Why Netflix's Stranger Things is the show you should be watching


One of the key areas in which Netflix dominates its competition is original content, and while the likes of Amazon Prime have also been pushing some great stuff on their platform recently it's Netflix that still has the edge.

Here, we take a look at Stranger Things: the Netflix original series you don't want to miss.

What is it?

Eleven in Stranger Things

Stranger Things takes place in a sleepy American town in 1983 and follows the lives of three young boys after their friend goes missing.

Lucas, Dustin and Mike set about finding Will, but instead end up finding someone else.

Meanwhile Will's mum, played by Winona Ryder, is searching for her son in her own way...

Winona Ryder in Stranger Things

Stranger Things takes us to a classic haunted setting - an isolated town, a mysterious government-operated "restricted zone", a lone child without many words.

These are all tropes horror and sci-fi fans are familiar with but the series still manages to feel fresh, full of suspense and, at times, genuinely frightening.

Why should you watch it?

Though Stranger Things is full of the supernatural the show still pays great attention to its human story. Teenagers' hormonal struggles are as much a part of the narrative as the monster they think is responsible for the town's missing people. Will's brother Jonathan struggles as much with being branded lower class and the absence of his father as he does with stalking a monster and developing feelings for Mike's sister.

Friendships fray, children battle with their parents, sanity is questioned - but unlike many horror flicks over the past 20 years Stranger Things shows a reaction in its characters to the supernatural element that seems whole and balanced, a response that the viewer will relate to.

In the end though, you'll watch Stranger Things because there's nothing else like this around right now - complete with a hugely talented cast, a gripping storyline and plenty of what-ifs? Brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, who created the series, first foray into the world of TV pays homage to their favourite storytellers of years gone by, from Stephen King to Wes Craven, and does the genre justice. Even if horror or sci-fi isn't your thing, there will be something in this story for you.

What do we think about it?

Restricted area zone in Stranger Things

There's always a difficult balance to strike with science-fiction between, well, science and fiction. Stranger Things, like Fringe and many more before it, goes heavy with the other-wordly goings on of the show while at the same time making you believe it's possible. It also helps that the show's creators intertwined fiction with reality, leaning on the US government's infamous MK Ultra projects to explain some of what's happening inside the secret government facility.

You'll find some characters annoying but you'll witness them develop. You'll want Eleven to expose everything, despite not knowing what that would mean for her survival, but most of all you'll just want to find out what in the world is going on in Hawkins and how it all started.

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Start Stranger Things and you won't regret it.