In America’s most recent wave of Nostalgia, Stranger Things is a Netflix original that pays homage to the sometimes cheesy, sometimes outrageous world of 80s sci-fi. If you’re not new to the genre, nothing about the plot of the show will surprise you, but it will definitely hold your attention. Since I tend to stray away from doing traditional reviews, I’ll just tell you, in no particular order, the things I found most entertaining about this show:
- Possibly a biased opinion from a girl who’s currently obsessed with Pokemon Go, but I just love that Dustin is dressed like Ash. Someone give that kid a Pokeball; I’m sure there’s something rare in the Upside-Down.
- Steve’s gravity defying hair. Not since my last k drama have I been so thoroughly distracted and fascinated by a male lead’s hairstyle. I really hope in subsequent seasons it’s used as a portal for other-worldly creatures, because watching creepy monsters emerge from it would be amazing.
- In any speculative fiction there’s always at least one element of the plot that has to be left sloppy for the story line to progress. In this show, it’s the complete ineptitude of Karen Wheeler. (or maybe it’s 11’s inexplicable inability to form coherent sentences- but that’s more annoying than entertaining). She’s possibly the worst mother in the history of forever. In a week her daughter lost her v-card and then had a sleep over with a different guy, while her son harbored an escapee from a government facility in the basement. And she had no clue about any of it. Like…how do you not notice there’s an extra person living in your house for an entire week? How do you not check on your kids and know their general whereabouts, especially considering two of their close friends have gone missing? At least the dad’s excuse is that he’s not even trying, but Karen just gets a major FAIL, and her attempts at getting her kids to actually obey the curfew or open up to her get increasingly comical.
- LUCAS! Also known as the token black kid. I’m on episode 5 and he’s my hero. You know how you go to the movies and Becky is home alone taking a shower when she hears a strange noise? And instead of doing something normal like calling Tommy’s cell or locking the door, Becky wanders around aimlessly screaming out names of people she knows aren’t home? And then Becky does something even more idiotic: If she gets chased she veers into a forest instead of staying in the residential neighborhood, or runs upstairs where there’s no possible way for her to escape? And you know how there’s a group of black people in the back of the theater screaming at Becky to stay in the house or run in a zig zag pattern? What I’m saying is that Lucas is basically the personification of every black person who’s ever watched a horror movie. And I’m here for him so clearly vocalizing every thought I’ve ever had, telling young Mike not to trust these hoes, and then strapping up like the G he is. Although I’m 95% sure he’ll still die in the end, I’m here for his contributions to pop culture and the memes that will surface once people really get on this show.
- 80s nerd culture. I’m a 90s baby and in typical Millennial fashion don’t think anything that came before me (or the internet) is really worth knowing about. So I’m sure there were lots of references made that I didn’t notice and wouldn’t care about if I did. But what I DO appreciate is the humbling reminder that nerding ain’t always been easy. In 2016 it’s cool know all the plotlines of Marvel and DC, be tech savvy, and play Pokemon. But replace Pokemon with D&D, and a few decades ago, these same interests were grounds for social isolation and physical torment. And while it’s occasionally annoying to have so many people dabbling in the lifestyle, it’s actually kind of cool to see how much better it is for geeks these days.
So if you’re into conspiracy theories, MK Ultra, completely non-scary thrillers, and loosely explained sci-fi, this is definitely the show for you.