Stranger Things: Review Kurt Sasso Film, Genre, spotlight, Topic As you know time is precious to everyone. Every day there comes and goes a show that’s popular one moment and then gone from memory. It doesn’t take much for that to happen these days. More content, more shows, more ways to access what you want even when you don’t know what you want… Then you go for a bike ride with a friend and she recommends a show called “Stranger Things” “It’s everything you loved when you were growing up in the 80’s” she says pedaling away as if the 15+ kilometres we’ve just biked wasn’t troubling her, as I kept pace as I could beside. “Sure, why not… I’ll give it a few episodes.” I replied huffing and puffing along the way…. Then we came to a hill. Man made of course and I dutifully (and gentlemanly let her go first) and usually this is where I start to let my mind wander as my muscles burned and breathe became a challenge… Sometimes watching shows on Netflix is like riding a bike up a hill. Easy going at first, middle of the way through a season it starts to slip like your tires on gravel… but you keep on struggling through it and then you reach the top and you are left hanging. Luckily, Stranger Things is nothing like that at all. Let’s start with a synopsis for those that have not seen it yet. In a small town where everyone knows everyone, a peculiar incident starts a chain of events that leads to the disappearance of a child – which begins to tear at the fabric of an otherwise peaceful community. Dark government agencies and seemingly malevolent supernatural forces converge on the town, while a few locals begin to understand that there’s more going on than meets the eye. One of the main aspects that kept me intrigued through this whole story (besides the writing, story and cinematography) is the acting. While Winona Ryder’s career has come back to form with this series (I’ll get to her in a moment as I never thought she lost her touch since Beetlejuice but I digress) It was the way the young actors took the stage and made it their own. From Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Will (Noah Schnapp) to a talented actress in Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) where physical and emotions showed true talent than just reciting words. The acting with Finn, Gaten, and Caleb really showed what it was like to be a kid in that era. The use of brains and limited technology instead of relaying on the internet (because it wasn’t around) was great batch of directing talent and their own skills. Noah’s own interactions with his fellow actors was well done and his interaction with Winona Rider as his mother was brilliant. Millie as the silent and powerful Eleven, and it is difficult to talk about her character without spoiling anything, brought physical and emotional acting without over using dialogue. The flashback scenes with her and showing her past make sense as the series goes on and it is interesting shot selection used to incorporate the era. That’s about all I can say in that. Winona Ryder has always been a strong actor. From the various roles she has played in the past to Stranger Things, her vast experience allows her to pull from a well of acting gold and it shows so well in this series. A mother going through what she did (watch the series. I’m trying to remain spoiler free) you can’t help but empathize with her plight. Add in a grizzled Chief in actor David Harbour with a past of his own, which you only see hints of as the series goes on, makes him the perfect begrudging hero helping out Winona’s character. There’s a history to all of this and it’s all shown in this series. You can’t have an 80’s based series without a clandestine government running experiments, now can you? This show has that as well. Men and women willing to do everything it takes to keep their secrets from escaping. The writing from Mike and Ross Duffer and two episodes from Shawn Levy are amazing. The story flows from each episode and there really are no slow moments. There is suspense, murder, bullying, practical effects galore… Cinematography draws from all of the great 80’s films and shows like E.T., Twin Peaks and others. I have to stop there only because they have announced a second season of the show. If you are a child of the 80’s… You will be reliving nostalgia for ages and every episode is filled with it. This is why I don’t want to spoil it for you… It’s just too good. Watching Netflix is like riding a bike up a hill. Easy going at first, middle of the way it starts to slip. Luckily, Stranger Things is nothing like that at all. Go watch Stranger Things and comment below on your thoughts. I’d love to hear more about your take on what’s going to happen next!