In the absence of season 7 of The Good Wife appearing on Netflix and Once Upon A Time only just starting to upload its new episodes, now seemed as good a time as any to try out Stranger Things, Netflix’s much-talked about horror/mystery series. In many respects it shouldn’t be my thing. I don’t do horror, I don’t do hype and I don’t do government conspiracy shows. Nevertheless, I felt crossing it off the list was a must.

Overall, I’m enjoying it, but probably not for the reasons intended. The main reason I don’t do horror is that I find it either predictable or over-the-top, or both. I find that Stranger Things is a little bit of both. I’m not scared, but there is enough of a layer of creepiness for me to not ditch the show. Even so, for a horror, the thrills are not the main drive to keep watching.

The mystery strand is another one that works no doubt for many, but isn’t my main focus either. Missing people, weird government science base, yada yada yada. Again, it works enough for you to keep tuning in, but, for me at least, isn’t what I walk away thinking about when I have finished watching.

Instead, it is the more human dramas that enthral me. Nancy and her crush on the boorish Steve giving way to something deeper with the outcast Jonathan. The lingering of his daughter’s death on Hopper. Joyce and her desperate methods to find her son. Winona Ryder plays this mix of woman on the edge/steely blue-collar mamma grizzly excellently, her madness guided by enough logic to make her believable and sympathetic.

More than this, it is the child actors who steal the show. There is almost a Stand By Me quality to the programme when they take centre stage, and they really should do so more often. There is a humour which makes the emotional weight worthwhile and bearable, but don’t mistake them for fluff. Through them all the genres flow, be it coming-of-age drama, supernatural, sci-fi, mystery – all the while driving their own plot strand forward.

Netflix has done what Netflix does best – taken a punt on something that wouldn’t work on mainstream TV. A little bit Twin Peaks, a little The X Files, a lot of cult 80’s horror; they have given us something different. Is it my favourite thing this year? No. But it’s good. Sometimes when you throw everything but the kitchen sink at a show, more sticks than doesn’t.

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