Growing up an 80’s kid was amazing. We had Star Wars, Transformers, Ghost Busters and Back to the Future. We rode BMX bikes, played Dungeons and Dragons and came home when it got dark or we were hungry. It was a simpler time.
Not if you were a resident of Hawkins, Indiana though. In this Netflix Original documentary, we follow the real life events of a group of kids trying to save their friend from an alternative dimension called the Upside-Down.
I am, of course, just kidding. It’s not a documentary but such is the 80’s nostalgia pouring out of this amazing show that I was immediately transported back in time.
This show kind of has everything you want from good television. The story line is out there enough to make it interesting, using tried and tested villain types (the government) and heroes you can relate too (regular people and kids) and throwing enough fantasy and sci-fi elements at it too make it interesting but not confusing. Throw in the odd love story, some very well done character developments (Steve going from douchebag jock to good guy is my favourite)and plenty of action and suspense to keep it interesting. The binge watching format of Netflix also works well here. I’d have hated to wait a week between episodes on this show.
The chemistry between the kids also works really well. It’s realistic too because they don’t all get along all of the time. They bicker, fight & argue but we all did that with our best friends. When it’s time to help each other out though, they’re all in. The second series suffers a bit in this regard though because Eleven is absent from the group for too long. I get that she had her own issues to attend too and the creators wanted to reunite them in a way that provides a big impact but I think they should’ve done it an episode or two sooner.
The quality of the adult cast is first rate too, with Winona Ryder and David Harbour smashing it out the park every episode. The supporting cast additions of Paul Riser as a kindhearted doctor and Sean Astin as Winona Ryder’s boyfriend and all round great guy, Bob in Season 2 are magnificent. They give great performances and are two of my very favourite actors. They are two guys who whilst aren’t household names, seem to make everything they’re in a good 20% better.
News that Season 3 production is underway has me all warm and fuzzy and eager to return to Hawkins, Indiana. I hope that it reaches the heights of the first two seasons and gives us great moments like the Dustin and Steve road trip and the Dustin at the school dance sequence. Basically more Dustin and more Steve. Oh darn it Netflix, just announce a Dustin and Steve spin-off, I’d watch the shit out of that!