By: Brett Slaughenhaupt – Movie Columnist
The ‘80s continue to thrive in the newest original series on Netflix, Stranger Things. Owing a lot of its structuring and emotional cues to past works, Stranger Things is like John Hughes and Steven Spielberg had a child who grew up watching David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. This series thrives by building off of the classics rather than paying straight homage, and boy is it successful.
With eight episodes ranging from 40 to 60 minutes each, it is incredibly easy to consume all of Stranger Things in one sitting. The show starts off quickly getting into its plot. Will Byers, while biking home after a day of Dungeon and Dragons with his three best friends, is taken by a dangerous creature. The town is left in shock as the local sheriff (David Harbour), Will’s mother (Winona Ryder) and others close to Will go in search of him.
At every level, this show screams authenticity. It never tries to go for that ‘80s gloss that often holds so many other nostalgia-based shows and movies back. Instead it is confident enough to let the atmosphere, setting and actors speak for themselves. When it comes to the actors, especially the children, they really hit the jackpot. Millie Brown, who plays Eleven, is already putting Meryl Streep on the defensive for most Oscar wins. Her glare pierces through the screen and hits you square in the face. She doesn’t have to say a thing for you to believe every movement and decision she makes.
The Duffer Brothers, the creators, writers and sometimes directors, have an unequivocal hit on their hands with what is probably the strongest show on Netflix. Much like Will Byers’ favorite song, you will start the series asking yourself, “should I stay or should I go?” The answer is a resounding “stay.” You will not regret it.