In a world of television dominated by Game of Thrones, it’s not often that a show comes along where you can confidently say ‘this might be better’.
But to me that’s exactly what Stranger Things is – a show that transcends mainstream television, breaking out of the episodic grind that some shows employ. This show is more like an eight hour movie than a eight episode series, and by the end you will be left screaming for the sequel.
Stranger Things starts off in a quiet town set in the 1980’s. Dungeons and Dragons was the most popular game, and no one worried about children riding their bikes around after dark . It’s here that we’re introduced to the main characters, who are locked in an intense battle with a Demogorgon, and one wrong move could prove fatal.
Our heroes – Will, Mike, Lucas and Dustin – wrap up their campaign and head home, only to find out the next morning that one of them never made it.
Stranger Things masterfully captures the setting and feel of the 1980s, right down to the houses having period-accurate satellite dishes. The vibrant setting works perfectly with the supernatural themes, and the complexity of the world and its characters are ideal for expanding into spin offs. Stranger Things’ 1980s backdrop and child stars make the show reminiscent of Super 8, as well as certain X Files episodes. But Stranger Things has so much more going for it.
The casting for the series is without fault. Winona Ryder stars as the sleep-deprived, borderline manic parent. Although some of her scenes seem to me overacted, her portrayal of the missing boy’s mother kept me intrigued. Who would have thought that a conversation with Christmas lights could be so emotional?
The kids were amazing in this show, and Millie Bobby Brown’s portrayal of the mysterious girl Eleven was bang on. I’ve never been so enthralled by child actors as much as I was while watching Stranger Things. The entire production felt incredibly natural and realistic.
Overall I found the show to be well executed, with hardly a thing to criticise. The acting, the score, the cinematography – every aspect of Stranger Things helps to generate a truly captivating atmosphere and allow the viewer to intimately connect with the characters. Filled with meta jokes and callbacks to our favourite movies and TV shows of the past, it goes without saying that season two of Stranger Things cannot come soon enough!