Just started binge watching Stranger Things this morning. Very entertaining 80s tinged sci-fi in a small town. Pretty similar to JJ Abrams Super 8 movie from a few years ago.  Anyone else watching this?

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Got it. Probably just before my recorded memories. I remember my family buying a cordless phone pretty early on.

Watched a couple more episodes today and I'm really enjoying this.

Almost every scene seems to reference some Gen-X touchstone. Whether it's Stand By MeClose Encounters, Poltergiest, ETThe GateGooniesPhantasm... The list is endless. And we still get an engrossing story, great cast, awesome 80s music, a John Carpenter-esque score and cool retro fonts.  I really like how the kids all look and act like real kids instead of the freshly scrubbed overly angsty Dawson's Creek types you would normally see in this type of show.

I noticed the '80s stuff I knew about, like E.T. and Poltergeist. Never watched some of it, so I'm unlikely to catch stuff like Goonies and Phantasm and the Gate, whatever that is. But as you say, it's a good story that doesn't require you to notice  nostalgic references to enjoy it.

I have never actually watched Stand By Me, but I've heard so much about it, I doubt I need to.

The Gate is no classic by any means. But it was kind of a fun horror movie for kids/tweens which featured a hole to some kind of hellish dimension and some primitive claymation type special effects. Very 80s.

Finished up today. They wrapped up the central plot but left plenty of threads dangling. Can't wait for season 2. I don't think i've enjoyed a sci-fi show this much since Fringe went off the air.

One thing that has struck me while watching Stranger Things is that the experiences of boys in the '80s were not that much different than my experiences in the '70s, and probably my brother's in the '60s. Even shows set earlier are familiar enough -- because things didn't change very much, or very fast, before the Internet.

For example, we all rode bikes -- a lot. Our parents largely didn't know or care where we were. There was businesses like Kodak, Sears and Radio Shack that were big companies, had always been big companies, and as far as we knew, would always be big companies. The phone company had been a monopoly from its founding, and was always a presence in your life, because every house had "the phone" ("You're wanted on the phone"), which was the phone company's responsibility. (Now it's MY phone. The article is important.)

But after the Internet, things are much more volatile. How kids grow up is different -- Xbox has taken the place of Schwinn. We had "appointment TV" -- I had to be in front of my TV on Tuesday nights at 7, or I'd miss Star Trek. Now you can almost watch anything, any time, and the "almost" will disappear fairly soon.

Don't mistake this as old man grousing. What I'm saying is: Things changed very slowly from the '50s until the late '80s or early '90s. The lives of upper middle class kids in the '50s weren't terribly different from the lives of middle class or working class kids of the '80s. At least, there was a recognizable progression.

And then something happened. It coincided with the Internet, but really, it was the digital revolution (which includes the Internet). Now things change with startling rapidity, and what you learn today (especially software) is obsolete tomorrow. Where you buy something today is out of business tomorrow. And today's kids live lives that aren't recognizable to those who were kids before the 1990s -- there's not direct line from A to B. It was just suddenly different -- and it keeps getting differenter!

Anyway, that all passed through my head as I was watching kids pedal down the street in a show set in 1983 that didn't look much different than me and my friends pedaling down the street in 1973 at roughly the same age. But in 2013, kids of that age might not even own bicycles!

Totally agree.  I think I noticed a bit of what you're talking about at a recent family gathering. My wife and I were able to compare notes with my parents about childhood experiences and it was like we were all speaking the same language but it was all Greek to my kids who grew up in the digital age.

Captain Comics said:

One thing that has struck me while watching Stranger Things is that the experiences of boys in the '80s were not that much different than my experiences in the '70s, and probably my brother's in the '60s. Even shows set earlier are familiar enough -- because things didn't change very much, or very fast, before the Internet.
For example, we all rode bikes -- a lot. Our parents largely didn't know or care where we were.

I'm not sure if its introduction coincided with the internet, but the 24-hour news cycle is a big part of the reason kids are ferried from place-to-place and aren't allowed to be on their own. Having experiences on your own is very important to becoming self-reliant and knowing who you are. Also, the entertaining serial killer TV shows that have run for years make it seem like these are everyday occurrences in every community.

I try to tell people that there have always been human monsters preying on the public and that there are no more today than there were in the past. I try to tell people that they are more likely to be killed by lightning than terrorists. No one wants to hear it.

Excellent point, Cap. Some of my fondest memories growing up in the Sixties relate to biking around with my buddies. Oftentimes we had no specific plan, we just jumped on our bikes and rode. If my parents had been aware of the time we biked along a heavily trafficked expressway service drive during rush hour to reach a local shopping center, both my bike and I would have been locked away.

And back on topic ... my wife and I watched the first four episodes over the past two nights and we are hooked.

Finished it.

They got the 80's down right to the finish. It was definitely an era-appropriate ending. Great show.

Finally had a chance to begin watching it. Saw the first three episodes and plan to watch more tonight. Great stuff!

Apparently, the Duffer Brothers also made a movie called Hidden which I am now going to have to track down.

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