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Stranger Things: A Critical Analysis

by Barney Rabl about a year ago in tv

Stranger Things portrays complex emotions; through the lives of young teenagers.

Aren’t some stories worth listening, because you know the people the story is about; we keep coming back for more and are drawn deeper into the story due to the same reason. Netflix series, Stranger Things is one such story. Not because of the story itself, but due to the ever-growing character identities. Stranger Things portrays complex emotions; through the lives of young teenagers. The viewer connects to the non-fantasy life of school children and almost all the characters portrayed are young which gives us a sense of connection to our younger selves; thus it’s a ride down the memory lane. Viewers can relate to their childish problems; their solutions immature, yet completely just. The very nature of the show has also allowed its characters to grow. Throughout the show, every character is worked on, creating a very precise world view for that particular character. This method of character identity development on-screen is uniquely satisfying. Their decisions and choices seem justified; as the story progresses viewers can create a stronger connection to the characters and feel more involved in the story.

A visual joyride

There are various instances where the show grips you, thrills you, and chills you. The mesmerizing visuals bring life to the story, the show’s increased budget makes differentiating reality from imagination and fiction harder. Incredible CGI helps aid the filmmaker’s idea and creates a better understanding of the scenes. So far, its season 3; two more are yet to come, and things are only getting better visually, but it doesn't look ‘sunny’ in terms of the story now.

The title and the race

The show is about a group of kids from Indiana, the title itself is very witty with the suffix ‘-er; in the Stranger Things title does not signify more strange (like; deep-er, wid-er), instead it signifies strang-er as a person (like; build-er, writ-er). The show revolves around the concept of the strange; beyond this world, the unknown, and the strangers around; the people we don’t know about. This theory provides enough context to the story, making it more appealing. In the first season, Will disappears to the ‘Upside Down’, which remains the biggest concern to the characters. The first season serves its purpose of creating confusion about the unknown. To the viewers upside down remains mysterious throughout the first season of the show. With incredible performances, gripping, tense, and captivating storytelling; the had everyone in its arms. As season two kicked in viewers were engaged even more. The story worked on growing deep-rooted characters and more exploration of the unknown. This season delivered its purpose of proving that it could be more than a ‘missing-child story’.

Flawed, but only getting better

Season three; the kid characters are now grown into teenagers and have developed these strange new feelings as puberty had just hit them. This season introduces new characters, and all the characters play a very significant role in the story. It is the best looking season in terms of visuals and cinematography but the story lacks its spark as compared to the earlier seasons. In season 3 story-lines become more predictable; as viewers gain a better understanding of every character, the show seems predictable. Also, the performances felt dull; not that they are bad actors; just the story doesn't demand much acting now. The writing lacked in various aspects in this season, the style of portraying the story has changed. It's no longer all tense and intense, instead, it works slowly and very slowly plotting points of major importance. When the story ends, you are left with a minimum to none anticipation to tune in to the next edition of the story. It ends with a sense of no return, but according to Stranger Things directors, there are two more seasons to be made. It will be interesting to see how the stories connect now; as the characters are all scattered.

Slower than a stage play

Stranger Things is a show that has really good overall dynamics; the characters, performances, story and the execution keeps you on the hook. But as a story, some consider it slow-paced, which is alright as the characters keep growing along with the subplots. But, its harder to keep the viewers committed to a story at a slow pace. The audience loses interest as subplots drive a poorly paced story. It's not that the makers of the show didn’t have a story to tell in the first place; it's just that at instances the story begins to bore. A viewer might feel like sticking around till the end difficult, and wish “It were faster”.


In my opinion, Stranger Things are gaining momentum from season to season, and the next things seem to be better than the previous ones. Who knows what awaits us in the 4th and 5th season? Lots of people are waiting for the adventures of Eleven and her friends to resume. If you are one of these people and would like to refresh the whole story described so far, then you have to test yourself in this trivia quiz!


Barney Rabl

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Barney Rabl
Read next: Book Review: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass series) by Sarah J. Maas

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