Inman: ‘Stranger Things’ has taken over my life

The Wichitan

Chelsea Talmadge, Chester Rushing, Joe Keery, Natalia Dyer and Shannon Purser in Stranger Things (2016). Photo courtesy of IMDB
Paige Inman

I’ll admit I was pretty late to jump on the “Stranger Things” bandwagon, and after binge-watching it over the span of two days, I now know that the hype surrounding the show is well-deserved.

It has taken over my life.

The writers did an excellent job of combining a sci-fi/fantasy setting with a coming-of-age story that captivates a range of audiences. This show is known to have many subtle nods to ‘80s movie classics, such as “Stand By Me,” “The Goonies” and “ET,” to name a few. It’s clear ‘80s movies had a huge impact on the writing style of the creators, the Duffer brothers, so it’s cool to see the homages they have sprinkled throughout the show.

Seldom do we see characters that fit perfectly their stereotype where even characters like Steve Harrington, played by Joe Keery, who seem to be on top of the world are struggling to some degree. That is well-displayed in the show, especially in season two. Another layer of depth and believability is added to the characters. It seems more authentic, and we all pick out different qualities from the different characters that we relate to. It’s a reminder that no one really has it all together, and even the person who appears to have their whole life ahead of them has some skeletons in the closet.

The writers of this show are absolute geniuses. They pay such careful attention to the tiniest details in the show, and somehow find a way for them all to tie together, all the way down to the song choices in the show.

The songs the kids dance to at the Snow Ball at the end of season two is “Every Breath You Take” by The Police. At face value, it was a sweet, loving moment and the perfect song choice for the scene. However, the lyrics to the song have a double meaning that makes me a little uneasy. The lyrics are, “Every step you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you,” are a bit unsettling when thinking in the context of the season finale (no spoilers). I’m obsessed with the cast because they are all such lovable people, and I scoured for interviews, clips and whatever else I can find. After watching “Beyond ‘Stranger Things,’” which is also available on Netflix, the writers intentionally crafted this creepy parallel. They chose that song specifically because of the twisted double meaning. That is absolutely brilliant, and makes me wonder what else they threw in that I missed. I guess that’s an excuse to watch it over again.

It’s more than just another sci-fi/fantasy TV show. There is something in it for everyone, and a story that watchers of all ages can enjoy. It’s captivating in a way that makes me wish there were way more than eight or nine episodes per season. So if you need me any time in the next year until season three comes out, you’ll most likely find me rewatching season one and two over and over and over again.