Stranger Things teases Season 3 with a retro-style 1985 shopping mall commercial

Thanks to some fine writing and acting in Season 2 of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things, actor Joe Keery’s character Steve Harrington did a 180 degree switch from Season One and became one of two heroes of the second season (that other hero of course was Sean Astin’s Bob Newby).  But as seen in a teaser released this week for Season 3, poor Steve gets to go through every teenagers’ worst hazing ritual, working the part-time fast-food job.  Worse yet, he somehow got pulled into co-starring in a local commercial in the Stranger Things town of good ol’ Hawkins, Indiana.

It looks smartly spot-on for a vintage local mall commercial.  Starcourt Mall is sure to be the location for some supernatural activity next year when the series returns.  You only wish they’d found a way to get the rights to Happy Joe’s Pizza, but, heck, this new shop will pass for Bresler’s 33 Flavors or Baskin-Robbins.  And isn’t that what everyone’s reaction is?  Asking: What does this mall have that “my mall” had?  So this commercial shows us Claire’s, The Gap, Orange Julius, Regis Hair Salon, Radio Shack, JC Penney, Waldenbooks, Zales, The Original Cookie Co., Wicks ‘n’ Sticks, Burger King, and Sam Goody (our Midwest city malls didn’t have these last three).

The actress is Maya Hawke playing new character Robin, in the teaser released on the series’ Twitter feed.

Before we show the teaser, a quick heads-up: Stranger Things fans who visit San Diego Comic-Con this week should check out Dark Horse Comics’ booth #2615, where they can get a free copy of a new Stranger Things comic book.  That’s a panel from the comic above.

Here’s the teaser commercial for Season 3 of Stranger Things:

So what did your mall have that you didn’t see in Starcourt Mall?  Well before 1985 my Midwest mall had a Toy Fair (and later Kay-Bee Toys), Karmelkorn, County Seat, Lerner, The Limited, Drug Town (along with Woolco, the only place to regularly buy comic books), The Sports Page, Athlete’s Foot, Foot Locker, Kinney Shoes, Musicland, B. Dalton Bookseller, Boesen the Florist, Flowerama, Crazy Top Shop, Coach House Gifts, Casual Corner, Zondervan, that store where they sold pianos, and the major tenant stores Sears, Montgomery Wards, and Richman Gordman, and the three-screen theater.  And who didn’t like getting free samples at Hickory Farms?  We’re thinking we’ll see one or more of these as the kids make their way around the mall.  But our money is on some kind of finale tied to Spencer’s Gifts, that strange teenage hangout that still dots shopping malls across the country.

Will “Starcourt Industries, an international enterprise” be some kind of cover for a new year of mad science for Hawkins residents?  Will Steve find a better job and be cool again?  Stranger Things doesn’t return for at least another six months, so we have a long wait ahead.  The teaser does mention “next summer” so we probably have an even longer wait ahead.  Hopefully Netflix will issue a few more fun videos while we wait.  They better hurry–those teen actors are going to get to 6-feet tall pretty soon.

C.J. Bunce

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