The other title I had was “5 Things I Think about “Stranger Things,” but I kind of like the way my first one sounds. Anyway, last night my wife and I powered through the second half of Season One of Stranger Things. If you haven’t seen it yet, it means you don’t have Netflix. If you don’t have Netflix, it’s 2016 and costs like $15/mo. Get it so we can move on…
Moving on…oh, and SPOILER ALERTS AND SPOILERS AND PROCEED WITH CAUTION’S are in order. I’m obviously going to be talking about the show, so if you don’t want it ruined, thanks for the site hit, but it’s best you move along.
Thing One: there isn’t a bad character on the show
I was laughing with my wife while we were watching it because, during the show, she noticed I was in a “deep-though gaze.” When asked what I was thinking about, I kind of laughed because it wasn’t like I was wading into the deep-end of my mind, rather I was thinking about a Facebook poll I saw called “which ST character are you?” I didn’t take the poll, but I wish I would have now that the series is over. But the thing is, I can see myself in just about every character. The characters are bold, extremely relatable, and each has depth beyond trying to find their friend or fight the monster. Even Brenner/Papa played his role well, and while his “death” was extremely underwhelming, I read that he’ll likely be rewritten into season two. Oh it’s happening!
Thing Two: the show keeps you guessing from start to finish
Remember the movie “Signs?” Remember how good the thing was all the way up until you see the alien, and then you kind of think “well that’s kind of stupid.” Stranger Things is like the best half of “Signs” through all eight episodes. Even after you see the monster, we really don’t know much about it. Is there only one monster? Did the fire/bear trap work (didn’t seem to, but then again…)? Does the gate move around and how does it move? Are El and the monster one in the same, or how are the connected? There is a lot going on, but never really grasping what is going on keeps you excited for what’s about to come.
Thing Three: something is always going on!
There are multiple subtle storylines that play into the show as a whole extremely well. Aside from Barbara (sorry, Barb) who kind of gets killed, semi-searched for, then “meh, we don’t need to really look for Barb anymore,” there is the mystery of the DOE building and the gate, there’s the search for Will, there is who/what is El, there’s the Other Side, Hopper might be my favorite character and we learn a whole lot about him (then get thrown a whole new “what’s his role next season” kind of loop at the end of the last episode). There’s the love triangle with the sister…
Side tangent – how is cocky boyfriend going to get beat up by Will’s brother in the street, then go total bad ass on the monster and save the day?
Anyway, at all times I am watching whatever is happening on screen and thinking about two things that either just happen or are about to happen. It’s a collection of great casting, writing, and actors that really get their characters and play them perfectly.
Thing Four: it’s not like anything else we’ve seen (in a long time)
I admit that when I watch shows or movies, I have a big part of me that wants to cast it off because it’s too much like that show or basically the same thing at this show, only they changed X for Y. There really isn’t any of that with Stranger Things. The core group of friends are great heroes (brave, funny, unbreakable bond). They have to deal with social bullies, parents who won’t believe them, the government, and the monster, all while using their brains to figure out the things that the adult world can’t. The show is both nostalgic and original at the same time, and each character (and I mean EACH of the 20 or so characters that we see for more than 5 minutes during the show) is really, really fun and entertaining.
Thing Five: I still don’t want to play Dungeons and Dragons
I wanted to throw this in there because, there is a moment at the end when Mike is the narrator for a 10 hour game of D&D, he kind of makes up this story about a six headed hydra and I have the single (SINGLE) moment that thinks that could be fun. But, in the end, I’m much happier just catching the climax and waiting for Mike and the gang gear up for season two.