Why were the 80s so great

Stranger Things: Why the show looks so much like the 80s

In our reviews of “Stranger Things”, Kien and I mainly discussed the question of whether the real purpose of the Netflix series is to relive the 1980s. Because the series quotes so many series, films and games from the 80s that the actual story almost fades into the background. We have emphasized this accordingly in our reviews: Those who grew up in the 80s will love “Stranger Things”, those who are looking for a completely new series material will feel well entertained, but not an absolute super fan of the Become a series.

Was it the intention to revive the 80s in particular? The series creators of "Stranger Things", the Duffer Brothers, have now commented on this again. “We have so much nostalgia for this era and it means so much to us. We wanted to bring something back to life on television that was similar to the classic films we loved so much when we were young: the films of Spielberg and John Carpenter or the novels of Stephen King. And what makes these stories so great for us - and why do they touch us so? They all play with this magical moment when the ordinary meets the extraordinary, ”explains series creator Matt Duffer.

“When we were young we were just normal boys who grew up in the suburbs of North Carolina and played dungeons and dragons with their nerd friends. But when we saw these films and read these books, whole new worlds opened up. Suddenly there was the chance for adventure in our life - maybe tomorrow we would find a treasure map in the attic, maybe my brother would disappear on TV. This is exactly what we want to capture with 'Stranger Things'. We want to bring that feeling to the people who grew up with these films - and we want to bring it to a whole new generation, ”says Matt Duffer. To do this, they chose the mini-series format: "Television is becoming increasingly cinematic and we were excited about the idea of ​​making an 'extended film'", says Matt Duffer.

Stephen King and Steven Spielberg as role models

Stephen King and Steven Spielberg had a great influence on the Duffers - which we had already suspected in the reviews. Ross Duffer: “We became obsessed with their books and films because their stories were about people who looked familiar to us. And suddenly the monsters, the supernatural and the UFOs appear and you have the feeling of being in the middle of it and experiencing it for yourself. We have been shaped by so many things - movies, video games, and books. We threw everything into a mixer and mixed it properly. "

So basically fits our theory from the reviews. And one has to admit that the implementation has also succeeded well from this point of view. We had already praised the equipment and the quotes in the reviews. Production designer Chris Trujillo was responsible for this: “It's a revival of the things we remember from our childhood in the 80s - a reinterpretation of the classic American films of the early 80s. It was a dream project for me because it was exactly my world as a child. ”From slit beer cans and handheld radios to“ Dungeons & Dragons ”and station wagons with wood paneling,“ Stranger Things ”brings the 80s back to life. “We never wanted to focus on the 80s in an obvious and intrusive way,” explains Trujillo. "The inhabited and used look was important to us so that it seemed familiar to the audience and not distracting."

"Dungeons & Dragons" is a big theme on the series, not just as a pastime for the boys themselves, but also to give viewers a touch of nostalgia and a metaphor for the kids' search for Will. “In order to stay as true to the game as possible and to do justice to the fans of the game, we researched the D&D game system very carefully,” explains Lynda Reiss, prop master for “Stranger Things”. “We visited a group that still meets to play today,” she adds. “We also found some of the original campaign books that we replicated for the series - with drawings by a fan who played the game as a kid in the 1980s. Some of them can be seen in the campaign books and on the wall of Mike Wheeler's room. "

The music is also based on the 80s - which is especially noticeable in the intro. “Our original music is entirely electronic. It's extremely ambient and atmospheric, ”says producer Shawn Levy. But anyone who grew up in the 80s would feel at home straight away - I can confirm that.