Stranger Things 1

Netflix has announced that a second season of Stranger Things is on its way, which means that if you have not checked out Matt and Ross Duffer’s creation then you should — now. Why? Because it’s absolutely amazing, especially for anyone who grew up in the 1980s.

If you ever wanted to know what would happen if a writer was able to successfully mash together the 1980s essence of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King into one project, then Stranger Things is it.

Stranger Things title

If you loved The Goonies, then watch it. If you know what it’s like not to have helicopter parents, owned a slingshot, and went on countless adventures with your friends growing up (like I did), then check it out. The series is amazing, and everyone involved should be proud of what they accomplished.

Check out my YouTube review, and if you’ve followed the disappearance of Will Byers then make sure to let me know what you thought in the comments section below.

Advertisements

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

23 comments

  1. You sold me when you said Goonies, I also love Stand By Me.
    I don’t have Netflix right now but I should be getting it again very soon.

    1. “You sold me when you said Goonies, I also love Stand By Me. I don’t have Netflix right now but I should be getting it again very soon.”

      If you liked Goonies or Stand By Me then you should definitely check it out. This show really brought me back…

      I may have said this before, but in many ways I sort of liken my childhood to a Goonies-esque environment. I was blessed in many ways to feel as though I had a Spielbergian childhood except for the pirate ships and the supernatural. 🙂

    2. “Is the show kid friendly? I like to watch things with my boy when I can.”

      I think it would probably be too scary for a young child. I would have watched it in 6th grade and then had nightmares for a week. My wife said she would rate it PG-13.

    1. “LOL, you might get banned by the Net Neutrality Fascists if you’re not careful.”

      Yeah. I guess YouTube is already starting to clamp down on “problematic” opinions.

    2. Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook…. the communists are winning. I just hope I’m here to see when they get what they’ve been clamoring for…. it’ll be ugly for them!

  2. Now onto the meat of your review..

    What, exactly, is the Millennial generation?
    http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/millennials-millennial-generation

    The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. The precise delineation varies from one source to another, however. Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.

    Other proposed dates for Millennials:
    •According to Iconoclast, a consumer research firm, the first Millennials were born in 1978.
    •Newsweek magazine reported that the Millennial generation was born between 1977 and 1994.
    •In separate articles, the New York Times pegged the Millennials at 1976-1990 and 1978-1998.
    •A Time magazine article placed the Millennials at 1980-2000.

    I was born at the tail end of 1981 (November) and am often left out between Gen X and Gen Y (Millennials). Depending on your calendar, I could be either one.

    That said, my first memories were of the late 80’s and I came of age in the 90’s. I remember when cell phones weren’t a thing, but jean jackets and Trans Ams were. I never knew this alleged ‘helicopter parenting’ because mine were too busy working. Some of the fastest miles ever ran where home from wherever after the street lights turned on. My parents still spanked, because it wasn’t yet abuse and ‘dirty commie’ was the preferred insult. (*before I even knew what it meant*)

    I mention all that to say this, we can relate to this damn premises too because it was our reality as well. I don’t thinks really changed until the kids of the 1990’s. Sure, there were the exceptions raised by the hippies that never left the commune, but I doubt that it was the rule. Mine was the generation/era who proved that we could kick the shit out of despots and terrorists alike. We revolutionized what is possible with technology and are paying through the nose to support the utopian promises to earlier generations about their retirement lives. Without us, the baby boomers might have to pay for their own damn aspirins etc. Please find another group to malign!

    –> Much love though.

    1. “What, exactly, is the Millennial generation?”

      Newsweek and the NYT and anyone else who tries to say the first Millennials were kids who graduated before 2000 can jump in a lake. That’s the nicest way that I can put it. I think Slate did up a decent piece on “Generation Catalano” awhile back to cover the weird feeling of not relating to Generation X, but also not being a part of Generation Y…

      “I mention all that to say this, we can relate to this damn premises too because it was our reality as well. I don’t thinks really changed until the kids of the 1990’s. Sure, there were the exceptions raised by the hippies that never left the commune, but I doubt that it was the rule. Mine was the generation/era who proved that we could kick the s**t out of despots and terrorists alike.”

      1.) I think you do yourself a disservice by lumping yourself in with Millennials, and 2.) Millenials who join the military — particularly the infantry — are the statistical outliers of their generation. Whereas the generation of WWII could really say, “Yeah, we represent saving the frickin’ free world” because the entire free world was mobilized to fight, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq involved the exceptions rather than the rule. Indeed, you should be proud of your service — but the Millennials by and large do not possess your mettle.

      Regardless, I agree 100 percent about the transformation of American culture that took place in the 1990s…

      I had to pour through hundreds of applications each quarter when I worked at a D.C. think tank, do countless interviews, and then deal with Millenials when they showed up to work. This may annoy you, but I think Bret Easton Ellis nailed them perfectly.

      “When Millennials are criticized […] they seem to collapse into a shame spiral and the person criticizing them is automatically labeled a hater, a contrarian, a troll. And then you have to look at the generation that raised them, that coddled them in praise—gold medals for everyone, four stars for just showing up—and tried to shield them from the dark side of life, and in turn created a generation that appears to be super confident and positive about things but when the least bit of darkness enters into their realm they become paralyzed and unable to process it. …

      I’m sympathetic to Generation Wuss and their neurosis, their narcissism and their foolishness—add the fact that they were raised in the aftermath of 9/11, two wars, a brutal recession and it’s not hard to be sympathetic. […] In-fact in order to be an artist, to raise yourself above the din in an over-reactionary fear-based culture that considers criticism elitist, you need to be [caustic and sympathetic]. But this is a hard thing to do because Millennials can’t deal with that kind of cold-eye reality. This is why Generation Wuss only asks right now : please, please, please, only give positive feedback please.”

      Boom.

    2. Interesting perspective, because I think the kids who were born in the early 80’s and graduated high school in the 2000-2004 range ARE different. I graduated high school in 2000 and college in 2004. I get that I’m an outlier, I went to a military college, enlisted into the Army Reserves as a watercraft operator (88K). Because the unit supported infantry units, I went to Fort Benning and did the Infantry training too, before shipping out to my own AIT. Got to my new home unit, only to find someone forgot to tell the Army it shut down in 1974. Back to another AIT, and BOOM I was a certified large wheeled vehicle operator (88M). Alas, I wrecked a vehicle and upended a row of porta-johns onto an irate sergeant major… and yes, he DID look like a poop covered Smurf afterwards. If you don’t get that, you’ve never had the misfortune of using a porta-potty. Suddenly, out of the blue, that little clause in your contract titled ‘for the needs of the Army’ gets activated. Before I knew it I’d joined an infantry unit, but I didn’t complain (*much*) when I was reclassified into the infantry. Okay, I complained because I was a private, and that’s what they do, but secretly I was happy to be among my brothers.

      On to your comments about the military, service in general, and the Late Unpleasantness in Mesopotamia. I don’t know what ‘normal’ is anymore. I’m a military brat, from a long line of them, and grew up in that culture. I never knew that we were different, we were just kids who happened to have a dad (rarely a mom) in uniform and we moved a lot (or our friends moved). When 9/11 happened I was angry. I volunteered to deploy, and kept at it until I WAS activated in 2003. Stayed south of the fighting, and was then sent home early so our unit could be called up to fight under OIF 3 banner.

      The second deployment to the war changed everything. I was hurt, left alone, without a fire team or chain of command, and sent into the wilderness of the VA without my woobie or my rifle. I learned that the “Ma, Pa and Apple Pie” was existed only on Normal Rockwell posters and that the RNC I was raised to support because they supported national defense were as crooked as the DNC I was taught were evil. They were only half right, the DNC will bankrupt our country with social welfare programs BUT the RNC are doing it too, with their commitment to military spending. I agree that we need a robust military, but ours is poorly run and badly fiscally managed. We waste stuff just to get the same dollar for the next fiscal cycle under the ‘just in case’ banner. We care more about the machines of war, even the ones we know aren’t tactically sound, and ignore the warfighter.

      As for my ‘generation’ versus the Baby Boomers or the WWII ‘Greatest Generation,’ I couldn’t say. I know I’m just tired. Tired of the lies told by politicians. Tired of the apathetic American public that lets it happen. Tired of the social just warriors who make everything a hill they’ll gladly stand and fight on, so long as it is anti-American, yet ignore the truly horrific treatment of Christians in the Middle East and the even worse treatment of women under those same regimes they tell us are peaceful. I know the whole American public wasn’t engaged in the War on Terror, but it wasn’t their fault. Blame that one on my former Commander’s in Chief, Bush and Obama. They wanted normalcy so they engaged in a war while pretending we are at peace. They fought a war not to lose, rather than fighting to win. Because of this more soldiers died and the public got to pretend that rainbows and parades made them American’s while ignoring the COST of it all. Freedom isn’t free, it costs blood, sweat and tears…. And as a nation we’re no longer willing to pay the piper. Meanwhile, the RNC advocate MORE military action (Go to hell Lindsay Graham and John McCain) without fixing the mechanisms to care for the wounded warriors coming home. Hello Broken VA Healthcare System. Luckily, thanks to Obamacare, the rest of the country will know my pain because it’ll be their system too.

      In closing, I’ll say that if the stereotypes of Millennials exist, it was the grand finale of an orchestrated plan to destroy us from within. I’ve read post-WWII accounts of the communist Russian ambassador telling his American counterpart that that was indeed how America would fall, poisoned from within. Whoever’s evil plan this was, congratulations because you’ve won. Where once the Ottoman Empire was the ‘Sick Man of Europe,’ now America is the ‘Sick Man of the Globe” and it saddens me and makes me question why I lost friends who bleed and died in foreign lands for countrymen who didn’t want them, a nation that didn’t care and a freedom that was fleeting anyway.

      Respectfully,
      JR

    3. “I’ve read post-WWII accounts of the communist Russian ambassador telling his American counterpart that that was indeed how America would fall, poisoned from within. Whoever’s evil plan this was, congratulations because you’ve won.”

      Two quick points for you, JR:

      1. You really should read Whittaker Chambers’ “Witness” before you die.
      2. I’m going to send you a copy of my book for free once it’s published. You just nailed one of its biggest themes. Make sure to remind me when the inevitable blog post on it happens. 😉

  3. Since I don’t have Netflix, I haven’t seen the show. I’ve heard nothing but great reviews about the show, though, and as a fan of 80s movies like “Stand By Me” and “The Goonies,” it definitely sounds like it’d be right up my alley. I’m also a fan of early Stephen King, before he went nuts and started writing stories that basically are political rants disguised as stories.

    I think yours was one of the last generations who went on prolonged adventures with their friends, Doug. My parents (and my friends’ parents) were a bit strict about where I could or couldn’t go. For example, I wasn’t allowed to go to a friend’s house if their parents weren’t home, although there were a few times where my friends’ parents were gone and I just didn’t bother to tell my parents about it. 😉 Whenever I went on a bike ride, I had to be back home in an hour, which never seemed like enough time to go anywhere or see anyone. As an adult, I understand that my parents were trying to keep me safe, but as a kid it sort of pissed me off. I suppose they were worried about me becoming another Jacob Wetterling or something.

    Obviously, I grew up primarily in the 1990s, when things started to change (and not for the better, mind you), and it was a slightly different world than the one you grew up in, so that’s a big reason why I didn’t seem to have the freedom previous generations had.

    1. “I think yours was one of the last generations who went on prolonged adventures with their friends, Doug.”

      There was a ton of construction in my area when I was growing up, so I had a nice mix of giant cornfields to play in plus a ton of housing developments that were springing up. We’d leave the house early in the morning over the summer and spend hours in the basements of unfinished houses. We knew to be home for dinner, and then afterwards we’d be outside again until the street lights came on. If we were close enough to home we were allowed outside a bit longer.

      “Obviously, I grew up primarily in the 1990s, when things started to change (and not for the better, mind you), and it was a slightly different world than the one you grew up in…”

      I agree with JR in that it’s tough to really define where the Millennial generation begins. I suppose it could legitimately start with the first graduating class of 2000, although I think it really should be for those who started middle school in 2000. I think 6th, 7th, and 8th grade are incredibly formative years for a kid, so when I think of Millennials I usually picture kids born around 1987. They were the ones who really experienced the sharp increase in the “here’s a trophy for just participating” mentality that took hold in the mid-to-late 90s.

    2. “There was a ton of construction in my area when I was growing up, so I had a nice mix of giant cornfields to play in plus a ton of housing developments that were springing up. We’d leave the house early in the morning over the summer and spend hours in the basements of unfinished houses. We knew to be home for dinner, and then afterwards we’d be outside again until the street lights came on. If we were close enough to home we were allowed outside a bit longer.”

      My parents, who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, have described similar things. They’d be gone for most of the day and wouldn’t be back until the streetlights came on. My grandma actually used to send my mom and her siblings up to the store to buy cigarettes for her. I can’t really see that happening today. LOL.

      “I agree with JR in that it’s tough to really define where the Millennial generation begins. I suppose it could legitimately start with the first graduating class of 2000, although I think it really should be for those who started middle school in 2000. I think 6th, 7th, and 8th grade are incredibly formative years for a kid, so when I think of Millennials I usually picture kids born around 1987. They were the ones who really experienced the sharp increase in the ‘here’s a trophy for just participating’ mentality that took hold in the mid-to-late 90s.”

      It sounds accurate to me. I was born in 1990, so I guess I’m a Millennial. I’m thankful to have parents that didn’t spoil me or constantly tell me how special I was. I first noticed the participation trophy stuff in either fourth or fifth grade, when I’d see kids get medals or ribbons just for participating in track and field and stuff like that. It was ridiculous then and it’s ridiculous now.

      I also agree that 6th through 8th grade are formative years for kids. They definitely were for me. I learned a lot of life lessons during that time and I suppose it was the first step toward me becoming who I am now. Being bullied and having your heart broken by your first girlfriend can do that to a person.

  4. Just started watching this and its I am enjoying it. Bad marks however continuing the current pop culture habit of writing dads and duds or deadbeats. Another part of the culture war we need to step up and challenge.

    1. “Just started watching this and its I am enjoying it. Bad marks however continuing the current pop culture habit of writing dads and duds or deadbeats. Another part of the culture war we need to step up and challenge.”

      The Wheeler’s dad and the Byers’ dad are both pretty embarrassing, but through flashbacks we can see that Sheriff Hopper was a good father. The science teacher isn’t a father, but you can tell that he would be a very good role model if he ever got married and had kids.

      I agree with you, though, that the “doofus dad” is overdone in Hollywood.

  5. Thanks for this show, seeing it here, I decided to check it out with the kids yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed the first episode of season one. My kids are 9 and 12, but honestly we don’t hide anything from them. We always push the difference between fantasy and reality and instill in them a skepticism of the things they see on TV.

    Like you, I had many adventures growing up in the ’80’s. I lived in the Philippines for most of it, and I would sneak into the jungle (navy housing was surrounded by a fence, but there were plenty of holes) with my friends and fight everything from dragons to terrorists, cowered from shadows in the dark and told scary stories. I even started a ‘street gang’ with rivals from another street, unscripted, it even came with a romance complication when my cousin fell in love with the sister of our rival’s leader much to my childlike frustration. We played deep into the night, and Mom and Dad were just glad to have me out of their hair. I traveled to some friends houses by bus when I was only 10, and even went off base to buy groceries for mom. Not even unremarkable by our standards, but definitely CPS stuff in some places here unfortunately. Honestly it was hard for me to tell if my life was like that because it was the 80’s or because my mom and dad were fighting at the time. I played soccer in a little league, and I would always walk or take the bus to the games while my teammates would be surrounded by family and pictures.

    Anyway, I am a little interested in the social dynamic of our generations. No doubt the millennials are pretty sheltered. Still, I know many that have served, are honest, honorable and independent, and work very hard. I hope the trends we see are more media that real people.

    I asked my Mom and Dad if their childhood was full of adventure too when they were 10. Or something like ‘wonder years’ LOL.

    Mom: “I work. I got up at 4 to work on the farm. It took me an hour to travel there, work and then I had to be at school by 8. When I got home, I work some more. I wash dishes and help my brother weave baskets, fish and herd the chicken. Sometimes I cook or clean…then I sleep. I play on weekend with my friends, with a rataan ball or in the water…but mostly work.”

    Dad: “I worked. Your grandpa was always drunk and grandma was always pissed off. I immediately got a job with the local construction people and made a little money to buy things I wanted, like a rifle to hunt and some shoes. Everybody beat up on your uncles, so I would get into fights a lot. None of us wanted to be home, but mostly we just found ways to make cash and dreamed of escaping. When we moved to ‘frisco and I saw a navy ship in the bay…I was sold…BYE”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s