Maybe it was the pandemic, maybe it was the forces of Upside-Down demons with psionic powers, but Stranger Things fans have had to wait a long time for season 4. The third season of the Netflix sci-fi series premiered over 4th of July weekend in 2019, and then it was just rumor, conjecture and obtuse teaser trailers for years after that.
But fans can be thankful to hear that things are finally moving along on the set of Stranger Things season 4. Most recently, in mid-February, the streaming service announced that the upcoming fourth season will be split into two different parts — Stranger Things season 4 part 1 is scheduled for a May 27 release. And, this week, Netflix let loose with a series of “first look” photos and left everyone speechless.
The first thing that fans immediately noticed was the hair. The bangs! Everyone has them. “If you don’t share the same haircut with your besties you’re doing something wrong,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Truly, there are plenty of bowl-cut bangs to go around. Entertainment Weekly bestowed the title of “wonderfully awful” on the mop-tops. “Petition for Will to get a better haircut,” another fan wrote on the show’s Instagram post. Others say that with her new ‘do Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) bears a striking resemblance to Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), and they wonder if that might factor into the plot. (We’ve seen more far-fetched things come to pass!)
If you’re worried about Steve (Joe Keery), don’t be. Somehow, he was spared from the bangs-o-rama, and he maintains his masterful coif, as you can see in (a very dimly lit photo) on Netflix’s Tudum. But everyone else must’ve taken a trip to the same salon. Or, in the words of a different fan on Twitter: “The fringe is back!”
The interesting thing is that the action is supposed to still take place somewhere in the mid-’80s — the creators of the show, Matt and Ross Duffer, let is slip that Stranger Things season 4 is only supposed to take place six months after Stranger Things season 3, which took place in the summer of 1985. But the bangs and the flannel have a big ’90s vibe. Eleven and her friends look like they could be doing a take on the cover of the Weezer album from 1994. Is there another time jump in the offing? Only time will tell.
Frightening haircuts or not, the Duffers tell Netflix that this season leans more into a scary-movie vibe than the kids-on-bikes adventure mode the series is used to operating in. “When we pitched it to Netflix all those years ago, we pitched it as the kids are … The Goonies in E.T.,” Ross told Tudum. “And the adults are in Jaws and Close Encounters and then the teens are in Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween. But, this year, we don’t have the kids. We can’t do The Goonies anymore. And so, suddenly, we’re leaning much harder into that horror movie territory that we love. It was fun to make that change.”
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