In this house, we stan Robin Buckley and Robin Buckley only 😍
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE VIA NETFLIX
After a three-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, Season 4 of cult Netflix series Stranger Things arrived on our screens a couple of weeks ago. The latest season has already become Netflix’s third most popular TV season amongst English language titles, and fans have taken to the internet to scream about how delightfully bisexual this series is.
Take Steve Harrington, for example. A totally lustworthy figure in isolation, Steve has risen through the ranks from the ever-so-slightly dorky popular kid to the “babysitter” figure, forever looking out for his best pals Will, Mike, Eleven, Lucas, Max and of course, Dustin. With the introduction of Billy Hargrove’s character in Season 2, fans began to “ship” this unlikely coupling, playing on their intense rivalry. Now, Season 4 has introduced a new beau to replace Billy – RIP – in the form of Eddie Munson, and Stranger Things stans pounced on the potential for this coupling. I mean, we all saw Steve looking at Eddie’s lips in conversation, didn’t we? Super hetero behaviour, sure.
Interestingly, Mike, Lucas and Dustin have each embarked on romantic endeavours to this point. But Will has endearingly been pottering on quietly without much interest, and perhaps an element of secrecy, about a potential love interest. Fans have speculated that Will might be gay for a few seasons now, citing his close friendship with Mike – his liability towards jealousy of his relationship with Eleven included – as suspiciously queer. This season, fans have made memes about the girl that strokes Will’s ankle with her foot in class and the gay panic that this appeared to evoke in Will’s expression. Similarly, he’s pictured strutting out of the school like a sassy, sassy gay, with Noah Schnapp and Finn Wolfhard hinting that this forthcoming season might explore Will’s love life a little further. Here’s hoping.
Now, the pairing the internet has most been rooting for, of course, has been Nancy and Robin. Introduced in Season 3, Robin Buckley – portrayed by none other than Maya Hawke – has won the hearts and minds of Stranger Things stans. Steve initially lusted as colleagues, working together at Starcourt Mall’s ice cream parlour dressed in oh-so-cute sailors’ outfits. But after Robin came out to Steve in an endearing DMC, Steve has been Robin’s number one wing man. And now, with Season 4 witnessing a closer working relationship – an initially frosty friendship of convenience resented by Nancy – the pair have been shipped left, right and centre.
It’s another classic example of the enemies to lovers ship that fangirls love so dearly. We saw it in the Steve and Billy ships, and now we see it in Nancy and Robin. But with Nancy very firmly dating Jonathan and – spoiler alert – clearly holding back some warm feelings towards her old flame, Steve, Robin’s love life has been shoved to the side somewhat. The first episode appeared to promise some sparks between Robin and a fellow bandmate of hers, but this trope was quickly abandoned as the series moved from the corridors of Hawkins High to the wider, darker issue of Vecna and the Upside Down.
With part two landing on 1 July, let’s hope that Robin is given a real, tangible love interest. Her first cameo in Season 4 was of her wearing a flannel shirt and enough eyeliner to sink a ship. Come on, Duffer Brothers, we know you can do it.
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