“Stranger Things” season three was a bit of a mixed bag.
Some people loved it, some were indifferent, and others felt it simply didn’t live up to the quality of the first season.
If there’s one thing that we all agree on, though, it’s that Steve Harrington is the best single parent of all time.
There’s something truly wonderful about Steve’s character development over the course of the entire show thus far. He goes from an entitled crybaby who lashes out when his girlfriend spends time with another boy, to a mature, responsible older brother figure for the show’s heroes, working to do everything he can not only to protect them from monsters, but also to help them with the troubles of early puberty.
According to “Stranger Things” executive producer Shawn Levy, the fan adoration for “Dad Steve” has not gone unnoticed, and we’ll be seeing more of this in the next season:
“We’ll definitely get to see some more of Steve Harrington in season three, and I’ll just say we won’t be abandoning the Dad Steve magic. I don’t want to say much more, but I literally feel that we were walking along and we stumbled onto a gold mine with Dad Steve.”
This continues a rich tradition within the show of listening to the fans and responding in kind. The first season gave rise to the #JusticeForBarb online movement, and “Stranger Things” season two went on to feature and entire longrunning story arc about giving Barb her due.
It seems that we’ll be getting something similar with Dad Steve in season three, which is great news. It’s good to know that the creative team behind the show are willing to listen to fan feedback and respond in kind.
This is an oddly rare occurrence in modern fandom – usually, TV networks and movie studios almost seem to go out of their way to avoid giving the fans what they want, perhaps out of fear of pandering.
There’s nothing wrong with a little pandering when it’s done right, and as continuing Dad Steve will help keep “Stranger Things” moving forward as the characters develop, this certainly feels like the right call to make.
If there’s a lesson to take from this, it’s that fan discussion really can make a difference in the modern era of storytelling. Feel free to shout about your love or hatred of particular TV show characters or story beats. Take to social media, and make your voice heard.
You never know who might be listening, and how your enthusiasm for a fandom could help shape the course of the story in subsequent seasons or instalments.