In Theory is a new recurring video feature here at Woven where we bring a fan theory to life in order to explore it. One thing to remember is that we don”t necessarily think every one of these theories is correct or a full explanation of things, but that”s not the point. The point is to use them as a jumping-off point for a conversation about something that is worth that conversation.
You know… something like Stranger Things, the summer smash from Netflix.
It took three long weekends for me to work my way through all eight hours of the series with my girlfriend and my two sons. For the three of them, Stranger Things pushed the boundaries of how much scary they”ll willingly watch. It feels like an important gateway step for the kids to other scarier ’80s films, the movies being referenced by Stranger Things, but it wasn”t just because of the show”s obvious nostalgic charms that we ended up enthralled by it.
Much of what I personally loved about the show was the kids they cast in it. Gaten Matarazzo alone is such an amazing find that he made me giddy every time he showed up. Finn Wolfhard has the new best name in show business, and Caleb McLaughlin managed to navigate the tricky waters of “group killjoy” pretty well. Even the slightly older kids on the show like Joe Keery and Shannon Purser and Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton all managed to shine over the course of the eight hours.
The show”s biggest discovery, though, had to be Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, the mysterious girl at the heart of the show”s various storylines. She”s terrific, and she has to play some very tricky material. We”ve seen plenty of examples of the “psychic chased by government agents” archetype over the years, both in comics and in movies, but Brown manages to do such sweet, sincere work that it doesn”t matter that we”re in familiar territory.
The show wisely leaves some big questions unanswered, and the biggest of those has to do with the eventual fate of Eleven. But today”s In Theory suggests that there is a more important question hiding in plain view. I”m not sure I buy into this, but I don”t think the show gives you enough information to simply dismiss it, either.
One thing”s for sure… that second season of Stranger Things can”t get here fast enough.
Stranger Things is streaming now exclusively on Netflix.