"Stranger Things" is a Netflix series that was recently released last July and people are going crazy over it. I finished the eight episodes (45 minutes each) in two days (I've had a pretty productive summer). The science fiction series takes place in the 1980s in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana and follows the story of a missing boy. If you haven't seen it yet, stop reading this article and get on that. To fully experience "Stranger Things," you can't have any spoilers. This article is for those that have already seen the series. Here is just my own quick review as well as so many questions that I have.
Before I begin, I would just like to address that the first episode opens with four middle school boys playing D&D in a basement. If that doesn't set up a series for success, then I don't know what would.
What I think makes "Stranger Things" stand out from many television series is its wide target audience. It essentially follows three groups of heros' stories-- the children, the teenagers, and the adults. During the first several episodes, all of their stories remain relatively separate with very little interaction within the three parties. It isn't until the last couple episodes that they begin to piece their information together. The last episode is when the kids, teenagers, and adults finally work together. Each age group provided very valid information and/or skill and it wasn't until they grouped together that they were able to find Will (the missing child) and defeat the "demogorgon." Perhaps there is an underlying meaning there? Maybe a lesson? All generations should work together if we want to get things done? I don't know just a though.
Another thing that I definitely appreciated in "Stranger Things" was the acting. I think that it was casted brilliantly and their performances were stellar. It's hard to find good kid actors, but I think that they did a great job. I especially liked Winona Ryder as Joyce Myers, the single mother of Will and Jonathan. She was the first to know what was up- that her son was still alive and able to communicate through lights. Even though I knew that she really saw what she said she saw- the blinking lights and the "demogorgon"- there was still part of me that wanted to believe that she was insane, as did everyone else in Hawkins. She looked and acted so crazy that it was almost hard to believe her, even just minutes after watching the "demogorgon" crash through her wall. I think she did an exceptional job at portraying Will's mother.
There are many factors that make "Stranger Things" a quality series, including the setting and 80s pop culture references, but when the season ended I was left with so many questions. They wrapped it up nicely, and if you simply overlooked a few details at the end you could believe that the story is over. However, I can not ignore the major twists that the series throws at you. Is Hopper working for the "bad men" now? He mysteriously hopped into a car driven by two official-looking men... They also show Hopper dropping off egos in the forest- which can only be for El. So we know that she's still alive. But if Eleven is still alive, then wouldn't the "demogorgon" be as well? Also, when Hopper and Joyce ventured into the alternate universe to save Will, Hopper (very briefly) inspected something that looked very much like an egg. Is the monster procreating? If so, how? And another thing- they showed Will coughing up slug-like things which I can only assume are the side effects from what the monster did to him. Is there a piece of this "demogorgon" inside of him? What if the slug was like a fetus of the monster? Last question, unrelated to any of the science fiction: Why the heck is Nancy still with Steve? And after everything her and Jonathan went through? The series satisfyingly shipped Mike and El with a kiss, but Nancy and Jonathan are left to torture the audience.
These are just my questions to the universe of "Stranger Things" right now, take them as you will. It was an excellent story and I am so excited for the second season--and hopefully some of my questions will be answered. If you read this without having watched the series yet-- shame on you! But go and watch it, it's fantastic.