Okay, I know I don’t usually review TV, in fact that’s my other gig over at Booknista. However this is a very special exception and let’s be honest here…Who didn’t watch Stranger Things as an 8 hour movie?
Please welcome guest blogger, Theresa Braun! She was kind enough to put on her reviewer hat and tell us what she thought of Netflix’s new phenom.
When Stephen King endorsed this show, I embarked on a weekend binge. I soon found out why he must have liked it so much. The endearing child characters and the dynamic between them are akin to stories like Stand By Me. And with so many movies and television shows predominantly driven by teenagers or adults, “Stranger Things” feels fresh. If you are drawn to science fiction and horror, you should definitely fire up your Netflix account.
What It’s About…
When a 12-year-old boy named Will Byers disappears in 1983, his friends band together to find him. Luckily for them, they stumble upon a psychokinetic girl who holds secrets vital to their mission—and, not to mention, can help them kick some ass. Meanwhile, the boy’s mother, older brother and small town police chief launch their own investigation. What is to blame? A government agency that controls the entire town of Hawkins, Indiana and the supernatural force it has unleashed through a portal to another dimension.
The writing of the first season follows the traditional three acts, and delivers a satisfying conclusion. Also, there is enough of a cliff hanger that it’s easy to see that there might be a second season in the works. The strong ‘80s vibe is sometimes cheesy, but is what makes the show so fun to watch. If you have an affinity for movies or music of that period, you will not be disappointed.
The young actors deliver particularly gripping performances. Although the rest of the cast does as well, (Matthew Modine becomes a great, sinister antagonist), I found Winona Ryder did too much sniveling. Even in the end when things are resolved and she should be happier, she’s still crying her eyes out.
My additional critique is as follows: Although it is often par for the course in this genre, there were times I had to suspend my disbelief. For example, the Walkie Talkies are always charged when needed and seemed to be more powerful than they would have been in reality, but that is probably me nit-picking. And, when Barbara goes missing, it bothered me that the town just writes her off as having run away. Even when she is found trapped in the “upside down,” it pained me that the tragedy was glossed over.
Overall, I have to say I was expecting a bit more from the season. I wanted to be so hooked on each episode that I couldn’t tear myself away. It was missing that element for me. And, I wanted to know more about that parallel world. Although the writers might be saving that for season two, I would have liked more. Will I watch the next season (if there is one)? I’m on the fence. But, I’m now inspired to seek out some ‘80s flicks.
My Rating: B-
This is why it is so nice to have a fresh perspective, because honestly, I loved this show so much I probably would have given it an A+++ Have I mentioned, one of my favourite movies is the Goonies?