Cue in the best 1980’s music, a small town and, of course, strange creatures in this new Netflix original series, Stranger Things. Taking place in Hawkins, Indiana, this The Goonies meets Stephen King kind of show followings a few sets of characters in a town filled with supernatural happenings. In the short 8 episode series, ST did more than just fill the show hole I was in — it provided a solid mystery with a pretty authentic 80’s feel to it. Does it have its flaws? Yes, but in a way that only enhances the show-making as I wait (probably a year?) for season 2. So far, Netflix Originals are becoming a new favorite.
It’s the 1980s so of course Dungeons & Dragons are involved with its first set of characters, a bunch of teenage boys (nerds at that). They all fit in some kind of character arch (Mike being the leader, Dustin the lovable chubby kid that I swear will be my future child he’s so nerdy, and Lucas the sometimes hothead yet logical thinker). Then there is Will – the lovable sweet runt of the group that has ‘target’ written all over him. However target of what wasn’t something I would even guess when he disappears and taken to what’s called ‘the upside down,’ another dimension from our own. As they search for their friend, along with his family and chief of police, things take a strange turn when another child is on the loose with creatures unknown to the world.
WHY IT’S WORTH THE WATCH
Other than it’s bizarre storyline and aesthetically appealing camera work, what may be a flaw is what makes the story: the subplots, especially when it all comes together in the end (and when I say end -I can’t help but say the ending itself leaves it open for another season). The main story is the missing kid and everything surrounding it as his friends, the chief of police Hopper, his brother and mother and Mike’s sister attempt to find him. Then we have the sad back story of Chief Hopper, the story of 11, a girl with some pretty intense powers, Nancy (Mike’s sister) and her relationship as well as personal identity struggles and so on. They seem minor but build to the end because all of the main players are changed by the disappearance of Will and all come together through their own personal transitions. Is it an homage to the 80s? Yes and considering the horror like shows out there, it’s refreshing to watch something set in the past. It’s fun, creative and creepy.
The varying viewpoints make this show for everyone. Plain and simple. If you like horror, science fiction, small town dramas, are on the younger side or older side, both genders (am I missing anything?), you’ll get sucked into this strange little town with sinister creatures lurking. It’s hard not to like the short series that seems to end before the story can get stale, with pretty much all loose ends tied except the very end. Stranger Things is simply a good watch in its unforgettable oddness that doesn’t require a lot to invest in, even if this will be the only season.
(Images Copyright Netflix)