So if you haven’t already seen the new flavour of the month/week/if you don’t talk about it within the next hour your officially the uncoolest of the uncool, then you should really read on. It’s called Stranger Things and it had everyone crazy about Netflix doing a lot less chilling and a lot more watching (like they need the subscription help). There is a plethora of reasons to watch; the totally bitchin' soundtrack that will have you reliving the 80’s, the totally tubular & stylistic editing that will have you reliving the 80’s, the gnarly characters fleshed out with a generous amount of depth that will have you reliving the 80’s, so yeah if you hadn’t guessed it is set firmly in this pop culture rich decade.
Now with the never-ending, please I beg you stop reboots that have invaded Hollywood, banking on you wanting to relive the good old days because let’s face it, you’re old, you may feel the need to stay clear of anything nostalgia ridden – please do not. Stranger Things is so damn good because there’s no “hey mum look at me, I’m on Netflix, I’m on Netflix” showboating, no weird and unrealistic nod of acknowledgement between two dinosaur clones that really would and should tear each other apart, but instead have teamed up for an Avengers moment, no old action star trying to detract from his infidelities by revamping his action career and no unnecessary addition of Jayden Smith.
What Stranger Things does and does so perfectly is give you the nostalgia by paying homage rather than taking the lazy route; little Easter eggs here and there but without the wink wink, a lack of cell phones replaced by walkie talkies to aid the course of the road least travelled without seeming obvious or odd. Nostalgia feels best when it’s untainted and Stranger Things delivers and then some.
I mean there is the fact that there’s a scary alternate universe monster stealing people, a preteen girl with psionic powers (acted by the ‘watch this space’ newcomer Millie Bobby Brown), a cool guy with hair that would probably be made a meme out of in today’s society, a manic Winona Ryder, who despite crying the entire time has finally made her comeback and a slickly made opening intro, there’s that, but does it really matter, cause you know, 80’s! I do have to mention that I was born in 1991, not an 80’s baby whatsoever. Okay now you thinking you just wasted the past minute reading something from someone who doesn’t really know anything, (you darn 80’s hipsters) but I truly think this confirms why this show has done such a superb job at nailing the rad vibe - I feel like I was. I was watching thinking to myself, “those were the days, I mean I wasn’t alive in those days, but whatever”.
In a time when we are all so connected by technology, Stranger Things is a breath of fresh air, it’s an ironic holiday from the tech world we a drowning in as seen through whatever we used to stream the series. It’s that familiar feeling of a time gone by that gives this smash hit its (bleeding) heart and (please don’t steal my) soul.
4 out of 5 stars