Stranger Things

29 Jul 2016

It takes a lot for me to get into a new series. I'm fairly picky, and I usually opt to watch a film over a programme. So when J said, "how about we try this?" as he flicked through Netflix one night, I shrugged, not expecting too much. Within the first few minutes, I was hooked. We managed to get through the series within a couple of days, and we were both left wanting more, with a whole host of unanswered questions. Stranger Things has now grabbed the attention of the media and has even been ranked up there with the other amazingly popular Netflix Original, Making A Murderer. In short, if you haven't watched this programme yet, please do.

Without giving too much away, this programme follows the story of a mother trying to find her missing son, and his group of friends investigating his disappearance with the help of a girl they find in the woods. I've seen many people describe it as a mixture of The Goonies, ET and The Lost Boys, and that is exactly what it is! It's got the right amount of scare, weirdness and emotion, with cliff hanger endings to each episode. With lovable characters and a gripping story, you'll be sure to watch this series in under a week.

As I previously mentioned, Stranger Things is a Netflix Original, and I was really struck by the production value despite this. Even though it's pretty clear that this programme had a huge budget, it still effortlessly depicts suburban 80s life in such a simple way. I even found the colouration nostalgic, let alone the inclusion of Dungeons and Dragons, phones with cords, and those ugly pieces of furniture. I was also really surprised that Winona Ryder was a main character. She is one of my all-time favourite actresses, and I think this is partly why J chose ST that evening. As always, she was absolutely incredible, and I think her portrayal of a mother at her wits end was absolutely heart-wrenching. I was really rooting for her the whole way through, and found myself getting frustrated when other characters believe what she was saying.
As well as being impressed by the production and the big name actress, I was also floored by the child actors. Gone are the days of awkward recitals and overdramatic gestures! These kids were amazing, especially Millie Bobby Brown, who plays El. I thought that their acting for their age was superb, and they were all so convincing. I can imagine them all going so far because of their work in this film, and I've seen countless reviews and tweets praising their skills. Each of their characters developed quite significantly throughout the series, along with the rest of the characters from the show, which I absolutely loved. I enjoyed Nancy's development the most and was so pleased when she turned into a bit of a bad-ass, but I was SO disappointed with her ending. I won't ruin it for anyone that hasn't watched it yet, but I'm sure plenty of other people were just as annoyed with her as I was.

The main question I had, and I'm sure many other people did too, was will they be able to make another season out of it? If you've watched it already, you'll know that the ending was set up so that another season could potentially follow, but I'm just not sure how? I feel as though there was already a lot to the story, and so much happened in the current season, so I'd be interested to know how they plan to develop on it. Of course, if there is another season, I'll be watching it as soon as it's released and chatting about it. Watch this space!

I'd say that if you're looking for a relatively short series (8 episodes, each at around 50 minutes long), that has elements of horror, mystery and drama, then this could be a real winner for you. With an great cast, tons of 80s pop culture references and an outstanding soundtrack, I think it's set to become something of a cult series.

Have you watched Stranger Things yet? What did you think of it?

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