Each episode had me on the edge of my seat, so excited to see what happened next and so nervous about it at the same time. This was partially because in almost every episode one or more of the characters went into the woods at night. Why?! Why do they need to go looking for things in the woods at night? They don’t even have cell phones to tell people where they are. Just a flashlight! And sometimes they even go alone! That’s what gives Stranger Things a horror movie feel. I was constantly whispering at my laptop, “No! Don’t do that! Don’t go! No!”
While Stranger Things is its own beautiful series, it reminded me of several shows I’ve loved in the past. What stood out to me the most were the parallels between Stranger Things and a show called Kyle XY. Most people probably haven’t watched Kyle XY, a three-season show from ABC Family that was surprisingly good. It involved a teenager with superhuman abilities who got nosebleeds when he used too much of his power at once. Sound familiar? Oh, and he came from an underground lab in the middle of the woods. The shows have so many differences, but I couldn’t help thinking about Kyle XY whenever Eleven’s nose started bleeding.
I love how there are mysterious sci-fi forces at work that the characters are grappling with each in their own way. From Joyce’s obsession with the lights she hangs in her house to Nancy and Jonathan’s quest to battle the monster to Mike’s acceptance of and trust with Eleven, I love how everyone had their own piece of the puzzle. And I was so excited when they all finally got together and shared information!
What makes Stranger Things so compelling? Ordinary people in a seemingly ordinary place fight extraordinary evil. The music, the fact that the show is set in the past, the feeling that none of the characters are ever really safe. The adorable kids, the suspense, the vaguest hint of romance. And the artistry. All of that adds up to a wonderful eight episodes that I couldn’t stop watching.
The bottom line: even if you’re not sure it’s a show you’d like, give it a try. I think there’s something in there that will resonate with you. I didn’t imagine I’d be so excited about Stranger Things, but it was thrilling to watch and I am eagerly awaiting future episodes.