Cover image via.
I didn’t mean to be late to the Stranger Things party, but that’s just how things happened.
Terry and I were binge-watching Wayward Pines on Hulu when Stranger Things was released on Netflix. The first thing I noticed is both shows are tied to the Duffer Brothers. Terry and I were really enjoying Wayward Pines, so when we finished Season 2, we knew we’d move on to Stranger Things.
In Episode 2 of Season 2 of Wayward Pines, we just… weren’t really feeling it anymore. The plot took a turn, a character committed suicide, and we were just pretty sad and dissatisfied with the direction of Season 2. So, we stopped watching TV shows on streaming services for a solid month.
Not for lack of trying on my part.
I’d seen talk of Stranger Things on Twitter, and none of it was bad. Every single tweet about Stranger Things I saw was that it was amazing. I learned that the show opens with the four main boys playing D&D. “D&D, Terry! How could you not want to watch this?” He just raised his eyebrows at me.
Last week, I sat in my garage with the car running listening to Ari Shapiro’s NPR interview with the Duffer Brothers. The moment they said their concept for the show wasn’t storyboards or test footage, but ’70s and ’80s films cut together, including scenes from E.T. cut together with the score of John Carpenter’s The Thing (one of Terry’s favorite movies), I knew we had. to. watch. this. show.
Finally, last Monday, we started watching. On Friday night, we finished. As soon as the credits rolled on the last episode, my first thought was, Why is this only eight episodes???
The reason it’s only eight episodes is because it didn’t need any more in the first season. It told a perfectly arced story in less than eight hours: There’s something fishy going on in a government facility, a boy goes missing, a girl shows up, and everything goes upside down. The best part about Stranger Things is the strange alliance between adults, teenagers, and kids that works better than I’ve ever seen it work before, even better than Harry Potter. Set everything in 1983 in a small Indiana town with a synth-y soundtrack and Star Wars references, and you have me hooked.
Stranger Things is on Netflix and you should watch it right now.
Just keep the lights on.
And try not to have your heart stolen by Gaten Matarazzo.