10 Controversial Takes on Stranger Things That Defy Popular Opinion

By Krystal Brown

Stranger Things, the beloved Netflix series, has amassed a massive fan base. However, there are dissenting opinions that challenge the popular consensus. From the Upside Down to character development and ’80s nostalgia, these controversial takes offer a fresh perspective on the show. Let’s explore these alternative viewpoints and delve into the less-discussed aspects of Stranger Things.

The Upside Down Is Overrated

While the Upside Down initially provided a thrilling and mysterious backdrop in the first season of Stranger Things, its constant presence throughout the subsequent seasons became repetitive and predictable. The allure of the Upside Down diminished as it lost its sense of mystery and became more of a recurring setting. Instead of exploring new dimensions or expanding the mythology in a meaningful way, the Upside Down became a familiar and expected element, reducing its impact and the sense of danger it initially conveyed.

Billy Hargrove was an Underdeveloped Character

Despite being positioned as a major antagonist in Season 2, Billy’s character development was lacking compared to other main characters. While he displayed hints of complexity and inner turmoil, the show failed to explore his backstory or motivations in depth. As a result, viewers were left with a shallow portrayal of a troubled individual, limiting their ability to empathize or engage with his character arc. Billy’s potential for a more layered and compelling character was largely unexplored, which felt like a missed opportunity.

Eleven’s Powers Became Overused

Eleven’s telekinetic abilities were initially captivating and added an intriguing element to the show. However, as the series progressed, her powers were frequently relied upon as a convenient plot device, reducing the suspense and challenge in her character arc. The overuse of her powers diminished the sense of danger and vulnerability she initially possessed, making her character feel less compelling and the stakes less significant. A more balanced and strategic use of her powers could have maintained the suspense and allowed for more creative storytelling.

Season 3 Focused Too Much on Romantic Subplots

While romantic relationships can add depth and complexity to a story, Season 3 of Stranger Things placed excessive emphasis on these subplots, overshadowing the core plot line. The introduction of multiple romantic story lines, such as Eleven and Mike, Max and Lucas, and Nancy and Jonathan, detracted from the overall charm and appeal of the show. The constant focus on these relationships felt forced and took away valuable screen time that could have been dedicated to advancing the main narrative and further developing other characters.

Hopper’s “Bad Cop” Persona Got Tiring

Hopper’s gruff and tough personality initially added flavor to the show, presenting a no-nonsense character with a complex past. However, as the series progressed, his character became repetitive and stuck in a cycle of angry outbursts and rigid behavior. This hindered his potential for growth and made it difficult for viewers to connect with him on a deeper level. Exploring different facets of Hopper’s personality and allowing him to evolve beyond his “bad cop” persona could have made his character arc more dynamic and engaging.

The Mind Flayer Lost Its Menace

As the primary antagonist throughout multiple seasons, the Mind Flayer initially presented a terrifying and otherworldly threat. However, with each subsequent appearance, its presence and level of menace diminished. The predictability of its actions and the repeated attempts to infiltrate Hawkins reduced its impact as a formidable enemy. The lack of innovation and fresh approaches to the Mind Flayer’s portrayal made it feel less intimidating and more like a repetitive plot device.

The Byers Family Should Have Stayed in Hawkins

The decision to move the Byers family out of Hawkins in Season 3 felt forced and weakened the dynamic between the core characters. The Byers, as central characters in the show, had established strong connections with the other characters and the town itself. Their relocation disrupted the sense of community and shared history that had been built over the previous seasons. While exploring new settings can bring freshness to a series, the removal of the Byers family from Hawkins felt like a disconnection from the show’s core essence.

Max and Lucas’ Relationship Lacked Depth

Despite being part of the main group, Max and Lucas’ relationship felt underdeveloped and lacked the emotional connection seen in other character dynamics. Throughout the series, Max and Lucas had the potential to form a compelling and meaningful relationship, but their interactions and growth as a couple were not given enough focus or depth. Their relationship often took a backseat to other plotlines and was not explored in a way that allowed viewers to fully invest in their connection. As a result, their relationship felt underdeveloped and lacked the emotional resonance that was present in other character dynamics, such as Eleven and Mike or Joyce and Hopper.

Season 2’s Pacing Was Uneven

The second season of Stranger Things struggled with pacing issues, which had an impact on the overall flow of the season. Certain story lines felt dragged out, with unnecessary subplots that detracted from the main narrative. For example, the extended focus on Eleven’s journey outside of Hawkins and her interactions with Kali slowed down the pacing and disrupted the momentum of the season. On the other hand, some story lines felt rushed and could have benefited from more exploration and development. The uneven pacing resulted in a lack of cohesion and made the season feel disjointed at times.

The Show Relies Too Heavily on 80’s Nostalgia

While the ’80s nostalgia is a defining aspect of Stranger Things and contributes to its unique charm, at times, it feels like a crutch that overshadows original storytelling and character development. The show heavily leans on references, visual cues, and homages to ’80s pop culture, which can be enjoyable for fans of that era. However, there are instances where the nostalgia takes precedence over organic storytelling and character growth. While the nods to the ’80s are a part of Stranger Things’ identity, relying too heavily on nostalgia can hinder the show’s ability to innovate and tell its own compelling story.