SERIES REVIEW: Stranger Things

★★★★★ 5/5

Stranger Things, right? Everyone is watching it. It sure seems to be talked about a lot, and it got a second season. That means it's popular.

I came across the first season on accident when it was brand new. I was hanging out with a friend, browsing Netflix, and we saw this show called Stranger Things. We read the blurb and decided to give it a shot. Best decision ever? Okay, maybe not, but it was certainly a good one!

We were both hooked by episode 1. When my friend went home, she binged the season with her husband, and I ended up binging the season as well. Season 1 was a good standalone, and I was actually satisfied with how it ended even though the ending grabbed us with a "BUT." It was a big thing too. They led the viewer to believe everything got wrapped up and BAM!

"Just kidding! The story is not over." - the creators. (Not a real quote.)

They obviously wanted us to like the show enough to get a season 2, and it happened. BECAUSE THEY DID GOOD.

So, what is Stranger Things? Well, it's a sci-fi with mystery and horror elements set in the 80s. I'm looking at you Ready Player One. All the 80s. Like Ready Player One, be prepared for 80s references if you choose to embark on this journey. Don't worry if you aren't into the 80s though, both stories are solid without understanding all the references.

For some reason, I hesitate to call Stranger Things "horror," but I'm weird when it comes to the horror genre. And picky. There's intense stuff in Stranger Things, creatures from another dimension. The dimension itself is dark and eerie, the Upside Down. The Upside Down is gloomy and scary, horror-like, but it's also mysterious. The mystery is the strongest element in the story if you ask me.

We follow several different characters of various ages in the story. We have junior high kids, high schoolers, and adults. I have to confess that I am not well-informed when it comes to actors and their names. I know. I'm weird. But I know a good performance when I see it. The cast in this show is stellar. I was especially impressed with the kids, and Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven, my favorite character!

Eleven is the center of everything in this story. She's got psychic powers! The whole reason the other dimension and its critters are terrorizing our world is because of her, but it isn't her fault. She was forced to do it. And now everyone is going to suffer for it. It all starts with a missing kid.

I don't want to say more than that because spoilers, and you should REALLY go check out the show for yourself. As a whole, I didn't have any complaints about the series. I enjoyed it every step of the way. I know season 2 had some mixed feelings, on a certain episode in particular, but I felt everything was properly in its place. Season 2 ends again with a finished-for-now kind of ending. There's plenty they can do with a third season, so I hope it happens, but if it doesn't, I'm very satisfied with how season 2 ended. RECOMMEND.

The last bit of praise I have to give this show is the music. I love movie and video game soundtracks. I listen to them like an addict every time I'm writing. When a game or a movie doesn't deliver a memorable soundtrack, it makes me so sad. Stranger Things delivers the memorable. Each track adds to the mood, the sci-fi, the mystery, the suspense, and the "horror." I love reliving those feelings by listening to the soundtrack over and over again. If you're a music junkie like me, make sure you check out the soundtracks for seasons 1 and 2.

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