The Stranger Things Phenomenon

The Netflix original series Stranger Things became globally known shortly after its debut in mid-July. Set in the 80s, Stranger Things focuses around four young kids and their quest to find their friend after he mysteriously disappears. A government organization has a possible involvement in the disappearance as a supernatural entity lurks through the town.

Since the release, people are going crazy over the unique characters and storyline. Conspiracy theories, viewing parties and recreated costumes have trended among dedicated fans. Some have even dressed their small children as characters from the show. The show is most often compared to E.T. and Super 8. Stranger Things has gotten positive mention from Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. The hype surrounding the show has caused the series to continue to gain popularity, despite the meager eight-episode run. Since the show only has eight episodes in the first season, some wonder why the show has gained its popularity seemingly overnight.

Apart from the gripping storyline, the four young leads are all under the age of 15. The younger actors give outstanding performances in the show. Among the cast, 12-year-old Millie Bobby Brown has received praise for her dynamic performance as her character, Eleven. She plays a girl with telekinesis who is in hiding from a government organization that involved her in a series of tasks using her powers. They often ask her to go into a parallel universe or communicate using only her mind. Winona Ryder also gives a gripping performance as Joyce Byers, the mother of the missing boy. Her relentless efforts to find him are highlighted throughout the season.

Julie Hrivnak a recent fan, said “It’s like Goonies meets The X-Files meets E.T.” Hrivnak saw the popularity surrounding the show online. She started seeing Stranger Things posted all over Facebook and after sifting through the posts she knew it was worth watching. Her description of the show was, “A new show that throws back to the 80s.” She was surprised her close friends were genuinely invested in the show so soon after its release. The eerie elements keep the audience captivated and guessing.

Part of the sensation is the show’s ability to captivate a large audience. The outfits, music and little details cross generational gaps, furthering the series’ appeal.

It was recently announced the show was picked up for a second season. It is set to air on Netflix sometime in 2017. Over the last few years it has become more popular for streaming services to release their own content. Netflix originals like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards have gotten a similar response.

The following of Stranger Things increases every day. Cosplay has been a large part of the show’s popularity. People have posted recreated costume photos online since the show’s debut. Since each character has a unique 80s look, the cosplay fandom will only continue to grow. With the media in a Stranger Things frenzy and new fans cropping up every day, season 2 will have a lot to live up to.

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXX ELDER

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXX ELDER

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