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Going into Stranger Things cold I didn’t know what to expect from the much talked about series. The only thing I knew was that “shit gets weird”. Sounded like my type of show. So after binge watching it (like there’s any other way to watch shows), I’ve got to say that I walked away pleasantly surprised. Netflix is on a roll and may have just found their next big series.

The only thing I knew was that “shit gets weird”. Sounded like my type of show.

The basic premise of the show is about a small town looking for a young boy, Will, who mysteriously goes missing. Weird shit starts to happen, a girl with “abilities” shows up, suspicious government figures start running around town, a monster starts snatching people up, and Will’s three best friends (along with the aforementioned girl) find themselves in the middle of it all while trying to find him themselves. If the premise sounds familiar, it should, because everything about this movie is straight from a classic 80’s genre flick.

Aside from the movie actually being set in the 80’s (D&D and synth soundtrack included), it pulls from all the great movies of that era. Movies like E.T., The Goonies, Short Circuit, and Stand By Me. At it’s heart it’s a story about 4 young friends who get thrust into larger than life situations and against all odds manage to triumph over everything. It even manages to pull in elements from other genre films of that time like Alien and The Thing. Stranger Things finds that great balance of paying homage to the great films that paved to way, while still managing to carve out it’s own identity and appeal to newer generations.

At it’s heart it’s a story about 4 young friends who get thrust into larger than life situations and against all odds manage to triumph over everything.

While I enjoyed the overall season, there were still some things that bothered me. Like plot holes that never get filled, jumps in logic, and pacing issues, especially towards the end. It would have strongly benefited from a full 12-13 episode season like most Netflix series. And while most of the main characters were well thought out, there were some that definitely needed more fleshing out, and others that downright should have never made the story. The main antagonists were also a weak point, as they never evolved from anything more than obstacles standing in the way. Particularly Dr. Brenner, who I thought would become a complex antagonist, never got fully fleshed out like he should have. While characters like Will’s dad should have been left out completely. The overall acting was strong though, with Winona pulling off the worried mom who’d do anything to get her child back, and all the child actors held down their respective roles on the show. My absolute favorite though was David Harbour as Jim Hopper, the Sheriff of the small town. He pulled off the flawed hero on a path to redemption perfectly.

What’d you think about Season 1? Did it pay too much homage? Did it have a strong story? Let us know what you think in the comments below and rate Season 1 of Stranger Things. For more spoiler and theory specific reactions click below. You’ve been warned!

 

Stranger Things Reaction
Community Rating1 Vote9
9
out of 10
Conclusion
Season 1 of Stranger Things left a strong impression and felt like that old favorite toy that you didn't know you missed until you found it. Full of nostalgia, mystery, and the supernatural, it managed to blend old with new and bring on a whole new band of memorable characters worth talking about.

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