Stranger Things has become one of the most popular TV shows of recent years. Besides the engaging plot, 80's setting, and brilliant soundtrack, its real strength lies with its characters. The series boasts an incredible ensemble cast, and with three seasons now under its belt, the cast keeps getting bigger. With so many characters, it is hard for everyone to become a fan-favorite.
Seasons 2 and 3 introduced us to a bunch of new faces that were greatly welcomed by the viewers. However, although most of the kids, teenagers, and adults later introduced to the show are now beloved by fans, there are a few that were present only to move the story forward...and nothing else. With that said, here are the 6 best additions to the cast of Stranger Things (and 4 we could have done without).
10 Murray Bauman - BEST
The first episode of season 2 gave us a very brief introduction to conspiracy theorist, Murray Bauman, as he fiercely attempted to convince Chief Hopper of his beliefs. As the story progressed, he was quickly forgotten. That is, until Nancy and Jonathan knocked on his door. Here we see, Murray's slightly crazed mannerisms and his vodka induced thought process.
And that is followed shortly by his pinpoint ability to read people, whilst informing them of this in the cockiest way possible and becoming Stranger Things' official matchmaker. All of this combined gave us a great character. Season 3 only made it better. Between his loveable interactions with Alexei and his quarrels with Hopper and Joyce, fans got an even better insight into one of the show's most intelligent and interesting characters.
9 Kali Prasad - WORST
Stranger Things has had a near immaculate record when it comes to delivering quality content. However, amongst the 25 episodes, Season 2's "The Lost Sister" veered away from that path. The show's most controversial episode centeres solely around Eleven and her similarly gifted sister from Chicago. Whether it was an essential part of Eleven's journey or an unnecessary deviation from the central plot, the truth is, El's new partner in crime was no one's favorite.
Kali (AKA Eight) spent an entire episode convincing her sister that the right thing to do was to murder everyone who had harmed her in the past. Luckily, Eleven was smart enough to return home to her friends, instead of becoming a supervillain. We can thank Kali for making our Eggo-eating hero stronger, but no one really missed her in the third season.
8 Bob Newby - BEST
Poor Bob... It's hard for anyone to match the Lord of the Rings actor's extremely likable interpretation of Joyce's new boyfriend. According to the Duffer brothers (the guys behind ST), Bob Newby was not supposed to have such a large role in season 2, but when Sean Astin starting filming his scenes, they loved the character so much that they increased his role.
Unfortunately, this is Stranger Things we're talking about, so the connection we all felt to Bob was only created to torture us with his gruesome (and easily avoidable) death. An unfair fate for the man who founded the AV club, gave Joyce some much-needed comfort after her husband took off, and ended up being a friendly father figure to the Byers boys.
7 Grigori - WORST
The show really does love its 80's references. In between quick glimpses of George Romero's Day of the Dead and the timeless (pun intended) Back to the Future, season 3 had an even bigger presence from another movie from the Reagan Decade. As the story progresses, Jim Hopper is constantly faced with the might of Grigori. Netflix's version of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator.
The thing is, he has no character development besides acting like a menacing Russian soldier. For someone with such a strong presence in the third season, seeing as he appears in most episodes and is responsible for both Alexei's and Hopper's (supposed) deaths, Grigori ended being nothing more than a goon who happens to be stronger than all the other Russian goons.
6 Billy Hargrove - BEST
Billy Hargrove is one of those instances where a character isn't loved for being funny, innocent, or likable. But for being such a huge jerk. There are countless jerks on TV that do nothing but annoy the characters and the audience. However, Dacre Montogemery succeeds in presenting a bully who is genuinely terrifying and half-insane, yet he also shows us his fragile, emotional side in such a way that many felt extremely devasted when he was ripped to pieces by the mind-flayer.
And let's not forget the context of this brutal murder. Even though he was being controlled by the Mind-Flayer, Billy was able to utilize his last ounce of strength to oppose both the evil entity and his hatred for the Hawkins people in general and literally throw himself in between the giant meat creature and Eleven, sacrificing his life for her and for Hawkins.
5 Robin Buckley - BEST
A very welcome addition to the cast of Stranger Things, who we hope to see more of in the future. Robin's first appearance on screen was that of an annoying coworker. Thankfully, not only did she become more than that stereotype, but said coworker also happened to be Steve Harrington. This new pairing provided some of Stranger Things' best highlights. Who can forget those hilarious drug-induced scenes they shared. And with Dustin and Erica, it just gets better.
The Scoops Troops really were the highpoint of season 3, but Robin was especially welcomed by all. The fact that she started off by annoyingly dismissing Steve and Dustin, but then ended up being the one who figured out the secret Russian code, before eagerly following her new-found friends into danger just goes to show the kind of person she actually is.
4 Bruce Lowe - WORST
Before I bash on this character, I must say that Bruce "Nancy Drew" Lowe was perfectly cast. He was always meant to be a stereotypical annoying coworker who makes fun of the new girl and always gets a laugh from his friends, but Jake Busey made it more authentic and disturbing than what was excepted. However, a character who is nothing more than a living stereotype will always be just that no matter the performance.
Not only was he constantly harassing poor Nancy Wheeler, but somehow Bruce became even more of a prick when he was taken over by the Mind-Flayer. Having someone eager to catch and kill teenagers, whilst still spouting out the same nonsense towards the Wheeler sister, makes us glad that he suffered a violent death at the hands of "Nancy Drew".
3 Max Mayfield - BEST
The beginning of season 2 saw two Californian half-siblings arrive to Hawkins. They both became crucial characters in the series, but while Billy went on to become a sort of temporary villain, Max cemented her place as a permanent member of the main cast. A sassy, moody, "cool kid", who turns out to be a lot sweeter, more loyal, and more heroic than one might think.
Her decision to stray away from becoming a jerk like her brother, even though she also suffered a troublesome past, is admirable. And her repeated attempts to join the "party", until she is finally welcomed by the boys, feel deserved. The relationship MadMax builds with Lucas is naturally awesome and hilarious to watch, while her season 3 bonding with Eleven is both fun and wholesome, (even if it does piss Mike off).
2 Terry Ives - WORST
Crucial to the story? No doubt. A central part of Eleven's mysterious past? Obviously. A fan-favorite character who many hope returns in future seasons? ...Not really. First of all, to be fair to poor old Terry Ives, it is hard to fall in love with a character who is stuck in a vegetive-like state, spouting out the same nonsensical words from the same recurring traumatizing memory.
Yet that is exactly why she was never destined to be a cast addition adored by the fans. While we could argue that other characters could have been given some more (or better) character development, Terry Ives' portrayal in the show is flawlessly executed. Simply put, this is exactly how she's supposed to be so that the story can move forward. She is not a fan-favorite because she was doomed from the start.
1 Alexei - BEST
The breakout character of the summer. Who did not fall in love with the Slurpee-slushing, Looney Tunes-obsessed scientist? e first see him during season 3's opening scene, as one of the scientists working on the open-a-gate-into-the-Upside Down machine. At first glance, he seemed like a generically evil "commie bastard". It wasn't long after he was kidnapped by Hopper and Joyce that audiences realized how unique this character was. A man who seeks only happiness.
Not by serving evil Russians, and not by subsequently betraying them. But by utilizing his own childlike innocence. We only see him genuinely happy during his Woody Woodpecker marathons, and when he's relaxing at the funfair. His relationship with Murray is also right up there with Steve and Dustin as one of the best and most unexpected friendships in all of Stranger Things. The only problem with Alexei is that we won't be seeing any more of him...