If you’ve not yet seen the Netflix series Stranger Things, I recommend it — especially if, like me, you grew up in the 70s and 80s, with the films of Steven Spielberg and his contemporaries.
Here are a few reasons.
First, it will evoke dozens of things you’ve seen before, but without being a copy of any of them. It’s more that it shares inspiration and atmosphere with earlier shows. For me, the strongest resonances were with E.T., Twin Peaks and Freaks and Geeks; other reviewers have found other flavours. (But if, like me, you found Twin Peaks very slow going, you will be relieved to hear that Stranger Things moves a lot faster.)
Second, it’s short. Eight episodes total, in the first (and so far only) series means that unlike, say, Elementary, you are not committing to a hundred hours of television. It’s a single six-hour narrative, with a beginning, a middle and an end.
Third, it’s engaging. The characters are easy to like, and to sympathise with. That counts for a lot with me. When I don’t like the characters much (e.g. The Flash, Orphan Black, iZombie), I can lose interest in a show.
It was well worth my time; I hope it will be worth yours, too.