Friday, July 15, 2016

Stranger Things: Episode 1

1. The Vanishing of Will Byers
1983. Indiana. A scientist frantically tries to escape from an unknown assailant, but ends up getting caught at the elevator. Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) and his friends try to buy more time for their Dungeons and Dragons game on a weekend night, but are forced to go home because of class the next day. He veers off-road on his bike as what seems to be a supernatural entity stalks him. He rushes back home to ask for help but finds no one. Desperate, he runs into the shed and loads a shotgun, but is ambushed by his unseen attacker. They both vanish into the night. The next day, his mom Joyce (Winona Ryder) files a missing person report, but Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is having no luck finding the child. A young girl (Millie Bobby Brown) with a shaved head and in a hospital gown steals food in a nearby diner. Annoyed with the noisy fan, she renders it motionless with her mind. The owner feeds her and calls social services, one of whom shoots him dead when she arrives. The girl, who refers to herself as Eleven, flees.

The 80’s setting is a bit off-putting, but once the supernatural events start, you just get hooked. I must admit that it’s rather nostalgic, though. Walkie-talkies! All we know for now is that a kid has gone missing after a scientist was attacked in a lab or something. Aliens? Is this an Independence Day spinoff? I guess that will be our anchor for the next few episodes, trying to find out what that thing actually is. It kinda looked like a shadow so we can be looking at a possible supernatural phenomenon here. But then again, the hospital gown and the laboratory seem like dead giveaways that this is going to be a human experiment kind of shit, a little less X-Men perhaps but still leaning on the freaky side of things. My problem is that I am finding it hard to get hooked to it. I love the 80’s, but somehow the show feels too dated for my taste. I hope the supernatural events multiply in the episodes to come. Intrigue me! But with just 8 episodes, I guess this pilot season will be action-packed.

“He’s missing, is what he is.” –Joyce Byers

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