'Series Regular' Podcast: Looking Beyond 'Stranger Things' Season 3

Stranger Things S03 Still 9 - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Netflix

Welcome back to Series RegularThe Hollywood Reporter's weekly podcast dedicated to diving deep into hit TV shows. 

Every episode of Series Regular comes courtesy of Josh Wigler (that's me!), taking a closer look at a new corner of the genre television space. For the second week in a row, Series Regular returns to Hawkins, Indiana and its neighboring Upside Down dimension for a closer look at the Duffer Brothers' Stranger Things. Season three is officially in the rear-view mirror, having debuted with record viewership, according to Netflix — and as such, this week's Series Regular goes into full-on spoiler territory to discuss the biggest developments from the third season, and how they may impact the drama's future.

The following spoiler-heavy topics are featured in this week's podcast:

1. The NeverEnding Story. Stranger Things is no stranger to deep-cut 1980s film and music references, but a moment in the season three finale takes the cake: Gaten Matarazzo and Gabriella Pizzolo's Dustin and Suzie singing a star-crossed duet at the height of the action-packed finale. Series Regular salutes and contextualizes the moment at the 1:30 mark.

2. The Big Goodbye. Season three's biggest casualty comes at the end of the run — and no, it's not Billy (Dacre Montgomery), although he's the biggest confirmed kill. Of course, we're talking about Chief Hopper, David Harbour's hard-hitting Hawkins hero who is apparently killed in the season finale … but we must emphasize the word "apparently," because there is no way he's gone for good. Our remembrance begins at 7:45.

3. The American. The Jennings family aren't likely to appear in the future of Stranger Things, but the nostalgia-soaked franchise nonetheless goes all in on Russia in season three, as with the final scene: a post-credits stinger set in a Russian facility, where an unnamed "American" is apparently being held prisoner. Is it Hopper? That's the safe bet, but a more outside-the-box possibility comes your way at 12:30.

4. Escape From the Upside Down. If Hopper isn't "the American," then how is he to survive his fate in season three? Two words: time travel. OK, even we are having trouble buying our own crackpot theory, but we make an attempt at it — as well as a more serious case for how Hopper could live easier inside the Upside Down than some other members of his species — at the 15:40 mark.

5. A Monstrous Future. The Byers family is far away from Hawkins, leaving the show's future in a state of uncertainty. Whatever happens next in Stranger Things, it's at the very least going to include an old familiar friend — or foe, more accurately: the Demogorgon, the monstrous creature that first plagued Hawkins all the way back in season one. It returns in the season three finale's post-credits scene, its next steps unknown. Those next steps, as well as a guess at the 1980s movie the Duffers may lean on most in season four, are examined at the 19-minute mark.

Hear it all now on Series Regular. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. Follow Wigler on Twitter at @roundhoward, and send suggestions for future topics and questions to SeriesRegular@THR.com.

Series Regular is part of THR's roster of podcasts, including TV's Top 5, the weekly TV news analysis podcast hosted by West Coast TV editor Lesley Goldberg and chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg; Awards Chatter, Scott Feinberg's weekly in-depth (and award-winning) interview show focusing on the most interesting talents of the Oscar and Emmy seasons; crafts expert Carolyn Giardina's weekly series, Behind the Screen, which explores the top artists and technologies creating film and TV magic; and Seth Abramovitch's monthly series, It Happened in Hollywood, which revisits indelible moments from 90 years of THR's entertainment history. Other podcasts are in the works.