Unk Sez: Big thanks to our old pal Mickster (Kindertrauma’s very own Eleven!) for taking time out of her busy schedule to share with us her favorite things about STRANGER THINGS. Take it away, Mickster….
It has been a long time since I have been so overwhelmed with joy by a show. When I first started hearing the buzz about Stranger Things, I thought, “Sounds cool, but I don’t want to get my hopes up too high.” Well, the best way I can describe my experience is the show is like a love letter to people, like me, who adore the 80s. As soon as I started watching it, I felt warm and comfortable as if I were visiting an old friend who I haven’t seen in ages. To the show’s credit, if a person told me this was a show from the 80s (and I didn’t recognize Ryder or Modine), I would believe them because it captures the feel of the early eighties. Here is a short list of the things I loved about the show.
Because the show is set in 1983, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) are the age I was at the time. I totally would have been a friend of those guys. There are things about them that remind me of the boys who lived next door to me growing up. I had an absolute blast hanging out with the boys next door. The regular-looking quality of the kids makes them completely relatable, which adds to their charm. I had a similar reaction to Sam (John Francis Daley), Bill (Martin Starr), and Neal (Samm Levine) on Freaks and Geeks (1999). I want to go back in time, be twelve again, and hangout with Mike, Will, Lucas, and Dustin!
Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) is fantastic in this show! She doesn’t speak much, but her eyes speak volumes. Her portrayal reminds me of some other characters such as Charlie McGee (Drew Barrymore) in Firestarter (1984), Furface (Sandy the Dog) in Watchers (1988), and Starman (Jeff Bridges) in Starman (1984). In regards to Drew Barrymore’s character in Firestarter, the interaction between Eleven and Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) made me recall the interaction between John Rainbird (George C. Scott) and Charlie McGee, an elder male gaining the trust of an exceptional child in order to gain what he wants. Now when it comes to Furface in Watchers, it is more of a stretch, but Eleven made me think of this highly intelligent golden retriever just the same. Perhaps it was the way Eleven repeated protected the boys from danger the way Furface protected Travis (Cory Haim) from Lem (Michael Ironside) and the Oxcom (Phillip Wong). Eleven’s love of Kellogg’s Eggos sparked a memory of a scene in Starman. When Starman (Jeff Bridges) eats Dutch Apple Pie in the roadside café, his reaction is priceless. Later in the film, Starman asks for Dutch Apple Pie again the way Eleven seeks out more tasty Eggos. Bottom-line, Eleven rules and like the boys, I would want her on my side.
The Science Teacher
Mr. Clarke (Randall P. Havens) is the epitome of the dedicated teacher. Some may overlook his contribution in Stranger Things, but it stood out to me because I am a teacher. Mr. Clarke is a science teacher and I am an English teacher, but we (Yes, I know he is fictional!) both pour our lives into our students. Since the show is set in 1983, he is not contacted on his cell phone via Google Classroom like I am, but he takes time away from his date (go Mr. Clarke!) to answer Dustin’s questions via landline.
Last but certainly NOT least; I will briefly touch on Barb (Shannon Purser). I cannot say too much as I want to keep this post spoiler-free; however, I will say Barb deserves more. From what I have seen on the internet after binge-watching the show, she IS getting lots of love. Barb, from yet another person who identifies with you, you are important and valued.