For two whole seasons, it appeared as if only straight characters existed in the 1980s-set world of Stranger Things. But now, the Netflix show’s third series – which premiered on Thursday 4 July – has finally introduced an LGBTQ+ character to Hawkins and fans can hardly contain their enthusiasm online.
While it still boasts plenty of monsters and mystery, romance plays a big part in the new episodes, what with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) navigating their new relationship, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy (Natalia Dyer) embarking on an internship together and the tensions between Joyce (Winona Ryder) and police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) ever-escalating.
Heck, even Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) bagged himself a girlfriend while living it up at science camp over the summer… But things in that department don’t work out quite so well for fan-favourite Steve (Joe Keery), who – after realising he has a crush on his ice cream parlour colleague – tells new character Robin (Maya Hawke) that he likes her.
The scene cleverly defies genre expectation, as it sees Steve list all the things he admires about her and seemingly set up the oh-too-familiar storyline of the “cool guy” falling for – and ending up with – the “quirky misfit.” But instead, Robin’s face suggests she’s not into him in the way we’ve come to believe.