“Stranger Things,” Netflix’s newest addition to its extensive roster of original hit series, was recently renewed for a second season to premiere in 2017.
This news, which Netflix announced on Aug. 31 with a new teaser trailer, delighted fans across the nation. However, it came as no surprise; “Stranger Things” was the most popular show of the summer. Many viewers devoured all eight episodes in one sitting, only to find themselves starving for more.
The dark sci-fi drama series is based around a group of kids in the 1980’s: Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Will (Noah Schnapp). They are perfectly happy hanging out in Mike’s basement for hours on end playing Dungeons & Dragons until one day, Will goes missing.
The local police have no leads, and the remaining three boys make it their mission to find and save their friend. Along the way, they discover a young girl called Eleven (played by Millie Bobby Brown) who may be the key to discovering the answers they’re looking for.
Her head is shaved, she was raised in a government lab, and, most importantly, she has telekinetic powers and knowledge of an alternate dimension known as the Upside Down.
But why is this show so loved? The short answer is because it’s amazing. The long answer depends on personal preferences.
“Stranger Things” has been praised substantially for its nostalgia factor and constant allusions to 80’s pop culture. References to classic horror movies — from “Poltergeist” to “The Thing” — are nearly too many to count. The dynamic between the child actors and the tone of the show have also been compared to beloved films “Stand by Me,” “The Goonies” and “Stephen King’s IT.”
Nevertheless, “Stranger Things” is much more than just an homage to works which came before it. Creators of the show, brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, were able to establish a terrifically unique story at a time when it seemed like all good ideas had been used up.
They introduced likable characters and made us care deeply about them in only eight 45-minute episodes. If “Stranger Things” had relied solely on nostalgia, it would have been no better than the plethora of worn-out remakes and reboots this decade has seen so far.
“Stranger Things” is loved by so many people not because kids in it use walkie-talkies instead of cell phones or because they dress like teens from your parents’ old high school yearbook but because the characters and storyline are intriguing.
Why does Eleven have superpowers? What exactly is the government doing in that laboratory? And what happened to Barb? It’s mysteries and questions like these that keep viewers hooked for the entire season, and if we’re lucky, it will be this same reason we keep tuning in for next season.