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Thread: Stranger Things

  1. #1
    Sean of the Shed's Avatar
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    Stranger Things

    Anyone else started watching this on Netflix? We in the Shed have, and nearly finished already. It's a sci-fi/horror series, sadly of just eight episodes, that is obviously influenced by early Spielberg and Stephen King set in the 80s. Well worth a look if you are looking for something to fill some empty hours.

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    hobbes's Avatar
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    Stranger Things

    Just signed up to my free month of Netflix to watch this.
    Episode 1 is pretty good.
    Totally SpielbergKing as you say.
    I'm amazed J.J Abrams isn't in some way attached to it.

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    Stranger Things

    Yeah, just starting this, two episodes , sorry Chapters in, yes agree on influences, except there is a bit of Lynch in places; but I guess anything about missing minors and local small town police will get me thinking that.
    The story so far reminds me more of Dean Koontz than King, but what the heck.
    Enjoying it so far - my old crush Winona is doing some good scenery chewing, and the ensemble of kids are really good.

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    hobbes's Avatar
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    Stranger Things

    Finished it on Monday.
    Really enjoyed it. I think I agree with a review that I read that said it has a lot of flaws and it could be done in 30% of the time but actually the flaws and the padding made it better. It's what built the world and made it feel so authentically 80s.

    Lots of direct rip off scenes/ideas from 80s films, mind. Or homages I think they call them these days.

    All in all it was very satisfying, although if you're not between 35 and 50 I can see it missing its mark completely.

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    Stranger Things

    I enjoyed it, but it never really rose above its premise and its (very well executed) nostalgia. It's no Fargo. I felt about it much the same way I did about House of the Devil, which a lot of people really loved. I admired it but found it a bit hollow at the same time.

  6. #6
    hobbes's Avatar
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    So I battered through Season 2 last night and this morning.
    There is literally not a single thing original in it. Not a plot twist, not a scene, barely a line of dialogue.
    What it is like is every single one of your favourite films from the 1980s smooshed into a smoothie of televisual goodness.
    Started a little slowly but by episode 3 it was just hit after hit after hit.
    Amazing stuff. Derivative as all hell, but by golly I enjoyed it.

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    Bordeaux Education's Avatar
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    Ah, good to hear it. Just finished series 1 and, yes, derivative as anything but enjoyable for it. I saw the new version of "It" and it reminded me very much of that - odd that they appeared at the same time. There was also loads of "Alien", "Stand By Me", "E.T". "Back to the Future" and a whole load of other stuff. Someone has probably done a scene-by-scene breakdown of what they have ripped off.

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    Bordeaux Education's Avatar
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    The other thing about the series is that the
     
    whole Upside Down plot is hokum without a great internal logic and the monster is shit - like a cross between the Alien and that plant in the Rocky Horror Show. Yet, it still works. Mainly because the characters are so good.

    Just watching the second series and enjoying how they are somewhat fucking around with the cliffhangers as they are able to due to the whole thing being released at the same time.
    Last edited by Bordeaux Education; 26-11-2017 at 16:35.

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    Up to episode #3 and enjoying it. I haven't read this thread properly as it may contain spoilers.

    Having seen It and Super 8 fairly recently, it reminded me a lot of those. The kids are good, especially the actors playing Mike and Eleven.

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    ad hoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes View Post
    All in all it was very satisfying, although if you're not between 35 and 50 I can see it missing its mark completely.
    Hmmmmm. My 11 year old daughter is watching this. She assured me it was a kid's series. Do I take it that it probably isn't really? Do I need to watch a couple of episodes to check if it's suitable?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ad hoc View Post
    She assured me it was a kid's series.
    Not really. It's a supernatural thriller, akin to something like Poltergeist.

  12. #12
    Bordeaux Education's Avatar
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    I have also realised that I care more about the various relationships between the main ten or eleven characters and how they are going to play out than how or whether they are going to defeat the monster which is probably a sign of good characterisation if nothing else.

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    Lang Spoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ad hoc View Post
    Hmmmmm. My 11 year old daughter is watching this. She assured me it was a kid's series. Do I take it that it probably isn't really? Do I need to watch a couple of episodes to check if it's suitable?
    It’s definitely made for nostalgics over 35, and maybe teenagers as well, but it’s not crazy violent, but can get disturbing. PG-13 in what’s shown maybe. I was definitely allowed to watch worse age 11, but that was the 80’s, maaan.

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    Haven’t seen the second series but. Maybe there’s more baps and bush out than in the opening shower scene in Carrie, and a ton of claret all over the place in the new season. Doubt it though, it seems like a straight line amalgam of Spielberg and King.

  15. #15
    Bordeaux Education's Avatar
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    Anyone else noticed that Eleven is very similar looking to a sort of young version of Alien's Ripley but going backwards - shaved head in the first series and curly hair in the second.

  16. #16

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    Just finished series one. Great stuff. The girl playing Eleven deserves an award.

  17. #17
    Bordeaux Education's Avatar
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    Apparently, none of the kids acted beforehand.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bordeaux Education View Post
    The other thing about the series is that the whole …. Yet, it still works. Mainly because the characters are so good.
    I think you're in spoiler territory there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes View Post
    All in all it was very satisfying, although if you're not between 35 and 50 I can see it missing its mark completely.
    I did read the episode discussions on Reddit and the participants (who were all younger than me) were genuinely unanimous in their praise for season one, bar a few niggles. There was definitely a feeling that the characters grew throughout the series and that archetypes were subverted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bordeaux Education View Post
    Apparently, none of the kids acted beforehand.
    Wow. Then that's a testament to the producers and the director. Dustin did make me laugh several times.

  20. #20
    Bordeaux Education's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpy Pepys View Post
    I think you're in spoiler territory there.
    Do you think? Happy to put it in that spoiler mode if someone tells me how.

  21. #21
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    Like so: {spoiler}your spoiler text here{/spoiler}, but replace the curly brackets with straight ones.

  22. #22
    Bordeaux Education's Avatar
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    Binge watched the second series and ...
     
    am torn as to how I feel about where I place it in comparison to the first. I think that it is better as I very much enjoyed the way the characters developed - especially the more minor ones such as Lucas and Dustin. As I mentioned before, the story of the characters and their relationships, for most of the series, trumps the "killing the monster" part. Where the second series possibly fell down was, firstly, just not being the surprise the first series was (not its fault) and the "Lost Sister" episode with Eleven/Jane in Chicago.
    What I first saw Kali and her gang at the start fo the second series, I hated them and the idea of them. The former as I have a long term hatred for mainstream media perceptions of punks* stemming back to when they would turn up on Eastenders etc. The latter as I knew that their appearance probably meant a trip out of Hawkins for someone which I didn't want. I was still quite happy with exploring Hawkins and its stories more. The LS episode was, as has been pretty much admitted by the producers, the 'extra' ninth episode and they used it as pretty much a stand alone in the "Luke on Dagobah" mould. I know that it introduced crucial elements that were re-iterated later such as Eleven's humanity winning over on murderous revenge and using her anger to strengthen her powers (again, Kali playing Yoda in that scene) but the whole episode jarred with me. Like I say, perhaps after another series, i would have enough of Hawkins but not now. In saying that, the excursion to see Eleven's mother didn't feel out of place but the characters and setting felt more hometown and similar to Hawkins.

    On balance, still excellent even with the schmaltzy ending and looking forward to Series 3 (in 2019 apparently!)

    *both of these could have also been parodies on 80s films I am willing to believe. In the case of the plastic punks, this would be quite clever but wouldn't make me enjoy them any more

  23. #23

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    I finished season 2 as well. Some thoughts:

     

    * The writers have given Dustin more screentime (and gags), which is a good thing
    * Will has a much bigger role in season 2 and the actor playing him rises to the challenge
    * The Hopper/Elle scenes were very touching
    * The Chicago episode was really the weakest of the entire series, even if it did advance the plot. Is there some central casting somewhere for '80s LA punks'?
    * The Dustin-Steve scenes towards the end of season 2 were great.
    * Max was just your standard 'cool girl' character. I don't think the actress had a great deal to work with
    * The writers really need to do more with Billy next season
    * Dustin's hair. Ha ha ha!

  24. #24
    hobbes's Avatar
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    Don't forget Lucas' sister. She was awesome.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes View Post
    Don't forget Lucas' sister. She was awesome.
    Yes, she was really funny. Someone else who needs more screen-time next year. I'm struggling to think of a series where the standard of the child actors was so high.

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