Christmas Lights, Demogorgons, and Eggos


By Shreeya Agarwal


2016 was undeniably a golden year for television and film. Shows such as The Crown and Westworld took the nation by storm, as thousands gathered around their devices to watch the much anticipated projects. However, one series in particular was dominating both social media and the conversations of tv show enthusiasts across the country and abroad.


Stranger Things, created by Matt and Ross Duffer, received critical acclaim after its first season release on Netflix on July 15th, 2016. It’s distinctive set of characters combined with an artful soundtrack, breathtaking visualizations, and nostalgic allusion to 1980’s film, was highly praised by audiences and critics alike.


Set in the little town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980’s, Stranger Things follows a relatively young cast of characters who are sucked into a terrifying mystery involving a vanished boy, top-secret government agencies, supernatural experiments, and one strange psychokinetic girl. Although the individual themes such as government experimentation and friendship are not the most original themes to be seen across television and film, their contribution to the plot as a whole are worthy of praise. As Oakdale Senior, Graham Shapiro, expressed, “the plot seemed cliche at first but had interesting twists to keep me invested”.


The show’s homage to the 1980’s is perhaps one of its most successful elements. References to cult classics such as Steven Spielberg’s E.T, Stephen King, and even Star Wars are evident throughout the various scenes in each episodes. Shapiro expressed that his interest for the show developed after witnessing the “1980’s vintage art style” cover that was displayed on Netflix’s website.


In addition to the show’s references to Dungeons and Dragons and other iconic 80’s generation classics, Stranger Things is most notable for its extraordinary cast of characters. Not only does the series appeal to older audiences while employing a young cast as the show’s main frontrunners, but it does so with great success. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin, the three protagonists of the story, deliver great performances with equal parts of suspense and comedy relief. However, the show’s spotlight definitely shines on one particularly interesting character.


Eleven, played by the talented Millie Brown, is portrayed as a timid, but fiercely powerful character who comes to join Dustin, Mike, and Lucas in their efforts to locate their friend and solve the town’s strange paranormal mystery.

Oakdale senior, Maquel Schwartzman, revealed her fondness for Eleven by stating that she was her favorite character because “she [Eleven] seemed like a good actress and had to deal with many obstacles in the show”.


When asked about his favorite character, Shapiro also stated, “Eleven definitely, I love characters who have supernatural abilities”.


Receiving over 90% of positive ratings on major film and tv rating platforms, Stranger Things has definitely captured the attention of tv watchers across the world who have appreciated it for its artistic style and story.


Interestingly both Shapiro and Schwartzman rated the show a solid 8 out of 10, with Schwartzman specifically noting, “the plot was interesting and I never felt like there was a boring episode”.


Following its huge success on social media, Stranger Things was announced to have an upcoming second season that is scheduled to release in October. Its fans can look forward to even more thrilling action, mystery, and Eggos!