The Stranger Thing is...
It's been a long time since I well and truly binge-watched something. I used to do it back in the good old days of DVD box-sets, where the next episode was literally at your fingertips (your fingertip poised over the "next" button on your DVD remote, to be exact). Netflix is the DVD Box-set for the new generation, but I still hadn't found a show that I could settle into like before. That is, until I encountered Stranger Things.
On paper, Stranger Things shouldn't really be my kind of show. I didn't grow up in the 80s so that nostalgia shouldn't resonate with me. I'm not a fan of horror as a genre, so the spooks should have turned me away. It doesn't star any of pop culture's current darlings, so there wasn't anything to really bait me. Yet, somehow, I ended up binge-watching the entire first season of Stranger Things in the course of 3 days.
Reasons to watch
1. It's Scary… but in a good wayI'm not anything remotely close to a fan of the horror genre, and I'm just two inches away from being a full-on chicken. But Stranger Things delivers the kind of scares that are just spooky enough to get your heart racing, without leaving you running for the door. It cleverly makes use of tension and atmosphere, without resorting to cheap jump scares or gore. This is the good kind of scary.
2. It's funny… and endearingCleverly interweaved into the fabric of thrills and creepiness, is an undeniable sense of humour and fun. It never turns into an outright comedy, but some of the funny moments are so natural and relatable, that you can't help but chuckle. The humour balances out the thrills and breaks up the tension, so we never feel too on-edge.
3. It'll take you back to your childhoodIf you grew up in the 80s, then there's no doubt that everything about this show will trigger your nostalgia. But even if you didn't, Stranger Things manages to perfectly capture the universality of childhood curiosity and imagination. The younger characters feel totally real and relatable. They aren't candy coated to the way adults think kids should be, nor are they overly matured to the point beyond being believable. They're just kids… that's it. They're kids, facing an extraordinary set of events in most likely the same way we would if we were in their situation. And it makes you wanna pull out your board games, save the world from a monster, and then have a sleep over.
4. It's got characters you can relate toWhatever age group you fall into (physically or mentally for that matter), the show has varied perspectives through which to explore the story. Whether you're a parent, kid, teenager, adventurer, coward, nerd, geek, popular-person, loner, cynical, optimistic, you name it, you'll find a character on this show who you can relate to. And more than anything, you will care about them.
4. It's got amazing talent
Have you heard of Millie Bobby Brown? No? You will. That's all I'll say for now…
All of this, plus throw in the fact that it's well-written, beautifully-shot, and has great pacing in terms of story and character development, and you've got a recipe for a supremely entertaining show.
If you haven't seen it yet, I wouldn't want to say anything further than to say, do yourself a favour; watch Stranger Things. Thank me later.