The Success of New Netflix Series ‘Stranger Things’


Lights flickering, a man donning a lab coat sprints down a hallway towards an elevator. He pushes the button frantically, glancing behind him. After a few anxiety-ridden seconds, the elevator door opens and the man hurries inside, believing he is finally safe from harm. An inhuman moan echoes upon the walls, and suddenly the man is lifted through the elevator and out of sight by a creature that is invisible to the camera.

This is the very first scene of the new Netflix series, Stranger Things. Set in 1983, it has all the fashion and media references that made 80s flicks so popular, in addition to today’s recurring themes of sci-fi and mystery. You could say it’s Freaks and Geeks meets The X-Files.

It centers around 12-year-old Mike Wheeler and his friends Dustin, Lucas, and Will. All of their lives are changed drastically when Will disappears overnight, as stated by the title of the first episode, “The Vanishing of Will Byers.” Will’s eccentric mother, Joyce, played by award-winning actress Winona Ryder, has multiple extraterrestrial encounters, but they are filed under a release of stress and panic from the unexpected event. It’s not until police chief Jim Hopper and the teenage characters begin to piece certain abnormalities together that the audience can make their minds up about the legitimacy of Joyce’s claims. However, the most mysterious character is by far a young girl that goes by the name Eleven. In her first scene, she is seen running through the woods wearing a dirty, torn hospital gown. As the show progresses, you learn more details about her life, but never enough to pinpoint exactly what she represents, which is what makes her role so enticing.

With talented child actors, action-packed plots that always end in cliffhangers, and a surprisingly catchy opening theme, it’s no strange thing that this show is a hit. In only eight episodes, you create attachments to the characters, because they have genuine and admirable personalities that are easy to relate to. At times, you’re on the edge of your seat (or couch) trying to anticipate the next move; at others, you’re laughing at one of Dustin’s jokes or trying not to cry at the flashbacks of Will singing “Should I Stay or Should I Go” with his brother. Fans are also excited that the directors have already renewed it for a second season. With Halloween approaching, now is a perfect time to sit back, relax, and enjoy Stranger Things. If the lights start to flicker…well, good luck.