Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Carina Julig at Carina.email@example.com.
The summer show everyone has been talking about, Stranger Things, delivers in a big way. A Netflix original, the eight-part series takes its audience back to the 1980s and creates a world brimming with mystery and suspense.
Set in small-town Indiana, the show starts with the disappearance of a young boy, Will. The incident is chalked up to an accident or kidnapping, but develops a supernatural bend as other strange occurrences take place and a monster begins to terrorize the town from the shadows. Up against increasingly dangerous odds, Will’s friends and family race to discover the truth about his whereabouts before it is too late.
In a way, Stranger Things is three shows in one, all slightly different genres. The town sheriff and Will’s mother (played by Winona Ryder) work together in the style of a government conspiracy thriller. Will’s young friends Finn, Dustin and Caleb navigate their own coming-of-age adventure within the story. Will and Finn’s teenage siblings’ story takes on the guise of a high school drama interspersed with monster hunting. When the three groups come together at the end, it creates something entirely unique.
More than anything, Stranger Things is character-driven. The characters all have distinct personalities and motivations, and their interactions with each other is what propelled the show along. I found almost all the characters compelling in their own ways (except Steve), and was especially drawn to El, the mysteriously powerful girl the boys found after Will’s disappearance.
Stranger Things takes full advantage of its setting to employ a truly 80’s flair, and its distinctive musical soundtrack was part of what made it so enjoyable. Everything from the costumes to the boys’ radios helped ground the show in its era, making its many outlandish plot points believable.
On Aug. 31, a second season was officially announced. Coming out in 2017, it will be set in 1984, the year of The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, and The Terminator. I look forward to seeing what cultural references and new mysteries season two will include, and until then will be eagerly waiting for its release.