August 18, 2016

Stranger Things

The Netflix original series have been hit and miss, so when I heard about Stranger Things I was cautiously optimistic. Then I heard it was a modern take on an 80’s Amblin film. At that point I thought about Super 8 and I got kind of scared. I decided I was going to give it a shot. Everything deserves a shot. From the first episode I was hooked.

Stranger Things is an eight episode Netflix series by the Duffer Brothers. It is hard sci-fi, and at times it is quite scary. It is clear that the Duffer’s are huge fans of Steven King, Steven Speilberg, and 80’s aesthetic and storytelling in general. Stranger Things almost feels like something that was made 30 years ago and lost; only to be unearthed by Netflix in 2016. You can see just how much they borrowed from their 80’s inspirations in this YouTube video.

I really enjoyed Stranger Things. It was a ton of fun to watch. Like I said, I got hooked in right from the beginning and I didn’t stop until I was finished. I watched all eight 45 minute episodes in a week. Which is extremely fast compared to my normal pace of tv watching.

There were a lot of things to like about Stranger Things. I loved the music. The cold intros and then cuts to the title sequence worked really well. The cinematography was beautiful. There are some memorable shots. I’m sure a lot of them were inspired by classic 80’s films. I didn’t care. I thought Stranger Things looked awesome.

The characters and performances are well done. It feels like so much care and planning was put into make the aesthetic of the film feel authentic.

I was surprised by how much Stranger Things hooked me in and made me want to keep watching. It is hard-core sci fi, which typically isn’t my thing. It can also be quite scary at times… also not my thing. More importantly, it is a visually interesting and well told story, and I can get on bored with that. Even though the plot felt somewhat meaningless, it was a fun watch that I would gladly revisit. I have a lot of questions about the monster and the “upside down”, but I would probably be content if they never got answered.

It seems like Stranger Things has been a big success. I haven’t heard if it has been renewed for a 2nd season, but I imagine it will. At the end of the first season it was definitely left open to continue the story on. I would rather see Stranger Things come back with an entirely new story. Either way, I will be looking forward to watching more.