Stranger Things salutes ’80s

Lindsay Freidenrich, Business Manager/R3 News Editor

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The Season 2 release of Stranger Things has finally arrived, much anticipated by its sci-fi-loving fan base who initially expected the new season’s debut on Halloween. After the Netflix original series’ first season unexpectedly emerged with obsessed fans, fresh acting talent and 18 Emmy nominations, expectations for Part 2 are sky-high. While the trailers excite with a clear Halloween theme that contributes to the dark, sci-fi horror that we saw in Season 1, it’s possible that its viewers are most intrigued by the show’s overwhelming sense of nostalgia.
Set in the 1980s, Stranger Things really brings the viewer back to that era. The first season includes many references to the decade, and this sentimentality goes even further in the recent trailers, showing the four boys dressed in Ghostbusters costumes with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” playing in the background to set the Halloween mood. The show’s creators are truly resurrecting this time period, which perhaps is part of the reason why Stranger Things is such a hit.

American culture has long been obsessed with nostalgia, but that’s been even more true in recent years. Especially prevalent within clothing trends, the past few years have been little more than updated but recycled fads. The ’80s are creeping their way back into our lives and wardrobes, with scrunchies, off-the-shoulder tops, denim-everything and more.

So is our society stuck in the past? And is Stranger Things just feeding into that idea by luring its viewers in with a longing for yesterday?

There are some undeniable similarities to other artists and ’80s movies from which the show’s writers, twins Matt and Ross Duffer, seem to have pulled their inspiration. While the storyline is completely their own, the  Duffers have admittedly been influenced by the dark genius of novelist Stephen King, and have included cinematic  references to ’80s movies like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Poltergeist.

So while Stranger Things is at the top of many of our binge-watching lists this Halloween, it’s worth considering if, as a society, it’s time that we get a little more original and move on from the past.