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Stranger Things: Bicycles vs. Evil

Pilot Review

Salome Aydlett, Guest Writer

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The buzz of static electricity and the flickering of fluorescent lights open on a deserted hallway. The sound of footsteps and heavy breathing quickly overpower the static buzz, and we see a lone figure running rapidly through the hall. He slams into an elevator, frantically pressing buttons until the door shuts behind him. It is then we hear a low whimpering growl, and the scene goes dark. This is the dramatic opening to Stranger Things, the Duffer Brothers’ hit sci-fi TV show that premiered on Netflix in 2016. This dark mystery, set in 1983, follows the adventures of a ragtag group of kids and their superpowered friend Eleven as they try to find their missing friend Will.

Within the first minutes of the season, we meet Eleven and get a preview of the destruction that follows in her wake. Following Eleven’s appearance, we are introduced to an array of quirky and believable characters: including Jim Hopper, an alcoholic police chief; Joyce Byers, a crazed mom; Jonathan Byers, an awkwardly sweet photographer; and Nancy Wheeler, a self-proclaimed “smart girl.” After Will’s disappearance, the whole town of Hawkins, Indiana is on the case. Throughout the next 50 minutes, we are introduced to the “upside down”, the place Will presumably disappear to, and revisit the strange black goo that we were introduced to in the beginning of the episode.

Stranger Things’ riveting soundtrack, scenery, and wardrobe design lend a very believable and off-kilter feel to the early 80’s setting. If you’re in the market for an enthralling, edge of your seat mystery thriller, then Stranger Things is the show for you.

It stars an impeccable cast of Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers)  along with child star Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), both of whose performances haven’t been matched on TV for years. The writers blend dark humor easily with the underlying heartbreak of the show and the cast lends just enough emotion to make it believable.

Whether you’re young or old, Stranger Things has set a new bar for sci-fi TV, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a show that wraps humor, heartache, mystery, and drama into a better package than this Netflix Original does. In the wise words of Eleven, “Friends don’t lie.” And I’m definitely not lying about how incredible Stranger Things is. Seriously, watch it.

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