I have nothing but praise for the NETFLIX series STRANGER THINGS..
Additionally, I can say nothing but positive things about Winona Ryder playing a mother in confusion and grief names Joyce.. or David Harbour’s role as Chief Hopper, trying to find truth.. Charlie Heaton as Jonathon is perfect, as is Finn Wolfhard and Millie Brown as the chief child monster hunters. As a matter of fact, the entire cast is perfectly fine.
I will first say, I am not completely done with all of the shows yet. I have been purposely watching them slowly, just to enjoy each episode the best I can. I did notice, as I watch the shows, how quick the hour goes each time.
You probably do not want spoilers. Neither do I. As a matter of fact, plan on spacing the last few episodes out the best I can and maybe going back in a few weeks and watching them all over again. I have even seen people online saying that they are signing up for NETFLIX for the sole reason of watching STRANGER THINGS.
Why does it work?
I read countless articles now where authors are going through each portion of the story, the acting, the set, or the music, and comparing it to movies from the 1980s that did work. After all, STRANGER THINGS is set in 1983. The music of the era is complete in the shows—as are brilliant product placements with the old insignias and logos from yesteryear. And yes, homages to Stephen Spielberg and Stephen King help advance the storyline. The entire series, so far for me, felt like a strange cross between ET and The GOONIES, and then every now and then Freddy Kreuger from Nightmare on Elm Street 3 the Dream Warriors shows up. The amazing part: Regardless of what inspiration STRANGER THINGS writers and producers had when they created the series, one thing is clear: It stands alone and is epic on its own.
Undoubtedly, you can conceive of the target audience fairly quickly. Frankly, it’s people my age, 35ish. People who remember seeing Ronald Reagan on TV at night when one of their few channels featuring cartoons would be taken over by real world events. People who recall the tail end of the Cold War. Maybe a few nuclear bomb duck and cover drills under wooden desks at school, as well. People who remember a time before the Internet, and people who like everyone else have been changed by the Internet. And yes, people who tucked away their secret desire to play DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS .. Come out of the closet now. You can be proud that you have such a true group of friends on STRANGER THINGS.
The musical score of STRANGER THINGS, pop songs and just background tones combined, gives you a nostalgic and almost gleeful feel. That is how music was done in the 80s. The John Carpenter style. The same musical arrangement helped greatly with the movie IT FOLLOWS. And Stranger Things follows the mold.. it works..
It all works.
I will shower praise on STRANGER THINGS to anyone who asks. This is what science fiction and horror should be.. it’s how it can work, how it can utilize real life and combine it with human emotion to tell a story. Adding to the story of love and parenting and coming of age themes: The monster. The unknown monster created by the elite behind gates with barbed wires.. We are afraid of that, after all. We know the most powerful answer to no one. We know that, too often, their creations get out of hand. The monsters of Maple Street can often by ourselves. Or they can be true monsters, unhinged and unregulated by the fools who create them.
STRANGER THINGS deserves a second season. And third. And fourth.
You’d be foolish to avoid this series.
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