I don’t normally geek out about a TV show. There’s a few shows on some select networks that give me hope for the future of the entertainment. Shows that seem to be attempting to erase years of horrible sitcoms and questionable melodramas, and that makes me happy. A few shows that I have loved over the last few years are as follows: Breaking Bad, The Americans, Sons Of Anarchy, Burn Notice, Mr. Robot, Better Call Saul, Ash Vs Evil Dead, and The Good Wife(yes, The Good Wife. Wanna make something of it, pal?) Anyways, I’m not much of a TV watcher. I haven’t paid for cable or satellite service since 2009. I stream on a Roku, baby. Netflix, Amazon Prime…that’s where its at for me. Quite a few of those shows I mentioned were Netflix or Amazon Prime binges. I bought Mr. Robot and Better Call Saul off Amazon. Those shows are that good in my opinion that I couldn’t wait for DVD or when they were available for streaming. A good show should come off like an amazing film. A seamless stream of story, character, emotional investment, beautifully shot, and wanting to stick it out with these characters for the long haul.
Amazon has shows like Transparent, Man In The High Castle, Patriot, and I Love Dick that are pushing art and television to new heights. Netflix wins it, though. The Marvel shows, House Of Cards, GLOW, Orange Is The New Black, Bloodline, The Crown, Master of None, Black Mirror, The OA, and 13 Reasons Why are solid outings and some even feel like masterpieces(I’m looking at you Master of None, The Crown, and Luke Cage.)
And then there’s Stranger Things.
The show that came from out of nowhere. It was the zeitgeist of TV watching in 2016. My son and I watched it on a whim last summer and ended up finishing it over the course of a Friday and Saturday. It hit all the notes for me, personally. It was horror, sci-fi, 80s kids adventure, suspense, mystery, and it sported a hell of a score. It took me back to my own childhood in the early 80s. Kids playing D&D in the basement, riding dirt bikes through idyllic Midwestern suburbs, Eggos, The Clash,…I could go on and on. It also reminded me of movies like Goonies, Explorers, E.T., and films album creepy scientists doing creepy things to people(I’m thinking David Cronenberg films, but without all the gooey sex stuff.) Stranger Things was a nostalgia machine and a time machine, but in the best way possible.
Stranger Things Season 2 will soon be upon us in October, and from the trailer I’d say it’s gonna be even better. Take a look:
Ghostbusters, Dragon’s Lair, “Thriller”, Halloween, blood stains, Reagan/Bush ’84, gooey crap on trees, Will seeing the Upside Down leaking into our world, and the return of Eleven?? And of course that theme music? Color me giddy.
The elements are still there. Our favorite group of middle schoolers have returned and are jumping back in to danger and mischief. This show continues to look like one hell of an 80s movie cut up into episode lengths. More labs, more blinking lights, more ominous tests, and more of the Upside Down. I love these characters and I love that the Duffer brothers know the times and care about details.
For so long the 80s were a maligned era that was remembered for neon, pegged pants, and Reagan. There was much to love about the 80s. For me it was when I grew up. Star Wars, Stephen Spielberg, GI Joe, Transformers, and then 80s hair metal. I’ve come to terms with most of it and now have a deep admiration for it all(maybe not the pegged pants, but still.) Stranger Things keeps those memories in the present for me. It also is quality creepy sci fi, and that’s a big bonus in my eyes.
Come on, October.