Let me begin this post by telling you the genres that Stranger Things is classified as: science fiction, thriller and horror. Those are three genres that, with the exception of Star Wars, I never, ever watch any of those three genres. Just not my jam.
That being said, I loved this show more than I loved any show in a long, long time.
The show is a Netflix original and has aired one season so far of eight episodes with a second season promised later in 2017.
In summary, a tween boy named Will Byars, after ten hour day playing Dungeons and Dragons with his three best friends, Mike, Dustin and Lucas is attacked and disappears on his way home. His disappearance triggers a series of events that makes the sleepy fictional town of Hawkins, IN turn into a dangerous, conspiracy ridden, sci-fi nightmare. Will’s disappearance would be swept under the rug when his body is discovered by authorities in a quarry except for a dedicated and disbelieving mother and brother, a skeptical sheriff, and three devoted friends. Joining them is a mysterious girl with a shaved head who appears out of nowhere named Eleven (called El by the boys when they find her) and eventually a Mike’s older sister Nancy whose best friend Barb disappears mysteriously after a party with Nancy. Nancy’s boyfriend Steve also joins in at the end of the search.
The series is an homage in many ways to Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King as well as the 80s in general. However, it’s not cheesy or overdone. Even the film quality is reminiscent of 1980s movies which lends a kind of authenticity to the entire series.
The series also stars Winona Ryder as Will’s mother Joyce Byars and it is a departure from any of her previous roles. She plays the role with gravity and empathy. She is every single mother who has refused to give up. And her pain over her son’ disappearance and refusal to give up resonate deeply with every mother’s grief.
The story-telling is magnificently done, the characters are fully developed and the acting is amazing. And it does keep you on the edge of your seat. This is a total win whether you’re a genre fan or not. Whether you liked the 80s or not. And definitely if you’re a fan of great tv.