In the past little while, Netflix has been delivering some truly incredible original content. From TV comedies like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, to wildly popular dramas like Orange is the New Black, Netflix has provided a platform for so many incredible shows and movies to flourish, ones that may have been neglected elsewhere.
Well, new to that roster is the original series Stranger Things, a captivating show that is equal parts drama, science fiction, thriller, and mystery. And I'll be the first to admit that even with numerous recommendations and tons of buzz around the show, I was skeptical. While I've enjoyed many other Netflix originals, I wasn't sure this series would be up to par with my interests. Well, I'm here to tell you that I was wrong.
If a sci-fi thriller sounds right up your alley, then read no further - block off a few hours, login to your Netflix, and prepare to be completely enthralled. But I'm sure there is another camp of people who saw the words science fiction and winced, thinking, 'No way, not for me'. These are the people I'm speaking to directly: trust me, I am one of you, and I am completely invested in this show.
I'm not normally a fan of anything fantasy related, whatsoever. At the risk of inciting rebellion in the hearts of dedicated fans, I'll admit that I have never really enjoyed franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, or basically any movie or show that deals with alternate worlds or the supernatural.
It's not that I detest this genre; I can certainly appreciate the creativity, talent, and production value that comes with fantasy-related cinematic experiences. Perhaps it's just that I enjoy other genres more, and thus tend to stick to what I'm comfortable with. So, believe me when I say, it took a lot of convincing from my sister, who is a huge fantasy-genre buff, to get me to watch this show.
Well, I am so, so glad that I gave it a chance. First of all, what got me hooked was the nostalgic feeling of it. The show is set in 1983, and although I'm not a child of the '80s, it reminded me of being a kid and watching the iconic movies from that era, like E.T., Stand By Me, and Back To The Future. I'm sure fans of the show will agree that it delivers a similar ambiance as these films, and brings you back into our society's past fixation with stories of extraterrestrials, UFOs, and other-worldly occurrences.
The show does have some scarier scenes, but nothing too off-putting for a general audience. And the scares aren't cheap or useless - they all have a purpose for the plot, and they're just enough to keep you totally invested. Also, while the supernatural element is certainly a central plot feature, there's also the real-world mystery of a government conspiracy, and the constant undulation between what's real, and what might be in the characters' heads.
If you're still on the fence about this show, or are in search of a Netflix series to binge-watch, do yourself a favour and put Stranger Things at the top of your list. There are (unfortunately) only eight episodes out, so it's not a huge commitment, but trust me, you'll wish there were more once you start. With award-winning actress Winona Ryder as one of the main characters, rest assured that the cast is up to the challenge of this thrilling storyline.
Aside from all the excitement, shocks, and twists that the show provides, I'm sure one of your favourite things about it will be the gang of three kids that are a central focus of the story. Not only are these child actors unbelievably talented, but their friendship and the way they see the world is so on point.
Watching them will bring you back to the early days, when the most important thing was playing games in your basement and riding your bike around with your best friends. The young trio are the pinnacle of the show's nostalgia, and no matter your age, it's a feeling we can all relate to. Even the way school and cliques are depicted are reminiscent of so many of our childhood experiences.
I think we all owe Netflix a huge thank you for the stellar original content they keep bringing us. Dare I say that Stranger Things ranks among the best of all Netflix originals so far. The acting, writing, plot, production value, and period-piece aspects come together to make it a truly captivating experience for the viewer.
So, whether you're a skeptic or sci-fi lover, a sucker for nostalgia, or just looking to be wowed, Stranger Things has it all covered. Watch it, and let me know how obsessed you are - but don't tell me any spoilers, because I still have a few episodes to go. Yes, that's how into it I am; I wrote a whole article without having finished the series yet. Don't judge me until you watch it.