In the interest of full disclosure? I really liked the first three seasons of Netflix and Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer's Stranger Things, but I don't know if I was ever "in love" with it. I respected it on a ton of levels on both sides of the camera and enjoyed it more with each passing season. But then Stranger Things 4 happened, and that all changed. Specifically, Sadie Sink's Max Mayfield happened, and from that point forward my entire perspective on the series changed. Because with no disrespect meant to what has been an award-worthy cast, for now, four seasons, there was something about Sink's portrayal of Max that I could relate to on a very real-world level. She was the relatable character that allowed me to appreciate the overall story on a deeper level. Demonstrating maturity in her actions while still being honest with her vulnerabilities, Max has a quiet brilliance that comes from someone who is always assessing every situation for every possibility. The person who may not say much, but you know they're already three steps ahead of you. And they'll never have to tell you they are because you just know.
That's why I couldn't be happier knowing that Kate Bush's 1985 single "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)" will be associated with her (and that Stranger Things 4 is bringing Bush some serious streaming royalties checks). Because if there was ever a more appropriate song for Max to have, it's one whose words and themes are proving just as powerful today as they were nearly 40 years ago. In a previous interview, Bush explained how the song was about how if a man and woman could swap roles for a brief time, they would each gain a better understanding of the other. Originally thinking of the idea of "A Deal with the Devil," Bush went in the direction that it should be more of "A Deal with God" (though not everyone was thrilled with having "God" in the title). And then I heard the remix that was used in the second volume, and I couldn't let go of this idea that we have the perfect rallying cry for the times we're in. And it's a rallying cry that's desperately needed for a fight that's been a long time coming. Because if you're living in the United States and you're my age, then you're seeing a country that's moon-walking its way towards a sad, decaying death.
A country where an activist Supreme Court legalized treating people as second-class citizens. A country where Bible-bangers looking to make their "god" everyone else's problem turns this country into the type of theocratic state that the Taliban would envy. A country where conspiracy-loving ant-vaxxers are too high on the Kool-Aid to realize how big of raging f***ing hypocrites they are. They whine about "personal freedom & choice" when it comes to masking mandates but have no problem telling women what they can or can't do with their own bodies. A country where people defend abusive cops by saying, "You don't know what it's like because you're not a cop" only to think they know more than doctors and other experts just because Joe Rogan and a two-minute Google search made them feel like they actually knew something. And then you have the goose-stepping white trash that's just chockful of hate because of their inability to take responsibility for their own inadequacies. It's always "someone else's fault"- an argument that's been used very effectively to corral simple-minded sheep, as history's shown time and time again. And the "ringmasters" keeping this tire fire of s**t burning bright? Propaganda machines like "Faux Newz," who twist reality into some perverted nightmare of finger-pointing and chest-thumping.
So maybe it's time for television to step up again and be the societal game-changer it's been in the past. And there's just something that feels right about a rallying cry like this coming from a streamer- especially a global phenomenon like Stranger Things. It proves that sometimes television needs to evolve in order to drag the country back from repeating its ugly past, and it needs to do that now more than ever. Because the days of just hoping or assuming things will get better ended when Trump got elected and the horrific reminders have been piling up ever since. Me? I'm tired of listening to all of that nonsense… and so should you. And if you're not and you're okay with what you just read? Then feel to go find another site that will feed into the narrow-mindedness. This ain't that site, and BCTV ain't that channel. So maybe it's about time for sites like ours to start making some noise, and start pushing for the studios, multimedia corporations, and streamers to actively push back more, too. It's time for the real silent majority to stop being silent…
Here's a look at today's BCTV Daily Dispatch, our morning rundown of television/streaming coverage from the past 24 hours: