Why Steve asking out, and being rejected by Robin is narratively significant (analysis/low key rant XD)
I've talked about it before but I really do find the parallel between Steve and Mike (and others), interesting.
Steve in s3 makes it very clear he has no romantic interest in robin, but he later states what Dustin said influenced him to "find his suzie" so he then asks Robin out. He thought because he platonically cared for Robin, and because of heteronomative ideas- he must want to be with her romantically after all . Not simply be her friend who he cares for. Cause "boy meets girl- and they date". He mixed up platonic and romantic affections.
I think this is interesting because in s1 we see Lucas and nancy push this idea on to Mike that he must be interested in El romantically. Similar to Steve, both times Mike says this isn't the case. He even says "gross" similar to how Will describes m*leven as "gross " in s3. We see though, that these words ( in s1) did affect him and after nancy says he must like her. He kisses El- even when she remarks they can go to the dance like a friend/sibling. And we see Mike mirror lucas in s3 when he's trying to get el back, and even Mike telling el "you're the most important thing". Was because in s1 lucas said to him "remember... El is the most important thing". I've also already mentioned how in s3 Steve says "everything people tell you is important is bullshit". And in s3, m*leven is called "bullshit" (like stancy) .
It's because conforming to what people expect (not what you genuinely feel) is what's bullshit.
And similarly , st*bin& m*leven - have a guy/girl bond in a meaningful ,but quick way. Only to have everyone around them push the idea their love has to be romantic. Nancy & lucas- on to mike. And Dustin & Keith- on to stobin.
We have Dustin tell Steve - he should get with Robin. And at the end of ST3, Keith is asking Robin "What, do you got a thing for him (Steve) or somethin?" and Robin states happily they are "just friends" . It's like people just assume a guy and a girl (in tv/film) can't just be friends- and happy with that scenario. Boggles the mind. The same type of heteronomativity that can't let guys/girls (in media) just be friends- is the same type that can't see 2 boys who are friends being anything more than platonic (despite all the signs it's romantic). Heteronomativity affects everyone. Ps @strangercoco reminded me of what Keith said, and made this point about heteronomativity (I just rephrased it a bit). Anyway on to my next point-
We see how in s3 Steve/Mike (who are told their affections for El/Robin must be romantic) confess to these girls by using the words "crazy/stupid " . only for the girls to rebuff their words. Robin saying she didn't have a crush on steve/ wasn't into his "stupid hair" and El asking " what makes you crazy?" And both el confessing and Steve's failed confession have the same song playing in the background. The point is in st - discerning different forms of love can be complicated. It's not simply El who is mixing up different forms of love- but various characters like steve , Mike, and others ...
We see flo assume jonathan must be "crazy/stupid " for nancy over beating up steve , for her. Again - that wasn't the case he told nancy to ignore steve. But when Steve insulted his family - he snapped / went "crazy" over his love for his family.
However we see in that same season, Mike actually hurt Troy over insulting Will- and in s2/3 they share the "crazy/stupid ' lines. Where in s3 El rejects being either "stupid" or "crazy" for mike in the romantic sense . Aka "more to life than stupid boys" (after el complains about her bf). "El's not stupid " (a line repeated 2x in s3 as a retort , when people in the show critiqued m*leven) & El saying- "what makes you crazy? (When Mike tries romantically confessing to her) .
The only time El is called "crazy" is by Dustin (after she protects Mike and him ,in s1): "she's our friend and she's crazy". And the only time she calls herself "stupid" was in relation to her admitting her familial love for Hopper, in s2.
And similar to s1 comparing mike/el to siblings/cousins ,s2-3 compares them to Luke/ leia & hopper/el & kali/el.
We also have joyce in s1 say she doesn't care if she seen as "crazy" she'll keep the lights up till the day she dies if there's a possibility Will is out there (similar to Mike and the blanket fort he left up for El).
But the following season joyce agrees with her bf Bob she feels "crazy " for him, as they kiss.
The point is there's different forms of love in st that can make you "crazy/stupid, and they're all valid. But sometimes discerning the differences as a kid/teen can be difficult. And its unhealthy to try and make them into a ungenuine form of love- when it was healthier when it was a different, but authentic form of love.
I really do find it fascinating how so many pairings in the show are just "pushed " on to them. Steve says he's not into Robin- but Dustin says they should date . Mike says he's not into El- Nancy & lucas say it must be romantic. Fulfilling the status quo of "main girl & main guy having to get together"/ "love at first sight" trope. Heck, maybe not entirely the same as st*bin & m*leven. But again Nancy is told by others she is into Jonathan- by Flo & murray. And both her and jonathan cling to Murray's words when they separate in s3. What's interesting is similar to the m*leven kiss and separation - both the m*leven and j*ncy separations share songs that play during the failed stobin confession. Maybe indicative of their outcomes: aka not working out romantically? Was the love for all 3 pairings never romantic? Both?
In the stobin confession, the song - "the first I love you" ( also In m*leven ending) and "you're a fighter" (also in j*ncy ending) play.
J*pper also has Murray & ted/karen (of all people) assume they're a couple before they're even dating.
Not all the pairings are the same- but given how so many pairings are TOLD by others they like someone romantically. Steve & Robin's outcome- really makes us question this narrative we're seeing. Especially when jonathan in s1 and Steve in s3 said you shouldn't like/think certain things are important because people TOLD you do think so. But like Steve said after- "gotta mess up (aka comform) to figure things out , right?
The pervailing message the Duffers are trying say is : " Don't be fake , be true to yourself. And don't conform, but instead like things genuinely- instead of attempting to like "normal things" others tell you to like (that won't fulfill you in the long term)." YET-ALMOST every pairing is predicated on characters telling them they like their love interest/ or should date them. And fulfilling predictable/ "normal"/ status quo romantic tropes. It's fishy...
It's very similar to how spying by the villains like the mf, us gov etc is seen as "bad". But almost every romantic pairing in st partakes in such acts.Talked about that here.
- I've talked about all these thoughts/details before-in about 12 or so posts . Where i talked about this theme of " ambiguity of different forms of loves" (in more depth) .As well as posts about how most characters are " told they like their love interests & how this ties to conformity" . But @tsugarubecker recent posts as well as the recent discourse about how El (can't) be misinterpreting her love for Mike. Made me want to write all these past ideas down, briefly and concisely in 1 post.
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Billy and Robin are friends, well they hang around at school and become sort of close to the point they know eachother's big secret. Only because Billy once sauntered past Robin during her free class while she was "studying" behind the gym and told her to be a little more subtle or just join the soccer team.
Of course she protested, told him to get screwed and he laughed. "You wish Samantha would screw you," before disappearing around the corner after throwing his cigarette.
The next time she came to "study" he was there smoking as she assumed he did most free periods but this time instead of teasing her he got serious.
"They'll notice eventually. They always do so don't be so obvious," he told her and then again turned the corner and left.
It was that day she pulled him aside in the library and asked what he meant by that, how he knew and he looked her in the eyes and she got it.
From then on they sort of bumped into eachother and ended up walking to class, turned out they liked a lot of the same music and had a similar sense of humour.
But when Billy heads to Starcourt Mall to surprise Robin on her first day at work he almost walks right into the entrance doorway when he see Steve Harrington serving at the counter in a ridiculous sailor outfit.
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The door & the rose glass in the Creel house(movie eastereggs)
Since hellraiser 1-2 is said to inspire s4 of st. i wanted to mention a particular detail. I think hellraiser will have quite a bit of influence over s4. But one scene in particular caught my attention .
So we see in the creel teaser- the rose glass on the door. And it changes colors to symbolically show the darkness and or possession has taken over VIctor.
Black & red symbolically representing - death / darkness & anger/ blood, respectively. You still see a yellow halo (maybe a subversion of the holy-halo given how the creel murders had "demon " immagery in the newspaper clippings ).
The 2 siblings laying near the door is both an eastergg to s3 of (possessed)Heather attacking her 2 family members . But also to another s4 film inspo (the shinning). Where the possessed father k*lls his 2 children.
I think Alice may survive, but I digress.
So what about hellraiser? Well there's this scene. Notice the rose panned doors.
For context - this line " come to daddy" makes her realize this man isn't actually her father (he simply has his face).
Also given the fact , stephen king's " the shinning" ( was confirmed inspo for s4). And over 7 stephen king films/books were said to inspire stranger things. What about the stephen king mini series "rose red" about a haunted house ?
Hmm , sounds a bit familiar... house in the past had horrible m*rder. Decades later, a group of people visit the home. The house (called rose red) causes people who go inside to hallucinate/ "go crazy" . And most of them barely escape the house -in the end. maybe it is inspo... I mean one of the guys visiting 'rose red" is named Steve haha. I haven't had time to watch the series though.
Also we know the creels reference alice in wonderland: alice creel, the March hare, the hatter, the clock, the dream references, the roses, the madness etc. In the film : characters paint the white roses red. These red roses were the queen of hearts- who was cruel, bloodthirsty , etc. And painting the roses red symbolized her violent and "bloodthirsty" nature.
Then @ghostgirlinsatin mentioned this - beauty and the beast is another s4 film inspo. The red rose was an "hourglass and reminder of the beasts' past selfishness, cruelty (and the curse of being turned into a monster)." Which would fit Victor being possessed and becoming a "monster" in front of the rose door.
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