By Chris Shaddock
It’s 1983 and a secret government experiment has gone horribly wrong: a monster is loose in a small town. Shortly after the monster escapes the facility, a young boy disappears. His friends and family, with the help of a mysterious psychic girl, go searching for him, only to unravel a mystery full of abstract science and government secrets.
A conspiracy theory? No, just a basic summary of the Netflix Original series “Stranger Things,” a horror science-fiction series taking place in a town called Hawkins.
In the show, each character is trying to find out what happened to the missing child, Will Byers, played by Noah Schnapp. This includes his mother, Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), the town’s police chief, Jim Hopper (David Harbour), Will’s three best friends, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) and also his brother, Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton).
Other characters like Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) and a strange girl named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) also get caught up in the mix of everything for their own various reasons.
While “Stranger Things” is classified as horror, this show is more than its genre. Sure, a lot of times the show has scenes that are chilling and eerie, but there are just as many heartwarming moments, romantic entanglementsandhumorous banters between characters.
Part of the reason the show is able to do this is because the tone of the
narrative changes based on the characters it follows. Take for instance the three kids who are looking for Will. While still eventful, their scenes are lighter and more lackadaisical, compared to the depressing scenes of characters like Joyce, or Chief Hopper, who uncovers odd conspiracies involving the town.
The characters in general help make this show shine, in particular, the three kids. They are geeky eight-year- olds that love Dungeons and Dragons and science. A lot of the scenes that they are in truly personify the beauty
of friendship, and even more so when they welcome the odd Eleven into their group in order to help Will.
Eleven is a psychic child, and due to being experimented on in a lab her whole life, has an innocent awe toward the outside world. Because of this, she has little personality in the beginning of the story, but continuously develops one as the show progresses.
Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers has a fantastic performance that illustrates the grief and stress that mothers can have when their children are in danger, as well as the amount of willpower and strength they have in order to save them.
Every once in a while, the motives and actions of some of the characters seem inconsistent with their personalities. It did not happen often, but it was enough for it to be a little confusing, as well as a bit frustrating.
Overall, “Stranger Things is a fantastic show worth binging on Netflix. Due to the popularity the show has gained, it was announced by Netflix that it will be renewed for a second season, coming out in 2017.