so i’ve been watching Stranger Things I guess like everyone else, it’s good and everything but I feel like the main thing it is doing is making me realize all over again all of the stuff Twin Peaks does extremely well beyond just being weird and funny. I haven’t read a ton of stuff about ST, but what I have seen mentions most of the 80s movie influences, but afaik people aren’t talking about how it is kind of just an inferior Twin Peaks, only with 80’s kid/YA movie kitsch instead of 90’s soap opera kitsch.
Like, within a few episodes of TP you’ve been introduced to a staggering number of really well-defined characters, whose relationships with one another are also complicated but pretty clearly illustrated. Every episode that goes by without being introduced to the parents of the protagonist’s best friends just makes it weirder and weirder. Isn’t this supposed to be a small town? Shouldn’t everybody know each other? I’m more than half way through at this point, so I guess it’s just not going to happen? Because the show reminds me so much of Twin Peaks, I keep expecting new connections between characters that have already been introduced to emerge, and it just doesn’t happen, which makes the show feel really shallow. But I guess I still haven’t finished yet so maybe I’ll be surprised.
It also compares unfavorably to one of its more obvious influences, The Goonies… ST has some really serious tone issues that come I guess from them trying to mash up all their influences at once, and I usually end up having too much anxiety about children in peril to experience what I am assuming are meant to be light hearted tales of adventures and whatnot…the whole thing is just too creepy. The moments of comic relief feel kind of forced and are only rarely funny, while the dark shit that is going on just becomes increasingly miserable.
Ugh I always do this, even when I essentially Like A Thing the only way I can write about it is to talk about all of the things I don’t like about it. The girl who plays Eleven is great, and they get bonus points for casting people who actually look the correct age. I also really like the parents of Mike and Nancy, especially the Dad. I know he is like the most minor character on the whole show but that is Perfect. He’s the one I keep feeling should be a Twin Peaks-style ‘suspicious character’ but that never happens, and I almost like the show more for continuing to have him show up to do absolutely nothing of any importance to anyone. I really want him to be like a boring office worker at the evil matthew modine megacorp and still sort of suspect that this will happen, but please don’t spoil it for me either way i’m only on episode 6