With the summer weather reaching an intense 100 degrees outside, it's safe to say Netflix has played a big role in this summer's activity list, especially with its new original hit series, Stranger Things.
Set in the mid-1980's, Stranger Things follows a midwestern town’s horror when 12-year-old Will goes missing after a gathering with his friends. What typically becomes a modern day kidnapping quickly shifts itself into a sci-fi thriller that has characters confronting evil forces in order to save the young boy. The evil forces, in this case, is a terrifying monster that arises from an alternate dimension known as the Upside Down.
The story initiates with Will’s scary bike ride home as he realizes he is being chased by an eery black figure. Moments later, as he arrives home, frantically searching for his family members with no success, he sets his eyes on a strange creature peering out at him from outside. As the audience watches Wills attempt to save himself from the deadly monster, he rapidly makes his way to the house's shack where he quickly and promptly disappears with the flash of a lightbulb; no more is revealed.
The following day, once no one can locate him and news breaks out of his disappearance, each character deals with the situation in their distinct ways. Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, Will's closest friends, set out to find him themselves. On their journey, they fall upon a strange and unusual little girl, 'Eleven'. The boys, quickly relying on the girl to help solve the mystery, discover her unique abilities with the supernatural world and involve themselves with dangerous characters that come with her baggage.
Will’s mother, Joyce, on the other hand, is already a distraught single mother with too much on her plate. Previously dealing with an absent father for her children and struggling to provide for her household, she is shaken mentally at her son's absence. After experiencing strange reoccurrences with the house’s electricity, she becomes certain that her son is attempting to communicate with her through the lights in their house. While others believe this is evidence that she has in fact gone mad, she is determined to get her son back herself. Taking matters into her own hands, she receives scrutiny from others labeling her as the sick mother who went mad after her son's loss. As they judged her for being a bad mother, she proves them wrong by displaying her unconditional love for her son and her will to get him back.
Although the storyline focuses mainly on Will and the characters struggling to find him, it also presents other plots within it. For the romantics out there like myself, the story shows the love triangle that forms with Mike’s older sister, Nancy, Wills older brother, Jonathan, and school bad boy, Steven. The younger kids also evolve a bonding friendship and even a cute school boy crush.
If while watching the show you feel a sense of deja-vu, you're most likely correct. Steven Spielberg plays a major role in Stranger Things scenarios: a single mother, the extraterrestrial character, and a group of kids involving themselves in the adventure. But while some may not like the story for this exact reason, Stranger Things would undoubtedly make Spielberg proud. A nostalgic show featuring people's favorite storylines is a relaxing escape from the real world and will leave you waiting frantically and impatient for season 2.