Star – Winona Ryder
My Rating ****
Genre – Sci-Fi Boxset
Run Time – 9 x 50m
Certificate – PG 13
Country – U.S.A
Golden Globes – 4 Nominations
Awards – 49 Wins & 153 Nominations
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If you haven’t seen or heard of Strangers Things I’m not surprised. It’s hidden away on Netflix and not yet available on DVD or other streaming platforms. I know streaming TV is intimidating to some but it is the future and you will have to get used to it soon. Netflix is the easiest of them to join and you don’t need to surrender any personal details. You can buy a month at a time with PayPal or a voucher and just log into the app on your tablet, phone or smart TV to watch. It’s well worth trying the 30-day free trial to watch Stranger Things. It also shows stuff like Breaking Bad and House of Cards, and Ricky Gervais’s brilliant new show, After Life.
Stranger Things is from the Duff Brothers Matt and Ross and two series in the bag and season three coming out in the summer. I won’t spoil it for you but in season one a kid goes missing in the woods near a small American town and all lines of suspicion and inquiry by the locals lead to a secret government lab nearby in those woods.
Inside the lab ‘extracted’ kids with ‘special abilities’ are being tested to utilize them. But a determined local sheriff who lost a child when he was young is not going to give up until he can return that kid to his mom, where ever the kid may be. But where he is, appears not to be of this reality.
Winona Ryder … Joyce Byers 25 episodes, 2016-2019
David Harbour … Jim Hopper 25 episodes, 2016-2019
Finn Wolfhard … Mike Wheeler 25 episodes, 2016-2019
Millie Bobby Brown … Eleven 25 episodes, 2016-2019
Gaten Matarazzo … Dustin Henderson 25 episodes, 2016-2019
Caleb McLaughlin … Lucas Sinclair 25 episodes, 2016-2019
Natalia Dyer … Nancy Wheeler 25 episodes, 2016-2019
Charlie Heaton … Jonathan Byers 25 episodes, 2016-2019
Cara Buono … Karen Wheeler 25 episodes, 2016-2019
Joe Keery … Steve Harrington 25 episodes, 2016-2019
Noah Schnapp … Will Byers 24 episodes, 2016-2019
Sadie Sink … Max Mayfield 17 episodes, 2017-2019
Dacre Montgomery … Billy Hargrove 17 episodes, 2017-2019
Joe Chrest … Ted Wheeler 12 episodes, 2016-2017
Matthew Modine … Dr. Martin Brenner 12 episodes, 2016-2017
Rob Morgan … Officer Powell 12 episodes, 2016-2019
Priah Ferguson … Erica Sinclair 12 episodes, 2017-2019
So, the small town of Hawkins, Indiana has settled down after the recent goings on, most townsfolk oblivious to what really went on. The government has again covered everything up and the bad people fired from the lab for their evil exploits. But little Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), who was the kid abducted last season, hasn’t returned to normal and seeing foreboding visions of the future which he can’t explain and all very distressing. Mom Joyce (Winona Ryder) knows something is still not right with her boy and increasingly worried but seeks calm in her new boyfriend Rick (Sean Austin) keeping her sane.
In town and Will is back with his young mates and a new girl joining their gang, tomboy Max (Sadie Sink), moving from California to Hawkins where her bullying and strangely over-protective big brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery) is beginning to get in their faces. School hunk Steve Harrington (Joe Keerey) is still with Nancy Wheeler (Natalie Dyer) but Will Byers big brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) still pines for her. Little Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) has similar feelings for Max.
Sherriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour) has been hiding runaway and special kid ‘Eleven’ (Millie Bobby Brown) from the government at a secluded wooden cottage for almost a year now and the kid suppressed by rules there to keep her safe. Hopper’s own child disappeared when he was married and not going to lose another one. But, Eleven, too longs to be with Will and the gang and also find her real mother, who she thinks abandoned her, so runs off to the big city to find someone who may be able to help her. But Hawkins is under threat again as Will is now infected with a mysterious virus somehow linked with the strange goings on from the first series and changing his persona. In the government lab it seems things are still going on there and it will need Eleven to fix it as the menace grows.
Loved season one and enjoyed this. The beauty of Stranger Things is it’s aimed at most age groups. 75-year-olds will be just as intrigued and entertained as 12-year-olds. Netflix are not big on box ticking to maximize revenues and just give the program maker the green light to go and make great TV and film, and they do. A lot of mainstream American networks will often make a pilot and that’s the end of it, if it doesn’t score well in early focus groups and Nielsen Ratings, so never given a chance to build an audience. I think that’s why Netflix works for fearless TV directors.
It’s funny, cute, scary and the best solid Science-Fiction fun for a while. It’s very Steven Spielberg meets Stephen King in atmosphere and keeps you enthralled from the off. Some of these box-sets take four or so episodes to get going whereas this hits the ground running, as does season two. Is the very definition of cult TV. There is a mystery to be solved and we are sucked deeper and deeper into it as the brilliant creepy music crawls all over us.
Season two mixes more romance with scares and with a familiar soft metal soundtrack of the 1980s and new characters it’s just as good as season one. Season three is set up with the conclusion and some neat bows tied and new story-lines set up with those new arrivals. This is a must see TV series if you are a box set Sci-Fi fan. It’s time to Netflix!
Imdb.com – 8.9/10.0 (566,235votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 94% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 87% critic’s approval