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8 Reasons You Should Be Watching Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’

Stranger_Things_TitleI have a certified Netflix addiction. And the newest Netflix series Stranger Things, is a magical mixture of youth, science fiction, the ’80s, and wonder.

I’m an ’80s baby. And being born in the early ’80s means I’ve been uniquely positioned to watch the rapid pace at which our world has progressed. I remember a time before cell phones, even before beepers. I remember those early Apple computers and the dawning of computer labs. I remember MC Hammer, PM Dawn, and two different eras of New Edition. And I was still young enough to have memories of the Terminator, E.T., and The Goonies. That’s why Netflix’s new original series Stranger Things had a stranglehold on my life for a few days.

Here are 8 reasons you should let Stranger Things have the same control over your life:

1. The show gave life to everything good about the ’80s

The ’80s were a special time when phones were attached to walls by cords, kids had the free rein to roam their neighborhoods on bikes until the streetlights came on, and walkie talkies the size of milk cartons were technological innovations. And for many millennials, we fondly remember the simplicity of that life. Now, throw in something (read: someone) radically different and there’s bound to be a disturbance worth watching.

2. Stranger Things leans heavily on nostalgia

The showmakers could have taken the easy route and fallen into the common tropes of today’s entertainment, but Netflix is clearly becoming one of the best places to take a few risks. The series comes together as a slick and modern play on E.T., but it also sources a long list of references from other movies from the late 70’s and early 80’s. The allusions and almost shot by shot comparisons are so plentiful, there are dozens of lists out on the internet (like this one) that attempt to chronicle them all.

3. Humanity and how it bonds us together

with the foreign entity falling into the care of children and all of those involved leaning on each other for support and protection. The foreign entity in this case is not an extraterrestrial, but instead, a superpowered little girl. And as a group of three boys take her in, teach her English, and demonstrate how to interact with other humans, she helps them to embarrass the boys that bully them, and eventually, thwart the government agents that come to target their group.

4. There’s heavy stuff too

I won’t go into detail here, outlining the show and spoiling all of its goodness, but there are also much heavier elements at play. In many of the plotlines that run through the short episodes, parents have to deal with the loss of their children. They even take on the subject of losing one’s virginity in a much more layered and nuanced fashion than we usually see.

5. The music is perfection

One of the most important or any masterful thriller or horror film is the music. And in Stranger Things, this delicate touch is achieved through synthwave music. Generally seen as a subset of pop music, the synth songs employed through each of the episodes take on a new feel, building the suspense and science fiction elements to create a creep factor that is out of this world. Even just watching the opening credits gives me goosebumps.

6. Stranger Things champions the weird and different

The circle of friends at the center of the series are science nerds that play Dungeons and Dragons for hours at a time. The “cool” kids get exposed for their lack of substance. And the pairing of a teenage avid photographer and the school’s resident goodie two-shoes go the lengths of raiding an army surplus store for an array of weapons and traps to subdue an otherworldly predator.

7. That black kid is everything

Every sci-fi production needs that one character that reacts the way you would when presented with the impossible. And in Stranger Things, that character is Lucas Sinclair (played by Caleb McLaughlin). He clearly lives in a predominantly white area and has to cope with always being the only black kid. But in spite of that, he is very very black. Lucas is blackity black.

He doesn’t trust anybody new.

Caleb McLaughlin As Lucas Sinclair_Stranger Things2

He continually questions the nonsensical plans his friends keep making.

Caleb McLaughlin As Lucas Sinclair_Stranger Things1

And when he’s done going along with plans that he knows won’t work, he strikes out on his own with every weapon he can find as protection. To top it off, he knows how to talk shit when necessary.

Caleb McLaughlin As Lucas Sinclair_Stranger Things

8. The door is wide open for the show to grow in scope in further seasons

One of the aspects that was so enjoyable about Stranger Things‘s Season One was that you could never be sure of what was coming next. The show is heavily steeped in mystery and the unexplained. As a viewer, you don’t know if the things you see will be explained or not. This made the reveals all the more powerful, but it also left a long list of questions for us after completing the season. And if Netflix knows what’s good for them, they’ll renew the series and give us a few more answers.

 

Photo credit: Netflix

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Daren W. Jackson

Co-Founder/Editor
Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.

Comments

comments

  • Kid appropriate? What age range?

    • That’s a tough one. It is not especially graphic, but there are some adult themes (implied, but not shown sex; cursing; death). And that’s not even touching on the sheer creepiness/scariness that builds from episode to episode. At one point, my 8-year-old came into the room while we were watching, and I didn’t let him stay. My personal judgement would probably be like 12+.

    • That’s a tough one. It is not especially graphic, but there are some adult themes (implied, but not shown sex; cursing; death). And that’s not even touching on the sheer creepiness/scariness that builds from episode to episode. At one point, my 8-year-old came into the room while we were watching, and I didn’t let him stay. My personal judgement would probably be like 12+.