Stranger Things is an eight-episode horror science-fiction series with the cutest kids in the spotlight.
Stanger Things tells the events surrounding the mysterious disappearance of 12-year old Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) in a small town in Indiana. As Will’s frantic mother, brother, friends, and town mates look for him, they discover something bizarre is afoot in their sleepy neighborhood.
Stanger Things hook audience from the get-go with the adorable dorky (adorkable) kids playing Dungeons and Dragons in the basement for ten hours straight. Let me repeat that, 10 hours. I watched the entire first season of Stranger Things in less time, but I digress which I blame on the numbing pain in my left index finger.
For related entries, please read Stranger Things Season 1 in Dustin Henderson’s Words (Mostly) and Stranger Things Season 2 in the Words of Ghostbusters (Mostly).
Anyhoo, here are 10 things I love about Stranger Things.
- Stranger Things makes anything 80s cool again.
Stranger Things is a trip down the 80s lane with references to works of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and mentions of Poltergeist, Mike Myers, and the music of The Clash, among others. The show is also a reminder when life was simpler. This was before mobile phones became each person’s bestfriend and kids had to make do with walkie talkies to talk to each other. This was when a 22-inch TV was large enough to merit a boast. Of course, Dungeons and Dragons is the focus where the lives of the kids revolve around.
- Stranger Things has positive small-town vibe.
Hawkins, Indiana is a town where neighbors know each other’s name and help each other out. Diner owners feed random kids with burger, fries and ice cream for free. Children can bike around the neighborhood after dark unchaperoned. The crime rate is so low that in four years, the only eventful event that happened there an owl attacking a woman’s hair. This is before Will’s disappearance.
- Stranger Things has adorkable kids.
Eleven or El (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), and Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) make spit swearing less disgusting. 🙂 Their level of intelligence, geekiness, loyalty to each other and bravery (or foolishness) belie their biological ages. They are fun to watch individually or as a group. El is the badass, Mike is the heart, Dustin is the brain and Lucas grounds all of them to reality. Their combination works well because the audience can tell one kid apart from the others for their distinct characteristics and mannerisms. They know how to prepare for a battle with monsters, complete with binoculars from ‘Nam to Nutty Bars. If they just do the same thing to their school bullies. I just have to add that Mike has cheekbones so sharp they can slice cheese.
- Stranger Things has the best group hug.
Eleven saved Mike and Dustin from the school bullies using psychokinesis. After that cool beans moment, the trio hug like a hug is meant for three people all along. Never change guys.
- Stranger Things does The Martian.
Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) pens the English alphabet on the wall of her living room and adds a Christmas light next to each letter to communicate with the “spirit” of Will. This reminds me of one of the ways Mark Watney (Matt Damon) “science the shit” out of his extraterrestrial predicament in The Martian.
- Stranger Things has a cool science teacher.
Scott Clark (Randall P. Havens), the boys’ Science teacher and AV Club adviser supports their scientific inclination. He tells them about the alternate dimensions and, unbeknownst to him, helps them make a makeshift sensory-deprivation tank for Eleven. He seems nice, too. I had my share of Science teachers, more than I care to count, but nobody is as cool as Mr. Clark.
- Stranger Things has a capable chief of police.
Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is the chief of Hawkins Police Department. He likes his Monday mornings filled with “coffee and contemplation” and his bed with warm womanly bodies but he knows his way around missing child case. He works his ass off researching, interviewing or coercing people, lying his way in and out of trouble and in the midst of it all, he retains his humanity to empathize with Joyce Byers.
- Stranger Things has the best kuya (older brother).
Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) is Will’s older brother. He is not a stereotypical teenager who struts around school garbed in the latest shoes with arms draped around the head cheerleader’s waist. Jonathan works to help out their mother financially, cooks breakfast for the family and babysits Will. He has great taste in music, takes decent photos and looks beyond the façade to understand people. He seems well-adjusted for someone who was forced by his father to shoot a kill on his 10th birthday.
- Stranger Things has the cutest loveteam.
Mike and El will make such a cute couple. The conversation between Mike and El about them being “siblings” and the cheesy school dance called Snow Ball is the best awkward conversation I have seen in a while. The reaction of El after Mike kisses her is priceless. I cannot wait for Mikel (I have no idea what fans use as their hydrid name, but Mikel’s a Chelsea FC player, so…) to happen in Season 2 of Stranger Things.
- Stranger Things makes kids say the darnest things.
“Eat shit” and “Bald-faced liar” are self-explanatory, but “Lando” is not. “Lando” is Dustin’s go-to expression to signify a double-crosser. It is based on Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) who betrayed Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and company in The Empire Strikes Back. Lando is like a bat signal for nerds. 🙂 Only nerds will understand when they hear you yell it.
For Stranger Things quotes, please read Stranger Things – Season 1 In Dustin Henderson’s Words (Mostly).