As I settled down on the sofa, blanket wrapped around me with sweets ready at hand, and pressed play on the remote to start Stranger Things, I must concede to not having quite been fully in the mood for committing to a new TV show. My mind, however, was instantly changed when the show got rolling, and what had been intended as a break from more serious work turned into an accidental marathon of the series.
Stranger Things tells the stories of a group of friends, young boys, and their families, set in the early 1980’s. When one of the boys goes missing, we see the different attempts by the groups to understand what has happened, but soon it is revealed that a more sinister and fantastical reason may be responsible for the boy’s disappearance than most seem to believe.
The story unfolds through the eyes of the different groups: the mother and brother of the missing boy, the police sheriff, the boy’s friends and finally the sister and family of Will who is the leader of the pack of boys who have lost their friend. The appearance of a girl, almost mute and dressed in a hospital gown only adds to the complicated story. Will takes her in but it soon becomes clear that she is no ordinary child. As the series progresses these stories become ever so more entwined, and the characters are explored further both with flashbacks and the way in which they adapt and handle the ever evolving situation they find themselves in.
The soundtrack is excellent too and really helps to set the scene for a 1980’s town, whist adding in elements of sci-fi and horror (and acoustically reminding me to some extent of the original Tron). The cast is strong and all give grand performances, and most pleasing is the strength of child acting, considering that much of the story revolves around them, they really hold their end up.
With twists and turns the whole way through, touching moments and characters of great depth and interest to the reader, and a cool cross over between the comic books and games which the gang of boys enjoy so much, Stranger Things is a TV show that will grab you, hold, and then leave you wanting more.