Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhsquuuuuueeeeeeeeeee! I loves me some Stranger Things! That’s a Netflix Original series. It came out in July, and if you’re cooler than me you’ve already watched it. But this toy started and finished it a few days ago.
Man, oh man, but is it good. Because I love you, dear reader, I won’t do any spoilers, but I do want to you tell you about it.
But first, here’s one of the official trailers:
Stranger Things is set in the early 1980s and is semi-centered around a group of AD&D middle school nerds. Sort of. No spoilers, and all. But anyway, Winona Rider plays single mom Joyce Byers. She is so awesome in this role. She’s just amazing. If this show is eligible for an Emmy, she’d better be nominated and win.
Matthew Modine as Dr. Martin Brenner is intimidating, owning the few scenes he’s in. David Harbour as a big-city cop relegated to small-town sheriff strikes the right beat through every episode.
The young actress—Millie Bobby Brown—who plays a character named Eleven (or 011) is also delightful, as is Natalia Dyer, the older sister of Finn Wolfhard, one of the AD&D nerds. The brother-sister interactions between those two early in the season are pitch-perfect.
Speaking of pitch perfect, this show utterly captures the early 80s. From clothes to cars to houses to decor to technology, they got almost everything right. Rare bits of anachronistic dialog stood out for me, but those were so minor I’d be shocked if many people notice.
Subtle Show Is Subtle
The thing I like best is how show runners the Duffer Brothers embrace subtlety. They don’t ever hit us over the head with anything. As an aspiring author, I appreciated that very much, and I hope I take some of it home with me.
Oh, and the credits! They’re SO cheesy early 80s. Perfect graphics, perfect music, perfect font—it’s all perfect. And yet still, not hamfisted. That’s an impressive balancing act.
The story is part SciFi, part soft-horror, and part mystery. The pacing is perfect, the dialog spot on, the scenes just right. Over just eight episodes, Stranger Things take us through ups, downs, and enough sideways jaunts to keep us glued to our screens.
And the ending left me wanting more. Now, please. Thankfully, a second season is in the works. And I can’t wait. I mean, I have to, but I’d rather not.
But What If?
I know what you’re saying. “Bryan?” you ask. “What if the show was pitched as an 80s sitcom instead of a SciFi-horror-mystery?”
Well, dear reader, I have good news for you, because Tim Bennett got Randy Newman to bang out a quick rendition of the theme song with lyrics and cut a trailer just for you. Enjoy!s