As some robot guy once said, “a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.” That’s a difficult lesson to learn, especially in the entertainment business. It’s doubly difficult when a massive franchise like Netflix’s “Stranger Things” is concerned; each successive season of the hit series manages to capture the attention of all of pop culture upon dropping, resulting not only in a deluge of memes and discussions online but sales of copious merchandise items. Heck, the show even found time to resurrect Kate Bush’s back catalog during season 4!
Yet all things must pass, and as the actors who began the show as children start to literally age out of their roles, it’s becoming clear to all involved that the end is near. There’s also the sense from a story perspective that things need to be resolved, as the supernatural forces menacing the small town of Hawkins, Indiana close in on our older, wiser heroes.
That’s the vibe surrounding the upcoming fifth and final season “Stranger Things,” and it’s one that star David Harbour, who portrays town sheriff and ex-Russian prisoner Jim Hopper, agrees with. Just because the end is nigh, however, doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing.
‘I never ever wanted it to end’
One of the most enjoyable elements of “Stranger Things” is the way its ensemble cast seems to be having an absolute blast making the show. (Netflix probably wouldn’t release so many blooper reels online if that weren’t the case.) Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly how the cast seems to feel if Harbour is any indication. Speaking to DiscussingFilm in anticipation of the release of his new movie “We Have A Ghost,” Harbour revealed his initial feelings about the show upon making the first season by saying, “What’s funny is when I started the show, I never ever wanted it to end. That’s why I love the show. I think it’s a great show, even if I wasn’t in it.”
Harbour isn’t being facetious or glad-handing here — after all, who can forget his impassioned speech celebrating the show upon its winning Outstanding Performance in an Ensemble in a Drama Series at the SAG Awards in 2017? Harbour has always been one of the show’s biggest cheerleaders, so it’s telling if even he knows it’s time to say goodbye.
Time to grow up
Still, Harbour is well aware that time has caught up to the show in more ways than one. As he continued:
“Now we’re almost nine years from filming the first season, and I think it is time for it to end. But it is, of course, very bittersweet. You know, there’s a sadness there. But also, we’ve all grown up. It is time for us to leave that nest and try other things and different projects.”
Of course, Harbour is referring to himself and his fellow cast members with that sentiment. Yet he is quick to point out that it’s the next move for show creators the Duffer Brothers (Matt and Ross Duffer) that he’s particularly eager to see. “I mean, those guys are so talented,” he said. “I want to see what they come up with next.”
While the Duffers’ next move isn’t super clear yet, as they seek to develop a “Stranger Things” spin-off for someone else to take over and an adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Talisman” that they’re behind, Harbour’s career continues to soar. In addition to “We Have A Ghost,” the actor has the “Gran Turismo” movie on deck, as well as another appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Red Guardian in the upcoming “Thunderbolts” feature.
Still, Harbour will miss his “Stranger Things” family, even though it’s clear to him that an ending is necessary: “it is bittersweet, but it’s definitely time,” he said. For Harbour, the rest of the cast, and us fans of the series, let’s hope that the ending is a great one. But not too mean, okay, Duffers?