If you haven’t sat down to watch an episode of Stranger Things, there must be something wrong. Everyone’s been talking about it. You’ve seen friends tweeting about it, family members, even strangers on the bus, have been raving about this new brilliant series on Netflix. It’s not just another show – it’s much more than that. We can relate to the characters on a deeper level; they make us laugh and cry and feel all kinds of emotions. In a nutshell, Stranger Things is a sci-fi show set in the 1980s, about a group of kids who get up to all kinds of adventures. It consists of eight episodes, and while they may be about an hour-long each, trust us when we say that you will most likely end up binge-watching the entire series. There are many reasons why Stranger Things is one of the best shows on Netflix right now. So if you haven’t started watching it yet, or you haven’t made up your mind about it, then you really need to. It’s very binge-worthy, but don’t blame us!
15 It makes us nostalgic
The show is set in the 1980s and offers us more than just entertainment – it makes us nostalgic. Even for those of us who weren’t born in the '80s, it reminds us of how it was an incredible and promising time. It also makes us sad that that decade is now long behind us, but we can still cherish it. From the old fashioned telephones (neither mobile nor cordless, shocking right?) to the music and right down to the clothes the characters are wearing, Stranger Things does a perfect job of providing tons of '80s throwbacks that we can fully appreciate and reminisce about. The show also contains many references to the 1980s movies that we all know and love including E.T., A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Goonies. Maybe that’s why we are so addicted; it’s easier for us to fall in love with a show that feels familiar.
14 Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder is an American actress best known for her roles in Beetlejuice, Lucas, Edward Scissorhands and Little Women among many more 1990s classics. Ryder attracted media attention when she started dating Johnny Depp, and after an arrest for shoplifting back in 2001, she fell under the radar for a while. In 2010, she starred in psychological thriller film Black Swan, but otherwise her acting career seemed to be put on hold amid personal struggles with anxiety and depression. That was until the award winning actress made her big comeback landing the role as Joyce Byers, in Netflix-original drama Stranger Things. She plays mom to two kids; Will, who has mysteriously disappeared, and Jonathan who is a typical, socially awkward teenager with a keen interest in photography. We think that she plays the part of the worried and loving mother so well, and couldn’t imagine anyone else being better suited to the role.
13 It scares us
Everything about this show is creepy. Trust us when we say, the hairs on your arms will be standing up! Even those of us who are grown adults struggle to watch without the lights on. And there are definitely moments that will get your heart racing and turn your throat dry. First of all there’s Christmas lights (despite it not being Christmas yet) which is very unsettling given the situation. When we think of Christmas we usually think of sitting around the tree with our families and opening presents, but the blinking lights won’t provide that similar warm kind of feeling. We all crave certain elements in a show; to be surprised, inspired, informed, but mostly we want to be scared. We want to sweat and feel our hearts leap out of our throats and this show provides just that. We never know what to expect or what is just around the corner. That’s what makes it so terrifying.
Eleven isn’t your typical girl – not at all. She’s a total mystery and we have so many questions that go unanswered. Like how can she move things with her mind? What happened to her? Does she have a family? Some of the answers can be found, but not immediately, which is why you will definitely be hooked. There are a few things that we do know about her. She absolutely loves waffles, she can flip a truck just by using her powers, and she really doesn’t say much (a fan estimated her word count to be just 246). She is the best and the only clue to finding out where Will is, which is why she is so important to the narrative. That and the fact that she’s a really awesome and original character that brings something new to the show. There are many flashbacks which allow us to see into Eleven’s past and find out more about who she is and why she is the way she is. We can definitely relate to her in many ways.
11 It has great music
Stranger Things is a good example of how music can be used as more than just something playing in the background. How the music is used is very important as it ultimately creates an atmosphere and helps develop the storyline. The Clash’s ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’ is used frequently and it’s simply brilliant. There are many examples of this; after the disappearance, Joyce hears music coming from Will’s room, despite there being no one else in the house, which creates an unsettling feeling that not everything is what it seems. We don’t know what is about to happen, but we’ve prepared ourselves to be terrified. Another great scene is the ending of the third episode, where the song ‘Heroes’ by Pater Gabriel is playing. The song choice is perfect and reflects the characters emotions. It really tugs at the heartstrings so prepare yourself for tears.
10 Jonathan Byers
Jonathan is Will’s older brother. He’s socially awkward with a passion for photography and doesn’t have many friends. Despite this, it’s very obvious from the beginning just how much he loves and cares about his brother. Following the disappearance, Jonathan is absolutely devastated and appears to blame himself for what happened. His close and loving relationship with his mother really melts our hearts, too. He’s just an all-around nice guy who is a little bit shy and prefers his own company. However, he does take an interest in Nancy. It’s clear that he thinks she’s beautiful and intriguing which is why he secretly takes pictures of her – something that later gets him in an awkward and embarrassing situation. Amongst his other good qualities, he is also very wise and gives good advice to his younger sibling: ‘you shouldn’t like things just because people tell you you’re supposed to.’
9 It makes us laugh
Although there’s a lot of serious stuff going on like people going missing, a mom who is going crazy, a monster lurking about and other sinister things happening, there are a lot of moments that will make you laugh out loud. The kids have some very funny lines. Dustin is one of the funniest characters and has the best one-liners. ‘She’s our friend and she’s crazy’ is one of my favourites. His love for chocolate pudding is also hilarious. Despite all of this crazy and weird stuff going on, he hasn’t lost his appetite at all – in fact, all he seems to care about is eating. There’s something about his facial expressions and mannerisms that will make you laugh without him even speaking. There are tons of funny moments in every episode, though, which is important in a show that is very serious and twisted. A good show will make you laugh and cry, and Stranger Things definitely delivers that.
Many of us can relate to Nancy. She’s at that stage of her life where she’s growing up fast but she appears to want things to slow down. She’s not yet sure who she is or who she wants to be. She’s a very smart, attractive, stylish girl who is torn between being popular and staying loyal to her best friend, Barb. She’s not sure if being popular is something that she wants, but she does really like Steve. As you can guess, Steve is a handsome boy who gives her lots of attention and she takes an interest in him from the start. It’s very clear that Nancy doesn’t like Steve’s friends as they are not the type of people she would usually hang around with, and that ultimately affects her opinion of him. But there’s also something very endearing about Nancy, because she’s not afraid of getting her hands dirty when it comes down to solving the whole mystery and saving the people closest to her.
7 Will's disappearance
As soon as we learn about Will’s disappearance, we are instantly intrigued and want answers. Like what happened to him on his journey home? How did he go missing? Where is he now? The only way to find these things out is to keep watching, of course. It’s terrifying and confusing because we just saw him having fun with his friends, and now the monster has taken him somewhere and we’re unsure if we’ll ever see him again. His friends make it their mission to find Will, no matter what it takes. But if they expected it to be easy, they are in for a shock. If they do find him and he comes back, will he be the same person? Will they even find him alive? We hope so because he’s a great character who really adds something to the show. Yet we can’t help thinking that something really bad is going to happen to the boy.
Barb received a lot of love and praise from all viewers. We were definitely rooting for her. In more ways than one, we can relate to her. She’s not one of the popular girls, and clearly doesn’t get the same attention that her friend Nancy does. She’s awkward around people and doesn’t take an interest in Steve or any of his friends. She’s worried that Nancy is going to ditch her for some guy who she hasn’t known very long and that deeply upsets her because she just wants to preserve their friendship. Just like Jonathan, Barb doesn’t have any other friends, and at times feels quite lonely and let down by others. She hates always being left out and left behind, but neither does she care about being popular or conforming to society’s expectations. Even though Nancy hasn’t exactly been a great friend, Barb always stays loyal to her, which just makes us love her even more. She has a big heart and it’s sad that she gets taken for granted.
5 The friendships
Stranger Things definitely gets the friendships right. It makes us reminiscence of our childhood and our childhood friends and how we wish we could go back to those times. It’s a great depiction of what it felt like to be a kid in the '80s. The show is centred on the close relationship between best friends Will, Dustin, Mike and Lucas. They always have lots of fun and the bond between them is unbreakable. Although there is some tension later on and the friendships are tested, the kids always look out for each other. They don’t want anyone being left behind and neither do they want anyone to get hurt and it’s just precious. When the boys unite to find Will, it shows how friendship conquers all. When Eleven enters the frame, she doesn’t have a good understanding of friendship, but Mike teaches her everything she needs to know. The growing relationship between them is so exciting to watch.
4 The love triangle
Another thing that Stranger Things gets right: the classic love triangle. We like to be kept in suspense and this show definitely delivers that with this interesting storyline. It’s not all about monsters and dark stuff, there is some romance thrown in too. So if you couldn’t find any other reason to watch it, then you definitely have one now. The love triangle involves Nancy, Jonathan and Steve. It’s obvious from the start that Jonathan has a crush on Nancy when he takes secret pictures of her, but at first it’s unreciprocated until they team up to find the people they love. After spending some time together it becomes obvious that Nancy is starting to feel the same way, but she also can’t deny that she has feelings for Steve. And although Steve initially appears to be a typical douchebag, you start to see another side to him and realize that amongst his many faults, he is a decent person who cares about others.
3 Police Chief Hopper
Jim Hopper is an interesting and complex character. He leads the investigation into the disappearance of Will Byers. Hopper’s one aim is to get stuff done in a timely manner, and it shows through his dedication to solving the case. At first, we’re not sure how we feel about him, but we soon realise that he’s actually a really great guy who wants to help others. We also feel very sympathetic towards him because not only was his daughter taken away from him, but his wife too. It’s very clear that he misses them both and uses alcohol and prescription medication to fill the hole in his life. But despite that he has a good sense of humor and likes to crack jokes with the other officers. We think the show wouldn’t be the same without him in it. And we totally agree with his views on mornings.
2 It makes us sympathetic
From the first episode to the last, we feel sympathy towards the characters. For those of us with kids, we can relate to how Joyce is feeling – to lose a kid is one of the worst heartaches you could ever experience. Even those of us without kids can sympathize. We feel the sadness and pain she is going through when she learns of her son’s disappearance and the agony she experiences when everyone believes she is going crazy. Her emotions are spiralling out of control and she feels like there is no one to listen to her, and no one to help. Through the use of flashbacks, we see small insights into each character’s lives that make us sympathetic because of what they have had to go through. It’s very cleverly done and allows us to make personal connections to the characters.
1 It's not the end
If you have just finished watching the last episode and wondered if there is going to be a second season, then it’s good news. It doesn’t end there. If a show becomes really popular it pretty much automatically gets renewed. So if you needed any further proof that Stranger Things is a brilliant, binge-worthy show, then here it is. There are tons of rumors floating about as well as some shocking fan theories, but we won’t spoil anything here. We will say that we expect season 2 to be just as creepy, shocking and fascinating as the first. You can also expect to see some new characters! And although there is no official release date, it should be returning before July 2017. It’s a long wait, but we’re sure it will be worth it!