‘Stranger Things’ not a normal TV thing

'Stranger Things' not a normal TV thing

By Lucy Kiefert, Round Table entertainment editor

Disappearing children, alien invasions and shady government experiments – what isn’t there to love about “Stranger Things”?

For those who have not heard of this show (or have been living under a rock for the past couple of months), it centers around the disappearance of a middle school boy, Will Byers. His three best friends and his mother search ruthlessly for him, completely convinced that he is still out there somewhere. It is implied that he has been taken by an alien creature who resides in “the upside down,” a dimension almost identical to our own but much worse.

Mike, Dustin and Lucas (Will’s best friends), while looking for Will,  cross paths with a young girl to whom they refer as Eleven. She has escaped from the town laboratory where she was being tested on the extraordinary things she can do with her mind. Not only can she control anything or anyone she pleases, but she can also travel between dimensions, including “the upside down.”

Ever since this Netflix original created by the Duffer Brothers made its debut, viewers have been raving about it, as they should be. “Stranger Things” is an extremely well-executed and thoroughly thought-out production. That’s easy to see just from the plot line and the pace at which the show moves.

There was no room left on the drawing board for confusion. It is seriously difficult to find flaws with how the story, characters and theme are presented because they all intersect quite seamlessly.

This is not surprising considering that “Stranger Things” was rejected by multiple networks before finally being picked up by Netflix. As a result, the creators have had time to think everything through. They’ve made sure to smooth out all the bumps and clear up any questions that could possibly make the show seem implausible.

Well, aside from the small part where inhumanly creatures communicate through strings of Christmas lights and an adolescent girl flips moving vans over her head by sheer will.

However, this is part of what makes “Stranger Things” so great.

It contains all the vital elements of any quintessential, coming-of-age, vaguely sci-fi cult classic: the time period (the 1980s); the group of friends that go on an incredible, mystical journey together and believe they’re invincible all the while; parents seeming completely clueless about what’s going on in their children’s lives; adults in general being presented as inferior, which is typically not the case in other areas of film or television; even the vintage font used in the title sequence.

“Stranger Things” hits the nail on the head when it comes to taking a specific era – along with its cultural components – and fleshing everything out in ways that couldn’t have been executed during that actual time period. The show incorporates the ’80s and what made them great in an intriguing storyline that even people who aren’t fans of the sci-fi genre can’t get enough of. It combines key elements that make films like “The Goonies” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” so pleasing while turning them around to be digestible enough for a wide-ranging audience, including critics.

Whether Will Byers is actually stuck somewhere from which he can’t escape is left for the viewer to find out. I won’t be the one to spoil it for you. The full first season of “Stranger Things” is available on Netflix now and the second season will be available on the streaming service in 2017.