Stranger Things is Honest in its Love of the 80s and D&D

Finished watching Stranger Things. Loved it, but I’m pretty much the ideal audience. It’s not for everyone, but like True Detective Season 1, it rises above and entertains better than most.

But hey, some people are sticklers and parse everything out, looking for every possible fault before deciding from on high whether something is good or bad. Some people need to make their opinion bigger and more important than the art they are commenting on. Here, cruising along in the 21st century, everybody thinks they know better than artists who pour everything they have into a project.

Me? I want to be entertained. But more importantly I want to be entertained honestly. I want to see clarity of vision, risk taking, and art with boundaries. I want to see love and passion for a project, brought to life with care and creativity. And while I loath both laziness and complacency, I mostly hate those who compromise a vision because they refuse to be honest. With themselves. With their characters. With their audience.

You may find fault in Stranger Things because it’s not perfect. You may not like it because you can’t relate to the characters. You may think its horror-SF trappings cliche and dated. And that’s fine. Good for you.

But I liked Stranger Things. A lot. Because it was written for me, and not just 12-years-old and playing D&D in the early 80s me, who is basically a composite of many of the main characters. But also the me who is a father who loves his child and would do anything for her. And also the fanboy me who likes to be entertained.

And finally for the writer-me, who wants people with my upbringing and interests to be successful and create more cool stuff. The show is honest with its characters, its setting, and, most importantly, its audience. It gives us everything it’s got and asks for little in return. So yeah, I liked Stranger Things. A lot.

I hope you do too.

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