For a long time I have been making the Young People watch the British detectives (clerical and other), literary costume dramas; basically, anything with a Dowager anybody in it. They are generally good sports, although they draw the line at Rosemary & Thyme, which is a pity. (Two old gals with a gardening business; they show up to restore your medieval medicine garden or get your rosebushes ready for the big wedding, and in the first 10 minutes somebody is found murdered on the grounds, every time.) So it is only fair that when the Young People tell me something is really good and I should watch it, I give it a try. That’s how I found myself bingeing my way through the first series of the Netflix show Stranger Things.
I haven’t seen any of the 1980s movies or TV that Stranger Things supposedly pays homage to–Goonies, Twin Peaks, etc. Basically, I can’t stand to be scared so I avoid the horror genre. (I lost both earrings at the movie theatre watching The Silence of the Lambs, from scrunching down in my seat, trying to hide.) Edith Wharton is about as much of a fright as I can take. (Just thinking of her story All Souls gives me the terrors. It was the last story she wrote–how horrible!)
Stranger Things is a creeptastic spookfest, but not terrifying; it’s even funny at times. It’s fun to alternate episodes of Stranger Things with The Americans; between the two of them the minutiae of daily living in the 1980s are well and truly covered; there must not be an old car or push-button phone left in Hollywood. There are glimpses of Stand By Me, E.T., and also Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s a great cast, especially the child actors. So, if you’ve got a Netflix subscription, cue it up with some easy knitting, and have a blast.
Something That Is Not Scary