Modern youth, of course, does not have the experience of growing up in the 80s. They form their opinion about that time based on a persuasive creation that has little to do with reality.
If your teenage kids are staying up all night, flushed on their faces and watching a series, it means that the new season of "Stranger Things" directed by Ross and Matt Duffer is here. You will probably ask: what is it? Well, briefly speaking, we are dealing with a pop culture phenomenon with quite considerable artistic ambitions, which was packaged into a cleverly conceived business project, bringing millions (if not billions) in profits.
Less than two weeks after the premiere of the most recent work by the Duffer brothers, the viewers have already spent over ... 335 million hours watching it. So what is so special about this four-season series?
Association, or I’ve seen it somewhere
“Stranger Things" is a patchwork made of the most colorful pieces of American pop culture of the 1980s. This includes primarily adventure cinema for children, enriched with fantastic or fantasy elements. It is worth mentioning here movies such as "Goonies" (1985) and "E.T." (1982). The directors also added elements of horror to the mix (inspired by films such as "Alien", 1979, "A Nightmare on Elm Street", 1985, "It", 1990, "Carrie", 1976) and - especially in subsequent seasons when the main characters are growing up - the series also displays similarities with “Beverly Hills 90210".
Maybe the only thing that is original in this series is the consistent and purposeful lack of originality? Maybe the creators are just talented artisans who, feeding on the still fresh pop culture myths, were able to hypnotize at least two generations of viewers? Maybe. But even if we ignore the sentimental reaction (an obvious one for 40+ people), we will easily notice that this series can be used as an excellent catalyst to set accounts with the times in which we grew up (with their pros and cons). Hence it can also evoke emotions that accompany reminiscing, for instance about school groups and playing in the backyard, things that in the past, in the 80s, were a daily occurrence.
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Yes, even if our lives differed from the Western way of living - eventually, its influence reached us as well. In addition, perhaps inadvertently, the makers of the film sell us quite an interesting story about the nature of personal evil (obviously woven from the threads of "The Exorcist", "Twin Peaks", "Lord of the Rings" and "Alien"). As a result, we may be surprised to find that we are watching one of the most interesting television productions of recent years. So what if unoriginal?
Music for the masses
For Netflix, "Stranger Things" is like a hen that lays golden eggs. Indeed, the series is captivating and well-made. It is intriguing not only for purely cinematic reasons (idea, production, dramaturgy, roles) but also because of its enormous commercial potential, stemming from its perfect “timing”. The mythology associated with the eighth decade of the twentieth century is skillfully dosed in the series, strengthening the hype among the kids who know those times from the stories of their parents; 40-year olds, on the other hand, long for the bygone days.
This sentiment around the film translates into gadgets with the "Eighties" trademark: - T-shirts, caps, mugs, etc.
Read the full story here.
By Marek Horodniczy
Translated by S.J.