What can we say about Stranger Things as a whole that hasn’t already been said? The little sci-fi suspense show on Netflix literally SKYROCKETED into worldwide ubiquity the day season 1 dropped and it hasn’t slowed from there. It’s so popular that people don’t even care that they have to wait 18 months between seasons. We just want more, and knowing more is coming is enough to keep the hype alive.

Stranger Things season 3 continues the trend set by season 2 that bigger is better and more is more. There has clearly been yet another effects budget increase. Based on what we saw this season, that increase was substantial. Not only that, but the cast has grown as well.

Usually new characters in established ensembles feel shoehorned in (see Nikki and Paulo from Lost). But all the newbies here were great. Robin immediately felt like home, two returning side characters, Murray and Karen, get much more of a roll this time around, and even Alexei who doesn’t even speak English fits in to this puzzle without much force.

Overall, Stranger Things season 3 doesn’t QUITE reach the magnitude of greatness that season 1 did. But that’s tough to do. When something is so good out of the gate, leaving such a good first impression, it’s hard to top. But season 3 gets very close. It’s bigger, badder, and bolder and we love it for that. Can’t wait for more.

Check out our action packed bi-episodic coverage on today’s episode of So…I’m Watching This Show!