“Stranger Things” T.V. Show Review

Unless you’re living under a rock, there’s no way you haven’t heard of this new series. I’ve binge watched it, all of it. Now it’s time to talk about it. This science-fiction mystery horror show debuted all eight episodes of its first season on Netflix on July 15th, 2016, followed by immediate critical acclaim. Created by the Duffer Brothers, the story follows various people in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. On November 6th, 1983, 12-year-old Will Byers goes missing without a trace. While many residents begin their own investigation, a mysterious girl appears, and strange things start happening. Throw in some government secrecy, and we now have a classic 1980s story. And an engrossing one at that. When you take a look at the promos and the premise, you may feel like you’ve seen this hundreds of times before. I’m here to put those predictions to rest, because it just progresses in an absurdly original way. What keeps the narrative fresh is the wide cast, bursting with interesting and unique characters. Perhaps intentionally, it utilizes actors and actresses from the 1980s such as Mathew Modine, Winona Ryder, and David Harbour in key supporting roles. Ryder, in particular, stands out as a grief-stricken mother who will do anything to get her son back. The back-and-forth sway between love and insanity is flawless, and may even score her an Emmy nomination soon in the coming year. Even the child actors are stunning. Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Milly Bobby Brown, Natalia Dyer, and Charlie Heaton provide memorable characters with more dimensions then most cops on police procedurals.  It may be too early to tell, but I believe that each child actor has a bright future ahead of them (As long as they make smart decisions) I haven’t even gotten to the technical part of it. The soundtrack for the series is fantastic. The various pop and rock songs, as well as the opening theme song, solidify the 1980s vibe with aces. The cinematography is equally impressive, with long wide shots contrasted perfectly with close-up camera work. Props to the various directors of photography for giving a wider scope to the world and the story. Perhaps the most impressive technical aspect is the overall atmosphere. It remains consistent throughout every single 52-minute long episode. At times it amplifies the feeling of heartbreak, the next moment could feel absolutely terrifying. But no matter what, it provides an aura of mystery and suspense that keeps you guessing until the very end. In all honesty, finding any flaws in this show would just feel like a chore. If there is one at all, it would have to be the scenes involving the main character’s sister, Nancy. Which may compromise everything I’ve just said, but I found myself slightly less interested during moments centered on her drama. But even then, it was still superbly acted and written character development. No matter how short the first season may be, Stranger Things is by far the best and smartest new television show to debut in a long time. Picking elements from the early works of legends such as Stephen King, David Lynch, and Steven Spielberg, it boasts an incredibly satisfying story with an amazing cast of intriguing characters. After watching the end of the series, I’m not quite sure how the Duffer Brothers can progress into future seasons. But I’m open to the possibilities.

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