"Stranger Things": Season 1 Non-Spoiler Review
At this point, we expect for pretty much every show that Netflix pumps out to be pretty good. They will come up short at some point though, and honestly I thought Stranger Things would be their first dud. The trailer for the show didn't necessarily grasp me and I was fairly concerned about most of the main cast being made up of children. But I was completely wrong to rush to that judgement based off of the trailer because Stranger Things is a great show.
When the show first came out and reviews started to hit the internet, the biggest thing I noticed was that the majority of critics loved the 80s feel to it. Now, I wasn't alive in the 80s so I haven't seen a whole lot of 80s stuff in my life, but I have seen most of the famous movies from the 80s so I understood what they were talking about. Anyway, I definitely agree that the 80s vibe of Stranger Things is the biggest selling point besides the story itself. It just feels different from most other shows on TV right now, and that's a good thing. Also, don't get me started on the theme song, because it is SO good that I could listen to it for hours. I still get goose bumps every time I hear it. With all of that being said though, let's get into my thoughts on Stranger Things.
Stranger Things starts out with a group of kids playing Dungeons and Dragons, and then eventually they all head home. But one of the kids mysteriously disappears before he gets back to his house and we're off to the races. First it's just his mom searching for him and then the entire town is searching for him. As the search goes on, and his friends continue to look for him, we find out that this isn't a typical missing person case. I won't go into anymore detail so I don't spoil anything but once you get to this point in the show, you'll be pretty damn hooked and will probably binge the entire season in one day.
The story of Stranger Things is pretty close to perfect. Its got a great mixture of humor, action, and mystery. It's mysterious enough to make you want to binge watch the entire show and the humor and action keeps you engaged all the way through each episode. It will also have a very nostalgic feel for anyone that grew up in the 80s. If you like E.T. or Poltergeist, you'll definitely enjoy this show. The only thing about the show's story that I was kind of iffy about is how the monster seemed a little underpowered to me, but that's more of a personal preference. Some people don't really like it when the "big bad" seems almost untouchable or over powered compared to the protagonists. And I don't necessarily want that either, but there was a lot of build up to a couple of different show downs with the monster, and a few of them left me a little disappointed. I bet the casual viewer won't really mind though, and it's a pretty minor thing regardless. Anyway, the plot of Stranger Things season one starts and finishes strong, and I can't wait for season two.
Not only is the plot of Stranger Things very good, but the cast is great. The three kids (Mike, Dustin, and Lucas) who spend the entire season trying to find Will are great (the actor who plays Will is great too). They're funny, intelligent, and compassionate. Hell, I honestly was pretty concerned about the three of the main characters being kids but they knocked it out of the park. Next up is Eleven, who happens to be another kid, and she is by far the best character on the show. The performance of the young actress who portrayed her has to be considered one of the best kid performances in recent memory. She's really that good. Chief Hopper will take a while to gain your trust but by the end you'll be a fan of him. And then we have the two teenagers (Nancy and Jonathan), who I feel like could have played a much bigger role than they did but they do well with what they are given. Finally we have Joyce Byers and she was really the only character that I wasn't a huge fan of. There's a point in the story where she goes completely mental and it just got a bit annoying after a bit. Why she goes a bit crazy is completely understandable, and I think it's pretty obvious that we were meant to get a little annoyed with her. But still, it dropped her character's stock just a little bit for me.
If you like sci-fi, horror, a great story, or 80s movies, then you'll love this show. I think most people will enjoy it even if they're not a sci-fi fan, but it really just depends on each person.
As far as who CAN watch this show. I'd say kids that are 13 or older can watch this show.
I didn't expect for Stranger Things to be a great show, but it is a great show. And if season two meets the bar set by the first season, Stranger Things could easily become one of the best shows of all time. It's definitely the best show of this year so far (I'd say Mr. Robot is number two right now). So yeah, if you haven't seen it yet, fire up Netflix right now and watch the pilot. If you don't have Netflix, you're crazy.