For those that have been living in the Upside Down these past months: Stranger Things is the hitseries everyone is talking about. And you should join them. Why? Because this surprise hit is the lovechild of the eighties and the present day. You are crazy if you won’t give it a try.
The plot outline could be written off as ‘young boy vanishes without a trace in a small town and the community goes looking for him’ – which would be a great synopsis for any crimeshow. However, the plot outline is more along the lines of ‘young boy vanishes without a trace but his family and friends are certain something is up since strange things are happening, not in the latest with a mysterious young girl arriving in town at the same time.’
Stranger Things oozes the eighties. It is the ultimate eighties show, except it was made with modern knowledge about filmmaking. The Duffer Brothers are the creative geniusses behind this Netflix original show and they probably couldn’t have made Stranger Things thirty years ago, since movies like Stand By Me and The Goonies hadn’t been made yet. The synthesizer music, the soundtrack and even the gorgeous opening credits: everything is just right. Without all these clear influences, this show would not be the same.
Everything is spot on about the setting, and the costume department and set designers did great research as every outfit and every room looks like it’s straight from 1983, the year the series takes place. Who knew you could get nostalgic about phones with cords, Dungeons & Dragons and not having the internet? For everyone who experienced the eighties, the timeframe itself is reason enough to watch Stranger Things. Fortunately, the plot is also amazing. This is a show you will bingewatch, with it being only eight episodes long. It’s hard to review this without giving away too much about the story, but the disappearance of Will Byers and all that follows it will get you hooked within one episode.
The characters are so well written. At the start of the show you’ll think the sheriff is, as these things are in most series, a self-absorbed asshole. But before the series ends Chief Jim Hopper will be one of your favorite characters. The young cast is made up of very talented children; among them is Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, who is adorable, smart, kickass and funny all in one. Dustin is the kind of friend everybody should have. Also amazing is Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven. She has the least amount of lines but can deliver without saying anything. Her facial expressions are amazing. Kudos also go out to eighties-queen herself Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, the mother of the missing boy. She slays her scenes and it’s so good to see her on screen again.
Stranger Things: conclusion
At some points, the show gets a bit too vague but these flaws are tiny as this is clearly a character driven story about friendship and love. With that, it delivers and although it’s great the Duffer Brothers got to tell the story in only eight episodes, it leaves you pining for more way too soon. The wait for season two will be a long one. Come Christmas, noone will look at their Christmas lights the same way though…