Sunday, September 4, 2016

Just finished watching...

...the first season of the Netflix original series "Stranger Things."

This delightful, spooky, horror/sci-fi original Netflix series debuted in July and has gained quite a following. And once you see it, it is easy to understand why. "Stranger Things" was created by twins the Duffer Brothers, born in 1984. They have a great nostalgia for the pop culture and films of their childhood so "Stranger Things," with its marvelous retro-synthesizer theme and soundtrack, is set in 1983 and on the surface is a clear, ringing homage to the films and works of Steven Spielberg (particularly "E.T." and "The Goonies"), John Carpenter, Stephen King, and George Lucas. Even the title font looks exactly like something one would find in a George Lucas film. But storywise, the series actually stands on its own quite well.

The show concerns itself with a small town in Indiana where a young boy has disappeared under odd circumstances. Add in his remaining three friends trying to solve the mystery of his absence (like the four friends in "The Goonies") and the discovery of a young girl with paranormal abilities whom they hide in a basement (reminiscent of how the kids hid E.T.), a nefarious covert agency, and you have the recipe for an intriguing saga. Each episode moves along at a great pace and the cast (Winona Ryder as the mother of the young missing boy, David Harbour as the sheriff of the town, Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin as the trio trying to find their friend, and Millie Bobby Brown as a spooky girl with unimaginable powers) is great, throwing themselves into whatever needed to be done to tell this story.

Recommend? Yep, it's great fun, and if you were around for the original sources of inspiration, you'll have even more fun. And Netflix just greenlighted season two!!!

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