When asked what they wanted to see out of “Stranger Things” Season 3, Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) had a particularly insightful response: he hoped that the show would bring its focus back to the kids and their friendship.
“I feel like Season 2, everyone was so separated,” he said. “I would say, maybe little situations where you see that the friendship is real… just show people what real friendships are, because I feel like a lot of people are missing that.”
“Love that,” said executive producer Shawn Levy. “Can’t tell you whether it’s going to happen or not, but I love it.”
“Yes, you can!” Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) was quick to reply. “That’s the problem, Shawn.”
The audience’s laughter undercut what was one of the most valid criticisms of the show’s second season. After a disappointing Emmys season last year — in which they earned 18 nominations but no wins [UPDATE: the show did receive five Emmys for below-the-line categories, including Main Title Design] — the cast and executive producer of the Netflix series appeared at the Paramount Theater on Saturday night to try their hand at this year’s awards season.
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The “For Your Consideration” event, which included a screening of episodes one and two of Season 2, a panel, and an elegant reception, was put on to entice potential voters to nominate the series for the upcoming Emmy awards.
It also gave the cast and producers an opportunity to discuss the show’s sleeper-hit status and what they wanted out of Season 3. Set in the 1980s, “Stranger Things” follows the adventures of five kids in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana as they experience the supernatural, alternate dimensions, and just growing up.
The Netflix series experienced “monster success,” as Levy put it, almost overnight when it premiered in July 2016, gaining praise from critics and fans alike for its characters, setting, and story — which had its benefits at the time.
“We made Season 1 in complete anonymity,” Levy said. “We didn’t have to work at it being a secret because no one cared. It was just this thing we were doing because we thought it was cool.”
Things have of course changed, as the show’s notoriety has led to intense anticipation about what might be coming next. However, little information has been released about Season 3, beyond the fact that it takes place in the summer of 1985, and when asked what they wanted to see in the new season, Brown was first to jump in.
“I’d love to see a script!” she said. She then went on to say that she wanted Eleven to establish a connection with one of the other female characters like Max (Sadie Sink) or Nancy (Natalia Dyer).
Meanwhile, David Harbour (Jim Hopper) had a more practical concern. “I would like a season where the Byers phone does not get completely destroyed,” he said, also expressing interest in a Hopper-Joyce (Winona Ryder) relationship, but said that it would “be such a disaster.”
“Real love is super complicated,” he said. “And you have the coming together of these two very strong people and that’s going to be very complicated.” He reminded the audience that the characters had been together at least once, citing a moment in Season 1 where Hopper was very defensive of Joyce when the other officers called her crazy.
“He’s like ‘shut up’ and he walks off, and then Callahan says…” Harbour stopped, looking at Levy. “Am I allowed to curse?”
“Yea, it looks pretty safe,” he replied.
“I think he says they fucked, didn’t he?” he said. Next to him, Brown’s eyes went wide. Levy was stunned. The audience erupted into laughter and applause.
“No, we never use the F-bomb!” Levy said.
“We get one a season, don’t we?” Harbour asked.
“And the kids get it,” Ryder added, sounding almost jealous. “The kids get to swear.”
At the end of the night, despite all the jokes, the cast seemed genuinely excited for whatever awaits them next in Hawkins.
“Stranger Things” Season 3 will be available for streaming on Netflix in 2019.