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For my final project, I’ve started to take steps towards creating the first review, a serious inspection of the tragic character Billy Hargrove of Netflix’s hit Stranger Things, by shooting some preliminary footage and selecting some scenes from the show that will be used in conjunction with my voice for the video. With reviews or video analyses of this kind, a lot of footage of the original material being discussed is used, so this review will be less editing heavy than the rant or satirical review, though I tried to make an elaborate 8-bit like opening for the video as an homage to the era of Stranger Things. I’ve included a screenshot below of the opening and the 8-bit art, as well as some links to scenes of the character that will be played over my voiceover. I’ve also included a blurb from my script, which is still in its ongoing phases of revisions. The excerpt is cut from my current working introduction to the video:
WORKING VIDEO TITLE: “Mullet-Wearing Asshole: Why I Love this ‘Villain'”
When Billy Hargrove first zoomed into Hawkins High parking lot, rocking a mullet with a pornstache to match and strutting through the parking lot with an intent to harm, we knew that we were in for something special.
Now, before we get any further, let’s get one thing straight: Billy is an asshole. This is a fact, and I said in the title that I loved the guy. He’s an inarguable douchebag, bordering on potential criminality and even showing abusive tendencies towards his step-sister Max, who is personally one of my favorite characters on the series. He treats women like dirt, dismissing Hawkins’ female population as cows and bitches. His character is literally inspired and based on Stephen King’s psychopathic white trash trope, such as Henry Bowers of It, the vicious bully who murders his father and friends and who is actually called a “mullet-wearing asshole” in the It: Chapter One movie. He rammed Lucas, a child, into a bookcase for hanging out with his sister and he punched the lights out of Steve Harrington, fan favorite and resident soccer mom.
What more proof do you need that this Californian Barbie dream boy is actually a raging demon child who deserves his fateful in end in season three? Why am I defending this literal monster, according to season three’s twist? Why have I even gone so far as to say I love this absolute scumbag? Initially, I hated Billy, so what caused this change?
Let’s break it down into segments.
Neil Hargrove: Asshole Supreme
First off, let’s all take a step back and remember that this is a seventeen-year-old boy, a child, whose extreme displays of rage are more indicative of him suffering some kind of emotional disorder than just being, let’s say, a run of the mill asshole. His uncontrollable, volatile explosions of emotion are highly reactionary in nature and attest to an extremely troubled mental state. Before we dive in, we have to recognize that there is something very suspicious with the psychological state of this character, and the violence of his behavior may not be coming from the conscious choices of an able mind.
That being said, while age and mental state alone aren’t shields that automatically excuse his behavior, they explain the extreme pressures that have caused similarly extreme outbursts of unreasonable anger. If Billy was just some garden variety boy with daddy issues I wouldn’t bother to give him a second glance, but his character takes on a much more interesting and sympathetic bent when you look at his character from the psychological perspective of his home life…
SCREENSHOTS OF PRELIMINARY FOOTAGE:
… Why I Love this ‘Villain.’
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