A Deeper Look At The Stranger Things Phenomena

A Deeper Look At The Stranger Things Phenomena

We choose to love the stories that empower us.
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While I can't say with complete accuracy that the whole world is talking about the Netflix original series "Stranger Things," I can say that it certainly does feel like they are. Since it's season two release in October, fans have expressed their continued admiration for this television series.

It would be hard to resist watching it, even without all of the social media buzz and inside jokes for people who have seen the show. If you haven't yet ventured down this rabbit hole, I encourage you to, but I personally wanted a deeper understanding of this project and just exactly why so many people were obsessed with it seemingly overnight.

I present to you, a breakdown in which I explore the nuts and bolts of the "Stranger Things" phenomenon, we love it because of it's...

Realistic And Relatable Characters

The characters, although fictional, so closely resemble real people that it’s much easier for an audience to be able to resonate with them. Maybe you find your sense of humor reflected in the playful banter between the kids or you recognize the panic a mom feels when Joyce Byers can't find her son Will.

Real people are complicated, messy, imperfect, flawed, and so are these characters. Even when it comes to Eleven, who is considered to be a supernatural element, she is more humanized by her feelings for Mike and her struggle to learn to understand everything around her.

A Mascot For The World's Outcasts

In the words of Will’s brother Jonathan, “Nobody normal ever accomplished anything meaningful in this world.” Despite the series having a diverse fan-base, there is an undeniable broader appeal to the nerds, outcasts, freaks and misfits of the world.

For, those who were always a little different than other people, who’ve been through great tragedy and who’ve been lost for a while can find comfort in the Stranger Things story-line.

It sends a message that even in the depths of the upside down, all is not lost. Combine this with the copious amounts of sci-fi elements, pop culture references and unsung heroes; it’s a dream come true for any nerd.

Incredible Writing, Character Development And Story Arc

Unless you’re someone who looks beyond the face value of art that’s put in front of you, you may not catch one of the most underappreciated aspects of this show--the writing! It takes more than just actors and cameras to put a TV-show together, and without quality scripts, you aren’t going to get very far.

The writers have to take a vision and lay it all out in the form of words so it can relay to everyone else who is a part of the project. There are numerous examples of sensational writing here, such as the multiple character developments, most notably that of Chief Jim Hopper.

Additionally, there is the borderline-genius story arc that keeps the audience wanting more each time. Writers who use this tool well are known for working on the projects that turn into fan-favorites.

Story arcs work best when you have a denouement in mind and according to the show creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, there is going to be a definite end for the story-line and all its characters.

Thinking about that this early on may damper the mood for some fans, but The Duffers have given us an estimate of taking us all on this journey for about "four or five seasons."


Haze Of Nostalgia And Homage To A Simpler Time

In a world where everything is so digital and de-humanized it’s only natural for some people to have a longing for the more straightforward and arguably happier times of their childhood. Older viewers can reminisce while teaching their younger counterparts all about how things were back in the day.

Whether you were a child of the '80s or not, there's still something special about anything from that era. This is why it's particularly exciting for fans who have spotted several connections to other classic films and more in the series.

Focus On Friendship, Family And Redemption

Not many kids today would find a random bald girl wandering around the woods and instantly bring her home and feed her Eggo waffles, but Mike Wheeler was a good friend.

Whether it was searching for Will or helping the town of Hawkins survive a Demogorgon invasion, friendship and family played a prominent role in this story-line. Redemption was another common thread throughout seasons one and two with Eleven closing the gate after being the one to open it in the first place and Chief Hopper saving Will after being unable to do so with his daughter Sara.

Ability To Let The Fans Play Detective

If you've ever enjoyed watching the mystery or crime-solving types of entertainment where the audience can put the evidence together as they are watching, then you are definitely going to be a fan of Stranger Things.

There is an incredible combination of hidden gems of information, foreshadowing, cliffhangers, flashbacks and moments left open for speculation that keep fans on their toes and with their thinking caps on.

One of the most talked about instances of this is when fans spotted the detail of Chief Hopper giving his bracelet to Eleven at the end of season two. After some investigating, it was further revealed that the bracelet was formally a hair tie belonging to his deceased daughter Sara.

Speculations and theories have already been spread about what this means for season three as well as other questions or pieces of the puzzle we are waiting to have answered and wrap together.

Ability To Find Humor During Even The Worst Of Times

Adding humor to an episode can sometimes be the perfect pinch of salt on a good pot roast, and that's exactly what happened in the case of this show. Although the town of Hawkins is under attack and there's some mostly unknown evil lurking out there, fans can still get a chuckle out of some well placed zingy one-liners or moments of great sarcastic attitude.

One of my personal favorites happens in season two when Dustin is looking for all of his friends, who are currently MIA, and he goes to The Wheeler's residence. Dustin gets this typical dad response from Mr. Wheeler after he relays that his children are elsewhere.

Incredibly Talented Cast And Crew

It goes without saying that there are several talented people in Hollywood but I believe the cream of the crop was picked for these specific roles. It's really gratifying for fans to see one of the most iconic '90s actresses, Winona Ryder, bring our love for her back to the present and to witness the well-versed actor, David Harbour, finally getting the leading man spotlight he deserves.

Aside from the two main adult leads, there are also all the younger cast members who have been praised repeatedly for their performance and amount of professionalism.

No one might have expected such excellence from such young artists, but that's part of the shock and excite value they brought to this series. Putting them all together has given us a cast known for their grace, humility and dedication to their art.

It's Inspired A Movement

All of these seemingly little things have added up to make this television series into a globally recognized masterpiece that fans will love for a long time to come. But even though there are infinite reasons to admire great pieces of work like this that we could analyze all day long, I believe it can be simplified into one main idea. We choose to love the stories that empower us.

It's the acknowledgement that we're not too weird because as different as Eleven was she still found friends of her own or that maybe we can make mistakes and still be a good parent like Hopper and Joyce. We see a reflection of ourselves in the characters we love most and in the journey they lead us on and it makes us realize that the ups and downs of life are all just a part of our own story arc. Admittedly, I could be wrong in my theory of this, but stranger things have happened.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.
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The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.


3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.


6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.


7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.


13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.


14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.


You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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The Breath of Solitude

A Poem With A Prologue // Polar Viewpoints.

mccall
mccall
315
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Prologue:


She smacks your parted lips,

sucking the dry,

open cracks to a seal.

Pumping energy into your chest

and sending a continuous shiver

from lung to navel.


You can't help but cough,

as your lungs tighten and twist.

Ringing the frosty sensation out –

slipping through your parted lips.


The same parted lips that

allowed her deliberate fingers

to crawl inside

where she can escape her own dimension

of solitude.




The Breath of Solitude


All I know

is solitude.


We chat

every day

in conversations that circulate

behind the backs

of the present.


Solitude grinds my coffee beans,

as we sit

with our legs crossed,

waiting for dawn

to explode over our opaque landscape.


Solitude runs my bath,

bubbling

as the Sun crashes

against the diminishing horizon.


But none of this is reality.

I am above

the dimension of reality.

Not theoretically,

but physically.

I am only a tool

to be used in the dimension

of your reality.

Drifting in and out,

twirling through your negative space.

My only purpose

is found through your breath;

but what do I do

when you stop breathing?


I wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.


I cannot see the blood

that sloshes through the veins

in your innocent hands.

The blood that energizes

those fingers

upon which I wait.


But I know

the blood is there.

It isn't

what you do.

It isn't

the way you move.

Simply put,

it is

the way

that you exist.


The sheer fact

that you have a bursting burgundy waterfall

streaming,

not only through your fingers,

but engulfing all of you

in its rich,

rooted,

energy.


The only waterfall

that I encompass

is the waterfall

that you imagine.

I have no blood;

I have no way to exist.


And so I

wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.


I wait for your fingers

to filter the heat

to a state of regulation,

a state of production,

a state in which I can exist.

The peach fuzz

that sleeps on the bridge of your nose

begins to rise

when your fingers initiate the flame.

The temperature reacts,

as would my heartbeat,

if I had a bursting burgundy waterfall,

or some type of life source

inhabiting my chest cavity.


As the heat

starts to melt

my metaphorical skin,

I become reality.

I don't have a face to smile,

or eyes to produce tears.

But I have thoughts.

I have words to say,

I have feelings to express.


I still can only drift,

in and out,

twirling through your negative space,

but now spiraling

into your positive space,

as well.


mccall
mccall

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