If you haven’t seen Stranger Things you at least know someone who has and has told you that you need to watch it, repeatedly. The Duffer Brothers struck gold when they decided to create this science fiction horror TV series and wrapped it in a beautifully done 1980’s package.
The first season is set in the 1980’s in a town called Hawkins, Indiana. Highlighting some of the best things from the 80’s we’re introduced to a group of four boys playing Dungeons and Dragons with the seasons soundtrack containing some of the best songs from the 80’s. The four boys consist of Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp). After an epic game of Dungeons and Dragons the boys set off on their bikes back to their homes. While on the way home, Will Byers encounters a strange and disturbing creature that chases him all the way home. Safely locking the door behind him, he discovers that his mom and brother are not home and the creature is still after him. When he rushes to the shed to get the gun, he loads it just in time only to have the creature get him. There is no sign of Will or the creature and his mother Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) is completely beside herself. Taking time off from work she discovers that although her son is missing she can still feel him near.
While the hunt is on to find Will, a mysterious girl appears in town running from some very dangerous people. The three boys discover the strange girl, whom they find out is called Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), and that she may know where their friend Will is. The three boys, with the help of Eleven, begin to follow the bread crumbs leading to Wills disappearance and how to find him before the creature does.
There are three groups of characters all following the same story beginning with: the youngest crowd of the three boys and Eleven; Will’s older brother Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) and Mike’s older sister Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer); and Will’s mother Joyce Byers with the help of the town Sheriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour). All three groups allow the audience to remain fully immersed in the story while following different clues and allowing time for some character development. While the kids are our main focus and source of entertainment we can’t help but to be intrigued by the teenagers as well as the struggles of both Joyce and Jim covering all angles for the audience to relate to.
As I mentioned, the Duffer Brothers struck gold when they created, wrote, directed and co-produced Stranger Things (which they ensure we know their names and roles by repeatedly pointing it out during the opening credits of each episode). The opening for Stranger Things is simple creating the title accompanied by music with every element screaming 80’s and creating something so short, yet so impactful and setting the tone for the series. The characters from the children, to the teenagers and to the adults, both main characters and side characters are so well selected that there is really nothing to complain about when it comes to actors/actresses. The characters are engaging and the storyline is spellbinding from start to finish having the audience caught hook, line, and sinker with this science fiction horror ripe with nostalgia.
If you haven’t already been prodded by friends and family to watch the Netflix Original allow me to be the first to tell you that this is a must see that will have you on the edge of your seat from the moment the quintessential 80’s theme washes over you submersing you in a world from the past with an exotic touch of the future.