If there was ever a television show that fit the theme for this page it has to be Stranger Things. It is a retro slice of heaven gifted to us by the Duffer Brothers and Netflix. Not only is it a brilliant homage to all things circa 1983, it’s one of the best original shows to come down the pike in quite some time.
I know everyone is comparing it to Spielberg and King (and the lovechild that Stranger Things is) but we need to give credit where credit is due. The Duffer Brothers have created a show that manages to blend together suspense, horror, and drama all while keeping the writing smart and the characters likeable. As a period piece it is on point, right down to the wood paneling and pop culture items making cameos (from Dungeons and Dragons to Star Wars toys). Matt and Ross Duffer put a lot of love into their show and it oozes out of every scene.
Alright, now that I’ve got my gushing throwback paragraph out of the way, let’s talk about the best part of Stranger Things. It’s not the retro feel, the creepy synthesizer music, or the bad hair. It’s the characters. Stranger Things is the ultimate buddy movie, with a group of friends going through a crisis bigger than any of them realize. Once they do understand just how deep in it they are they persevere through friendship and sticking together. You like these characters. You care about them on a personal level that few shows can capture. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t watched it (seriously….what are you doing….go watch it now! It’s worth the Netflix subscription by itself), but as the series goes on and things more ominous and lives are on the line, it’s stressful. You want the good guys to win and you want the bad guys to lose and you’re invested in this struggle.
I cannot recommend this show enough. I’m not going to go into a deep study of the plot or the horrifying places it goes (The Upside Down is a place they could spend a whole season on…and it looks like season two is going to do exactly that). Just watch it. From top to bottom this is one of the best shows around and I’d stack it up there with the best of them. It’s a roadtrip back in time to the early 80’s, which makes for my favorite kind of wrapping paper. So come for the flash and appeal of its retro trappings, but stay for the characters, touching interactions, and one cool story. Stranger Things is the real deal.
Who is ready for season two?!?