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Review: Stranger Things

Alex Brown

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Ninety nine times out of one hundred times when a kid goes missing, the kid is with a parent or relative. But one out of one hundred times the kid goes missing, the kid is with a blood thirsty monster in a different universe.  At least that’s the case in Netfllix original Stranger Things.

The show follows the adventures of four kids, two teenagers, and the pairing of a cop and a desperate mother all trying to achieve the same thing: to find Will Byers. When Will mysteriously goes missing after fighting the “fictional” Demagorgan, his friends, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin, team up with a young girl who randomly shows up in their small town of Hawkins, Indiana. With the whole town on the search for Will, cameras get destroyed, moms talk to lights, Eggo waffles get eaten, and kids involuntarily wet themselves. While the search for a missing boy is continuing, a love triangle also emerges between Will’s older brother Jonathan, Mike’s older sister Nancy, and classic 80’s popular boy Steve. While Steve is charming, Jonathan and Nancy create a strong bond when they begin a search for Will. Throughout all of this, Will’s mother, Joyce, begins communicating with her son through lights. Although skeptical at first, Sheriff Hopper joins Joyce and fights to find Will.

Stranger Things has brought back an enthusiasm for the 1980’s. The show has sparked the interest of both teenagers and adults because of its time setting. Adults love seeing their childhood turned into a popular TV show, obviously with a few differences. With teenagers being intrigued with past eras and trends, they love seeing what people dressed like, cared about, and were interested in during the 80’s. The setting also creates a strong tone throughout the series. While not terrifying, Stranger Things has an eerily creepy feel to it. With an amazing soundtrack and plotlines bound to keep viewers guessing, the show is scary enough to provoke interest, but not horrifying enough to scare viewers away.

While the show doesn’t include much overt humor, characters, such as Dustin played by Gaten Matarazzo, subtly add jokes and satire. The show packs a dramatic punch with the character development it includes. Although there are only eight episodes, viewers are still able to feel a personal connection with the characters. With children as the main characters, seeing them go through challenges provokes more emotion than an adult character based show. The casting of is by far some of the best done by Netflix. Winona Ryder’s performance as Joyce Byers is overwhelmingly powerful and truly captures the pain of the possible loss of a child. The decision to cast children as the main characters for a mature program, although risky, was a remarkable decision and the talents of Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, and Caleb McLaughlin are going to last long beyond the show. Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, is going to be one of the biggest stars of her generation. Her similarities to Emma Watson make her sophisticated, while she still possesses the likeability of a young girl.

The success of Stranger Things should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s seen it.  With complex plotlines and compelling characters, the show was bound to be successful. At the end of the day, if you’re searching for something to watch and are considering watching Stranger Things, watch it. It does contain mature content, so viewer discretion is advised.

To find out which Stranger Thing character you are click here.

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The School Newspaper of Carlsbad High School
Review: Stranger Things