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.

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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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right

In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"

35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?

39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"

I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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7 Reasons To Get Excited For The Orlando Fringe Festival

Aside from the obvious draw of 100+ shows to choose from, there are so many more reasons to check it out.

The Orlando Fringe Festival is a two-week performing arts extravaganza featuring all kinds of acts from this city and others. It is also the longest-running theater festival in the United States, so it’s had plenty of time to get great. If you want the basics on how to attend, there is an article in the Orlando Sentinel that breaks it down for first-timers. But as we gear up for what is basically Coachella for theater nerds, here are just a few more things to get jazzed about.

1. You’ll finally be able to support your artist friends.

We all have that friend who is constantly involved in some sort of production. Of course you’d love to go and see them all, but who has the time? At Fringe, there are plenty of chances to see a show, since there are performances at many different times for two weeks. And if you have a lot of friends who are performers in Orlando, then I have good news! They will all be in the same place.

2. Two words: food trucks.

There is pretty much no other time when it is socially acceptable to eat a bunch of fried Oreos than at a carnival or at Fringe. Carnivals seem dangerous though, so you might as well just hang out at Fringe, where it’s safe.

3. There’s something for everyone.

Even if theater isn’t your thing, there are more than just a few alternative options available. You can also find concerts, stand up comedy, storytelling, and a whole lot of things that will make you say, “I didn’t know that was a thing."

4. This year, planning is easy.

In their 27th year, the Orlando Fringe has introduced a new way to plan which shows to see. The Fringe-o-Matic allows you to input the shows you’re interested in and create a personalized schedule so you can make it to (almost) all of them.

5. You’ll never have to travel far.

Most of the shows at Fringe are located in or around Loch Haven Park, and venues include the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Museum of Art. These are all within walking distance of each other, and are separated only by a parking lot (which, by the way, is free to use). The only other shows are BYOV, or Bring Your Own Venue, in multiple locations in Orlando.

6. It’s not just local acts.

Maybe if you’re an Orlando native, you’re a little tired of the local scene. This festival includes production companies from lots of other states and countries, so it’s a great opportunity to see fresh faces and shows that are the best of their respective locale.

7. Things will get weird.

Even if you’re a veteran Fringe-goer, you’re definitely in for a quite a few surprises. Last year, I saw a Canadian male burlesque troupe led by a Justin Trudeau impersonator (caution: link NSFW), and it wasn’t even the craziest thing that happened.

The Orlando Fringe Festival runs from May 15th to the 28th, so it’s right around the corner. It’s all happening so fast! But if you’re not hyped yet, maybe you should take a trip to the beer tent.

Cover Image Credit: Orlando Fringe

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