‘Stranger Things’ season 1 review: Was this series successful in creeping us out?

Stranger ThingsWhen the buzz started up about “Stranger Things” we were really excited to jump into this show, especially when we heard it was set in the 80’s! So now that we have finished season 1 are we still as pumped for the show as we were going into it? There are a lot of things to love about this series and it should definitely come back for another season, but there one thing we would like to see change the next time around.

What we liked:

The cast: This was a perfect example of an ensemble cast. While we know that they probably meant for Winona Ryder to be the star, we felt that the whole cast was filled with stars and together they created smooth momentum all the way through the season. For us, as great as Winona Ryder was (and she really was fantastic), there were so many stand outs in this cast. Hopper, Jonathan, Nancy, Lucas, Mike and Dustin all played a part in bringing this together. If we had to say there was a stand out for us we would easily look towards Millie Bobby Brown in her role of Eleven, but really it was the way this whole cast came together that made this series a hit.

The creep factor: There are not a lot of shows in the sci-fi/horror genre right now and there really hasn’t been a great one in a while. We did have the resurrection of “The X-Files” for a few episodes last fall, but there were times watching this series that we found ourselves having to walk away for a breather and we aren’t ashamed to admit that we may have had a nightmare or two after watching these episodes late at night. This job sometimes makes it difficult to sift through the TV landscape and find a show that makes us feel something, but “Stranger Things” made us feel uneasy and we tip our hat to Netflix for doing that.

What we we would change:

Too similar to other projects: Growing up in the 80’s we lived off of movies like “Pretty In Pink”, “Sixteen Candles” and “The Goonies” and this show definitely brought us back to that time. While the feel of that time period was a lot of fun to visit, this show felt very closely mirrored to “The Goonies” as well as other 80’s movies. We understand that the creators wanted to pay homage to those films, but there were so many nods that it started to take away from the original content for us. Next season, we would love to see them take a step away from that and grow more into their own beast with just slight nods to other shows and movies from that time instead of it feeling like things we have already seen.

Over all this was a show we really enjoyed and even though it was over hyped, it didn’t take away from the fun journey. The one thing we do worry about is that the young boys from the cast are right at that age where they could come back next season and look like men. Just look at what happened with “Game of Thrones” actor Issac Hempstead Wright who ended one season with Bran being a young boy and came back the next season almost completely unrecognizable without any time jump. Other then that, “Stranger Things” wrapped up season 1 nicely while leaving just enough dangling questions for a season 2. We can’t wait to see what season 2 brings us. Season grade: A-

What did you think of the first season of “Stranger Things” and what do you want to see for season 2? Leave us a comment in the box below and share your thoughts. If you want to read our reviews (and some scoop) on “Stranger Things” then head on over to the link here and let us be your guide. Also, if you want more great TV news sent your way then be sure to sign up for our weekly CarterMatt newsletter. (Photo: Netflix)

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