Review: Stranger Things (2016)

The latest Netflix original has a lot of people talking. But is it any good?

If you ever feel like you want to take a break from hunting Pokemon (please stop!) and get back to how you were two months ago and binge watch a show on Netflix, Stranger Things is here to fulfill those needs.

The Duffer Brothers bring this eight-episode series from nowhere and it has blown everyone away. At the time of writing, it held a 9.2 rating on IMDB and that is not a rating to take lightly. It. Is. Amazing.

Set in 1983, in the quiet town of Hawkins, Indiana. Young Will Byers is playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends. When it is time to go home, he is run off the road on his bike into the woods (you can see where this is going, eh?) and he sees something terrifying.

Rushing home he is confronted by a being that takes him somewhere we do not know. Once he has been confirmed as missing, it is up to his mother Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder starring in her first major TV role ,if you can call an online streaming service ‘TV) and local Police Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour, previously of The Newsroom and Quantum of Solace) to find out where the young Will went and who took him there.

At this point, we know what is the cause of the disappearance: Aliens. And it would appear the government do too and are taking every measure needed to keep the secret, but I do not want to give too much away.

Now Wills friends Mike, Dustin and Lucas get involved in the finding of their missing compatriot. And when they come across a quiet young girl called Eleven, played by the brilliant Millie Bobby Brown, things take a turn and become a lot more interesting.

The show is brilliant, Winona Ryder gives a perfect rendition of a mother who is seemingly losing her sanity when she starts hearing voices and plays around with Christmas tree lights (watch it and you will understand why). The throwbacks to the 80’s are amazing with music from The Clash, references to Bowie and The Smiths.

The plot does not feel like it drags out at all as there are four or five different narratives going on at once but they all revolve around the missing Will.

Only a few things bothered me about the show: I felt some parts of it could have been edited better (there is a part where a mother is feeding a child at the dinner table in episode three, look at the arm position), and some parts of the CGI could have been improved if a big company such as Netflix were behind it. But I think the things that got to me the most was the script, specifically for the young boys, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas. I felt Lucas spoke way too mature for a boy of his age (say 10-12 years old) and Dustin s obviously meant to be the comedic value of the show with the lack of his two front teeth, and I felt they played on that too much and it just felt like he was the token “ugly” kid.

But all that to one side as most of it is me being particularly picky: a fantastic show to watch and one you can easily complete during a quiet night in or two.

Discussion feed

Up next in tv