***A spoiler free review***
Stranger Things Review: “PG-13 Stuff Can Still Creepy”
Everything about Stranger Things is cool, and it’s not just hype, I promise. From their make-a-gif website to the really interesting episode titles that tell a story in themselves, the Netflix original series, Stranger Things has taken genre television to an entirely new dimension and I love it.
When I returned from SDCC in July, I spent 4 blissful days in my air-conditioned house, mostly in bed, with my dog, not putting on any makeup and watching Stranger Things. Initially, the Goonies vibe–you know–kids on bikes, going on adventures in a small town–was what hooked me, but what reeled me in were the studies of smaller characters and the mystery surrounding the kids, their town and, of course, Eleven. There is a frenzy and a underlying terror to the plot, which, even though this is a young person-led narrative, definitely helped the show live up to its genre predecessors.
Stranger Things is set in the 80s, so be prepared for Reagan-era values, bad clothes, great music and female characters who are interesting, but still rely on the plot and male characters to get them through to the next scene. This isn’t unusual in genre television, and unfortunately, Stranger Things probably won’t be an exception to the norm. Regardless, Winona Ryder is queen and I will fight anyone who says a negative word about her performance in this! Also, Netflix just officially renewed the show for a season 2 (and gave some great teasers via episode titles), which is super exciting because I really need to know what happens to…
Should I Binge it?
Do iiiiiiiit! The episodes flow really well and I found myself watching the entire 8-episode series in only a few days.
Is it scary?
There are a few jump-scares and a really sinister underlying plot that is creepy all on its own, but I’ve been off pretty much all horror/sci-fi for a while now, and I wasn’t triggered at all (except perhaps the treatment of certain female characters).
Can I watch it with my kids?
Parents need to know a majority of the plot revolves around a missing child. That being said, it is genre television, so there is definitely a sci-fi element that makes is less Lovely Bones and more Goonies. As soon as I finished it, I suggested that my husband (dislikes Supernatural) and my 13 yo (loves Bones) check it out, and both binged on it within a couple of days, so the audience is pretty wide.
xoxo C. Diva