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Well, This 'Stranger Things 4' News Just Made Me Feel Ancient!

- Stranger Things -
Well, This 'Stranger Things 4' News Just Made Me Feel Ancient!

Yes, Stranger Things 4 is really happening, yes, it is coming soon, and, yes, there will be plenty of new cast members. On Wednesday, June 9, during Netflix's Geeked Week, Stranger Things announced four new characters, introduced new additions to the cast, and teased a prequel podcast spinoff. It's a lot to keep straight, and to theorize about what it means for Season 4. So, let's dive right in, shall we?

The biggest Stranger Things news of the day: the four new cast members, Amybeth McNulty, Myles Truitt, Regina Chen, and Grace Van Dien. (That's on top of the previously announced eight new additions.) Here's a rundown:

  • Amybeth McNulty will play Vickie, described by Netflix as a "cool, fast talking band nerd." Her character description teased that one of "our beloved heroes" might develop a crush on her, which has me thinking she'll be a love interest for Dustin. (Sorry to Suzie.) Although, I guess she could potentially be a love interest for Steve, but that just doesn't feel quite right.
  • Myles Truitt will play Patrick, a popular basketball player who has everything when "shocking events send his life spiraling out of control." Hmmm... "spiraling," you say? Sounds like somebody is going to the Upside Down.
  • Regina Ting Chen will play Ms. Kelly, a guidance counselor. No word on whether she'll be at Hawkins High or at whatever new school Eleven and Will are going to. Either way, with Hopper gone, the kids of Stranger Things could really use another adult they can confide in, so hopefully Ms. Kelly will actually be on their side.
  • Grace Van Dien will play Chrissy, a Hawkins High cheerleader who is hiding "a dark secret." Most notable about this character description is that it calls her "the most popular girl in school," which means she'll likely be dating fellow newbie, Jason Carver (played by Mason Dye). Jason was part of the eight new characters announced back in November, and he was described as "a handsome, rich athlete dating the most popular girl in school." So, you see where I'm going with this.

These four in addition to the eight new cast members already announced are truly too many people to add to an already huge cast, but I'm guessing not all of them will have a big role in the upcoming season, so I'm willing to let that go for now. But just allow this to be a reminder that we are five years further along in life than we were when the show premiered. The kids are growing up, I mean we're talking high school here, and that means I, too, am growing up. Anyway... on to the next piece of news!

Robin, aka Maya Hawke, is getting her own spinoff — kinda. She'll star in the first Stranger Things fictional podcast, Rebel Robin: Surviving Hawkins. The podcast is also tied to a prequel book about Robin, both of which will be released on June 29. This is significant for two reasons:

  • It tells us that Robin will definitely be playing a bigger role in Stranger Things 4. Why give her a whole backstory if it's not going to payoff somehow in the series?
  • It seems to introduce a new character, played by Sean Maher (of Firefly fame), who, based on the podcast teaser, is either her dad or her therapist/guidance counselor. Will he be incorporated into the show itself?

The entire Rebel Robin story is being set up as non-supernatural story, where Hawkins High is the real monster, not the Mind Flayer. But, knowing Stranger Things, it seems impossible that it won't provide some clues about Season 4, no matter how small.

And finally, perhaps the most perplexing Stranger Things 4 tease dropped on Wednesday was this video from showrunners the Duffer Brothers. Now, the video wants you to think it's just a casting announcement celebrating the arrival of McNulty (who is already a Netflix darling for starring in Anne with an E), but there's something bigger going on here. Just take a look; you'll see what I mean.

Did you see that? Those flashes of light and glitches? Those weird, static-like sounds? Sounds like the Upside Down isn't so closed as we thought.

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Image: Netflix

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