Occasionally I emerge from under the rock which I live and watch a little tv. It’s not always satisfying to be honest and over time I’ve turned more to watching boxed sets of series that are proving really popular, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead – and most recently Stranger Things (although this isn’t a box set but a series on Netflix). If, like me, things sometimes stay elusively off your radar let me do you a favour by highlighting this series. I loved it. I didn’t just like it – I absolutely loved it. It just had so much going for it that I watched the entire series in two sittings -and now I want to watch them again – and I’m so happy that a season 2 is already in the offing.
A little about Stranger Things. Firstly it’s a series that pays homage to 80s pop culture. The whole time I was watching it was like having continual recall of 80s films – ET, Close Encounters, The Goonies – even think of films such as Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful and then overlay all of this with a Stephen King vibe and a Spielberg type production – yep, if you love your references think of Ready Player One, The Iron Druid Chronicles, Amongst Others – then you’ll love this! Well I certainly did anyway, I just couldn’t help myself, for a split second I could have gone down the route of thinking – ‘this is just a rip off’ but literally that was a mere second of a thought, a ghost of a thought even – I watched probably about 5 minutes and I was in the zone!
The story revolves around the disappearance of a young boy called Will, the frantic search by his mother Joyce to find him, aided by Chief of police Hopper and also the search undertaken by his three friends assisted by a young runaway girl, who they’re keeping hidden and who seems to possess telekinetic abilities.
The characterisation is great – Winona Ryder plays an excellent role as the desperate mother who just knows that her son is still out there lost and David Harper plays a great role as the reluctantly believing Chief of Police – who starts to uncover things that he can’t comprehend! But, the absolute show stealers are the young boys who play the geek squad gang – the ones who are picked on a bit at school, they’re not the popular kids – but they don’t care, they’re super geeky and they love it! The gang consists of Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb Mclaughlin) and of course the disappearing boy, Will, played by Noah Schnapp and finally Eleven or El (Millie Bobby Brown). The characters are all really good to be honest.
The setting is also really good with plenty of atmosphere – Hawkins, Indiana. A small town bordered by a creepy forest that hides a sinister feeling Government complex. We spend a lot of time in Will’s home watching Joyce unravel, we travel back and forth between the boys’ favourite haunts and homes (particularly Mike’s basement) and the school.
There’s not a lot more I can say really. Shown on Netflix I understand the series has been approved a year two – which I can’t wait for! Written and directed by the Duffer brothers this is a supernatural, horror, sci-fi extravaganza.
I don’t review a lot of films or tv shows but this one had to be the exception. I loved this series and just wanted to share it with you. Great plot, cast, music and a fantastic homage to the 80s. I’ve put the trailer below:
Get onto this if you haven’t already done so!