Stranger Things

Get Your Nostalgia Fix From Netflix’s Latest Sci-Fi Gem

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Jake Jasko
Assistant-Editor-in-Chief

Stranger Things oozes everything I want a TV show to ooze: style, plot, and fantastic dialogue.

The show is a science-fiction horror thriller set in small-town America. There are woods, high schools, rustic homes and, of course, secret government facilities. The opening shots of the first episode evoke so many familiar feelings. The flashing lights, the blaring alarms, the unknown stalking towards the camera.

Every single moment of the hour-long episode is spent setting up for something massive. I was reminded strongly of Alien – the fact that we spend so long without knowing anything about our creature, our monster, is what makes it all the more terrifying. The added introduction and subtle explanation of our main characters serves only to contrast this. Even the opening sequence is insanely nostalgic, with light synths and neon lighting that really takes you back to a time before the slickly animated title cards and opening credits of today’s television.

Stranger Things is, without a doubt, the show I’ve always wanted to watch. It’s made for late nights on the couch with all the lights off…made for popping a big bowl of popcorn and binge-watching all eight hours of 80’s horror movie nostalgia… for bumping up your heart rate, making your chest that smallest bit tighter and your hair stand up on the back of your neck.

I’ll admit that Stranger Things calls to the part of me that feeds off of cheesy dialogue, TV tropes and nostalgia, but it does so in a way that doesn’t feel forced. It feels right and ironically, considering the show’s premise, natural. Escapee telepath with no name? Check. Small town cop with a drinking problem? Check! Stereotypical high school bully, complete with goonsquad? Double check.

It’s the combination of these tropes, stereotypes, allusions and homages to a bygone age of cinema and television that makes my very soul happy. It makes me want to just never leave my couch and keep watching and watching, waiting for that newly-announced second season to take me back to 1985 so I can enjoy The Breakfast Club, The Goonies or Back to the Future all over again.

Is Stranger Things for everyone? Nope, probably not. But if you have a single nerdy bone in your body, if you feel a craving for neon lights, fanny packs and MTV, then sit your butt down and get a Netflix subscription, because Stranger Things is game over, man. Game over!

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