Alycia and I haven’t really done a lot of binge watching since Clara was born. It’s hard to watch more than an episode of 30 Rock when at any moment Clara could start crying, poop her diaper or need some consoling. On top of writing, going to bed early and watching sports, new TV shows have been hard to come by.
However, over the long Labor Day weekend, Alycia and I decided to board the Stranger Things train even though we were extremely late. I was a little hesitant to watch the show because I don’t like being scared, but I’m glad we did.
Stranger Things is a great show highlighted by strong characters and even stronger storytelling. The Duffer Brothers did an unbelievable job at capturing so many aspects about the 80s and the movies of my youth. The tone, the music and the performances were absolutely perfect. I was definitely scared while watching Stranger Things, but it was so good that I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen,
Here are some thoughts I had while watching Stranger Things.
The child actors in Stranger Things are getting a lot of the credit for why the show is so good, accolades they richly deserve. I immediately connected with the four friends because I could so easily see myself in their characters. I didn’t play Dungeons and Dragons, but I did play my fair share of the Star Wars role-playing game and board games like HeroQuest. I don’t know how my group of friends would have responded to the events of Stranger Things, but I know we stood up for each other when facing the bullies and monsters at school. Friendship is important and we’d all benefit from having friends who would stop at nothing to help us in our moment of need.
I was never pressured into drinking at a party or smoking cigarettes behind the liquor store, probably because I didn’t go to parties or hang out behind the liquor store. I also benefitted from having a solid group of friends at church with which I spent most of my time. Some of the characters in Stranger Things definitely fall victim to peer pressure, making choices contrary to their character to simply fit in. We think of peer pressure as something that happens at parties in high school, but it can happen as adults. When we spend time with friends who go on and on about their big purchases or are consumed by the latest Netflix show, their choices can influence our behavior. We may not have people trying to get us to shotgun a beer at a party, but we do need to be aware of how the attitudes and habits of our friends impact us.
One of the most upsetting parts about Stranger Things not having to do with a terrifying monster was the lack of engaged adults. All of the kids and teenagers felt like they didn’t have any adult in their lives to whom they could confide. They were all running around trying to solve their problems on their own, something which kids and teenagers aren’t equipped to do. I want to be an adult with whom kids and teenagers would feel comfortable talking. Even if a student came to me and said that their friend had fallen into a parallel dimension, I hope that I would be willing to sit and listen. As adults, we need to build trust with the young people in our lives so that when they really need guidance, help and direction, they won’t hesitate in coming to us.
If you’ve yet to watch Stranger Things I would highly recommend it. If you have a child then perhaps you can sneak episodes in during nap time like Alycia and I did yesterday. It is a very entertaining show that often left me on the edge of my seat, clutching a pillow tightly. Carve out eight hours over the next few weeks or few days for Stranger Things; you’ll be happy and scared that you did.
What did you think of Stranger Things?