Fangirl Friday: Stranger Things

I am stubborn. I don't often follow trends, choosing instead to avoid the things that everyone else is loving. I've been this way for as long as I can remember. But in my advanced age I've found myself relaxing that stubbornness and checking out things, because maybe everyone loves these things because they're great.

Such is my love of Stranger Things, the Netflix sensation. I thoroughly enjoyed the first season last year, and devoured the second within two weeks of its release. And, like much of the rest of the world, I'm now impatiently waiting for the further adventures, of Eleven, Mike, Hopper, and the gang.

Come with me through the jump as I share just a few of the reasons that Stranger Things lives up to the hype, why if you're like me and stubbornly refusing to check out what everyone else loves, you should give it a shot. It's superb.



I never want to be on the end of that look!
The number one reason to check out this excellent show is Eleven. In the first season she is an enigma, but she is the most badass preteen on television. It's refreshing and wonderful to see a young girl as strong as Eleven, while still allowing her to be vulnerable. She is, quite simply, a phenomenal character. Bravo to whoever created her.


Joyce is taking NONE of your shit.

While we're on the subject of fantastic female characters, I adore both of the other female leads, Joyce and Nancy. When the show began, Winona Ryder was the only actor who is a household name, and has been for years. Honestly, I hadn't seen her act in a long time, so I wasn't sure how she'd be, but I was blown away. Joyce is an amazing mom, and she takes in, takes care of, everyone who comes to her. I love love love the way she fights for her son, Will, from the very beginning, refusing to lose hope even when everyone else does. But, what blew me away was how she took in Eleven in S1, as if she were one of her own. Winona Ryder slays this role.

Ostensibly, the quartet of preteen boys are the heart of Stranger Things, the main characters. While the women and girls on the show make it for me, the little dudes are, admittedly, pretty damned great. I love that they are unabashed nerds, smart and excited about the things they love. I love that they are foul-mouthed. I love that they stand up for each other no matter what. All in all I just love those kids, and would watch their regular AV Club meetings. Okay, maybe not, but I'm glad I get to watch them in this.

Get some, Hopper! 
Jim Hopper is another interesting character. You think that he's like every other uninterested small-town police chief you've ever seen, that he's going to overlook the concerns of his citizens because they don't have clout. But there comes a moment when it's clear he not only believes something strange is going on, but that he's going to get to the bottom of it. Now, here comes the S2 slightly spoilery bit, so if you don't want to know look away! Hopper became one of my favorites in the second season when we discovered that he found Eleven and was taking care of her, keeping her safe. I fell all kinds of in love with that big guy and can't wait to see what deliciousness S3 brings.

Love me some Nancy and Steve!
There are many reasons to fall in love with this show, and the character growth is high on that list. Characters aren't static or flat, they are both strong and vulnerable, both smart and hurting, and their experiences change them. That happens with a lot of characters, but Steve was my favorite change from S1 to S2. If you've seen lots of comments about Steve's babysitting skills, just emotions, or his general awesomeness, that's all justified. He was kind of a turd in S1, but he became one of the best parts of S2. I can't wait to see where he ends up next year, too!
Oh shit, that's Sean Astin in
Toy Soldiers! My bad.
 

Dear friends, I could write a novel-length post about how terrific Stranger Things is, but I won't. When you do watch, look for the outstanding performances by Sean Astin, Matthew Modine, Paul Riser, and Barb. Look for the 1980s to be a character in itself. Being children of the 80s, my husband and I were delighted in every episode with some uniquely 80s thing that the show got right. And the story is just fantastic. I'm not much of a sci-fi girl, it's just not my sweet spot. But, once in a while, something comes along that keeps me riveted, and Stranger Things is one of those things.

Bottom line? Check out Stranger Things. And then come back and tell me how much you loved it. If you're already as addicted as I am, tell me about your favorite parts!

Bonus GIF because foul kids amuse me!

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