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"Stranger Things" has become a cultural phenomenon with the teenage actors becoming known around the world and the Duffer Brothers being launched into the A-list of writers, directors, and producers. The series has been praised for its effective portrayal of teenage life in the U.S. in the 1980s and the ability to create suspense without the gore of other shows.
Set in the 1980s, "Stranger Things" follows the residents of a small town, Hawkins, Indiana through the eyes of four school friends who are affected by a series of supernatural events. The series opens with the four friends, Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will enjoying everyday childhood life in the 1980s as they play a game of dungeons and dragons. After being told to go home by Mike's mom, the three others ride their bikes home and peel off one by one until only Will is left. As Will passes by the Hawkins National Laboratory he sees a strange creature which follows him home before cornering Will in a shed.
The next morning there is no sign of Will with his mother, Joyce, and brother, Jonathan attempting to find him. Initially, few of the residents of the town or the local police force believe Joyce when she claims Will has been taken but local Sheriff, Jim "Hopp" Hopper slowly begins to believe something is not right in the town of Hawkins.
As the residents begin to search for Will Byers, a child, Eleven, escapes from the confines of the Laboratory and the mysterious Martin Bremmer. As she escapes from the Laboratory, Eleven proves her telekinetic skills by disabling her guards with ease without physically touching them. After evading her captors, Eleven finally meets the three remaining members of Will Byers group and begins to learn what life is like outside the Laboratory and the restraining influence of Bremmer, who she refers to as "Papa". As Eleven learns about the life she becomes determined not to return to the Laboratory and hopes to remain with the friends she is becoming closer t with each passing day.
Back at school, Mike's sister, Nancy and Jonathan Byers begin to investigate when more of their friends disappear in mysterious circumstances with tensions rising between Jonathan and Nancy's boyfriend. The net of Martin Bremmer is constantly closing in on the boys and Eleven as their parents are fooled by the so-called members of the Department of Energy who are looking for Eleven and those who may have information about the whereabouts of Will.
The blending of supernatural and science fiction has made "Stranger Things" beloved of both fans and critics alike. The creators of the show, The Duffer Brothers have been working in Hollywood for a number of years and came to prominence with their work on the movie, "Hidden". The movie was loved by the director, M. Night Shyamalan who believed they could bring the same sense of suspense and visual flair to his Fox TV show, "Wayward Pines." The brothers found some success with the Fox TV show but the majority of their success was found with the July 2016 release of "Stranger Things."
"Stranger Things" stars a number of actors who first found fame in the 1980s and 1990s, including Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine. Ryder shot to fame as a child actor in the mid-1980s and would become an icon for her role as Lydia in Time Burton's "Beetlejuice." The actress has worked consistently through the 1990s and early 2000s before she took her comeback role in "Stranger Things."
Matthew Modine made his name in a series of different roles in the mid-1980s including that of Birdy in Alan Parker's film of the same name in 1984. Modine would hit the heights of critical fame with his role as Private Joker in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket." Throughout the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st-century, Modine worked in both TV and film before he returned to prominence with the role of Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley in "The Dark Knight Rises."
One of the breakout stars of "Stranger Things" is Millie Bobby Brown who plays the role of Eleven. The British-born actress became one of the youngest nominees for Outstanding Performance in a Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy's for her performance. 2019 will see the actress appear in her first feature film, "Godzilla, Godzilla King of the Monsters."
The Duffer Brothers were born and raised in North Carolina and did not stray far from their home state when creating "Stranger Things" as they filmed the majority of the show in Jackson, Georgia. The series is a co-production between 21 Laps Entertainment and Monkey Massacre for Netflix which distributes the series to its subscribers around the world. "Stranger Things" is written and directed by The Duffer Brothers with producer Shawn Levy also taking directing duties.
Critics have been extremely kind to "Stranger Things" with both viewers and professional critics enjoying the supernatural science fiction crossover. The influence of early Steven Spielberg movies has been noted by critics and fans alike with the retro nature of the series adding to its appeal. Rotten Tomatoes gives the show an average rating of 96 percent for the first season and season two receiving an average rating of 94 percent. Season three is set to be released by Netflix on its streaming platform in the summer of 2019.
The series of based on the true life events taking place near Long Island in the mid-20th-century under the codename, Montauk. Although the results of the experiments on children have been fictionalized, the project did try to take advantage of the perceived psychic abilities of children and teens. Originally, The Duffer Brothers were looking to create an anthology series similar to the format used "American Horror Story" with each season consisting of different actors and plots. The initial idea was for a five-season "Stranger Things" show which would see a different decade featured in each season.