Netflix quietly released a new show called Stranger Things last July 15. While there wasn’t much fanfare (none that reached me, anyway), I had begun hearing about the show on social media. People were all praises for Stranger Things.
I watched the trailer on Youtube, but it seemed like a horror film and I’m not into things that might give me nightmares. As usual, I thought that people were hyping it up too much.
I mostly ignored it for 2 weeks, but when people I actually knew in real life started telling me that it was good, I paid attention.
So last weekend, after cleaning my room, I decided to get some rest and start watching Stranger Things on Netflix. And now I’m glad I gave it a chance, because it’s a truly fine piece of work.
At first, it seemed slow. The first few episodes were introducing the characters, showing you their normal life and activities, but by the second episode, I was hooked. It’s not so much that the story is so gripping that you can’t stop – it’s more like you’re watching an 8-hour movie and stopping midway in the movie seems weird.
Can you feel the nostalgia? Stranger Things is set in 1983, and it’s awesome! While watching Stranger Things, I felt totally transported to the 80’s. All the things you love about the early 80’s are given homage — the music, mix tapes, playing Dungeons & Dragons, playing with friends after school, no cellphones, no internet. It’s like E.T and Goonies + Stephen King.
Also, the show isn’t scary like The Ring or Paranomal Activity and those kinds of movies. It’s more like The X-Files in terms of how scary it is — which is to say, it’s not really scary, and not creepy, unlike The Whispers.
But more than the story, it was the characters that I grew to love that kept me watching Stranger Things. I love those intelligent kids, and I love how they are portrayed so realistically. Those child actors are amazing. These boys play a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, and their teamwork together on D&D campaigns better equip them to deal with real life monsters. And, that girl actress, was beyond great — she is able to convey her emotions just with her face! I like that they portray the kids as caring, normal, intelligent children, who, while scared, are able to find ways to try to rescue their friend with normal science you’d expect someone who listened in class to know. None of that “somebody’s a genius” excuse to explain how they suddenly know so much.
Winona Ryder was really good here. While some may say her acting is a bit over the top, I thought it was perfect for a desperate, stressed, distraught mother. David Harbour, who plays the town sheriff, also did a marvelous job going from drunk chief to competent investigator.
If you have not seen this show, give it a chance. It is only 8 episodes. Stranger Things is very well done. Everyone did their part, it’s like one of those things where each piece synced perfectly. They were able to tell their story concisely, there are no filler episodes, and I would consider it a truly well-done piece of quality cinema/TV, despite budget constraints for special effects.
And bonus for people who like reading about conspiracies: they talk about MK Ultra.
Consider this blog post my form of paying it back to the people who tuned me into watching Stranger Things. Spreading the word, hoping that more people will discover this show.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!