July 17th, 2019 by Proprietor
In a previous post, I stated how I was enjoying Stranger Things, because I could identify with the characters. Growing up in the 1980s in a small midwestern town was a wonderful experience. Since I will have to wait until the DVD set comes out to view season 3, I will base this post on what I watched in seasons 1 & 2, with some information picked up from reviews, YouTube, etc. in regards to season 3.
What I found really strange were some of the reviewers whom seemed to view the show from a very anachronistic state. The reviewers were judging the 1980s attitudes portrayed in the period piece that is Stranger Things with modern societal social constructs. Granted for me, viewing a show set in the 1980s as a period piece makes me now understand my parents, the writers of the reviews probably have parents whom lived through the time frame. Asking mom and dad some questions might have clarified certain concepts.
In the early 1980s nuclear war with the Soviet Union (Russia) was a very real thing. Global Warming was not a concern, because we were heading toward another Ice Age, and we had Acid Rain. The nation as a whole was suffering from a post traumatic disorder over the Vietnam War, so everyone was not into possible conflict. Gas Lines, and maximum Peak Production were worries of sorts, but the US survived those. On the bright side there were hair bands, angsty teenage dramady, raunchy teenage movies, and punk was a solid subculture.
Movies in the 1980s were fantastic. The geek driven blockbusters like Ghostbusters, Star Wars, et al are referenced in Stranger Things very heavily. Yet, there were movies that really showed what being a teenager in the eighties was about. Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers) stared in several movies, I recommend Heathers, a dark comedy, but gives some insight into high school life. High Schools are always cliquish, but the 1980s seemed more so, and dramatic. Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, and Vision Quest are all movies from the 1980s that give a good deal of insight into the way teenagers felt. Molly Ringwald stars in three of the movies, she was the IT girl of the time, and it would be awesome if Molly had a part in Stranger Things.
One of the things mentioned in a review was “Toxic Masculinity” as represented by Billy. There were a lot of things boys did in the 1980s that could be construed as toxic by today’s standards, but boys were growing up and becoming men, thus being macho was the ideal. Macho entailed confidence in one’s self, and in being a man. When Billy shows up, women are turned on by his muscles, attitude, and hair. Granted Billy is a bully, but the whole macho attitude was not Germaine to bullies in the 1980s. Also, no one really cared about anyone’s sexual orientation. AIDS became a very real scare in the 1980s, some of the jokes made would melt snowflakes these days, but people were concerned. There were and always will be homophobes. Grow up.
Overall, as a period piece, Stranger Things holds up. The attitudes of the characters are somewhat reflective of what people felt back then. The boys are geeks, but seem to be tight as friends. If reviewers view Stranger Things as a representation of the times, and do not pass judgement based on today’s moors, they might actually enjoy the show more, as well as gain some insight.
Thanks for stopping by.
No More Walking Dead
July 10th, 2019 by Proprietor
This came as a shock to me. The comic book, which I have read for a very long time has come to an end. Now what?
As a long time comic book fan, my tastes evolved over the decades, at least three decades of collecting. I had settled on Walking Dead as one of the only regular titles I collect. There were a few superhero titles, but I have dropped them once creative teams changed. There is one historical fiction superhero title I collect, but the creator is having issues, and the comic is late.
I read the Walking Dead, the television universe, is launching a spin off. It deals with the first generation of people whom grew up in the post zombie apocalypse era. Damn. Someone stole my idea. Sometimes I wonder if people are spying on me or reading my mind. Then I give up on the paranoia, and realize, yeah, someone can come up with a similar idea. I work professionally as a graphic designer(ish), and I have seen two people come up with ideas so similar, the ideas are almost exact. The two people were not talking or even communicating, even working for a different company.
Well, I will have to pick up Issue #193, and read it. The spoilers I have read have not deterred me at all. If you read my Game of Thrones posts based on spoilers I read, you should know that by now. I am funny that way.
June 26th, 2019 by Proprietor
I do not have Netflix, I have Hulu, and I do not have HBO, so it is difficult for me to keep up on popular shows. Like Game of Thrones, I was late to jump on the bandwagon for Stranger Things. Recently I purchased seasons one and two on DVD/Blu-Ray. Season one designed to look like a VHS tape, which was the media used for movies back then. VHS players were also very expensive. I have watched the first four episodes of season one, as of this posting.
Stranger Things takes place in a small town in Indiana. This had appeal to me, because I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Midwestern small towns are not all that different. The main protagonists are geeks whom play Dungeons and Dragons. This made them instantly identifiable to me, since I played Dungeons and Dragons when I was the age of the protagonists. Though I was the age of Nancy Wheeler, the older sister in 1983, the year the series starts, and was more like Jonathan Byers.
What struck me most so far was how much the show draws on horror tropes which were prevalent in 1980s movies. The opening scene of the first episode reminded me of the movie Alien. Even the scene when Will Byers disappears, reminded me of standard horror trope. The protagonist flees from an unseen monster, arms themselves hastily, expects the antagonist to attack from the front, and yet, somehow, the villain comes from behind.
A lot of the tropes from eighties horror movies were layered into the show. At first I thought it was due to uncreative writing, which was turning me off somewhat. Then I realized, it was writing genius, intentionally done stylistically to give that feel. The show takes place in the eighties, why not give it the same feel most horror and science fiction movies from the time period had?
So far, having watched the first four episodes, I am enjoying the show. Many of the characters are solidly acted. Joyce Byers, portrayed by Winona Ryder, loved her in Heathers, is a frantic mother trying to communicate with her son, whom she knows is not dead, but not on Earth. Winona was a staple in eighties movies, and had a good run, before falling off the radar. If you like to see what eighties movies were like, and some of the tropes used, I recommend streaming some of the horror stuff. If you like some dark comedy, watch Heathers.
I will right a follow up to this post once I finish season one.
Thanks for stopping by.
New YouTube Video
June 23rd, 2019 by Proprietor
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. When should you spend money?
June 16th, 2019 by Proprietor
GTA5 video, showing Trevor stealing a Cargo Bob Helicopter.