I know I’m late in watching and reviewing this! I watched it maybe 2 weeks ago, but the show has stuck with me so well! I feel like I can still feel the atmosphere and tone of the show even if I watched it recently. That’s the sign of a great show which this is.
For those of you who have missed the hype for the show somehow, Stranger Things is about the mystery surrounding this kid, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) in this small Indiana town in 1983. It revolves around his mom, Joyce (Winona Ryder) and his friends who meet a new friend, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). They are being chased by an unknown pseudo-government entity led by Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine). There’s also some side stories including Will’s older brother, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton).
This show perfectly uses 80’s references. Will’s friends who are Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) are playing Dungeons and Dragons in the beginning. They reference different parts of the game throughout the story that makes it feel believable. The largest use of this is when their friend goes missing and they can’t find him. So they compare where their friend went to a location in the game and is defended by a different character in the game. The score fits perfectly with the theme as well. There are also some familiar shots reminiscent of some older TV shows.
The performances in this show stand out as another strong suit. Winona Ryder is back and better than ever. I think she’s believable and a joy to watch on screen. I was so surprised immediately when I saw her and she definitely doesn’t disappoint. I swear that her acting made everyone else better. All of the actors connected in such a believable way that I was surprised that the year wasn’t 1983 in real life. They captured the essence so well. The police chief played by David Harbour was equally as fantastic. He stayed with Ryder punch for punch and delivered a phenomenal performance. Natalia Dyer as Nancy and Cara Buono as Karen (Will’s mom) also were great. There were times that I thought that Nancy was the best person in the show. It was the type of show where the best actors were all of the actors. Millie Bobby Brown gave an out of this world performance. She was so great in this role. I was very surprised that such a young actor could display so much emotion. Brown gave a performance that made me believe that I’d known her for a decade. I think we are definitely seeing a young star in the making with Brown. All of the actors were great and off-screen they’re hilarious and wonderful. I know Gaten asks to take pictures with him when people ask to take a picture with him. He and the rest of the cast are just so genuine.
Last great thing was the suspense. There were several things times during the show that I actually had to pause to stop stressing out so much. The action is so intense and sucks you in so much that it’s exhausting at times. I loved that. I loved that the show can make me feel something real. That, in just 6 episodes, I had a deep emotional connection with the character and even the atmosphere. I found myself wanting a rotary phone by the end of the show. The show hits a point where I was so happy that I could watch the next episode immediately or I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. The cliffhangers into the next episode were always great and never forced. I thoroughly enjoyed binge-watching this show.
Overall, this is a near perfect show that you really having to dig into to find the mistakes. It’s definitely one of the best TV shows that I’ve seen ever. The cast was so dynamic and worked so well together that it makes me question why other shows and movies couldn’t have their child actors do such a great job. Obviously, it’s because these kids are professionals and are supremely talented. I would recommend this show to almost anyone. Netflix really out-did themselves here. I think it’s one of the few must-sees in 2016.
Score: 10 out of 10