Review: Stranger Things – ★★★★★

Stranger Things / A Netflix Original Series

Starring: Winona Ryder

My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★ (10 stars)

There is no doubt that Netflix has made its mark on how we view television.  They innovated TV as we know it and brought cable to its knees.  They have already been acclaimed for shows such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, but even with that – this show completely caught me off guard.

The creators of this show, The Duffer Brothers, are big fans of 80s movies.  They enjoy Stephen King, and Stephen Spielberg, and wanted their show to have the feel of an 80s movie.  I am not talking about big hair or neon colors, here.  I am not talking about nostalgia or retro, or fad 80s. I am talking about real life-this movie was filmed in the 80s- 80s.  (I mean, just take a really good look at the poster. That alone can tell you so much about the styling… it just screams 80s movie poster art, back when it was an actual artist who used to hand paint so many of the movie’s posters back in the day.)  When you watch a movie like Neverending Story, E.T., Goonies, Stand By Me, etc. there is a certain unexplained similarity between each film that coalesces with our memories.  Kids rode bicycles everywhere, and they weren’t model-beautiful.  Kids had flaws and were awkward looking. Movie titles were over done and ominous.  The feeling of adventure into the unknown was not just on screen but jumped out at you and into your every cell.  You felt it in your bones and longed to have an adventure of your own.  You dreamt about riding on Falkor, or of making friends with an alien.  There was a kind of magic captured.  The Duffer Brothers sought out to find and replicate this magic.

And they succeeded.

This story is weird and crazy and interesting.  It has all of the ingredients for an 80s adventure that all kids now, and adults who were kids in the 80s, can get behind.  Amazingly it also has a star from the 80s which would have been a kid during the year this show takes place – Winona Ryder.  It tells a story from an awkward character perspective. And it has so much character development that I wanted to be friends with these kids. I felt like I almost could, that they would be my age by now so we have this in common.  Obviously these kids are actual kids… but even the unknown actors brought to these roles did so with amazing talent and spied into our souls.  They captured the essence of being a kid not just now… but back before technology took hold of our daily life.  Back when bicycles and a few hours were the only thing needed for an adventure.  These young actors made me believe that they had been having adventures all of their lives and were pros.  It felt like the Goonies mixed with Poltergeist, mixed with E.T., mixed with Stephen King’s strange storytelling and Stephen Spielberg’s amazing talents.

This show is a must see for anyone who knows the real 80s, who enjoyed adventures, who likes horror, or who just wants to watch a good Show.  Just amazing.

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