REVIEW: 'Stranger Things' season three

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Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Natalie Dyer (Nancy Wheeler) and Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven/Jane Hopper). (Netflix)
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Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington) and Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley). (Netflix)
Updated 21 July 2019

REVIEW: 'Stranger Things' season three

  • Hit series returns, funnier and freakier

DUBAI: Netflix’s “Stranger Things” crossed the line from hit series to cultural phenomenon pretty early on with its mix of Eighties nostalgia, sweetly humorous kids-coming-of-age story, sci-fi thrills and genuinely spooky scenes.

After a second season that brought a darker, more dangerous vibe but lost some of the fun, showrunners the Duffer Brothers seem to have struck a better balance between the two in the third season, released last week.

Set in the summer of 1985, the central gang of kids: Mike Wheeler, Will Byers, Lucas Sinclair, Max Mayfield, Dustin Henderson and telepath Eleven (or El — or Jane Hopper as she’s now the legal adoptive daughter of Sherrif Jim Hopper) are on school vacation, and it’s that awkward summer when the boys start to take more interest in girls than in Dungeons & Dragons, much to Will’s chagrin. Mike and Lucas are (at the start of the series at least) bumbling their way through relationships with El and Max respectively. The Duffers mine these awkward ‘first-love’ scenarios for rich humor and some genuinely touching moments, as well as some realistic takes on how the complications of love interests affects the tight-knit gang of boys we met in the first series. And of how they enable Max and El to bond. It’s great to see El relax into hanging out with her first real girlfriend (in the platonic sense).

There’s plenty of humor too in the double-act of Dustin and Steve Harrington — formerly the high-school heartthrob, but now struggling to retain his ‘cool’ edge while working in an ice-cream parlor in the town’s new social hotspot, the Starcourt Mall. New arrival Robin is his co-worker — and thorn in side, constantly puncturing his ego.

Of course, there’s a darkness stirring too. The sinister, otherworldly monster defeated by El at the end of season two is not, it seems, as gone as everyone thought. Strange power fluctuations trigger Will’s awareness of his nemesis, and the kids quickly realize that their summer holidays aren’t going to be as carefree as they’d hoped. There’s the issue of exploding rats, for starters, and Max’s older brother, Billy, is acting very, well, strange.

Everything that made “Stranger Things” so wildly popular, then, is still in place, including stellar performances from the ensemble cast and the eye-catching attention to Eighties pop culture (new Coke, Phoebe Cates and Ralph Macchio, for example), to — of course — the unsettling notion of something very wrong happening just beneath Hawkins’ shiny, happy surface.


Part-Jordanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi’s stepfather dies   

The celebrated designer has a well-established brand, Amina Muaddi, famous for its signature flared heels. (Getty)
Updated 14 min 26 sec ago

Part-Jordanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi’s stepfather dies   

DUBAI: Jordanian-Romanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi said Wednesday on Instagram that her stepfather has died. 

In a heart-felt message, captioning a cheerful picture of her childhood with him, she wrote: “You made the most noble choice: to be the father of a child that is not yours. I prayed to God that he’d take my tears and use them as fuel to give you more life.” 

“I will miss you forever daddy. My heart is shattered,” Muaddi, who celebrated her 34th birthday this week, added. 

The shoemaker, adored by celebrities, was born to a Jordanian father and a Romanian mother, said in an interview with Vogue Arabia magazine that her family moved to Amman a few weeks after she was born. 

Her parents split when she was six and she returned to Romania with her mother. 

“I wasn’t aware of what my mom did to help me as a child and it took me years to understand. The opportunities I have today are mostly because she took me out of Jordan. Not because it’s not a good place to live, but because my dad is very conservative and probably would not have liked for me to have a career,” she explained. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@kyliejenner poses in her Begum slingback in bright pink silk satin. #AminaMuaddi #AminasLadies #KylieJenner

A post shared by AMINA MUADDI (@aminamuaddiofficial) on

Fast-forward to 2020, the celebrated designer has a well-established brand, famous for its signature flared heels, that has garnered a loyal checklist of famous fans, including Dua Lipa, Gigi Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin Bieber.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@badgalriri posing in her BEGUM glass slingback pumps. #AminasLadies #rihanna #AminaMuaddiSS19 #AminaMuaddi

A post shared by AMINA MUADDI (@aminamuaddiofficial) on