When a new series rears its head, it's always a bit touch-and-go until it either catches you and you love it forever or you just give up and slag it off on Twitter. Since the recent loss of Orange Is The New Black and Silicon Valley and the previous demise of Breaking Bad, Dexter and Prison Break, we needed some more TV binge material to fill our downtime.
We'd seen Stranger Things on our Netflix home screen a few times and after seeing some weird, spoiler-ridden posts from our friends we thought we'd commit to a few episodes to see what the fuss was about. As a general rule of thumb, our household taste in movies and TV don't often sway towards the horror or thriller genres as we've never really found any horror type films, shorts or TV programmes that we've really loved.
Stranger Things is that good that it lasted the whole of three nights and we were done! Three nights! Surely we could've made it last a bit longer than that?
From episode one, right the way through to the finale, the story is brilliant, the music and the videography are perfect, couple this with hidden(ish) references to some of my other favourite TV and film throughout the episodes and you've got one of the best series. From the pretty obvious reference to Star Wars in the poster artwork, right the way through to The Goonies being used as costume/character inspiration for the main characters, Stranger Things has already made its way onto my list of all-time favourite TV.
I'm not one for posting spoilers, there are a couple of screens further down this post but after having watched all 8 episodes, I've strategically chosen sections that won't give any of the storylines away or ruin anything for you. Promise.
Stranger Things is THE new series at the moment and there are a whole bunch of spoilers knocking around on the social medias, so if you're planning on watching it, I wouldn't read too much about it online first.
From the glorious 80's style videography and throwback music throughout each episode to the endearing and genuinely weird storyline, Stranger Things is just a pure visual delight. The characters have been cast pretty perfectly in my opinion (even Winona Ryder), although currently, my favourite character is Dustin... dude's a legend!
It seems like everyone at the moment is raving about the intro title sequence and rightly so. The beautifully eery movement of the type and the 80's inspired soundtrack coupled up with the absolutely top notch branding appeals to the designer in me. If you're genuinely interested in the typeface used for Stranger Things, It's a modified/bastardised version of Benguiat.
As these things go, I instantly made my good friend Chris Brownless of North West Barber Co. a Stranger Things style design as a bit of fun. Since making this, there's now a website where you can make and download your own. Check out Make it Stranger.
Everything surrounding the typography reminds me of Stephen King book covers. Courtesy of a few late night trawls around the internet I spent some time reading that The Duffer Brothers actually credit Stephen King as one of their many inspirations when creating Stranger Things (amongst a whole host of other literary greats).
The only problem I've found isn't with Stranger Things as a series, it's with the whole culture of binge watching an entire series. What would have previously been a 2,3 or 4-month progression with a storyline has now been replaced by basically an 8-hour movie spread over 3 nights. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I'm that easily distracted that If I can commit a couple of nights and concentrate on an entire series that I form stronger bonds with characters and the series as a whole over if I have to wait for an episode a week on "normal telly".
I suppose it's not really a problem, it's more about just having that self-control to not smash through an entire season in 2 days and instead, spreading it out. The bigger issue is everyone else potentially ruining a series via a single tweet or Instagram post. There's nothing you can really do to stop that except for basically not browsing social media for the duration of your viewing schedule or cutting all real life communication with the outside world until you've finished watching the series.
Get it watched...
All this aside, if you're looking for a new series to sink your teeth into, my very limited knowledge and expertise in reviewing TV and Movies definitely recommend Stranger Things, and if (like us) you do blast through the first series in no time at all, don't worry as the word on the grapevine is that Season 2 is being made as I write this.