Stranger Things – Created by Matt & Ross Duffer, Distributed by Netflix (Worldwide).
From the get-go of Netflix’s Stranger Things, you are just enthralled by the storytelling and the characters themselves. The first episode, The Vanishing of Will Byers, hits you with the childhood you have always seen in Spielberg movies (E.T, etc.) and a lot of 80’s nostalgia and takes you from that kind of high and throws you deep into horror/thriller tones and story elements of this unknown-silhouetted creature in the night. This show will get you on the hook straight away and it will never let go until the end, and you’re still left wanting more.
In essence, this show is a love letter to the films by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Stephen King, John Carpenter, etc. From the intro music and its font in the opening title you really get that 80’s nostalgia feels. The use of pop-culture references is done to perfection, usually, I get thrown out of the show or scene whenever they make a reference to pop-culture because it feels show horned in to wink at the audience. However, in Stranger Things the references are part of the story altogether, one example would be the first dungeons and dragons game the 4 boys play in the first episode it isn’t there saying “look at how quirky we are”, it is actually setting up the story of the whole series from when the Demogorgon is introduced in the game it also represents the (minor spoiler) creature from the ‘upside-down’ and the fact that it happens on Will Byers turn and he has to choose between fleeing or throwing a fireball; he chooses to run. Later in the story when the creature appears for the first time, it happens to be with Will Byers and he chooses to run and hide from it. There a lot more parallels from the first episode throughout the series as well which is just an amazing feat by the not-so-well-known Duffer Brothers.
The fact that the Duffer Brothers went to multiple different TV studios to try and get this show made, is ridiculous, I am quite glad that it was finally picked up by Netflix because it’s a show you simply cannot put down you have to keep watching it I couldn’t have waited a week or more to find out what happens next. Each character’s story arcs are perfect no one is left in the background and left underutilized from the magnificent Sheriff Hopper to the High school bullies. Dan Harbour who plays Sheriff Hopper is one of the outstanding performances in this series, his arc from the Sheriff of just the small town somewhere in the deep heart of America to the father that has lost his daughter to cancer is portrayed brilliantly by Harbour. The writing of his character is so well done and well rounded, you really see his arc of keeping his emotions bottled up about his daughter’s death to (spoilers!!) when he gets involved with the disappearance of Will Byers to (spoilers!!) when Hopper finally finds and saves Will from the upside-down dimension, he finally let’s go of his pain because he wouldn’t let Will down, without a big fight. Which is a parallel to the story of his daughter where he couldn’t fight for her life but he could fight for Will’s life.
I really hope there is going to be a Season 2 of Stranger Things because every character in this series has heart and their own tone to go with the story, and all I want to do is see what they do with their knowledge of the supernatural and where does everyone go from now on. The Duffer Brothers ended the series with just enough to tease you for a possible season 2 with some very intriguing story line possibilities of Eleven, who is the ‘E.T’ of this series with certain abilities which I do not want to spoil as it’s just a wild ride of discovery with her character, I simply won’t do her justice here, and Hopper in contact with each other. They also added, Will Byers possibly having something supernatural happening to him. All in all, you should watch this show because it’s a storytelling masterpiece and just tone perfect throughout.