‘Stranger Things’ takes on 80s sci-fi

More stories from Nina Taranenko

Hannah Whitty, 10th grade
December 21, 2016

Photo via Google under Creative Commons license

Stranger Things offical Netflix poster

One of sci-fi’s greatest eras was the 80s. Movies, such as “Back to the Future,” “Weird Science,” and “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” were major hits. Since then, the genre has taken a significant downfall, only making a comeback in 2015 with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” That seems to be changing with the release of Netflix’s original series, “Stranger Things.”

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi, horror, mystery web series that premiered July 15, 2016. Taking place in the fall of 1983 in Hawkins, Indiana, a young boy goes missing overnight, leaving the town and his friends and family to find him.

“Stranger Things” captures the essence of the 80s in a nostalgic way. The cast even features actress Winona Ryder, who starred in two 80s classics: “Heathers” and “Beetlejuice.”

The show brings the 80s’ aesthetic back through costumes and music. Men are often seen wearing striped ringer shirts, baseball or graphic T-shirts, mixed with flannels. Characters frequently don a fur-lined jean jacket or a harlington jacket. The younger boys have long, shaggy hair complete with full bangs.

With the women viewers see a more diverse approach, including Farrah Fawcett curls, twists, and waves. Even the women rock the shag. Stripes again make an appearance, but with lighter colors. Jeans are either high waisted or “mom jeans.”

Music is what really pulls the scenes together. Musical selections include hits from the 80s as well as brand new songs. One of the main songs for the show is The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” which pops up in multiple scenes throughout the season. Another classic is Peter Gabriel’s cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes.” The series score, split into two volumes, features music composed by Survive, a synth-sound band.

“It reminded me of movies from my childhood like “The Goonies,” where the kids cursed, made bad decisions and went on adventures. It was authentic, unlike other interpretations we see today,” said Christopher DiCicco, English Department Chair.

“Stranger Things” gives viewers a look back in time, transporting them back to the 80s right through the TV.