Netflix's Stranger Things Gets Positive Reviews, Will Come Back for Season 2

Thursday, 07 July 2016 - 10:55AM
Netflix
Reviews
Stranger Things
Thursday, 07 July 2016 - 10:55AM
Netflix's Stranger Things Gets Positive Reviews, Will Come Back for Season 2
Netflix has had a great record with geeky properties, most notably with their Marvel collaborations, but that doesn't mean they haven't had their missteps. Sense8 and Between are both pretty schlocky, Hemlock Grove was hit-or-miss, etc. So we were a little hesitant to embrace the sci-fi mystery Stranger Things, which releases its first season on the streaming service next weekend, but luckily, it's getting stellar reviews. By all accounts, the 80's throwback series is a nostalgic and effective homage to the classic Steven Spielberg and Stephen King films of the era.

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After seeing the first three episodes, I can say this is going to be the best show of the summer and may rival some of the blockbusters hitting theaters. A true throwback to the heydey [sic] of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, Stranger Things is a pastiche to films like E.T., STARMAN, WATCHERS, FIRESTARTER, and SILVER BULLET. It also should appeal to fans of more recent films like SUPER 8, IT FOLLOWS, and MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. This is a great show that will hook you from the first five minutes and will not let go. - Joblo
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Stranger Things... is heavily influenced by Stephen King and Steven Spielberg works of the era, including E.T., Firestarter, It, Stand By Me, and Poltergeist. Heavily, heavily influenced. Is that a bad thing? Certainly not when it's this much fun to watch. - Gizmodo
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Stranger Things is nothing if not a surprising, sometimes scary, moving and successful homage to the era of Spielberg's ET and the 1980s themselves - as well as the films of the great John Carpenter. - Deadline
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It could be a lost 80s relic. Capturing the look and feel of the era, referencing Poltergeist, Close Encounters of the Third Kind or a darker remix of ET. Thankfully Stranger Things isn't just an exercise in retro nostalgia; it's also a gripping mystery with heavy sci-fi overtones. - The List
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However, in a series that so explicitly intends to be a send-up, there will inevitably be detractors who think it goes over the line into derivative. In this case it's Empire, but even their review called the first season "an engaging eight episodes" and gave it three out of five stars, so it's probably worth seeing for ourselves.

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Where this approach falls down is when these references are no longer used as entertaining background details, but instead are swiped wholesale. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is the biggest victim... but a scene from Aliens gets lifted too, and at one point a character, marvelling at what's unfolding, asks, "You read any Stephen King?" It would be a fair bet to say The Duffer Brothers have.
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And Netflix seems to be optimistic about the show's prospects. Although officially, representatives are claiming that a second season renewal is "not confirmed," star Matthew Modine told Premiere (via Screencrush) in a recent interview, "it's a series … oh, there will be a Season 2, yeah." This may just be a confirmation that it's not intended as a limited series rather than a hint at renewal, but it's safe to say that if the show lives up to the hype, it will definitely be back for another installment.

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Set in Hawkins Indiana in the 1980's, Stranger Things chronicles the search for a young boy who vanishes into thin air under highly suspicious circumstances. His mother (Winona Ryder) opens an investigation into the boy's disappearance with local authorities that unravels a series of mysteries involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. A love letter to the ubiquitous cult classics of the 80's, Stranger Things is a coming of age story for three boys that draws this quaint community into a world where mysteries lurk beneath the surface.
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Stranger Things starts streaming all eight episodes on July 15 on Netflix.
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Stranger Things

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