scripts for season four and further diversified both the cast and the locations. The result is we have five parallel stories within one greater story, but all of them linked. Will Franco.  If you want to know why they are traveling you will have to watch the series.  

Back at home in Hawkins, Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin), Robin (Maya Hawke) and Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) are fighting monsters once again from the Upside-Down world. The chemistry within this group of actors makes the show worth watching and they are joined this season by new character Eddie Munson played by Joseph Quinn. There is a little bit of everything within this group, romance, adventure, they are on the run, new friendships form and old relationships…. well, you will just have to watch the series, because we are not giving you cheat codes here!

Millie Bobby Brown’s character Eleven is prominent again, but it would be difficult to tell you much here without getting into spoilers. Let us just say that she is struggling to fit in her new surroundings, Mike is coming for spring break to visit her and she is looking forward to the arrival of her boyfriend and Will wonders where he fits in now. On the flip side, this would not be Stranger Things if Eleven was not in the eye of the storm and every indication is she soon will be.

This brings us to Joyce Byers played by Winona Ryder who aligns herself with Murray Baumann (Brett Gelman) as they hatch a plan to travel to Russia to spring Jim Hopper (David Harbour) from a Russian jail. We told you earlier that Eddie Munson was eccentric, to quote a Bachman Turner Overdrive song, which fits right in with the era in which Stranger Things is set, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” Baumann in previous seasons was incredibly eccentric, but now he is completely off the wall.

The seasons in the Russian jail with Hopper are brutal, but realistic or as far as the knowledge available to us in the real world indicates. Some interesting dramatic tension is on display between Harbour’s character and Tom Wlaschiha’s character prison guard Dmitri Antonov.

Back home in Hawkins the town folk are more prominent than they have been in many previous episodes and especially as the bodies start piling up again.

Since we have bee trying hard not to provide you with spoilers, here are some things we can tell you about Season Four of Stranger Things. There is more gore than we think is probably necessary, but this is the horror genre. There is much more humor infused into the characters, their lines and interaction with one another than there has been at anytime during this series. It nicely balances off the dramatic and scarier elements. The shifting to the various subplots and locations also keep the audience engaged at a high level.

If this writer had to choose some highlights, they would be the performances of Winona Ryder and Brett Gelman who are hilarious at times. In fact, Ryder’s performance is so good, we not so secretly hope she is nominated for a Golden Globe Award. The dynamic between Robin and Nancy will make you smile, will have you talking to these two characters and have you saying to Steve, pay attention man! Natalia Dyer and Maya Hawke absolutely shine in this season’s episodes and Sadie Sink is splendid as she is given a much meatier role this season. Sadie Sink does an excellent job of going inside herself to pull out the trauma, grieving and ongoing struggle that Max is dealing with, but her character has also blossomed into a full-blown sleuth as well.

No doubt there are readers out there decrying this review, because we only sparsely mentioned Millie Bobby Brown’s performance as Eleven, but it is so difficult to do, without giving away major portions of the plot. Suffice to say you have watched over the last several years, a child grow into a young woman and her immense talent as an actress just keeps on growing. Return to Our Front Page

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This review by Joe Montague published May 29th, 2022  is protected by copyright © and is the property of Riveting Riffs Magazine All Rights Reserved.  All photos are the the property of the producers of Netflix unless otherwise noted and all  are protected by copyright © All Rights Reserved. This interview may not be reproduced in print or on the internet or through any other means without the written permission of Riveting Riffs Magazine.