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The Stranger Things Season That Gets Better On A Rewatch

With the premiere of Season 4 of "Stranger Things" nigh, fans are boning up on the events of seasons past. It's well-known that Season 3 left us asking a whole heap of questions. Will Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) get her powers back? How the heck is Hopper (David Harbour) going to get out of that gulag and back to Hawkins? And most importantly, will we ever see Steve (Joe Keery) in that adorable sailor outfit again?

Naturally, we won't have a definitive answer to any of these until Season 4 drops. It's already been a long wait too, what with all the delays related to the global coronavirus pandemic. For many of us, rewatching is just as much scratching an unscratchable itch as it is a refresher. In the process of revisiting the previous three seasons, fans are finding themselves reassessing their opinions about them, including one season in particular.

Fans think Season 3 is better the second time around

A Reddit thread over on the r/StrangerThings subreddit addressing those rewatching the first three seasons of the show is full of changed minds and new discoveries, a welcome development since the previous fan consensus had been that Season 3 was relatively disappointing, with another thread started by u/DARTH-GOLD-HIMSELF in 2019 bluntly calling it the worst season. Reviewers agreed at the time, saying that the season missed the mark (via Vox) and leaned a bit too much into its 1980s nostalgia (via Entertainment Weekly).

Now, fans are finding all sorts of enjoyment and new meanings in Season 3. "S3 has been the hardest one for me to come around to, but I really liked it this time around," wrote u/PatchworkGirl82. Meanwhile, u/Shpongle123 wrote, "After I watched season 3 for the first time I felt a bit disappointed, but now I think it's actually the best of all 3, not to say previous seasons were bad, they are all magnificent in their own way."

Some fans, like u/IHaveTheMustacheNow, found Murray (Brett Gelman) and even Billy (Dacre Montgomery) far more sympathetic. Others discovered that the shift in tone for the season was one of the things they actually liked about it. "The pacing of S3 is intense and awesome action and monsters," wrote u/DaSkrambledEgg.

The reasons vary, but if fans are revisiting Season 3 and noting its strengths more than its flaws, it can help make Season 4 a more rewarding experience. Part 1 of Season 4 of "Stranger Things" will be released on May 27.