Stranger Things: the new sensation of Netflix

In a nostalgic setting, charactarised by a group of adolescents in US, ‘Stranger Things’ has stirred quite a talk lately. Jabir Misbah reviews the series.‘YOU better run! She’s our friend, and she’s crazy!’ This quote perfectly describes Eleven, a 12-year-old girl who was kidnapped and experimented on in Hawkins National Laboratory, where she acquired her psychokinetic abilities. Now if you do not want to Google that word on your phone, it basically means that she can do some extraordinary things if not stranger things.

Set in 1983, ‘Stranger Things’, a Netflix Original is an American science fiction horror TV series produced by the Duffer Brothers. It is an exhilarating ride of 17 hours, if you chose to watch the entire 2 seasons in one session. It is sure to take you on a dark journey through parallel dimensions, alternate realities and to the 1980s, all while providing you with a constant stream of childish humor. The show was first aired on 15th July 2016.  The following year, the series released its sequel and a game was developed based on its story.

‘Stranger Things is renowned for its tribute to the works of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. The signature style of Steven Spielberg is so noticeable in the series that one would have to be a fool to not see the references. One of the first scenes of the show is a direct homage to the classic sci-fi movie E.T. The story line of the first season revolved around extra-terrestrial social contacts, where the kids find a supernatural being and befriend it. The second season however takes a darker turn where it shows that an evil is growing beneath all the happiness and joy, which can be related to the story line of Stephen King’s famous horror novel, It (1986). ‘Stranger Things’ in its limited screen time is going to take you back to the realm of supernatural beings, kids going on thrilling adventures, government conspiracies and emotional endings.

The story sets out with a young boy being lost in a small town called Hawkins in Indiana. His mother is convinced that her son is not dead, and that he is trying to communicate with her through the walls and flickering lights. In the meantime, the lost boy, Will, played by Noah Schnapp is being searched by his group of friends and the police chief, Jim Hopper, who has his own murky back-story. It is in this search that the children discover a young girl called Eleven. They slowly discover that their new friend is no ordinary human being. Eleven, in short El, acted by Millie Bobby Brown, is a very interesting character with supernatural powers. With confirmed knowledge that Mike is still alive, the group sets out to find him and the story starts to unfold a journey to a mysterious multi-dimensional referred as the upside down, a high school romance and some cool scientific tidbits.

Stranger_Things_logoA balance of curiosity and revelation is what put ‘Stranger Things’ on the topmost position of IMDB rankings of Netflix Originals. The story grips you with excitement from the very first scene. Every episode is going to leave you with answers and new questions. Another thing that makes this show enjoyable is the way they have added childlike comical aspect to break the heightened tension and dark side of the story. In most modern horror shows, the concept of jump scares has been so prevalent that it is now becoming mainstream and lacks the affect. As such, movie writers are starting to move into the new line of psychological horror. Here comes ‘Stranger Things’, with its weaving human drama and supernatural fear. The buildup of the plot is at times terrifying and saddening, but at the same time you will see that you are laughing to the light jokes of Sean Astin (Bob Newby) and Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin).
If good music tracks are what you look for in a TV Series, then you are in for a special treat. This horror thriller gives us some of the best brooding tunes and nostalgic pop music. From ‘The Bangles’ to ‘The Scorpions’, this show has it all. Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, the music composers of ‘Strangers Things’ won an Emmy Award in 2016-2017 for the title song of the drama series. Their deep and extravagant music gave the show its emotional appeal and thought inducing nature, syncing it perfectly with the plot at every twist and turn. Need a fun fact about the music? This was Dixon and Steins’ first musical writing for television.
To me, the best part of the story is how the characters develop as the story progresses. Steve Harrington, played by Joe Kerry, in the first season is portrayed as a bully and a love interest of Nancy Wheeler. Fast forward to the second season, he evolves as an enjoyable person who plays a crucial role in the show. Jim Hopper, portrayed by David Harbour has a very immersive persona. In him, you will see how a person destroyed by tragedy and despair can find his inner compassion again, all the while maintaining his strong will and constant vigilance. The way the screenwriters have delved into the personalities of each charecters is astounding.

‘Stranger Things’ was the talk of the town for quite a while. Through its captivating way of redefining the horror genre, it has set new standards in the industry. Netflix has already green signaled the producers to start working on the third season. Haven’t seen it yet? What are you waiting for? As Dustin would have asked you, ‘Why are you keeping tthis curiousity door locked?’ Stop waiting and hit that Netflix button on your TV remote control.


Jabir Misbah is a story-teller and knowledge enthusiast.



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