By Brent Ramirez
Blog Content Contributor
Illustration by Spencer Hall.
Let me start by saying WOW. “Stranger Things“ knocks it way out of the ball park. It’s the Netflix series that has everyone talking all over social media. You may have seen pictures of the undeniably a-dork-able Dustin, or the hashtag #justiceforbarb circulating online, and for good reason too.
Created by brothers Ross and Matt Duffer, “Stranger Things” is an eight episode Netflix-original drama that revolves around the story of a missing child and the otherworldly occurrences that torment his family, friends and community following his disappearance. Each episode dives further into the mystery that is Will Byers’s disappearance, unravelling a web of inner workings involving a shady government organization, the paranormal and a rather peculiar little girl.
The series is set in 1983 in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana and beautifully captures the essence of its time through well-produced set design, wardrobe and a great soundtrack, oozing 80s nostalgia in the most natural way possible. I have to applaud the show and its creators for being able to do this. Going for the 80s setting and feel could have easily come off as cheesy and overzealous, but the show pulled it off in a way that was both organic and believable. Overall, the production of “Stranger Things” was executed precisely, paying homage to the sci-fi obsessed pop culture of the 80s.
Stranger Things stars award-winning actress Winona Ryder (“Edward Scissorhands”, “Beetle Juice”) as Will’s mother, Joyce Byers, who puts on an incredible performance as the determined guardian who will stop at nothing to find her son. She teams up with the town police chief Jim Hopper, played by David Harbour, who’s character I found had the best development throughout the season. Aside from these two, “Stranger Things” offers a wide array of colorful characters, but I personally thought the breakout stars of the show were the children who comprised of Will Byer’s friend group and the strange girl known as Eleven. Many television shows have trouble writing dialogue for child characters, but this show kept it very natural and relied on the overall chemistry of the group. It is a mixture of the ability and chemistry of these actors combined with a thrilling narrative, that has ultimately carried the show to the high critical acclaim it has reached.
Coming off of an amazing first season, “Stranger Things” has the potential to be even greater in its upcoming second season (available on Netflix in 2017). I highly recommend the show to anyone who enjoys mysteries and sci-fi; think of it as a mixture between “E.T.”, “The Goonies”, and “Super 8″. For those of you who enjoy binge watching television shows, this is one of the most binge-able shows out there and at only eight episodes, the series feels more like one cohesive eight-hour movie. As daunting as that may sound to uninitiated Netflix bingers, you won’t understand where the time went when you breeze through this first season.
All in all, “Stranger Things” is an incredible series that will have you stuck to your seat for hours and will keep you asking “WTH?” long after you finish the last episode.
I give “Stranger Things”…
4.8 out of 5 Eggo waffles!