“If you’re gonna stream, stream with me.”
– The Misfits, probably
I haven’t had Netflix since 2011. For the next few days I’ll be catching up and offering up my thoughts on what I watch. Feel free to use this as a guide for your October.
Hard to believe that Stranger Things premiered less than two months ago. There’s been enough written about the show. I’m happy that it is living up to the hype. The show has something that is sorely lacking in current pop culture. A sense of wonderment. Not realizing your whole life was ahead of you because everything happening then felt important and permanent.
I can’t help but contrast Stranger Things to another also series also set in the ’80s, Dead of Summer. That show takes place at a spooky summer camp in a town with dark secrets. It is Freeform’s, the newly rebranded ABC Family, first Horror series. I am well aware that I am not the Freeform target demographic. And that’s fine! Horror comes in many sizes. And the pilot was promising. I endured what I could until the fifth episode.
The ’80s setting is more for convenience than establishing tone. One character’s band shirts look like they were bought off the rack at Urban Outfitters. Setting it ’89 gives producers the choice to cherry pick songs from the entire decade. I thought it was clever of the show to address the Satanic Panic, but when it turns out the Satanists are in fact the people dressed in black, it felt like a wasted opportunity. Why not flip that that cliche and have everyone BUT them be Satanists.
It was difficult not finishing the first season in one setting. I’m glad I didn’t. There’s so much to savor in Stranger Things, why rush the experience?