Stranger Things and Spooky Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. It can influence everything—even the TV shows we watch! Netflix’s Stranger Things is one show that has used nostalgia to propel itself to the top.

Stranger Things follows a group of kids in 1980s Middle America as they come in contact with (and sometimes battle) otherworldly monsters, conspiracies and secret agencies in small town USA. It is best described as Sci-Fi, Horror TV. Both of those genres are niche markets, yet somehow Stranger Things has become a cultural zeitgeist. It has great production value, phenomenal acting (special shout out to the kids!), character arcs (Steve Harrington) and an interesting story. But the real attraction is nostalgia.

The shows creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, known as the Duffer Brothers, are children of the ‘80s. They created Stranger Things as an in-your-face homage to ’80s pop culture. The soundtrack, score and storytelling are all reminiscent of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, and George Lucas. Like the Duffers, today’s adult television audience grew up in the ‘80s and enjoys a trip down memory lane. Sure, their lives may not have had a supernatural Demogorgon, but the hairstyles alone bring back fond memories. The show also benefits from its lead roles being kids, which attracts a younger audience not bent on nostalgia, because they see themselves in the characters.

Stranger Things is a show that would have been mediocre at best on Network TV, but due to Netflix’s large production budget, it has become one of TV’s best. Its third season premieres this summer and if it is anything like the last two it will be the talk of both worlds, the right side up and upside down.

  • SOURCE: Netflix, Wall Street Journal, Rotten Tomatoes
  • SERIES: Stranger Things
  • WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: Who Doesn’t Love the 80s?

AUTHOR: Dan Nelsen
ORIGIN: Speaking Human Contributor

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