Imagine every 80’s movie you’ve ever seen had an entirely PG and non-fetish orgy together. Then when that 80’s movie baby was born someone put it in a cryogenic freezer and buried it 8 feet underground. Then Netflix came along in 2016 and dug it up, only to discover a synthesizer playing, D&D loving, teenager that wouldn’t stop saying saying Lord of the Rings and Star Wars references. That’s what Stranger Things is like.
Or just imagine Super 8, but good.
Stranger Things is a sci-fi, mystery, horror show that follows a few residents of a small Indiana town as they try to unravel a mystery that involves a strange government experiment and the disappearance of some of the locals.
At first the show feels like a ripoff of a variety of different 80’s films, from John Hughes, to Spielberg, to Wes Craven. But it is insanely enjoyable to watch, despite the obvious references and standard genre tropes that it seems to follow. Surprisingly Stranger Things starts to stand on its own two feet after the first few episodes, when the story and it’s characters come into their own. The characters are dynamic, avoiding the obvious stereotypes the show seemed to be steering towards. Instead allowing the characters to make intelligent decisions (mostly) and grow into each unique situation the show presents them.
Except for those two asshole kids that are just, you know, assholes the whole time.
Also these child actors aren’t terrible, in fact they’re one of the best parts of the show. That might be enough reason to watch it alone.
The story writing is very very good…for the most part.
There’s a lot of moving parts and different character stories all happening at the same time, and the way the writer’s find ways to weave them all together towards the end is flat out awesome. Very few mystery shows have any idea what they’re doing, I’m lookin’ at you Lost and Harper’s Island. From the opening scene to the last episodes credits, Stranger Things maintains full control without veering off into stupid subplots or wasting time on useless characters.
At only eight episodes in season one, it all goes by very fast. The season also wraps up pretty nicely, though it does leave just a little something out there to get you excited for the next one.
Overall Score:4/5 stars
Brush off that cassette mix-tape, put on your leather jacket, and prepare to kick off your Sunday shoes as you settle in for one fun ride.
*This is the only show I’ve ever watched all the episodes for it in one night. I went to sleep at 3 am, but it was totally worth it.