The third season of Stranger Things drops on Netflix later this week, a summer extravaganza that’s sure to get the internet buzzing. We’ve had a few awesome trailer, some tie-in commercials, and other carefully deployed Easter egg teases leading up to the show’s return, but we had no idea–until now–if the new episodes would be any good. Reviews for the second season were mostly mixed, with some criticizing the show’s occasional departure into confounding new storylines, but lucky for fans, it sounds like they won’t have to worry about that this time around. The review embargo lifted on Stranger Things 3 today and they’re mostly positive! The show is currently sitting at a 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics noting its clear improvement over season 2, while questioning its longevity.
USA Today called the new episodes, “exuberant and excellent, nearly surpassing the creative heights of the first season and providing a path to keeping things strange for years to come.” GameSpot‘s glowing review highlighted the Duffer brothers’ work, noting that “after a lackluster sophomore slump, Stranger Things is back at the top of its game.” Consequence of Sound called the new season “peak blockbuster television,” while Metro said it “has a lot to offer and it delivers in nearly everything it has promised us over the past year-and-a-half.”
However, even the positive reviews did question the show’s ability to stay afloat for much longer. TV Guide noted that “there are signs that Stranger Things is on the verge of slowing down,” while the AV Club wondered if the show would have the confidence to “grow up” going forward. Observer added that the show feels like it’s “propping up its past to justifying its present.” However, Variety‘s Caroline Framke assuaged some of those worries: “If I went into season 3 wondering how long Stranger Things can possibly keep this up, I left it assured that as long as the series keeps pushing beyond what initially made it work, it will have more story left in the tank yet.”
Here are some additional takes from critics on Twitter:
So there you have it, folks! Looks like there’s plenty of reason to be excited. Be sure to stay tuned to Nerdist later this week for tons of coverage of Stranger Things 3!