Thoughts on Stranger Things



stranger_things_logo

I really enjoyed the Netflix series Stranger Things. I have some thoughts.

###

The acting was tremendous. Characters went through some compelling arcs, with performances that justly conveyed such transformations. Could Winona Ryder’s role been played any more pitch-perfect than what she gave us? And those kids, all of them, so great.

###

One specific element that I really like in my entertainment media is telekinesis. So, there’s that.

###

Stranger Things is a great example of visual media with a familiar-yet-refreshing presentation — in the midst of a popular culture that has verbalized a weariness of rehashes and reboots (yet, notably, continues to support them at the box office), it was a powerful recipe to gulp down: Every frame feels like it is utterly known in a sort of distant-sentimental way, yet with enough newness to keep things moving and interesting. I think Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens reaped a similar benefit from this effect. In all these cases, the end product is not absurdly wacky, neither is it jaw-droppingly revolutionary, but it combines just-enough innovation with a cozy, almost-intimate style that we cannot help be drawn to.

###

Another rare feat that Things achieved was, in my opinion, serving up a satisfying beginning-to-end story while also leaving plenty of unanswered questions.

###

I liked how the series normalizes geekdom. What I mean by that is we see four boys who regularly play hours-long Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, and although they are clearly identified as little nerds (through their participation in AV club, relationship with their teacher of similar persuasions, etc.), this is never really (really) treated as a trait that is scornworthy, nor vilified.

Now, I am sure there were groups of kids who did similar things in the 1980’s, but even in my own era, this treatment serves as a contrast to a society that sometimes tends to try to downplay and even demonize (quite literally, if you grew up in an evangelical Christians setting) these geeky pursuits. Their shared adventures in a role-playing game are never played up for laughs at their expense, and just played to the camera straight, as a mutual experience. It was cool, I thought, but it is likely growing more common in shows as well.

###

Considering its popularity, I assume a season 2 will be in the works. This is fun, because I have no idea what direction they would go (if they would even keep the same characters, etc., or go in a whole new pathway), yet I am excited all the same.

stranger-things-poster

Leave a Reply

Nintendo logo, other properties all rights reserved Nintendo of America, Inc.