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Five Reasons Stranger Things Will Give You A Boner

Amidst this past week of Ghostbusting shenanigans and Republican horrors, a little Netflix show has been pushing itself into conversations: Stranger Things.

The show comes from The Duffer Brothers, relative newcomers who worked on Twin Peaks wannabe Wayward Pines, and is an eighties set nostalgia marathon in the best way possible, a playlist of all you ever wanted from sci-fi movies starring kids, then and now. It’s an absolute blast.

Without giving anything away—and using the heavy power of suggestion—here are five reasons why you need to watch Stranger Things, five reasons the show will give you a boner.

1. The Title Sequence.

See above: the title sequence balances nowness with retroness, specifically culled from backwards horror ephemera like Stephen King’s Needful Things. The curvy/rigid, serious/silly, curious/ominous words of the title come together over droning music, prickling your skin as you can feel the pressure of whatever is about to happen weigh on you. Every time I watch this title sequence, my nipples get hard. Get ready for a major Art Of The Title shout out.

2. The Costuming.
Stranger Things Logo Netflix Television Show Winona Ryder Duffer Brothers 1234kyle5678 eleven elle 11
In order to make a show set in the eighties, the show has to look like it was actually in the eighties. Usually this means building costumes or buying from brands like American Apparel. The result is typically less authentic than desired. While a few Am Appy items do pop up, the overall costuming is remarkably then. Likely the result of intense thrifting—as all the clothing look particularly worn—designers Malgosia Turzanska and Kimberly Adams-Galligan were very much able to place everyone that needed to “look the part” in the right place. It felt like being in elementary school again with Bastian Bux, thanks to Barb’s ugly coat and Dustin’s hat and Eleven’s dumpy dress: you are placed in a very specific eighties, a suburban basement, with your best friends who believe magic really does exist.

3. The Casting.

To further this, the cast is fucking weird looking, a mixture of character faces and intriguing children. From the beautiful Natalie Dyer as Nancy Wheeler to Randall P. Havens‘ dorky Mr. Clarke, these people have a unique eightiesness that only Wet Hot American Summer has been able to rival. And who is responsible for this? Carmen Cuba, who cast equally as interesting actors for Sense8, Looking, and Angry Boys. Clearly, she has a way with the bizarro.

4. Winona Ryder.
Stranger Things Logo Netflix Television Show Winona Ryder Duffer Brothers 1234kyle5678 elle eleven 11
What is there to say? Ryder is a dark crystal and casting her in this show folds the past and the present, fulfilling the desire for something like Stranger Things to have existed when we were kids. Ryder plays a bereaved mother who leads the show between mania and despair, the person driving the question, “What the fuck is happening here?” She is a bit of a revelation, poised for a comeback, and looks exactly like herself, as her face has been etched into the movie theatre in the back of millennial minds. She doesn’t disappoint.

5. It’s Only Eight Episodes.

What else is there to say? This show is like a really fucking long sci-fi horror blend that is at times E.T., at times Close Encounters, at times The Langoliers, at times The Goonies, and—even—at times Heathers. It strikes right at the center of childishness and adultness, which is heightened by all of the above. With only eight episodes, it doesn’t overstay its welcome or give you that, “Ugh. Get it over with, Netflix.” long windedness that Orange Is The New Black and Jessica Jones fatigue you with. It’s a long movie. The quality of the show’s execution is unparalleled too as scenes like the car flip (Just wait for it.) and the Under The Skin interludes show that, no, this show is not fucking around: this is above and beyond anything else you’ve seen. People have said this is the dream show Steven Spielberg and Stephen King never made but I think a friend on Facebook captured it best: this show is what Super 8 never was but tried so hard to be. Yes, we’re adults and we can lust for youth all we want but it’s shows like this that take us back, rewind time, and offer a giddiness that cannot be replicated in any other form.

In the bone zone for this show now? Good. Watch it here.

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