Hello and welcome to our newest regular feature! Each week for the next 8 weeks, we will be watching Stranger Things, one episode each week. We all know nothing about it and so we will be writing our thoughts on each episode, every Sunday. Discordia, Joshtie and RadicalTey watched the first episode of the series this week and so using this Q&A format, read our opinions on the episode and watch along with us each week! BEWARE OF SPOILERS FOR STRANGER THINGS EPISODE 1.
What was the best moment in this week’s episode?
The moment when Eleven is in the diner, the fan is going and making noises and she just stops it. That realisation (or rather, confirmation) that Eleven has powers is really cool. You can see the concentration on her face, but then the relief afterwards, showing she has done that before. Then later with other scenes with her powers, it really confirms that she is a force to be reckoned with and will probably be one of the most important characters going forward.
I would have to say that I particularly enjoyed the first opening scene, set in the lab, where we see who we can presume is a scientist, running from, who knows what? The opening scene really got me interested in the rest of the episode, and instantly told me a little about the story, while also left some unanswered questions such as: “What was he running from?” “Why was he running from it?”, which made me what to find out more of what was going on in the storyline.
The moment I enjoyed best was when Will Byers is in the shed, having run home after encountering – we don’t know what – in fact the whole scene when he returns to his house set the apprehension, anxiety and fear like only an unseen enemy can. You could feel his terror which drew you into the story quickly and who doesn’t like a slowly sliding door bolt? Although it was brief (for now?) I also enjoyed the relationship between the cook and the little runaway girl.
What moment really shocked you this week?
The moment when the “social services” person shot the guy in the diner shocked me, despite the fact that I was expecting it. It was so brutal because he was such a decent guy from what we saw, it really showed that this show can be harsh. I think in the future this will carry through and now I feel like this is one of the shows that will not be afraid to kill main characters.
I’ll say I wasn’t too shocked or surprised by much in the episode, however, I was surprised by the way the show instantly dropped the audience into the action, it’s not really something I’ve seen much of when watching other horror films. I will say however that something will probably shock me at some point in the future.
There were a few jump scares but I am not sure that anything ‘shocked’ me at this stage. This is really a scene setting and character introduction episode but I am sure there will be many surprises later on when we think we know characters.
Which character was the real MVP in this episode and why?
I would say that it would probably be Jim Hopper, since he does seem to care about the case and will be one of the driving forces behind solving it. He seems like he has built up layers of his personality to keep people out, but deep down he has suffered a lot and seems like he will be very helpful going forward.
I think Chief Jim Hopper was a character who kind of amused me, he particularly strikes me as an annoying person, who can be kind of sarcastic and laid back, and while he seems like he could be annoying, he sounds a lot like me
I think Mike Wheeler was and important character in this episode as he was the one that decided they need to go out and look for their friend even though they were told to stay in. He is intelligent but also sensitive as he points out that in their game their friend did not take the safe option so neither should they.
I think going forward Chief Jim Hopper will be important as presumably he dictates which direction the police investigation takes and his openness to exploring unbelievable leads or suggestions or not as the case may be will have an impact.
How does this episode rank up compared to similar shows you have watched?
I like horror. This feels a lot like the movie It Follows in both tone and soundtrack. When I compare this to other Netflix originals, it feels tonally similar to the likes of Marvel’s Daredevil. However this does feel like it will evolve into something unlike any other show on TV. Most horror shows nowadays are camp and over the top, for example Scream Queens and American Horror Story both combine comedy and tragedy to great effect. I am unsure if this will follow the same path, honestly I hope not.
I’m not much of a frequent TV viewer, so I can’t compare it to much, but I definitely enjoyed Stranger Things, and would require another very good TV show to compare it to.
The only thing I can think of that is similar to this that I have watched is X-Files and I liked this better. The fact that it seems to be centred around children will make it interesting as it would suggest an extra dimension to power struggles with for example the police and government agencies. The 80’s influence was very apparent and I couldn’t help but be reminded of ET in the general feel.
How do you think the next episodes will pan out?
I feel like the future episodes will shed some more light on what the creature is and who created it. I feel like a few characters will not make it to the end of the season as this does seem like a show that can and will kill main characters.
In the future, I think we’ll learn more about the mysterious entity that caused the disappearance of Will and (what we can assume is) the death of the scientist. I think that we’ll find out more but still have some unanswered questions too.
We will learn more about the shaved headed young girl hopefully as I think she will become friends with the boys and they will keep her hidden. We will learn more about the girl and where she has come from.
Any criticisms of this episode?
The writing felt clunky and unnatural with regards to the dialogue. I also feel they introduced so many characters at once, I could not find a single character I really cared about. However I did enjoy it and I do find the story to be very engaging.
I really say that I wasn’t interested in the relationship between Mike’s Sister and her boyfriend, it really didn’t interest me when I cared more about discovering more about the “thing” that attacked Will and the scientist towards the start of the episode.
It wasn’t long enough! Seriously though, I would say my only criticism is that I didn’t like Mike Wheeler’s sister and her boyfriend, I wasn’t interested, but I am sure their part in the story will become apparent as it progresses.
Thanks for reading and hopefully watching along with us! This will be an ongoing weekly feature for the next 9 weeks and we hope you will stick with us and watch each episode with us each week! For a chance to be featured in next week’s TV Club, just watch Stranger Things Episode 1 and tweet your favourite moment using #G33kP0pTVClub and we will pick the best ones to include in the post! Spoilers for episode 1 are allowed in the comments but if you post spoilers for future episodes, you will be banned from commenting. Until next time folks, keep it G33k.