Stranger Things happening on TV and I love it!

Get ready for a major throwback to the 80s! What could be better than that?

Hadi Ahmad October 06, 2016
There has been a lot of buzz regarding the new show on Netflix called Stranger Things, directed by the Duffer brothers. It seems like every other day a new show comes along and creates hype, but then subsides - unless of course it is the Game of Thrones. Having said that, there are a lot of things that make the series Stranger Things very strange, but in a good way.

Stranger Things – a massive throwback Thursday

It’s a #TBT minimised into a visualised TV show. So what could be better than a throwback to the early 80s – a time when E.T. was released. The show is about the disappearance of a young boy named Will (), and a telekinetic girl called ‘011’ (read: Eleven), who helps his friends, Mike, Lucas and Dustin in their search for him, while the boy’s older brother Jonathan (), his mother Joyce (), and the town police chief Jim Hopper () start their own investigation. The show repeatedly indicates E.T. moments, for instance, the main characters are busy playing Dungeons and Dragons in the pilot episode – that happens to be the famous board game played in the first scene of E.T.

Millie Bobby Brown as 011 in Stranger Things (2016).Photo: IMDb

Stranger Things was released on July 15, 2016. On August 31, 2016, Netflix renewed it for a second season of nine episodes, to be released in 2017. It lived up to the expectation of being strange because of the normality it maintained in the premise of oddly haunted situations where nothing is realistic enough for the audience to accept. But the authentic performance of the actors convinced us that these troubles are possible.

The utmost beauty of the show is the distribution of the plot amongst its cast members. It keeps us involved, regardless of the constant changes the inner story-lines have between characters. Remember the time whilst watching Game of Thrones we’d yawn when Samwell Tarly and Gilly talked about learning how to read a book, at a time when fire-breathing dragons flew across their world?

A telekinetic girl who helps her friends in their search.Photo; IMDB

Stranger Things handles the aspect of plot distribution extremely well. From the way Joyce, mother of the abducted child, overlooks many traumatic features, to the way Detective Hopper digs deeper into the bigger picture of CIA involvement.

One feature that makes the show worth watching is how (unrealistically) the story is narrated through the eyes of the children. That form of  vulnerability is a new perspective, and we fall into the trap of the innocence of the kids as opposed to logical thinking. Similarly, the teen romance and desire to kill the abductor is governed by the youth. Thus, as the show unfolds, you realise that many parts of life are seemingly missing. You won’t think about romance until you come across Jonathan and Nancy (Natalia Dyer). Hence, these trivial things add to what the show is all about.

Stranger things: Stranger characters

Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) has managed to create a lot of fan following due to his wittiness and acting skills. If you have not seen Stranger Things yet, I urge you to watch the series solely for this boy. Dustin has Cleidocranial Dysplasia due to which he has a lisp – this only gives us more reason to adore him. He manages to bring humour to the table even when the storyline is dark and serious. As the plot thickens, Dustin’s humour decreases and this play of ‘dark versus light’ gives the show a unique angle.

Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), 011 (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) in Stranger Things (2016).Photo: IMDB

It’s safe to say that the audience gets attached to the main characters in the first episode. This is largely because the characters are young in age, resulting in the viewer’s becoming parentally protective about them.

Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), 011 (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) in Stranger Things (2016).Photo: IMDB

Cliff-hangers? A thing of past

Since the release of Arrow, it seemed like every episode left us hanging until the next, which got very saturating to watch. Arrow is not the only show on the list of cliff-hanger climaxes; The Flash, The Walking Dead and even Breaking Bad are no different in that sense. In this regard, Stranger Things gives you the thrill of the climax, lets you bask in it and brings you back to the storyline satisfied with what you first witnessed.

Joyce (Winona Ryder), Nancy (Natalia Dyer), and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) in Stranger Things (2016).
Photo: IMDB
Staying true to its name, Stranger Things definitely shows audiences that young actors can provide exposure to a new realm of TV.

Hadi Ahmad
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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