Author Topic: Stranger Things  (Read 3631 times)

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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2016, 10:48:10 PM »
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I think this was worth watching, and it was brutally addictive. But I kinda hated parts of it.

So much of this thing is devoted to skeptics standing in the way and droning on about their doubts while we, the audience, are fifty steps ahead of them. Why on earth do they think people want to watch that? And why does the show put us so far ahead of half the characters? It is not entertaining or engaging in any way to watch people being ignorant, certainly not for so long. What a strange way to pad the running time. There's enough content for 4-5 episodes, certainly not 8.

SPOILERS

Eleven was my favorite part of the series by far. Everything about that character and performance worked for me. I don't understand the criticisms; her powers, her story, and her relationship with Mike gave us the realest and most resonant moments. Not even close.

What's the worst part? That's real easy. Lucas, their black friend who is an uber skeptic. Why don't you join the James Randi Foundation already? Give it a rest, kid. Until he is finally convinced, Lucas is supremely annoying. The other guys don’t even like him, which I understand, because he’s a relentless contrarian. The character contributes nothing to the story, except to cause perpetual delays.

And that's what I really struggled with. Throughout most of the middle episodes, especially 4 through 7, the writers find every possible way to halt the plot or even move it backwards. The fact that it's mostly done through cliches makes it sting all the worse. It is absolutely maddening at times. I was almost pulling my hair out. And yet I still couldn't stop watching...

I actually loved the cliffhanger with Will in the bathroom. Felt like the show was suddenly operating on a new level, 15 seconds before it ended. Now I have to watch the next season.
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bigperm

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2016, 02:25:11 PM »
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I'm right in line with JB, agree 100%.
Safe As Milk

ono

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2016, 08:41:15 PM »
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The scene where El steals the Eggos from the grocery store should be Eggos' next commercial.

Okay show.  Criticisms are valid (why should we care about Will when we've known him all of 5 minutes, even if they were a tiny bit charismatic).  Kids are great.  El better come back.  Agreed about Winona being one-note (though it was a good note), and Modine being a waste.  Dustin was the scene stealer.  RIP, Barb.  This reminded me of True Detective a bit (though I didn't like True Detective).  Just doesn't go far enough into explaining its world, and leaves too many loose ends where they didn't need to be.  But still, the ride is very enjoyable.  I forgave all the borrowing and got swept up in the nostalgia and atmosphere.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2016, 09:11:01 PM »
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...
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Myxo

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2016, 01:34:51 PM »
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I'm really enjoying it so far.

The casting in general but specifically Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin were outstanding choices. Someone really took their time to find actors who have a very specific chemistry together. You can't make a show like this unless the kids gel on and off screen. I've started following some of them on social media and you can tell this show is a thrill for them. How can you not love watching the careers of these kids take off?

It's hard for me to be too critical about TV like this. Is it full of clichés? Sure it is. Does it have flaws? It does. I feel like it does a lot of things well but nothing extraordinary. The Duffer Brothers have clearly stated that they were inspired by Spielberg, Lynch, Stephen King, etc. As a cover album TV show from that source material I think it's a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see how the momentum from this season carries over to season two. You know the budget and expectations will be much greater. How do the Duffers handle that? Do they stay in their lane and ramp up the strangeness? Or do they fold under the pressure of attracting a wider audience and try to take the show in a direction which doesn't fit?

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2017, 02:50:35 AM »
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I'm nearing the last couple episodes. Season 2, in my opinion, is better than Season 1. I'll have more thoughts when I'm finished.

This song is used a couple times, once very powerfully (so don't play it if you want to remain pure). But it's so, so good:


Edit: Youtube link went down, so here's the song on the artist's website:

http://music.biggiantcircles.com/track/outside-the-realm-feat-ashly-burch-malukah
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2017, 01:13:31 AM »
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Finished, and yup, this is significantly better than Season 1. The horror is deeper, and there are more genuine shocks. More epic moments. There was much less (perhaps even none) of this:

Throughout most of the middle episodes, especially 4 through 7, the writers find every possible way to halt the plot or even move it backwards.

In fact, the episodes feel absolutely packed. And once again, it's brutally addictive.

I know Episode 7 did not land with some people, and I definitely get that. It's arguably a misfire. Even so, the sequence starting at 11:30 is really great (largely thanks to the song I linked above).

SPOILERS

Will is the surprise MVP of this season for sure. What a performance. Eleven was also great, but my expectations for her were already very high. The girl who played Max gives an uneven performance; the character is good enough to make up for that, though.

Steve is at his best when he's not Nancy's boyfriend. I absolutely loved all the scenes with him and the kids.

For all the talk about the show's unoriginality, it loves to do that trick where it presents us with a stereotype who then defies our expectations. That was Steve in Season 1. Here, it's Bob, and I think the turn was even more credible this time.

In that vein... final episode, during Will's exorcism, I loved how Joyce was like BURN HIM while Jonathan was the weak one. She's so strong now, further melting away that "hysterical grieving mother" stereotype we expected her to fall into in S1.

So much depth was added to Jim Hopper this season. And Max's brother... hoo boy. So many great characters and fun scenes. I'm surprised how much I enjoyed this.
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matt35mm

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2017, 10:11:19 AM »
+1
Unimportant Spoilers

I watched 2 episodes of this new season and found it dreadfully boring, with every beat being super obvious. I found the first season entertaining enough, but so far this season feels worse to me. Just unentertaining. The first season had a bit of mystery to it, from memory, whereas this season CGI-blasts you with a bunch of Upside Down stuff, reveals Eleven in the first episode, then shows several flashbacks depicting how she WALKED from where we saw her last to where she is now. Her discovering the Eggos didn't feel like a payoff so much as, "yeah, I figured that part out when we saw her with Jim Hopper." The greatest mystery so far in the first two episodes is "Who is Mad Max? Is it that girl who suddenly shows up and is named Max?" and the answer was "of course it fucking is." Is she gonna become their friend? Of course she fucking is. The show is actively deflating all of its setups and showing way more than it needs to. And then even just small human moments are super telegraphed. "This is that scene in a movie where a girl is at a party and gets too drunk and the boyfriend is like you've had enough and then struggles to grab the cup of punch and spills it all over the girl, and the guy who's pining for the girl swoops in and takes her home and tucks her into bed." What in the shit? No grace.

Does this kick into gear after episode 2 or is this just not for me?

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2017, 11:58:46 AM »
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It's true, the party scene is bad. And lots of moments are very telegraphed. I would not watch this looking for a mystery. There is none.

I would still recommend this season, though. It does get more intense.
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Sleepless

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2017, 11:25:59 AM »
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I enjoyed it for what it was, but that's pretty much how I felt about season 1. There are definitely some uneven moments, and this season in particular seems like it's 70% act one of a movie, with the final two episodes serving as a condensed second and third act (with a bottle episode - backdoor pilot? - in there for good measure.)

Not sure whether to suggest you'd like it more if you weren't watching it 1.5 speed, or whether that might actually be better in parts.

 

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