I still remember viewing the first season of Stranger Things in 2016. I was babysitting a guinea pig named Mindy and we crushed all 8 episodes in a few nights. I was hooked. As you are, am I right?
After all, season three of Stranger Things is Netflix’s most-watched original series ever, with more than 40 million accounts tuning in…
Well, if you haven’t stopped by Hawkins yet because you think this is a show about kids for kids (like my girlfriend in Japan, until she stayed up until 3 am to finish the series and was late for work the next day) here are 5 compelling reasons to join the gang:
If I go there will be trouble
If I stay it will be double
So you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?—The Clash
Stranger Things, created and directed by the Duffer brothers, is a love letter to this totally tubular decade. I was in my 20s then, but the world and all the movies it references – ET, Stand By Me, The Neverending Story – still feel so close. The clothing, the lingo, the innocence of kids in middle school fighting supernatural forces is so accurate… you feel like you’re back in a Spielberg film. But it’s not just a Poltergeist subdivision this time, it’s an entire town that has been co-opted by evil, human and otherwise.
Everything is so familiar, like the 80s were a few days – not decades! – ago. I’m physically 59 but emotionally and energetically 24. This was my time. Maybe you have equally wonderful memories?
Even if you don’t, it’s a cool trip down nostalgia lane.
“Don’t you dare patronize me!”
Full disclosure: the first time I watched season one, Joyce’s constant tears and wailing really irritated me. I kept thinking: Winona girl, dial it WAY back. Honestly, it was distracting.
However, having rewatched the series several times, I barely notice her histrionics, but I am riveted by her unrelenting determination to find her son Will. And she doesn’t give a sh*t about what anyone else thinks.
Without giving up too much of the plot, she follows her instincts as things get more and more fantastical. When presented with “undeniable facts,” she refuses to cave in but instead, blazes with maternal certainty. She KNOWS her son is alive and trapped and she KNOWS only she can rescue him. If you’re not helping her, then get the hell out of her way.
Fingers crossed, I’d be able to Joyce my way through a similar situation… like if Vancouver suddenly developed an alternate universe that was grabbing 31-year-old sons. #dontevengothere
“Friends don’t lie.”
While I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series 6 or 7 times, I’ve never watched more than a few scenes of the first movie… with mounting horror at the “acting.” I get that they had to match the iconic characters but come on! The performances were so wooden I expected actual splinters to fly out from the screen.
No, thank you. I will not have my reading pleasure ruined by visions of awkward line readings dancing in my head.
But with Stranger Things, there are no children pretending to be actors, there are only young actors, smaller in size but actors nonetheless. Adorable nerds, the range of high school teenager types, a mystery girl… all of them are embodied by professionals. You’re never taken out of the story.
No spoilers here but bonus points for the quirky pairings that form throughout the 3 seasons as easy as “four puffs of the Farrah Fawcett spray…”
“We’re talking about the destruction of our world as we know it.”
While I do have the cinematic taste of a preteen boy and have watched all 23 entries in the MCU, you don’t have to be into action or fantasy to become drawn into what’s really happening in Hawkins. There IS scary but for me, it’s nicely removed from the likely into the probably not.
Stranger Things not only establishes a paranormal premise but grounds it in the historically plausible – LSD and mind control experiments in the 60s, anyone?
I love being transported not just into this era but this version of a cursed fictional town in the 80s. The best storytelling is completely believable once you allow yourself the lens of “what if…”
“There’s more to life than stupid boys.”
I LOVE how the female characters carry and advance story lines, kick ass and take names. Joyce will not give up, neither will Nancy or the mystery girl… whose strength is more than just internal. Sorry, I’m trying to give you an idea without ruining any plot points but they are AWESOME.
Not that the boyz are lacking. They’re just not front and center, being the “heroes” and rescuing the helpless girls. I think we’re all pretty much over that lazy POV.
To me, the fact that the Duffer brothers created a world that is soaked with supernatural and government evil is not as impressive as how they wrote their female protagonists throughout the series. #justsaying #kudos
In these times of Netflix binging, Stranger Things is a bona fide repeat contender. Come for the 80s vibe; stay for the writing and the acting.
Compared to what’s really going on in the world right now, Hawkins is a breath of faux scary air.
Have you visited Hawkins yet? What’s stopping you? And if you have, who do you love the most?? What was your most heart-breaking scene? (That’s a pretty easy call to me.) And who is your favourite pairing? (Also a no brainer to me.)