<em>Stranger Things</em>’ Barb is back and she’s pissed


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/06/stranger-things-ba.html

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Ugh. There’s a reason he left SNL…


So who’d the Demogorgon take in exchange for Eleven?


That’s all I got.


I thought she was dead. Oops.


‘Stranger Things’ almost topped ‘Ready Player One’ as the most contrived, cliched, over-marketed and target-audience-researched-etc, and predictable garbage I have ever had the misfortune to waste my time on. Both could have written by a corporate board room or an algorithm. I hope they have ‘eye roll injury’ liability insurance. I would rather watch HRC talk about her purse hot sauce on loop than watch this series again.

Edit: I think the reason it pissed me off so bad is the actors were very talented and got me emotionally involved just enough to resent how terrible the writing was. So yeah I will give it that, the little kids were absolutely wonderful. Especially the girl that played 11. She was absolutely incredible, look forward to seeing her in the future and hope she has a bright career ahead of her.


Yeah, this. I thought the actors were trying their best with the material they were given. The writing and directing were terrible. Not sure I’d go as far as saying it was the worst ever, but clearly it was just a contrivance to wallow in nostalgia for a certain class of movies, and had little else to offer.


Why didn’t anyone point out the real reason they didn’t rescue her was that Barb died!?!?


You must be fun at parties.


I’m not. I used to be though, before Stranger Things ruined my life forever. Haha. Seriously though? I think what irritated me so much about S Things and R P One was the off the charts hype associated with them. I’m not usually so offended by meh stuff in general.


That Jay Leno still cracks me up!


Because in science fiction/fantasy no one ever really dies.


I used to think that ol’ @thirdworldtaxi was less fun than I am, but I gotta back up the taxi 100% on this.

Rather than typing a whole bunch, I’ll let Sean T. Collins at Vulture explain what I felt was lacking from both Stranger Things and Ready Player One.


I didn’t mind Stranger Things, although I didn’t love it.

Ready Player One I thought was awful. Armada wasn’t much better.


I feel you, but I can’t tell if the fact that it worked on me means I’m not cynical or just gullible.

Really the only thing that bothered me was Winona Ryder’s one-note acting. Otherwise I was fairly on-board for the whole thing.

I thought Barb was cool. The way they handled her death did seem more than a little off.

I really wish Fallon wasn’t the Tonight Show host. He seems like a good guy and he gets the job done, but he’s so cringe-y all the time.


You know, I wanted to like it, and I tried. I watched the whole series. And I really did absolutely adore the actress that played Eleven. But every time I was sort of getting into it, there would be some trope or cliche that would put me off. For me, the absolute deal breaker (ironically, since I loved the actress) was the way they wrapped the ‘magid negro’, ‘noble savage’ and ‘manic pixie dream girl’ up into Eleven’s character. Nothing about the show felt challenging. It felt like it was designed from the ground up to be ‘viral’. A lot of people really liked it, so they did something right.


Well, it was formulated to be a K-Tel “80s Horror Greatest Hits” compilation. This thing from E.T., then that idiosyncrasy from Carpenter, plus a smidgen of that vibe from Tobe Hooper, plus all these songs you loved/hated from when you were 13… it’s like somebody’s distilling all these essences from my junior high years and trying to build a story around it. Sure, I recognize everything in it, and the kids are great and recognizably like me and my buddies, but though the Duffer Brothers heavily researched the era and its cultural tropes (by necessity, since they weren’t born until 1984), I have to wonder what they might have done differently had they actually lived through those cultural moments.

I guess maybe if Matthew Weiner (b. 1965) could appear to pull it off with Mad Men, then maybe these guys could do it too. But it still felt to me like a celebration of an era in time and some very specific cinematic tropes from that era without actually telling a story that has anything to add to that vocabulary.


This I didn’t know. So it’s totally fake nostalgia? Interesting.


yeah, and after reading @Donald_Petersen’s link, I think part of why I was OK with ST is that

given: a lot of obvious references to its influences were intentionally put into the show

given: this was targeted to the audience they wanted to grab as a way of saying “see what we did? you’re a fan of that! we’re fans of that, too!”

given: that type of pandering is super wack and annoying, and I do hate shit like that

BUT, although I saw some of the source material, I haven’t seen all of it and when I did see it, it was when it was current; I was really young, and I’ve forgot it all. My household didn’t ever have cable and we only got a VCR midway through highschool. I just haven’t been bombarded with all the references enough to catch even a fraction of them. So, it ended up working on me better than it would have if I’d “gotten” them.

The broader idea of the tropes represented by, say, Steve as the 80s rich kid dick or what you said about 11; I got that. But I liked Steve in that he was given depth, he was genuine with Nancy and he struggled with realizing that his social crowd was toxic. Maybe that was a reference to a different character? If so, I didn’t know; so yeah, it worked.

Also, I’m really big on mise-en-scene, and it was done well, I think.


Well, maybe misconstrued nostalgia. The Duffers’ nostalgia is for the movies they grew up with, which largely portrayed settings and characters from the late ’70s and early ’80s.