Just when I thought Netflix gave us all it could on Stranger Things season three, the streaming service released yet another trailer. While it’s just under two minutes long, it has a totally awesome 1980s reference. Before I call it out for discussion, I’ll give you a chance to see it for yourselves. Here’s a hint: it’s a pretty big ’80s movie reference. (Stranger Things is set in the ’80s and known for paying homage to classic films from that decade.) If you grew up in that golden decade, you’ll probably get it right away. But that’s all I’m going to say for now; let’s take a look at the Stranger Things season three trailer:
Definitely an ’80s Homage
Okay. Let’s break this down a bit. The trailer starts out with a sweeping shot of the fun and hijinks going on at the Hawkins Community Pool. We kick off the fun with the Stray Cats’ Rock This Town, the neo-rockabilly revival band’s mega hit from 1981. With the changing of the (life)guard, the song abruptly shifts to The Cars’ Moving in Stereo. As it plays, we have bad kid Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) sauntering up to the lifeguard’s chair while a group of awestruck mothers marvel at his physique and commanding presence.
Any ’80s aficionado worth their salt will remember the inspiration for this scene. It’s a parody of the iconic pool scene from 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High. For those who need their memories jogged, or are too young to remember, this is the famous scene where Phoebe Cates emerges from the pool in a fantasy/daydream sequence. Moving in Stereo is playing as she struts the length of the pool in her bikini, more or less. It’s an interesting homage while still both believable in the context of the show’s world.
After seeing this trailer, I said, “Kudos to the Duffer Brothers for yet another iconic ’80s homage, even if it starred that detestable Billy.” My colleague and perpetual grump Stuart Sweet had something else to say about it, of course. It was something along the lines of him complaining that “nostalgia is more than just using the same music in the same scenes. I call that cheap and lacking in creativity.” This is why he’ll never understand what makes Stranger Things so great. I guess this is why he’s still stuck on Star Trek.
Stranger Things Trailer: The Dark Underbelly
Because there always has to be something dark; it’s Stranger Things, after all. So, I noticed something interesting in the scene featured in the trailer. Of all the older women who were fawning over him, Billy made singled out Mrs. Wheeler (Cara Buono) to compliment. That Mrs. Wheeler is none other than Karen Wheeler, mother of show stars Mike and Nancy Wheeler, played by Finn Wolfhard and Natalia Dyer, respectively.
In season two, Billy proved himself to be a dangerous, sociopathic bully. Could the growing attraction between him and Karen mean something bad for the Wheeler kids? Like, I’m wondering if Billy could turn into a stalking, obsessive lover who targets the Wheeler kids after Karen discards him. Or it might be something else entirely. I guess we’ll find out in July.
Although I’ve written about Stranger Things season three before, I’ll leave these highlights as a refresher to what we’ll all be watching in July:
The action takes place on and around July 4, 1985, six months after season two.
Carey Elwes plays Mayor Kline.
The character of Robin is played by Maya Thurman-Hawke, daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.
Jake Busey, son of Gary Busey, plays the role of Bruce. (If I had to guess, he’s likely a nutty villain.)
Lucas’s sister seems to have joined the group.
There’s a terrifying new monster.
There’s also a scary-looking guy with a suppressed handgun. (Likely a government killer.)
The kids build some kind of gigantic antenna.
Let’s See How This Goes
I find it interesting that season three’s tagline is, “One summer can change everything.” They mean the new romances, adventures, and supernatural evils that are set to descend upon Hawkins, IN, of course. For me, a near-hopeless Stranger Things fanboy, it takes on a whole new meaning. Let’s face it, season one of this show blew me away. It was such a faithful reproduction of those halcyon days of the 1980s when my life revolved around Dungeons & Dragons and bike riding adventures. Stranger Things Season two was a bit of a departure and not in a good way.
If season three fails to produce, it most definitely could change everything… at least for me. In our ongoing efforts to cut costs and stretch dollars, Mrs. Buckler and I are looking at our entertainment expenses. We’ve been watching more shows on HBO GO… yes, even after the rushed ending to Game of Thrones. For one thing, we’re an AT&T Preferred Dealer so HBO is part of the team, so to speak. Secondly, it has some great shows. As for the big, red streaming provider, I think Stuart summed it up best in his latest piece about the economics of Netflix. Not all of its original content is good, and whether we keep it has a lot to do with the quality of Stranger Things season three.