Stranger Things is what you get when you combine The Goonies with Silent Hill with a dash of Akira. While starting off a bit too cliché for my taste, you’ve seen all of these character archetypes before dozens of times believe me, it does get a lot better. The clichés though made me almost give up a half hour in to the first episode; they were that garish. Imagine a straight A female high school student with the nerd for a best for a best friend (you can tell because she’s the one with the glasses) going out with the jock bully but is really into the quiet poetic guy. My eyes were rolling so hard they could have started a rock band.
Binge watching a series, especially an eight part series consisting of episodes approximately 45 minutes long, says a lot about the quality of the show. And the quality of my life. While being predictable in places, such as there being a shadowy government agency who will do anything to cover up their mistakes and letting people who know go, it was solid. Solid as a show can be without touching greatness. Solid as a show about psychic powers used to break arms without being awesome.
One thing I have to hold to special praise is the soundtrack and specifically the intro sequence. The 80s synth sounds really give it this otherworldly feel that falls in line with the horror aspects of the show. Why was the show set in the 80s though? Was there something about that time period that makes psychic powers and monsters more believable? Are the writers possibly in their 30s or early 40s? Nostalgia, it seems is a longing for a childhood where we can fight the monsters, and the bullies, and undo those mistakes we’ve all done to grow into adults.