After hearing Retro banging on about this show and then Stevenger posting about it (linky link) I decided to fire up Netflix and give it a whirl.
Like always Il cover the main points that interested me, you can get a full mammoth review anywhere else on Google.
To get the conclusion out the way first, this show is great, it’s set in 83 and pulls no stops and makes no excuses about using nostalgia as a guilty pleasure!
Right from the bat, that cover/poster art is amazing and sets the style of what you are in for. Designed to imitate the early starwars and early 80’s films posters definitely hits that nostalgia pang. Nostalgic will be used alot here, maybe it’s an internal human desire to harp back to a once more care free time in ones life but I love it! (could just be me)
The intro and music again is like some warm embrace to yester year including vhs style flics and pops. The electronic Orchestra is befitting a show from the era and adds a creepy overtone setting you up with what’s to come. Stephen King would be proud and I’m sure the font for the title are similar if not the same to his books.
8 episodes is all you get however I’ve come to realise that this is in no way a bad thing, the ride is over quickly but in no way did I feel cheated. Maybe like most shows parts of the ending could have been explored a bit more but hey this could be for the next season. Again though weird sh*t never really got explained in older movies you just excepted the fact that something happened, a more innocent time, I find these day with all the information we have at our finger tips we expect to much.
The genre of this marvel is scifi and horror, if I had to use the baby analogy the formula would be, if: E.T., Goonies, Poltergeist and (insert Stephen King novel) had a baby this would be it. The attention to detail is so good, lots of Easter eggs, like the officers uniforms (from jaws), Kujo being read (Stephen King), movie posters and lots more (quick Google search)
The plot is nothing new, standard Monster movie type stuff but as mentioned above the little details and the delivery make this special. If you’re not sentimental or take things to pragmatically you will think this is average and that’s unfortunately neither the shows or your fault. I found myself at several points yelling at the TV “why are you going in there” or held at a suspenseful edge awaiting for something or someone to jump out! I read a user review on imdb and they suggested that you detach from your modern day toys switch the lights out and get immersed. I couldn’t agree more, makes for a much better experience!
The characters themselves were all good and all there, you could have checked them off on a list. High school nerds, check, bully, check, weird brother, check, washed up cop, check… I could go on. No performance that I can recall was out of place, they were are superb, the stand outs being Winona Rider and Gaten Matarazzo, the later playing the ‘chunk’ /’mouth’ role. Another mention has to go to the tongue in cheek cop duo, these two played off each other so well.
The ending obviously is left open but it does conclude the arc for this series. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m not going into any sort of detail. It’s a satisfactory conclusion and leaves a few bits to the imagination or ultimately next season. The show is worth your time and is one of the very best I’ve seen in recent years. I can’t recommend it enough.
Turn off your phone, turn off the lights, get your popcorn and your pillow but ultimately enjoy this rare marvel.