Stranger Things season 1 still holds up after all these years

Stranger Things - Credit: Curtis Baker/Netflix
Stranger Things - Credit: Curtis Baker/Netflix /

Stranger Things is still one of the best Netflix shows to date

Netflix’s Stranger Things was and still is one of the best original shows on the streaming platform, and a rewatch of the first season confirms as much.

Since the first season arrived on Netflix way back in 2016, I have yet to watch Stranger Things again, and I figured that while we’re still isolating during the pandemic, I might as well put my time to good use and rewatch some of my favorite TV shows in recent history. Stranger Things is top 5 and continues to be after the rewatch.

Many TV shows’ main failure is the drawn-out storyline that should be in fewer episodes or the packing of content and not allowing characters to develop correctly. Shows that fall into the first category are Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones, which had two or three more episodes than needed. Stranger Things season 1 does a good job at limiting the storyline to eight episodes.

Written, directed, and produced by the Duffer Brothers, this show is a masterpiece of ’80s nostalgia. From Dungeons & Dragons to Star Wars to the music of the time, the show taps into the “good ‘ol days” of many fans while also providing a sense of adulthood and growing up in a time of uncertainty. Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Will are just junior high school-aged kids looking to find their place in a world in a time where nerds are looked down upon and bullied. Then, Eleven is a physically and emotionally abused young girl trying to find her way in the world and dealing with the trauma of her upbringing and finding out who she is in the world that she didn’t even really know existed.

Then, there’s Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve, who are in high school and entering adulthood while balancing their social roles. Nancy is nearing adulthood while also having feelings for Jonathon and Steve, the pretty playboy or the sweet nerd. The one forgotten character is Barb, who dies at the Demogorgon’s mouth halfway through the season.

Personally, my favorite is Jim Hopper, played by David Harbour. One of my favorite lines in any film or TV show is “Mornings are for coffee and contemplation.” As an avid consumer of coffee and a hater of mornings, I concur, Hopper.

What makes this show interesting is every character is dealing with their own struggles. Hopper is dealing with the trauma of losing his daughter to cancer and, in doing so, losing his wife and himself to a drinking problem. This is why he’s so motivated to help Will and Joyce. As he’s performing CPR on Will in the upside-down flashbacks of him being powerless at the hands of his daughter’s cancer disease motivate him from stopping. Joyce, a single mom, is fighting to right her ex-husband’s wrongs and the abandonment she felt when he left. Not only does she do that, but she becomes the talk of the town when she keeps saying the “walls are talking to me.”

The entire show is basically perfect, in my opinion. Watching it again just cemented that I was right when I watched it the first time. I wouldn’t change a thing. The Duffer Brothers continued to make great content with it, and I have no doubt they will provide this a great ending of the show when that time comes. If you have that itch, I will encourage you to watch it again and focus on how great the show’s direction and writing are. Take in the whole thing, the music, the setting, the 80’s references, and everything else outside the storyline.

Stranger Things is one of the best TV shows right now. If you haven’t watched it, what’s a time better than now?

Stranger Things season 4 hits Netflix in 2021.

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