But the cringiest part of season three for me has to be that NeverEnding Story scene between Dustin and his actually-for-real long distance girlfriend, Suzie.
What was meant to be an incredibly tense and time-sensitive moment in the finale gets jarringly disrupted by this scene and it completely ruins the flow of what was shaping up to be a great climax. Honestly, this admittedly hilarious scene would be great during any other moment but the finale.
The reason I bring this up is because Millie Bobby Brown decided that this cringeworthy scene needed more loving and so she shared a video to Instagram that shows her singing and dancing to the scene.
She then challenges her fans to do the same by writing in the caption, “I nominate YOU to do the #NeverEndingChallenge.”
Normally I don’t condone this or any dumb internet challenge, especially since this one is based on my least favourite scene from Stranger Things 3, but goddamn this one looks like fun.
And it seems like it’s catching on with fans as MBB’s video has nearly 5 million likes and 8,000 uses of the #NeverEndingChallenge hashtag. I’m still not sure how I feel about this whole thing. On one hand, it looks like fun. But on the other, I hate the sequence which it is based on.
A Stranger Things Star May Have Joined The Marvel Cinematic Universe To Turn Things Upside Down
Strange things are happening in the MCU.
With Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe done and dusted (pun intended) now that Spider-Man: Far From Home is out in the world, the big question on the minds of every Marvel fan is “what’s next?”
There’s a hero hole that needs to be filled in the post-Blip MCU and it appears that Marvel are plugging the gap by getting stars like Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, and Angelina Jolie to star in the (still unconfirmed) Eternals movie.
But perhaps sensing that they need something to really get fans buzzing for future films now that a bunch of OG stars are gone, Marvel have apparently decided to hire a Stranger Things star.
Variety reports that Marvel has big plans for San Diego Comic Con and buried right in there is an unassuming tidbit that the comic book movie behemoth has nabbed none other than Millie Bobby Brown to join The Eternals.
As for who she’ll play and all that stuff, we know about as much as Madden’s brooding cousin (not half-brother) from Game of Thrones: nothing.
Now take this with some massive grains of salt since Marvel has yet to confirm anything about The Eternals or any casting reports. For all we know there could actually be no Eternals movie and it was all a big bait and switch for an X-Men or Fantastic Four reboot featuring a cameo from Godzilla.
Nonetheless, Marvel are pulling a smart move here by jumping on the Stranger Things buzz while it’s still hot. Either way, We’ll find out sooner or later whether Eleven will turn things Upside Down in MCU or if it’s just a rumour that’ll disappear like the victims of the Blip.
We Need To Talk About Jim Hopper And What Toxic Masculinity Actually Is In Stranger Things
Jim Hopper does some questionable things but that doesn't necessarily make him toxic.
SPOILERS FOR STRANGER THINGS 3!
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
Stranger Things served up quite a few things with its latest season of 80s nostalgia and creepy monster tropes, some of it good if predictable and some of it not so good.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect that was tackled in season three was Jim Hopper and how his character development dived into what toxic masculinity actually means.
So what exactly is the definition of toxic masculinity? Researchers have defined it in part as a pattern of beliefs and behaviours, such as suppressing emotions and “acting tough”, that will be harmful to others if expressed. It manifests from a place where a man is trying to overcompensate in an attempt to claw back some sense of “manliness” and/or self-worth.
Throughout season three, we see Hopper do some questionable things, like telling/threatening Mike to stop dating Eleven and getting jealous over Joyce talking to other men after trying (and failing) to ask her out before being (unintentionally) stood up at a restaurant by her. This is a pretty different side of Hopper to the ones we’ve seen and his behaviour has been called into question by some people.
These are definitely bad behaviours but they don’t quite fall into the “toxic masculinity” category. For Hopper, his behaviour has nothing to do with his “manliness” and trying to overcompensate. Rather, it’s a manifestation of all the collective trauma he’s gone through.
Hopper suffered some serious emotional turmoil when he lost both his wife and daughter before the show. Throw in a heavy dose of PTSD caused by the events of Stranger Things and it’s no surprise that he acts the way he does, especially in season three.
His most important relationships were forcibly torn away him prior to the show so it’s understandable why he is not responsive or expressive of emotion. When he manages to find proxies for his lost wife and daughter in the form of Joyce and Eleven respectively, it makes sense that he would want to hold onto them dearly out of fear of losing them, even if it means acting irrationally and questionably.
It’s difficult to process and respond to things properly let alone opening up to people when you’ve faced as much trauma as Hopper. We’re shown that he is capable of warmth and compassion, it’s just incredibly hard for him to express it though no fault of his own.
Perhaps the most important difference between what Hopper did and toxic masculinity is that he recognises what he does is wrong, how Joyce and Eleven aren’t the same as his lost family, and how his behaviour is reactionary to what he’s been through.
Most toxic men aren’t generally privy to this kind of self-awareness or self-improvement without some serious prodding but Hopper is clearly trying to understand and change his behaviour for the better.
If he were truly a toxic male, he wouldn’t have made up with Eleven and Joyce or allowed Mike to continue seeing his step-daughter by the end of season three.
We’re shown just why Hopper does what he does in season three but it doesn’t mean it’s right in any way. However, we need to be careful in how we throw about the “toxic masculinity” label without fully understanding what it actually means.
Is Jim Hopper a flawed and damaged man with some serious trauma? Absolutely. Has he done and said some bad things? 100%. Is he a toxic male? Nah, definitely not.