Netflix Original Series “Stranger Things” captivates

Stranger Things


Stranger Things

Lones Gagnard, Contributor

Netflix’s Original Series collection has picked up steam with the success of “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” During the summer, Netflix added another potential cult classic to its repertoire in the form of childhood friendship, government cover-ups, and rapidly blinking Christmas lights. “Stranger Things”, created by the Duffer brothers,  tells the story of a missing child named Will Byers and one town’s pursuit to find him that begins to unravel much darker plottings.

Set in 1983, “Stranger Things” introduces a strong nostalgic theme from its onset. The Duffer brothers remind us was like to be a child playing games with your friends in their basement when you were allowed to be as imaginative as you wanted. Matt and Ross Duffer create the same feeling of comradery that classics “The Goonies” and “Stand By Me” harbored.

These movies and themes are not the only ingredients in this retro concoction; the Duffer brothers pay homage to Steven Spielberg’s suburban films, John Carpenter’s cinematic scores and Stephen King’s chilling storytelling. These throwback tropes are mixed together in a way that pushes them, as a whole, forward. While some can say it would be easy to combine all of these age-old themes into one complete work, few succeed on the level “Stranger Things” does.

What’s even more surprising is that the Duffer brothers succeeded without the use of current stars. As if this television series couldn’t feel more 80’s, the leading lady is none other than “Beetlejuice” and  “Heathers” star Winona Ryder. Though Ryder’s career has of late cast her in supporting roles, her portrayal as Joyce Byers, a hysterical mother desperate to find her son, gives the audience a taste of the talent Ryder rarely has the chance to display anymore.

Ryder is joined by David Harbour, who starred in both “Quantum of Solace” and “Revolutionary Road”. Cast as the tough Sheriff Hopper, a man with nothing on his mind but regret, Harbour delivers a powerful performance in his unending search for Will and his perpetual support of Joyce. As Hopper begins traveling down the rabbit hole, he never guessed what was going to be at the end of it. He might have never started the journey if he knew.

From the first episode of the series, every episode gains momentum, hurdling toward a thrilling, exploding climax. Though most questions are answered by the end of episode 8, fans wanted more and were delighted to hear that season 2 was confirmed by the network.

“Stranger Things” has nuzzled itself cozily into a concentrated niche that is set to thrive for more seasons to come. Whether you are interested in alien monsters, parallel worlds, or walkie-talkies and rotary phones, this spooky summer blockbuster is sure to have something for you.