I loved Stranger Things. I felt like the entire show was a love letter written directly to me, then Mod Podged onto my Trapper Keeper. It was the best.
And everybody is watching Stranger Things right now. I mean everybody! Including those guys that are always chilling outside the Jimmy John’s across from the Knollwood Mall, and it’s clear that they don’t do much of anything during the day. So pretty much everybody.
But the popularity of the show means it’s inevitable that the Internet will turn against it. We’ll start to hear about it’s flaws, problems, and plot holes. Then the trolls will bust out of their clown car to add to the chores of negative nellies and I’ll begin to cry, my heart broken, my love soured by a relentless chorus of nit-picking.
So this article is me getting ahead of the curve. Before sentiment toward Stranger Things turns sour, I’m going to list 7 things I LOVED about Stranger Things. These are written down; they’re canon now.
7 Things I Loved About Stranger Things
7. I loved the Stranger Things cast. Sure, I loved the actually casting including 80s icons Matthew Modine and Winona Ryder, but it goes deeper than that. I love the direction they went in casting. Making the main characters be kids struck the right tone for the film.
Many networks would have insisted the main actors be hot young co-eds or something, which would have shifted the core of the story. Instead, the child actors were excellent and gave the entire series a wonderful perspective.
6. I loved the familiar tropes of Stranger Things. Let’s see, we had the small town cop, the distraught mother, the shady government experiments, the brooding outsider, an absent father, and about 12,000 more clichéd tropes. But the familiarity of the tropes gave the entire series a comforting feel. That combined with the simple, uncomplicated story made Stranger Things the perfect Summer comfort viewing.
5. I loved the 80s setting of Stranger Things. I’m a child of the 80s, so I loved that it was so prevalent throughout. But I like how subtle it was. So many shows dress their characters in leg warmers, pick sweaters, and tight-rolled acid washed jeans. Then they place a Rubik’s Cube in every frame and blast a Madonna song in the background, all in an over-the-top attempt to look 80s.
But Stranger Things felt 80s. It was subtle and well done, capturing the mood and tone without any in-your-face costuming.
4. I loved the parental disengagement of Stranger Things. Related to the above, how parents were presented in Stranger Things was pitch perfect for the 80s. The helicopter parenting of today can’t relate to the latchkey parenting of the 80s. Kids would wander the woods all day, with their only responsibility being to sit awkwardly through dinner in the evening.
Kids were much more independent and one their own in those days. If they created a mess for themselves if was on them to sort it out. This came through perfectly in Stranger Things.
3. I loved the D&D in Stranger Things. I love D&D so it’s fun to see it represented in popular media, but it was particularly exciting to see it represented so well and so naturally. I have memories like that from when I was a kid.
2. I loved the music of Stranger Things. Overall the sound design and music was great throughout, but they had me at the title sequence and theme song. Everything else was gravy.
1. I love that Stranger Things was a love letter to Jean Grey. Vox beat me to this, but I swear I thought of it immediately. The X-Men Dark Phoenix comic reference sold that the main girl character was a wink to Jean Grey, but we didn’t need much more than the character having telepathy and telekinesis. It was so nerdy and I loved it.
I really did love the show. The above 7 things should serve as proof, even as I could go on and on with dozens more things I loved about the show.
But I wanted to leave space for you. What did you love about Stranger Things? Let us know!