Topic: Stranger Things
I finished watching the new Netflix series, Stranger Things on Sunday. My only regret is that it was only 8 episodes... I wanted more.
The series takes place in 1983. A 12 year old boy goes missing, kicking off a storyline that blends tropes from ET, Poltergeist, Firestarter, The Goonies, and other 80's favorites. While the series draws on these old movies for inspiration, the story is its own unique thing, and the tropes never overshadow the original story that the series is presenting. The characters are still well developed and interesting, whether or not they remind us of characters from other movies.
In terms of production quality, I was incredibly impressed. There have been other shows set in the 80's lately, from The Americans to Dead of Summer, and there are usually details that betray the fact that these characters aren't really in the 80's. A wrong prop here or piece of wardrobe there. Sometimes, the 80's setting can be a gimmick that is thrown around, but not taken seriously. None of this is the case with Stranger Things. If I didn't know some of these actors from other projects, you might be able to fool me into believing that this thing was filmed in the 80's. That setting helps tell this story in the best way that it could be told, because I think that a modern setting would kill this thing. Internet and cell phones ruined storytelling in so many ways.
I can't say enough good things about this series. It was a unique, nostalgic series, created with great care and purpose. The child actors carry a series that is intended for adult viewers, and they do it masterfully. The mythology within the series is clean and well constructed.
If you haven't watched the series yet, I highly recommend it.