I think you’re probably right. I found a lot of Hopper’s acting rather OTT and cartoonish in this season, but I didn’t single it out because I couldn’t remember if it was like that in previous seasons.
Since the show has always been so overtly based on 80s tropes, it has always skirted on the edge of being a bit cheesy and tropey. There have always been in-jokes and references, but again they’re maybe getting a bit more obvious.
The big Russian Dude is basically The Terminator in a few later episodes… which must be intentional as some of the outfits, shot framing, and even the way he speaks is very Arnie-in-Terminator.
El’s nosebleeds seem to be just an accepted indication that she’s doing her powers thing. She gets lots of them through the show and no-one really comments. Though i guess at least Mike starts to worry about her overdoing it.
Going back to the season as a whole (so spoilers!), I felt like the problems already mentioned with structure/pacing/ keeping many characters busy, meant that a number of the starting plots never really got resolved/addressed.
I mean, I guess they did by virtue of events with the monsters, but they start with issues of sexism for Nancy, but then those aren’t really addressed later and are only really resolved by virtue of all the sexist coworkers being dead. There’s also issues with the Mayor, which aren’t really resolved other than in a quick shot of him on tv at the end.
I feel like the show has the long term problem of each season basically culminating in defeating the monster, which kinda resets everything, which means everyone restarting the next season in almost the same place as last time.
Not in terms of exact situation, but in terms of character development and thematic development.
PS/ Is it me or does this show underuse a lot of 80s actors? I mean they’ve had Mathew Modine, Cary Elews and Paul Reiser and tbh they haven’t done all that much with any of them.