She turned thirteen on...
I'm still in the middle of my Stranger Things 4 watch but I can say definitively that it's leagues above the wretched third season, wherein the writers tried to repurpose the franchise as a comedy and failed like very few things have failed in all of human history.
I'm just grateful we still have a television because I came too close to smashing it to hell after that putrid spectacle. It was the Combat Rock of Stranger Things, ironically.
Mind you, my opinion still has not changed: there was no - and there remains no - reason for a sequel to the original Stranger Things, which is as perfect, complete and unimprovable as any series of television has ever been.
I still don't know how they did it, but the production team captured the quintessence of the Year that Broke Reality in a way that continues to stagger me. Sometimes the Fates choose the unlikeliest messengers.
Granted, this new season is very far from perfect. There are still way many failed attempts at comedy and the Hopper storyline comes off as masochist porn. The Robin Buckley (!) character (the one played by Maya Hawke) has been recreated as a super-annoying ditz, the boys are still deep into the awkward adolescent phase, and the whitewashing program still seems to be in full effect. But if you're like me and see everything after the first series as non-canon, then it doesn't really matter.
That said, the move away from science fiction and towards classic 80s horror seems to be working so far. And my brains have been whirring away working up a Stranger Things theory of everything that probably doesn't exist in the writer's room but syncs quite effectively with a lot of other theories of everything I've been mulling over.
I'm working on a presentation for a Stranger Things theory of everything that I will be sharing in a livestream this week for Secret Sun Institute students and visiting scholars.
So consider joining us - I guarantee you this will be another SSI barnburner.
It's hard to believe, but we've passed the fifth and twenty-fifth anniversaries of Chris Cornell and Jeff Buckley's respective swims to the Siren. Both were startlingly prophesied by the Oracle of the Apocalypse and both have become inseparable milestones in the rise of the Shimmer, as well as integral aspects of it.
If you need a primer on the archetypal love story of the Apocalypse, click here.
The Shimmer has also left its fingerprints all over the new Stranger Things, and probably will do so on the earlier seasons as well, if it hasn't already (time and space as we understand them are meaningless to the Shimmer).
The Shimmer also revealed a likely candidate for the actual Siren in question to me last year, which you can read about here. And Alex Garland's new film seems to have been drawn into this process, which seems inevitable after Annihilation.
Not for nothing, but you may want to consider beginning to believe at some point in time. Something (the Shimmer) is going to an unimaginable amount of trouble to reach you; it just seems churlish to turn your back to it.
By the way, do you know what the actual inventor of Ewen Cameron's "depatterning therapy" called it when she was performing it on orphans in hospitals in the 1930s and 40s?
Kind of puts a new light on that film, wouldn't you say?
Shine on in the Den of Intrigue.