Lion of the Blogosphere

Stranger Things

It takes place in 1983, and it starts with the nerdiest kids ever depicted in the history of television playing Dungeons & Dragons. Enthusiastically. Never have I seen nerdy kids playing Dungeons & Dragons so enthusiastically. Now how awesome is that?

If you were a nerd in the early 1980s, you will appreciate all of the detailed references to early 1980s nerd culture.

And there are also some of the most depraved high-school bullies ever depicted in a TV series. It’s a dark view of suburbia in 1983.

All of the school-aged characters, good or bad, look like real school-aged kids, and not like super-good-looking 22-year-old underwear models pretending to be high-school kids.

This show has the real feeling of being in the 1980s, not like The Americans which is supposed to take place in the 1980s but just doesn’t feel like it.

There’s also a horror story involving a lot of standard TV tropes like the bad guys being mad scientists/government/military-industrial-complex types. I am willing to overlook that part because the series is good enough to overcome.

It has the Lion’s recommendation.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm

Posted in Television

40 Responses

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  1. There’s also a horror story involving a lot of standard TV tropes like the bad guys being mad scientists/government/military-industrial-complex types. I am willing to overlook that part because the series is good enough to overcome.

    So like the X-Files?

    I’ve only seen a couple episodes. It’s ok so far, intriguing enough to keep watching. I thought the horror story was the main point of the show. Or is that just a side story?

    I think there were some historical inaccuracies. I’ve only seen the first two episodes, but there’s already been several instances of the kids using the word “douchebag”, which I don’t think kids used back then.


    August 9, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    • “Douchebag” didn’t strike me as being out of place. I am almost sure I used it in the 1980s.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 9, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      • Vincent

        August 9, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      • Ha ha! Proof that “douchebag” was 80s slang.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      • Rats. I was just about to mention Booger’s use of the term “douchebag,” but this guy beat me to the punch.


        August 9, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      • “Douchebag” was common in the 1960s. No idea how much further back it goes.

        Ron S

        August 9, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      • I didn’t know it was 80s slang. I thought it was new when we started using it in the 90s.

        We used “gay” and “fag” a lot as slang. Anything and everything that was bad, that sucked, and was uncool was “gay”. That was slang in the 80s too, right? They probably wouldn’t put those words in the show though, even though it’d be realistic, because it’s too politically incorrect now.


        August 9, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      • @Tom: We used “gay” and “fag” a lot as slang.

        Yes, those were well-worn insults in the early ’80s. If a kid got called a fag, then he surely had to fight, else he was a fag.

        E. Rekshun

        August 10, 2016 at 11:47 am

      • I find it totally plausible that college kids used the slang douchbag in the 80s.

        Elementary school aged kids?!

        This struck me too as an anachronism–in two senses of the word!


        August 15, 2016 at 2:06 am

    • “I thought the horror story was the main point of the show. Or is that just a side story?”

      Well it’s the main plot of the series, but without the stuff I described in my post, it would just be a pretty bad horror series with a lot of plot holes which don’t add up.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 9, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      • So the plot itself is not good enough for it to be a good show? Are you sure it qualifies as a good series then?


        August 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      • I’m sure.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 10, 2016 at 12:20 am

      • But it is a very 80s plot as well. I thought the silliness of the plot actually added to the atmosphere.

        Peter Akuleyev

        August 10, 2016 at 6:31 am

    • It was in use elsewhere but referred to older women. The switch to males must have been a gay thing from the 70s.

      Mrs Stitch

      August 10, 2016 at 9:45 am

  2. I hope that it doesnt have all the technical inaccuracies of Mazes and Monsters. Back then there was no fan service.

    Lion of the Turambar

    August 9, 2016 at 11:10 pm

  3. I’ve seen the entire series and can say it’s definitely worth watching. Rottentomatoes gave it 94%, with the critic score and audience score aligned:

    Pete M

    August 10, 2016 at 4:58 am

  4. My one complaint about the show is Winona Ryder. The woman simply can’t act. Otherwise, it’s very good.

    Horace Pinker

    August 10, 2016 at 9:20 am

    • She’s the mom of the missing kid, right? I’ve only seen a couple episodes, but she does seem to badly overact every scene so far.


      August 10, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    • I agree that she is one of the worst things. I’m part way through and I also don’t like the way the cop is going around knocking people out with one punch and steamrolling over any security trying to keep him out of any place he wants to go.

      It’s way better than Mr. Robot which was Lion’s last reccomendation


      August 11, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      • The first season of Mr. Robot is awesome. What are you talking about?

        I haven’t dipped into the second season yet, will probably binge-watch it once it’s finished airing.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 11, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      • Mr Robot failed to accurately portray or say anything interesting about tech or corporate people or cultures, has a boring and unlikable characters (especially the protaganist), has a boring and derivative main plot, fails completely to create the compelling techo noir atmosphere that it’s clearly striving for, sets up twists which aren’t very intesting or shocking and completely lack any weight because the reality that is upset by the twist is so unremarkable to begin with (Mr. Robot goes from being a middle aged techno genius that looks and talks nothing like any technogenius I’ve ever seen who spends his screen time making uninteresting or uncompelling critiques of capitalism and corporations and just being boring to a a figment of another character who I also don’t like and am bored by’s imagination, whoopdidoo).

        It has relatively realistic explanations of hacking which I don’t really care about. It has a diverse cast which I don’t care about (and makes the show unrealistic). I do like the swedish character and his wife but they are like they’re in a different show from everyone else (a show where I expect the bat shit craziness would wear thin).

        As for stranger things, I spoke a bit too early, while it is obviously very unrealistic in terms of what the characters can accomplish and get away with it’s generally never goes so far as to be unsatisfying in terms of storytelling.

        You should review the OJ Simpson miniseries.


        August 12, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      • I don’t need to watch the miniseries, I watched the car chase live, I watched the Kato Kaelin testimony live. Hard to believe it’s been 22 years.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 12, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    • She’s a perfectly adequate actress, plus, she’s purty.


      August 12, 2016 at 2:09 pm

  5. My alma mater was actually the scene of one of those early 80’s “controversies” about D&D playing college kids going off the rails and killing folks when they started to confuse the game with reality.

    I remember the term “douchebag” from the 80’s, but it was used less. Life was more formal back then and unless you were with your youngish friends in private you weren’t as prone to use slang or unbecoming language because in the absence of the endless volume and anonymity of cyberspace.


    August 10, 2016 at 9:52 am

  6. Should we assume you watched it through a legal Netflix subscription and not through a pirated copy (since that would be illegal) and that you are also encouraging your readers only to watch it through Netflix?


    August 10, 2016 at 10:07 am

  7. I just started “Penny Dreadful” On Netflix a few days ago so I’ll have to hold off on this one, but “Penny Dreadful” seems great so far.

    Mike Street Station

    August 10, 2016 at 11:43 am

  8. Here’s a terrific article about the strange disappearance in 1978 of one of the nerdiest ultra-Omega nerds of all time.



    August 10, 2016 at 1:12 pm

  9. On “douchebag”, I think the word has become a lot more popular in the 21st century. I don’t think I heard anyone called a “douche” (as opposed to “douchebag”) before the 2000s.

    South Park seems to have used “douche” a lot and might have been key to its popularization. The classic “Douche and Turd” song dates back to 2004. That same year, they had the Goobacks episode, which featured an argument on a talk show between Aging Hippie Liberal Douche and White Trash Redneck Conservative.


    August 10, 2016 at 2:01 pm

  10. One of the best parts of the show is its implicit whiteness. Sure, one of the kids is black and some of the school extras are diverse, but almost every character is white.


    August 10, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    • Wouldn’t that be explicit whiteness?


      August 10, 2016 at 6:50 pm

  11. How skinny were people in the 80’s?

    The female teenage girl is super skinny.


    August 10, 2016 at 3:03 pm

  12. has lion ever reviewed gossip girl? its about elite manhattanites, seems perfect for this blog.


    August 11, 2016 at 2:00 am

  13. I just finished watching it. It was enjoyable, but silly.


    August 12, 2016 at 2:10 pm

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