Netflix has a long history of successful is shows that come out of nowhere. What began with House of Cards spread to Orange is the New Black which flowed through Bloodline before setting up the ambitious MCU TV universe with Daredevil. But now another has come to lay its crown on the throne. The Duffer Brothers recent ‘80s set sci-fi drama running off nostalgia has become somewhat a surprise hit by causing some buzz online. And while many shows and movies use nostalgia - 10 reboots every month - only a few are successful. Here's how Stranger Things got so successful:
A lot of scripted shows try to present characters and situations as fake while the situation they are in is real. Stranger Things loves using the weird culture of the ‘80s and putting it to use. From Poltergeist to the Star Wars toys to Dungeons & Dragons that Mike, Lucas,Will and Dustin love; nerds feel right at home. Even to the older characters like Nancy, Joyce, Chief Hopper, and Jonathan; the stuff they do and the clothes they wear all feel authentic and transports you to time when everything was better. The characterization is the best part as all the characters are scared, or mean, or begrudgingly rude at first but then are willing to do whatever they can to help find Will. And many people would not really care or help somebody in dire unless it begins to affect their life; which is exactly what Stranger Things explores. It's this realistic human nature that sets Stranger Things on a different path than most typical shows.
That Soundtrack! Oh, it's beautiful… truly glorious indeed. The opening track feels like the lost work of John Carpenter while other parts feel meant for ET or Close Encounters but never made it in. And don't forget The Clash! The Duffer Brothers have put together a track that transports you to the time and place as well as James Gunn famously did with Guardians of the Galaxy. Music is as imperative to the show as the culture was back then.
The ‘80s used to be a glorious time when creators and studios weren't afraid of they should show kids. Gremlins, The Goonies, and especially Poltergeist didn't hold back what they showed kids at the time. Now the only good kids movies that the whole family can see are animated ones. With Stranger Things bringing back the edgy style that kids will probably be interested in and it being so popular right now – possibly with kids – it opens up a new direction. Hollywood is just a system of trends so if Stranger Things show a new path, expect more shows and movies like it on the way.