If you haven't watched the Netflix Original Series, Stranger Things, bookmark this for later consumption. If you proceed, consider yourself warned. This is a major spoiler alert.
I'm currently in research mode for a Sci-Fi idea I'm developing into a pitch bible so Stranger Things couldn't have come in my life at a more perfect time.
I was originally worried that I would have to subject myself to some pretty bad Sci-Fi since there's so much of it out there. After all, not everything can be as good as The X-Files.
But I had nothing to worry about with Stranger Things and I knew it within 7 minutes into the pilot (and yes, I noted the time I texted my sister cursing her for recommending a show that made me want to crap my pants already).
Which leads me to the first thing that I love about this new tv web show recently released on July 15th...
It made me want to crap my pants within 7 minutes into the pilot.
Now. Don't get me wrong. The first scene where the terrified lab scientist runs for his life to escape something clearly dangerous was pretty scary but it wasn't until this yet-to-be-seen monster was after 12-year-old Will Byers right outside his own home that I couldn't take it anymore.
It was so tense that I literally had to pause the show to deal with it.
That being said, it was a great move on the part of the Duffer Brothers - twins Matt and Ross - to keep the monster a mystery. It was so much scarier to face the unknown than any hideous faceless monster from the get-go.
If there's anything I don't like about our present culture is that nothing is left to the imagination. There is no mystery any more.
But that's not the case with Stranger Things. And it's all done effectively - the story, the pacing, the soundtrack - with real pant-crapping potential.
I loved that the storyline showcased several female points of view.
Being a mother myself, having Joyce Byers' character (played to perfection by Winona Ryder) weaved beside the storyline of her son's three best friends gave me someone I could easily connect with. Every mother knows the fear of having her child kidnapped and although my sister has assured me that I won't be losing my son to an alien in the Upside Down, we all know there are real human monsters already out there on Earth. Joyce's perspective made this story a lot more personal - and scary - for me.
But there are two other female perspectives that were equally as compelling in their own way. We also have Nancy Wheeler, the older sister of Mike Wheeler (one of Will Byers' best buds), and, of course, the telekinetic girl named Eleven, who escaped from the same secret government lab that The Monster from the Upside Down came from.
Nancy's storyline is completely relatable to girls and women of all ages. For instance, how many of us have ditched or been ditched by their friend for a guy? I know it's not exclusive to the female experience but it does seem to be a predominant experience among women.
But what I liked about it was that despite Nancy's mistake in allowing her friend to go home alone so she could hook up with Steve Harrington, she learned from her mistake and didn't allow her friend, Barb, to be easily cast aside a second time (although I'm confused as to why the cops would rationalize Barb's disappearance as being a runaway when another child disappeared within a mile within the last week) and she fought equally as hard as the boys did to find their missing friend.
Although I have to add - even though Steve showed some loyalty and heroics in the end - I was let down that she chose him over Jonathan Byers in the end. I know why the writers did it but I wish it didn't have to be this way, that's all.
Last but certainly not least, there is the character, Eleven. Nothing but a number to the clearly evil lab scientist, Dr. Martin Brenner, who abducted her from her mother to conduct mind-bending lab experiments, she symbolizes how so many young girls out in the world are treated - valued only by what she can provide for men.
Although it was great that they gave these amazing superpowers to a female character and that she was the one that ultimately destroyed The Monster in the end (I told you this would spoil the show if you haven't seen it), it was more interesting to me that Dr. Brenner's abuse of this child's telekinetic powers was ultimately the reason The Monster was able to rip through to our world from an upside down, parallel universe.
It served as a warning that when you abuse your power, you will ultimately be eaten by your own greed, leading me to my third reason I loved Stranger Things...
I loved that The Monster ate Dr. Brenner in the end.
It was the most satisfying way to end his monstrous character. But I do wish we could have learned more about the evil lab scientist throughout the season. After all, what would make him treat a child with such coldness? He wouldn't even give Eleven a real name.
But I guess that's all the 'stranger things' that hopefully will be explored in Season 2 (with all the chatter going on about this show, I have a strong feeling it will be picked up for another season by Netflix).