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Most TV shows hit a snag at one point or another. Take the problematic seventh season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, or the more recent eighth season of HBO’s Game Of Thrones. In both cases, the creative management failed to keep the story consistent, fresh and enjoyable.

Netflix’s Stranger Things: Chapter 3 does not share these shortcomings. It is absolutely consistent, fresh and enjoyable. Through its eight-episode run, the latest season of the pop phenomenon is able to refine its own formula to the point of near-perfection.

Season One gave us the beastly Demogorgon. Season Two brought the intimidating Mind-Flayer, a beast of the psyche who did not possess a physical form. Season Three fixes this, allowing for the Mind-Flayer to, from the Upside Down, assemble a body in Hawkins. Yes, assemble. The Mind-Flayer is able to congregate an army of rats together into one body; a fleshy resemblance of the Flayer’s Season Two appearance. Imagine a fleshy, toothy, and very ticked-off beast who is taller than a house. And you’re hiding in that house. And the beast is going to eat you.

This is what our lovable cast is up against this season, along with, of course, Russian scientists seeking to explore the possibilities of interdimensional travel. Throughout the season, Eleven, Mike, and Steve, along with some new additions to the usual gang, unravel the Russian plot to open a gateway to the Upside Down. They do their unraveling in perfect 1980s action-movie style, complete with slick cars, circus shootouts, and a battle for the future of Hawkins that takes place in the newly constructed Starcourt Mall.

Season Three of Stranger Things is available to stream on Netflix, and is well worth it. Being able to spend time with such a stand-out group of characters, all blissfully original and unique, is a privilege most viewers don’t usually enjoy. The latest season combines the best aspects of Seasons One and Two for the best and strangest season yet. (Netflix)

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