Stranger Things is a new suspense supernatural sci fi original drama created for Netflix. Its based in a small Indiana town in 1983, it’s near nostalgic homage to popular science fictional supernatural dramas of it’s era. It uses well crafted synth music, pop culture references and realistic fashion and wardrobe to tell a coming of age story for a group of young children as they face death, grief, love, friendship as they journey into adolescence.
It’s important to approach and analyse the television phoneomen that is Stranger Things away from the the major initial internet hype surrounding the series when it was released on Netflix earlier this spring 2016. With the internet readily giving free open reviews on style, themes, spoilers and character details, I decided to view it much later. I admit it actually lives up to the hype and it’s reputation as one of the must see see sci fi and supernatural dramas to view this year. It’s a strong first season and every the continued over discussion of it may make it difficult for production to surpass such immediate success.
At it’s core Stranger Things is a glorious clever patchwork of all things 80s, coming of age and pop culture. It’s self aware of this straight to highlighting this in the beautiful synth led opening credits to art work which has been showcased around the programme. This works well and is not hap-dash. It really is a genuine homage to an age of 70/80s film production.
Back to coming of age this group of young children live in the suburbs and in the beginning lead pretty average expected quaint young preteen lives. Their world is rocked by the loss of a childhood friend which is unbearable to the community and makes them have to quickly address, life, death, loss and the existence of the paranormal; while trying to maintain friendships through puberty. The music is an extremely important part of the theme and style of the overall tone of Stranger Things. Considering it’s originally composed as well even Joy Division be used as score, the soundtrack has become one of the most defining things viewers remember. This season has seen the comeback of Winona Ryder in a serious lengthy dramatic role and showcased a wealth of young actors no know on a large Hollywood scale. The tension and wait for next year season two has many hoping it lives to it’s original great season premiere.