I didn't expect to suddenly be writing about Stranger Things. Six days ago, I hardly knew it existed. I skipped it for about a month. I didn't notice it trending on Netflix. Probably because I was watching other series and not wanting another thing to put on my long, long list of series to watch but probably will never get to unless I take a lot of time off work or all my regular shows vanish.
I did hear about Stranger Things in passing, seeing a few tweets here and there. But last Friday I saw the first t-shirt about it. Later that same day, I saw a tweet here and there about it. And then on Monday David Hewlett, who I had followed just days before when he popped up in the quite enjoyable Killjoys, and who played my favorite character on Stargate: Atlantis, got me excited about it.
Early to bed, early to rise makes me headachey & dozy by 2pm!? Screw this! Tonight I binge watch rest of spectacular @Stranger_Things!— David Hewlett (@dhewlett) August 15, 2016
And then not long after the following tweet, I found myself with an unexpected extra hour in my day.
I knew not one thing about it, except that it was stranger and it was things and it was "spectacular." I don't think I even read the description, just the title, "Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers." I soon figured out that it was definitely a show for me. With the opening in some facility with a researcher running for his life, and not making it, chased down by something that sounded like a MUTO from Godzilla coupled with the feel of a true evil; a little boy who comes across the same creature from the shadows, one without a face, and that disappears as suddenly as it appears; and a little girl with a shaved head on the run from people who will kill anyone to get to her, I was immediately drawn in.
It's a very emotional story, rife with tension and very well-acted. You don't often get a chance to say that with a work that centers on children, but Finn Wolfhard as Mike, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin, and Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas all deliver great performances and feel like a real group of friends. Unfortunately, Noah Schnapp as Will, having been taken, doesn't get a lot of screen time, but he still makes an impact. I particularly love Dustin, the most clear-headed of the group and such an adorable kid, and Millie Bobby Brown as Elle couldn't be a better combination of power and vulnerability.
Then there's Winona Ryder's pitch-perfect performance as Joyce Byers, the devastated mother who refuses to give up on her son. To everyone around her, she seems to have tipped over into madness. But Chief Jim Hopper, played by David Harbour with a weary sadness and renewed purpose, will do anything to find Will, because he knows what it feels like to lose a child.
I can't really say too much more, because I don't want to give away anything. All I can really say is don't walk on over to this show...
If I ever get the chance today (the big TV has been monopolized for the last six hours), I'll be watching the final episode. Going by what I've seen so far, I'm sure it will be intriguing, nightmarish and satisfying. I'm sure I will be getting at least one t-shirt. Here are four of the best since I started noticing them last week. There's another at Qwertee, Darkness & Demogorgons, that I'll post if it ever comes back to TeeFury or gets to RedBubble. Can't wait to put these in the gallery I've been working on and create a new Stranger Things category.
These t-shirts are available at TeeFury by clicking on the images. All of TeeFury's Stranger Things tees can be found via this convenient link.