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The ‘Stranger Things’ Time Machine For Us ’80s Kids.
I think we all understand that ‘Stranger Things’ is just a great show, but I also think there’s something that makes it even more magical to a certain demographic – for my demographic.
For people like me, people who grew up during those amazing years of the 1980s and who were right around the ages of the friends we follow throughout this tale, this show is the closest we’re ever going to get to a time machine.
There are only a couple of films and television shows set during the decade that nail the ‘vibe’ as well as this show does.
It allows us to have one last experience of watching a group of young kids whose lives and interests feel so hauntingly familiar, go on an adventure and become the heroes of their world. If this show were released on VHS, with all of the ugly tracking problems and the blurry picture that we once thought was amazing, it would be indiscernible from the any of sources that it borrows it’s atmosphere from.
And it’s that feeling of authenticity that allows it to become one more ‘The Goonies’, one more ‘Explorers’, one more ‘The Lost Boys’, one more escape to that time of our lives before we resume trying to figure out who the guy in the mirror with the grey hairs in his beard came from.
Having just finished Season Three, and if you’ve finished too, I have to ask….
How AWESOME was that mall recreation??
They even nailed the diagonal boards on the Orange Julius marquee! I mean, that was my Orange Julius!
Sam Goody, The Gap with the orange storefront….it was all there just the way we left it.
And the music!
One of the other things that ‘Stranger Things’ does so well, and is so easy to accomplish yet apparently so difficult for other projects that attempt to revisit our beloved decade, is that they never have a piece of music playing that wasn’t actually released yet in its timeline.
How many times have you been watching something set in say…1985, and maybe ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ is playing somewhere in the scene, while ‘Appetite For Destruction’ wasn’t released until 1987?
This is something that makes me insane! It’s so lazy, and it will ruin any viewing experience that my girlfriend is having after I lose my mind about it when it happens in something we’re watching.
The Billboard charts of every year are available online, Hollywood! Use them! ‘Stranger Things’ does!
Oh, and while it’s one of the most egregious offenders, I give ‘The Goldbergs’ a pass on this because I think its entire gimmick is to make all things ’80s have one big sloppy orgy on screen.
Hence the “It was July 7th 1980something…” tag at the outset of each episode.
‘Stranger Things’ consistency isn’t limited to just music either – toys, films, TV shows…they seem to maintain this level of timeline authenticity with everything on screen, and it’s appreciated…at least by me.
‘Stranger Things’ is what I consider the true catalyst to the ’80’s Rad-issance‘. (You see what I did there?)
Seeing how well it was done, and how audiences responded to it, seemed to push Hollywood into an ‘All things ’80s’ mentality.
But I have bad news, fellow time travelers.
This is probably not going to last much longer.
We’ve been at this for years now, and some incredibly well-done vehicle set in the ’90s that’s going to make all the ’90’s Kids’ gush about it’s authenticity to their time is sitting in the wings like a perched vulture waiting for that one last breath of nostalgic ’80s air to fade.
And then all we’ll have left will be our memories…you know, until a few years from now when the old mind starts to go.
But hey…until then…BRING ON SEASON FOUR!!
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