Stranger Things 3: Cold War Gone Upside Down

By Anne Liebig| 02 October 2019
SPOILERS AHEAD. On 4th July 2019, the third season of Stranger Things hit Netflix and quickly pulled off its favourite stunt – defying the sequel trap. Once again, the show satisfied viewer demands and climbed to critics’ top scores for the third time running. The long-awaited return to monster-ridden Hawkins not only features delightful performances by its stellar cast, but also widens the playing field for the series’ baddies: other than the familiar killer goo that is the Demogorgon, who are Hawkins’ child heroes up against in 1980s America, and on the most patriotic of holidays no less? You’ve guessed it: the Russians.

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Communicating the Upside Down: Meaning Making and Semiotics in Netflix’s Stranger Things

Anahit Behrooz | November 6, 2017
At its heart, Stranger Things is about tension: the tension between the normal and the weird, the familiar and the unfamiliar, the known and the strange. The normal and the familiar are established through the show’s primary setting – the small, quintessentially American town of Hawkins, where everyone knows everyone, children can play outdoors and, according to the town’s chief of police, Jim Hopper, the worst thing to ever happen was an owl flying at a citizen’s head. This familiarity is reinforced on an extradiegetic level through the numerous intertextual references to numerous works of 80’s sci-fi genre fiction, which provide a network of signifiers that make Stranger Things immediately readable and accessible. At the other extreme, events happen throughout the show to destabilise this familiarity.

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