Stranger Things and the 80's
I was wondering why Stranger Things got so much hype when, of course, the 80’s was the lost decade. The trends, the movies, the music and everything pop culture about that era never survived the 90’s grunge movement. Everything was made into such a joke, everything from the clothing to the hair do all the way to its most finest technology that even the people who grew up in that decade, choose not to mention it.
So, how this one show, that got dropped by so many production houses, despite giving clear homage to the forgotten pop culture of that era, still managed to give a sense of nostalgia to the set of people that spent so many years trying not to talk about their youth.
The thing I think, the creator of the show realise is that 80’s was the time where everything that we know today as normal entertainment and technology, was conceived, born or were in their infancy. Culture and technology, unlike human kids, are pretty much ugly when they are born. It needs refinement to truly achieve its beauty and that is why every generation would look back to the previous one and laugh. This is no more truer then the 80’s where the ideas of cell phones, internet, completely different concepts of fashion, music and movies were being conceived. It was the playground of computers and people were desperately trying to incorporate it into everything. Obviously, technology was not as slick and sexy back then so they try to cover it with glitters and made everything shiny and sparkly, a culture which in turn, to the more streamlined and minimal generations that followed, did not age well.
Stranger Things, tackles this problem by refining out the things that are absolutely forgotten for the generation. Movies like Nightmare At Elm Street, Alien series, The Thing, Friday The 13th and Evil Dead were all products of that era. Being a series set with four kids as lead, it has a stark resemblance with Goonies. The movie references Poltergeist and Star Wars; and when it comes to music, it specifically chooses The Clash. From the era of glam rock, the series chooses punk rock. The Clash and some other bands, that were so much different from the era, were the ones that survived it in a best.
Stranger Things is a very smartly written series, that pays tribute to everything that is good about the 80’s Spielberg movies, the minimal look in terms of fashion, horror movies, music that was less glamorous among mostly the whole catalog of shiny stuff, and the Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day off, Back to The Future, Bill & Ted, National Lampoon kind of movies that celebrated school and college life. We don’t see these anymore, and if we want to go back to the times that celebrates these the best, we have to look back and try to find it in a decade that got lost, the 80's.