I have to be completely honest, I usually don’t take television show recommendations from friends let alone twitter and the reason is simple; The Flash, Gotham and Empire, which was why I knew I was on to something when I took a particular interest in Stranger Things off a thread compiled by one of my followers. I saw the poster and immediately made a mental note to check it out. A couple of days went by without me implementing – much to the delight of my bad habit but just like in the show, something kept calling me; something I had no choice but to answer to. So with a heart full of hope and a head full of doubts I decided to binge watch this show and to my surprise, how good the episodes turned out to be left me agog for the next one.
Set in 1983 and filled with popular culture references, Stranger things enters the minds of four or would I say three geeky high school kids considering that one was abducted 15 minutes into the first episode by an alien from an alternate dimension opened by the scientists at Hawkins. This alien drags Will into a different dimension the kids call the “Upside Down” and they are left with trying to find a gate to the other dimension and save their friend who somehow still communicates with his mother Joyce.
Will’s mother Joyce is played by Winona Ryder who made no mistake in all 8 episodes. Joyce having lost her husband to the city stays alone with her two kids and has to work at a grocery store everyday even on Christmas and Thanksgiving Day to make sure the boys lacked nothing. Undoubtedly the star of the show so far, Joyce remained unhinged and edgy as expected and even when the show got crazy, it really never was anything near her own crazy. The scene where she had to take in two weeks advance to get Christmas lights in an attempt to communicate with her son remains one of my favourites. Thought crazy, Joyce was alone with no one to share her beliefs until Chief Police Hooper who lost his daughter to cancer earlier before the incident began stumbles upon the secret laboratory and blows their cover open. Hooper bonds with Joyce and they both begin a series of investigation which would lead to Will’s discovery.
There’s no way i can talk about this show without making mention of Eleven, aka L. It’s sweet when a character can win your heart with as little as 50 words all season; she barely said anything but her eyes did most of the talking.
Eleven was taken from her mother who was a volunteer in the Hawkin test programs. Unknown to her mother, she was pregnant at the time of the test and before L was born, she was taken away. She somehow develops super telekinesis abilities and is taken to be groomed into some weapon. She runs away through the sewer and finds herself mixed up with Will’s friends Lucas, Dustin and Mike to complete the quartet and assist in the search for Will.
You’d be surprised to find that in the middle of all this mess, there’s still the triangular love thing happening. Intelligent and attractive Nancy falls in love with charming bad boy Steve and during a party night she loses her tag along friend to the alien. In an attempt to find her, she teams up with nerdy-timid Jonathan Byers, Will’s brother and Steve gets jealous... LIKE C’MONNNN CAN’T YOU SEE THERE’S BIGGER FISH TO FRY?
The rest of the supporting characters really did a good job.
Everyone was brilliant. Lucas’ scepticism, Dustin’s appetite for adventure and other things, even mad scientist Dr. Martin Brenner was excellent. Although Netflix haven’t started the renewal process for a second season, I honestly can’t wait for this one to return.