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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 On Netflix, Where The Action Is Spread Far From Hawkins

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Season 3 of Stranger Things — which came out three long years ago — ended with a tense and exciting finale as everyone battled a massive mind flayer, and the Soviets, at the Starcourt Mall. Even so, we were still concerned that the Duffer Brothers were taking this intimate group of friends — as well as Joyce and Hopper — and spreading them to the winds. It’s a concern we always have about ensemble shows as they go along and seem to make the story so big that the previously tight-knit group splinters and different groups go on different adventures. So with a fourth season that the Duffers have promised will be bigger than ever, will we ever get back to what attracted us to the show in the first place? And does it matter?

STRANGER THINGS SEASON 4: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?

Opening Shot: A suburban street strewn with leaves. A kid on a bike rides down the street, delivering papers.

The Gist: We see Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) getting ready for his day on September 8, 1979. He goes to the Hawkins National Laboratories, where a group of telekinetic children live; he’s in a room with Ten (Christian Ganiere) doing tests, when chaos ensues. Everyone in the lab has been violently killed, except for him and who he thinks caused the disaster, a girl named Eleven (Martie Blair).

We then go to Lenora Hills, California on March 21, 1986. It’s been about six months since Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) moved out of Hawkins, Indiana, with her sons Will (Noah Schnapp) and Jon (Charlie Heaton). Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has moved with them; she moved in with the Byers family after Hopper (David Harbour) died during the Battle of Starcourt. Will and Eleven have started high school; Will has shot up in height and is actually somewhat popular. Eleven, who calls herself Jane at school, is basically bullied and ridiculed. And whenever she tries to use her powers, she fails.

But she’s looking forward to spring break, when Mike (Finn Wolfhard) is going to come visit. Back in Hawkins, Mike and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) are in the “Hellfire Club”, a D&D-playing group led by a sixth-year senior named Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn). The end of their campaign coincides with the championship basketball game; Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), who rides the bench on the team, wants Mike and Dustin to move the game so he can be in it, but that’s a rough ask of the antiestablishment dungeon master. While Finn hits the winning shot in the game, Mike and Dustin recruit Lucas’ smart-ass sister Erica (Priah Ferguson) to take his place.

Max (Sadie Sink) has broken up with Lucas, her grades are in free fall, and she’s been generally depressed since her brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery) died at Starcourt. Steve (Joe Keery) helps Robin (Maya Hawke) get in good with the girl who stands next to her in the marching band. Popular cheerleader Chrissy (Grace Van Dien) goes to Eddie for some pharmaceutical help when she can’t seem to get visions out of her head.

Meanwhile, Joyce gets assistance from Murray (Brett Gelman) when a mysterious package shows up at her house, covered in stamps from the Soviet Union.

Stranger Things S4
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Seasons 1-3 of Stranger Things, but much bigger and more spread out.

Our Take: At least Season 3 stayed (mainly) in and around Hawkins. With Season 4, we’re now in Hawkins, in Lenora Hills, and lord knows where else (well, we know where else, but we don’t want to spoil anything). Our group of teens has now grown up; they’re all three years older IRL, even though only six months have gone by, making their changes exceedingly distracting. They’ve incorporated Robin, Murray and a more-involved Erica into the group. Now we get to see even more people. It’s just gotten to the point where Stranger Things is starting to feel more like a sprawling big-budget MCU movie than a relatively small-scale ’80s thriller/horror film, like the Duffers initially intended.

But is that a bad thing? After watching the first couple of extended-length episodes (which, as the Duffers have said, will pale in comparison to the length of episodes 8 and 9 are released on July 1) the jury is still out. Stranger Things has always been a slow-burn, setting up the relationships for the first few episodes and only teasing the particular monster that needs to be defeated, but then rolling to a rollicking, set-destroying conclusion. So we’re hoping that the disparate threads that are being set up come together at some point.

We’re really concerned that the Duffers are setting viewers up for disappointment with their extra-long episodes this season. There’s so much story, so many people to follow, and so many locations to keep track of, that what Season 4 is no longer resembles the story of the plucky group of middle schoolers and their telekinetic friends saving the world like it did during the first two seasons.

However, if anyone can keep these episodes moving, and keep viewers engaged, it’s the Duffers. We’re pretty sure that we’ll be at the edge of our seats at the end of the season. But it’s definitely not the same show that snuck up on viewing audiences six years ago.

Sex and Skin: None. ST‘s TV-14 rating comes from lots of gore and people saying “shit” a lot.

Parting Shot: The last scene is a spoiler, but let’s just say that Chrissy visits Eddie’s trailer to buy some Special K (not the cereal), and things don’t go well.

Sleeper Star: Joseph Quinn brings a new dynamic as Eddie, who seems to be too old to be doing anything with high school freshman and middle schoolers, including playing D&D. But in vulnerable moments, he shows that Eddie is more than just a weird, creepy manchild who questions authority.

Most Pilot-y Line: Murray takes an ice bath while on the phone with Joyce, and lets out a big “ahhhhhhh!” as he gets in. We couldn’t have been more skeeved if we tried.

Our Call: STREAM IT. It’s Stranger Things, of course, and fans will still like the show. The chemistry among the cast and the Duffers’ sense of humor is intact. But anyone who was wavering after the sprawling third season is going to be really disappointed with the fourth.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and tech, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and elsewhere.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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