Popular culture and entertainment has never quite taken a break from using nostalgia of the past to draw in viewers and make them fans. One of the biggest and more recent powerhouses in providing a specific 1980s nostalgia fix has been the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” ever since it started in 2016. The adventures and misadventures of children in an Eighties-era Midwestern town with secrets both supernatural and other-dimensional was a smash hit for Netflix, even as the third season last year shook things up with the implications of kids growing up, and a shocking sacrifice (that does not stick).
E! News Online notes these teases in the first trailer for “Stranger Things” season 4. It certainly has quite the ground to cover following the conclusion of season 3 in the middle of 2019. But in a twist, the preview does not focus on the primary cast of young folks from Hawkins, Indiana that have driven the narrative of the show so far. Rather, the teaser touches more on the myth arc of the story, particularly the secondary thread about the Soviet Union and their own plans for the parallel dimension called the Upside Down.
The teaser shows a snowy landscape, which “Stranger Things” viewers from season 3 would realize to be the Kamchatka Peninsula, favorite corner of the Russian hinterlands to put a top-secret project facility or two, as various other TV shows, films and even anime have already done. This series, created by the Duffer Brothers Matt and Ross, is no different. As the preview goes on the Soviet base is seen up close: guard dogs, roving guards, sentry watchtowers and prisoner laborers being put to work building a railroad. One of these workers is the money shot of the teaser, revealed to be Hawkins Police chief Hopper (David Harbour), alive and well.
A climactic event from the Netflix show’s season 3 had been what appeared to be Chief Jim Hopper’s heroic sacrifice – one of two – to foil the Russians’ pursuit of the children main cast within the Upside Down. But his survival was hinted in the last scene when the Russians make mention of “the American.” The Duffer Brothers finally come clean about Hopper’s fate in a statement following the release of the “Stranger Things” season 4 teaser last Friday, February 14. Aside from Hopper being a Soviet black-ops prisoner, a “new horror that connects everything” will soon menace the Hawkins gang.
Season 4 of “Stranger Things” becomes available on Netflix streaming sometime this year with pretty much the entire cast returning.
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