Last year when Stranger Things was first released, it was the best thing to happen to Netflix since…ever. There are so many things about this show to love, and the second season is just around the corner.
For the sake of those who have not seen this show yet, it is about a young boy who disappears and his group of loyal friends, distressed mom and the police chief who try to get to the bottom of it, all while facing otherworldly forces to track him down and bring him back. Not only do they have encounters with “bad men” from a secret lab where they do experiments on human test subjects, they also come against a real-life Demogorgon (monster) that is unleashed from another dimension known as the “Upside Down”. Needless to say, things get crazy pretty fast.
First of all, you’ve got to love the nostalgia that this show brings to 80s babies or lovers of that decade. The show runners do an amazing job of creating that vibe for the audience - everything from the characters’ wardrobe right down to the home décor are all very in line with the trends and overall look of that time. It takes you to a different era, and it’s absolutely stunning how flawlessly they do it.
Next, you have the cast/characters. Noah Schnapp, who plays Will, the boy who goes missing, does an excellent job given his unfortunately limited screen time. His mother Joyce, played by Winona Ryder, is the perfect amount of unbalanced and determined, often questioning her own sanity as she experiences things that she cannot explain. (To that I will also say that the scene where she hangs up a ton of stringed lights and writes the alphabet on her wall to communicate with her son is arguably one of the most memorable parts of the show.) Police Chief Jim Hopper is played by David Harbour, and is a character you surprisingly end up really relating to. He has depth to him that is revealed more and more throughout the season, which paints him as one of the main protagonists of the story. You of course cannot forget Will’s best friends Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin). They are hilarious, adorable and everything you imagine a group of young boys growing up in the 1980s would be like. You even get a look in to the lives of Mike’s older sister Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and her high school relationships. They also somehow get thrown in to the disorder caused by the “Upside Down”, and it makes for great supporting characters to round out the story.
Then you have Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). No question that this is the most outstanding performance of the entire series. Eleven is a young girl who has escaped from the secret lab, where it is eventually revealed that the gateway to “the Upside Down” is opened from. Her scared yet strong, and lovingly protective demeanor all shine through exquisitely as she learns how to cope in the surroundings she finds herself in. On a related note, if you like nothing else about this show (which would be crazy), you will certainly enjoy the chemistry between Eleven and Mike. Brown and Wolfhard are oozing with talent and cuteness, and you can’t help but root for this duo.
As the first season closes out, they leave a great lead -in to the upcoming second season, which premieres October 27. Just in time to hype you up for the holiday weekend!
Stranger Things is clever, suspenseful, funny and original. It takes you through every emotion of the wide variety of characters they include in the story. Definitely get on this bandwagon if you haven’t, and prepare for an epic new season that I have no doubt will be just as good (if not better) than the first.
Rating: 9.3 Missing Barbs out of 10 (93%)