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The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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Unveiling the upsidedown

As the credits flashed on my computer screen, I sat wondering how I completed an entire television series in less than 48 hours. Not typically a fan of science fiction, I found myself stunned with utter enjoyment while watching the new Netflix original series, Stranger Things.

The series begins on a late night in the early 1980s, when four best friends sit down for a standard session of Dungeons and Dragons. Once the fun is over, 12-year-old Will Byers bikes home and comes across something otherworldly. Despite his best efforts to call for help, Will vanishes, plunging the otherwise sleepy town into turmoil.

After her son has been missing for countless hours, Will’s frantic mother Joyce, played by award-winning actress Winona Ryder, notifies the authorities. During the search for her son, Joyce meets detective Jim Hopper, who is initially no help in responding to her motherly intuition. Despite the lack of help, Joyce is not discouraged, and she is not the only one who longs for the re-appearance of Will.

In school, Will’s friends wander helplessly, burdened by questions about the disappearance of their best friend. The trio is smarter than they appear, and after being told that this was strictly a job for the police, they sneak out into the woods to search for Will. This is where Dustin, Mike and Lucas meet the mysterious Eleven, a practically mute girl who joins them on their quest.

We soon learn that Eleven, who is quite literally a government lab rat, has a psychokinetic gift. Played by Millie Bobbie Brown, the strange girl with a shaved head can flip cars and shatter windows. By far the most intriguing character in the series, the Eggo-waffle-lover Eleven, learns the virtues of kindness and loyalty after befriending the trio, while having been held in captivity for the entirety of her life.

My compulsion to continue watching this series was rooted from a place far beyond entertainment. At the end of every episode, I found myself in a pit of wonder. So many separate events were somehow linked together in  45 minut es.

Although at first the plot is hard to digest, taking many unexpected turns, before I knew it, I was completely absorbed in the Netflix series. The series possesses an ability to make you believe that the impossible is possible. Mixing two parallel universes and three middle school boys, makes Stranger Things far from predictable. In fact, over the course of the nine episode season, there was never a moment where I was not taken by surprise.

Stranger Things is a coming of age about the supernatural forces that lurk in a world separate from our reality. The series posseses  the quintessential themes of kindness, friendship and adventure, but elevated to a whole new level and suitable for any audience. The writers of this series – Matt and Ross Duffer – have a mind beyond the average imagination, allowing you to embark on an adventure in the small town of Hawkens, Indiana.

In the past I have found myself questioning the unrealistic attributes of supernatural characters, and the over dramatized scenes which are present in TV shows of this genre. Stranger Things was the one exception.

I am eagerly awaiting the release of the second season, which is rumored to air sometime before July 2017. If you haven’t seen the sci-fi phenomenon, you are missing out.