“Stranger Things” and the heartbreak of growing up – Salon

Stranger Things
Early into season 3 of “Stranger Things, ” Will (Noah Schnapp) punches the “play” button on a portable radio and medieval string music fills the basement. Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) wake with a start. It’s early, it’s summer and Will — in his purple wizard’s cape and hat — wants to play Dungeons and Dragons. It’s a game the boys have played enthusiastically for years, imagining elaborate scenarios of danger and rescue before real danger entered their lives and Hawkins, Indiana. But this summer, things are different. Mike and Lucas have girlfriends and are completely preoccupied, and while Will the Wise declares the day one without girls, every time the phone rings, they rush for it, hoping El (Millie Bobby Brown) or Max (Sadie Sink) is on the other end.  Advertisement: After Mike and Lucas begin lightly mocking Will’s campaign, he races up the stairs, angry and confused. Mike follows him and they begin to argue.  “We’re not kids anymore, ” Mike says. .


“I mean, what did you think, really? That we were never going to get girlfriends? We were just going to sit in my basement and play games for the rest of our lives?”  Advertisement: “Yeah, ” Will says, his voice breaking. “I guess I did.”  It’s a subtle, aching moment in a season bursting with intrigue and humor — and one that is heartbreaking in its relatability. There’s a certain point in everyone’s adolescence when it feels like you’re consistently making a series of choices that result in you either being left or leaving someone behind.  Exploring this tension through creative work isn’t new; one of the most touching subplots of L.M. Montgomery’s 1908 novel “Anne of Green Gables” was Anne’s fear, and ultimate acceptance, of the idea that her best friend Diana would grow up without her. (After the infamous raspberry cordial incident, Anne said: “I love Diana so, Marilla, I cannot live without her. .

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