GeekNights Thursday - Stranger Things

Tonight on GeekNights, we review Stranger Things. In case you're wondering how Rym convinced Scott to watch this amazing show, he didn't. This is a Rym and Emily special! We thoroughly enjoyed this show, and have since moved on to finish the second season. It perfectly evokes the era in which it is set, and is definitely worth watching.

Things of the Day

Episode Links


Heh, I was going to be surprised if Rubin actually watched it… Not sure why he wouldn’t want to watch it.


Because there is Southpark to watch and Hearthstone to play.

Well, South Park’s over now and not good anymore and the finale directly references Stranger Things so…may as well.

South Park hasn’t been good for like, 12 years now.

I still love South Park but I also never watched it regularly so it’s all still fresh to me.

The thing I found about movies on Netflix streaming is that if you just want to watch a movie, but don’t really know what you want to watch yet, you will always be able to find something worthwhile. But if you want to watch something specific, it will NEVER be there.

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So true, so true.

As for Stranger Things, I have not seen it. I was planning to watch it once I switched from Hulu to Netflix sometime soon.

The thing is, my interest in watching it has definitely decreased. There is an enormous billboard for Stranger Things 2 right outside my office window that has a real '80s movie vibe. That, and other things I have seen/heard about the show really give me the sense that it is one of those things which lacks substance and is merely riding on that nerd nostalgia train. You know, the same category as Ready Player One.

Still planning to give it a shot, but the hype level is way down.

That is definitely not true.

It takes all the tropes of 80s kid movies, 80s horror movies, etc…, but updates and executes them flawlessly. It’s good even with zero nostalgia for the era.


Ok, I believe you. Just saying that’s how it looks based on the cover.

Some of the love for it is because of the nostalgia factor, but it’s kind of the opposite of the way it’s handled in something like Ready Player One. It can convey a lot of things pretty effortlessly because you’re already familiar with the world it takes place in. Ready Player One by contrast is a cyberpunk setting with a lot of “hey remember this?” thrown on top.

The creators of Stranger Things are from Durham where I live. There’s a handful of references to things around here, mostly stuff like street names but nothing that matters at all. Friends that grew up in the area say it is pretty much exactly what it felt like around here at the time but I assume a lot of small to medium sized towns felt about the same.

I think there’s just a lot of marketing leaning on the nostalgia factor.

The main thing Scott will appreciate is how every character is smart based on the information they have. The plot never involves basic misunderstandings or characters not telling eachother something important.

Like, the mom finds something out, and she does a very smart thing immediately because of it. A character sees the monster once and immediately begins acting like a real person would once they knew that monsters existed, including immediately sharing all monster-related information with any other character who also believes in the monster.

Stuff like that. All the things you hate about characters doing dumb things to make plot happen are entirely absent. The season finale basically involves every smart character who’s still alive teaming up to do the smart thing.


Yeah, there were definitely a couple of times I expected characters to do TV-standard stupid things, and they instead did smart things. I stopped expecting the stupid, for the most part.

The only character you could critique for not doing the smart thing enough is the Big Bad, honestly.

Which Big Bad? There were two and one was basically an animal.

The second, obviously; the first doesn’t count as a Big Bad per se.

I will admit though that when I watched the first episode or two I was like ugh this is just gonna be Ready Player One. But they did downplay it as it goes on. It was more setting the stage for the era instead of just being a reference machine.

I haven’t really kept up on the new season but Scott is at least recommend the first season. I expect you’ll have a similar reaction to at least the first episode but just at least get through that and see how it goes.

Season 1 or 2? Because certain people did the opposite of this with e.g. Dart.

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I thought the same thing. In their defense though the stupid thing that was with Dart. Their motivations for doing the idiotic thing was typical of what some to do to try and impress others. Also that person does own up to it and takes responsibility for it.