Review: Stranger Things (2016)

This contains no spoilers

Star rating: Star rating of 1 and a half

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Netflix recently released an 8 episode series called Stranger Things. Chances are you know this, have already watched it and told all of your mates. This review is not for you (that was reverse psychology to keep you reading). This review is for the TV cynics, the science fiction haters and people who live underneath rocks.

Stranger Things is a sci-fi, supernatural fiction, drama, horror, mystery, thriller, with a very enthusiastic early audience. I'm not going to give away anything about the plot in this post, because that's not how this thing works.

I recently posted a Facebook status that looked like this:

Have you seen Stranger Things on Netflix? 😱

My friends were all trolling me because of how much everyone had already been talking about it by the time I appeared, two weeks late, with my emojis.

Unless it's a comedy, I begrudge giving my time to a television series which could end up being 16 million episodes long. That's the beauty of movies, I know that I'm in for a few hours of viewing and then I can walk away, without feeling committed, contractually obliged or even loathed to come back every week. Shows like Eastenders seem to be proof you can simultaneously loathe and yet be chained to something on your TV.

Anyway, I haven't seen more than a few episodes of Lost, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Dexter or Game of Thrones, and I gave up on The Walking Dead after series 3. I didn't feel compelled to watch any one of them.

I gave Stranger Things a try on a whim, and proceeded to watch the whole damn series in a 3 day binge.

I don't know why. On paper it's not my thing, even if it were a movie instead of a Netflix original. Sci-fi? No thanks.

But the producers and cast have created something so irresistible and well-rounded that I can't stop thinking about it. If Netflix keep this up, I'm going to have to make time in my life to watch more TV.

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Why you should watch Stranger Things

Here's my reasons why it's amazing and why you should watch it all in one sitting:

  • Set in the 80's with the coolest brand of nostalgia.
  • Awesome soundtrack (really, awesome).
  • Delightful cast of talented kids (who are all on Instagram).

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  • An imaginative plot that keeps you guessing, to the point where by episode 6 you're still asking your cat what she thinks about your theories.
  • The series is only 8 emotionally charged, action packed and tension-building episodes long.
  • It's scary enough to be a thriller and not too scary to the point where you call your mother at 3am.
  • Winona Ryder loses her shit.
  • There's some baddies for you to really passionately despise, which is always nice.
  • Several potential love stories to follow, it can't all be monsters and bad guys.
  • A satisfying ending with lots of room for development.

So for those of you out there who are reading this, cynical like me, thinking "I'm not going to watch this just because everyone else has". Stop it at once and get yourself a lot of snacks and something to hide behind. Sit in a dark room and turn the sound up.

I haven't felt the escapism and thrill that Stranger Things gave me from any movie or TV episode in years.

Patiently waiting for more. Read: researching every possible theory and back story on the internet every day, instead of doing real work.