Stranger Things To Reboot In 2017
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“Strangely” enough, the most popular show of the summer, only in its first season, is now being renewed for its second.
Stranger Things is a new science fiction TV show set in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. When a young boy, Will, played by Noah Schnapp, goes missing, events take a strange turn in Hawkins as his three friends (Mike, Lucas, and Dustin), the police, and the boy’s family all search to find him, getting tangled up in a government conspiracy and alternate dimensions.
At first glance, Stranger Things looks like a story that’s been told one too many times: a science fiction show with missing persons, bullied kids, and the “perfect” teenage girl who becomes infatuated by a bad boy. But after watching even the first ten minutes, it’s clear Stranger Things is different from anything else on TV.
Though the show is a science fiction drama, it veers away from the predictable and basic vampires, werewolves, etc. Stranger Things instead deals with alternate worlds that will make your head spin, and a complex telepathic girl named Eleven.
The show is also set in the 80s, which gives it a quality of being set in a different world for viewers who didn’t experience the decade, and as a result, almost makes the events of the show more plausible. For adult fans, the 80s setting echoes a familiar place, themes, and movies popular in that decade because Stranger Things draws from famous films such as The Thing, E.T., The Goonies, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Some examples of influence on Stranger Things from movies from the 80s reflect the same qualities in Mike, Dustin, and Lucas and an echo of the classic young boys and adventure story like in The Goonies. The scenes where Eleven is left home alone and explores Mike’s house resembles a scene where E.T. is left home alone; and the boys being chased on bikes with Eleven resembles the chase from E.T.
The gem of Stranger Things, besides the extensive character development and exciting plot lines, is the quality of the actors. The producers of Stranger Things, the Duffer brothers, took a risk when they decided to have the show centered on young characters, which requires young talent. They could not have chosen any better actors, though. Every character brings emotion, especially in the characters Joyce Byers and Eleven played by Winona Ryder and Millie Bobby Brown.
Joyce exhibits strong traits throughout the first season, despite her son being missing. Wionna Ryder who plays Joyce brings the panic and toughness of her character to the screen beautifully in the heart breaking scene in which she communicates with Will through the lights in her dark, sinister living room.
Though she only says 246 words in the entire series, Eleven was perhaps the most beloved character in the whole show. Eleven’s intense stares and acts of telepathy make up for her lack of words. Twelve-year-old actress Millie Bobby Brown brings out Eleven’s childish side in her wonder at the world she never knew, while also bringing out her intense emotion in the scenes with mysterious Papa in the Hawkins Energy Institute.
The young actors have also used their newfound fame to promote worthy causes. For example Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin, has developed a platform to talk about the disease he suffers from called cleidocranial dysplasia that causes him to have no collarbones and no front teeth.
Stranger Things also focuses on heroines, both mentally and physically strong heroines, especially in the character Nancy Wheeler, whose strong personality drives the search for her friend Barb, and she turns out to be a better leader than her male partner Jonathan Byers. The show also tackles issues affecting society that have trickled into modern times, such as slut shaming, which is exhibited by Nancy Byers and her relationship with Steve Herrington, especially in the scene where Steve and his friends put a derogatory statement about Nancy on the local movie theatre awning.
Though the show’s main genre is science fiction, it has special effects to keep the viewers looking over their shoulders. The special effects used to create the upside down, the alternate dimension featured in the show, create a world of death and decay where sinister creatures lurk. The effects used to create the demigorgon, the creature living in the upside down, create an especially frightening feature because it resembles a human figure and torso without a face. The demigorgon is used to communicate the theme that there is a monster in all of us, even if we can’t see it. This is shown in the character of Eleven, since she is a girl who can kill someone with the blink of an eye, but underneath is a scared child who is confused by the world. Some of the shows most frightening scenes don’t involve evil creatures, but instead involve simple effects like Christmas lights. Stranger Thing’s superb soundtrack also adds to the mood of every scene.
Stranger Things’s complex plot is a strong point and also a disadvantage of the show. The plot often leaves viewers in the dark and confused, yet it surprises them when new clues are revealed and keeps viewers always on the edge of their seats to see what happens next.
Another downside of the show is its lack of diversity. There is only one non-white main character in the cast of the show. However, it has been confirmed that more diverse characters will be joining the cast in Season 2.
The highly anticipated second season of Stranger Things will arrive on Netflix, summer 2017.