“Stranger Things” and the Eighties Touch

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Nick Adrian

Founder & Owner of: Books, Records, Films with Nick

Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Books and Entertainment Writer


As you may or may not know, I’ve set up this blog to express my opinions and thoughts on current and past books, albums, and films. So you’re probably wondering (or you may not be, I wouldn’t know) why my first post is centered around a TV show. Stranger Things is unlike any show I’ve ever seen before, and it is so greatly influenced by eighties movies that it feels like you’re watching one.

If you’ve been on the internet or talked to almost anyone in the past week, you’ve most likely heard of the most recent original series to debut on Netflix, Stranger Things. The show focuses on the sudden disappearance of young Will Byers and the community of Hawkins, Indiana’s attempts to find him. Among their search, Police Chief Hopper (David Harbour) and Will’s friends discover supernatural forces and uncover government secrets. The show was critically praised for its strong eighties influences, which was initially what drew me to it.

Upon watching it, I was under the assumption that Stranger Things would merely reference 1980’s counterculture here and there. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn’t just parody or pay tribute to classics such as E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, The Goonies, or Alien. It felt like one of those movies. It was as if you half expected the likes of Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter, among other legendary filmmakers of the time, to be listed in the credits at the end. The amount of references was too many to count (but definitely fun to look for).

Stranger Things’ eighties influences are definitely a plus for the show, and if it were influenced by any other decade’s culture, I imagine it would still be good, but very different. Perhaps it wouldn’t seem as iconic and maybe not as nostalgic, even if it was mirroring a time from a different decade. The eighties touch to it just adds something that no other decade could replicate and that asks this question: what makes these eighties movies so enjoyable, iconic, and timeless thirty-plus years later?

In my opinion, eighties classics such as E.T., The Goonies, Back to the Future – even two-thirds of the original Star Wars trilogy, are unlike other movies from other decades. They just seem to capture this perfect combination of child-like innocence, adventure, drama, and fun that not many other movies are able to do. These are the kind of movies that you just enjoy watching. They can be tense, stressful, dramatic, and even scary to a point…but in the end they’re always fun. Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of Stranger Things, had surely made this assumption, too, because they modeled their show under the same formula. I imagine other shows that could try to combine all those elements would ultimately fail and the product would result in nothing more than a bad parody. But Stranger Things takes these influences and builds from them, creating a show that can homage its subject while still standing on its own.

All in all, if you’re not into eighties culture, I think you’ll still enjoy the show. If you’re not even aware of eighties culture, you’ll still enjoy the show. But if anyone is like me, whose favorite films and music (the show has a killer soundtrack…no pun intended) derive from the eighties, you’re in for a real treat.


Article Credits: Nick Adrian

Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor

(For Entertainment, Writing Bloggers & More)
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25 Comments
  1. Dany Slone 3 years ago

    Currently on last episode. It’s great! There was a scene on the rail road made me think of Stand by me!

  2. lbruce09 3 years ago

    Reblogged this on Out of Me Head.

  3. halnathan 3 years ago

    the show is really great.I loved it

  4. Aishwarya 3 years ago

    I’ve been meaning to watch the show for such a long time. And now you make my resolve stronger…

  5. thekrutch 3 years ago

    One of the greatest shows this year.

  6. Hannah Kubiak 3 years ago

    One of the best shows I’ve seen all year. I watched the whole thing in one night! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Heather 3 years ago

    LOVED! the show (especially the 80’s feel).

  8. […] Source: “Stranger Things” and the Eighties Touch (2 min read) […]

  9. Hey! I couldn’t agree more. I am a big time movie buff and this show was like a little 80s gem gift wrapped and presented to me! 🙂
    I am a blogger too and my most recent post is also about Stranger Things. Do have a look : https://theentertainmentlister.wordpress.com/

  10. charsmoviereviews 3 years ago

    I absolutely love the show as well. It reminds me a lot of my favourite show of all time, “Twin Peaks”.

  11. Hannah Fearless 2 years ago

    I love this show!!

  12. […] via “Stranger Things” and the Eighties Touch (2 min read) — Millionaire’s Digest […]

  13. Alli 2 years ago

    Not that I didn’t enjoy 80s music before, but as a late 80s baby, the soundtrack of the 90s shaped my taste in music. (Most of my blog titles come from that era!) Stranger Things revived my appreciation for this decade.

    livingapstyle.wordpress.com

  14. Alex Hubbell 2 years ago

    Great read man.

  15. djemmand 2 years ago

    A wonderful show can not wait for it’s second season this Halloween.

  16. itsabbieedwards 2 years ago

    Lots of my friends have recommended this but none have said anything about it being like 80s films – we’re all born late 90s though so maybe they don’t watch them :-/ love this blog – started mine recently and I hope to do some reviews on there too soon

  17. tgbom 2 years ago

    Great post! I have just created a movie journal if you would like to see opinions about the newest movies at the cinema! Feel free to comment with a movie you would like me to watch! (and follow 🙂 )

  18. parkerozgood 2 years ago

    Such a good show! I can’t wait till October for Season 2!

  19. […] via “Stranger Things” and the Eighties Touch (2 min read) — Millionaire’s Digest […]

  20. Ana P. Rose 2 years ago

    I love this show! ?? ? ?

  21. Virginia C 2 years ago

    I think, if you tell someone ST was made in the eighties, they’d easily believe it. It has the exact same vibe from the films of that decade. Only the quality of the image tells you is made in the present day.

  22. thefilm.blog 2 years ago

    The eighties vibe really helped Stranger Things to stand out without ever making it feel derivative – can’t wait for the second series (like the rest of the internet/world)!

  23. TheWatchman 2 years ago

    I loved Stranger Things. More broadly though I’m getting a little tired of the 80s remix.

  24. Daddy Felix 2 years ago

    Lovely, you have written a beautiful blog and exquisitely brought out the magic and sentiments of the Eighties…Cheers!

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