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I know, and I’m sorry.

 

Sorry that all of you have been sucked into the mediocre world of simple plots and boring conclusions. Sorry that you are forced to watch characters who range from “I’m pretty cool because I like coffee” police chiefs to the joint-world record holders of “most annoying children in the world” Dustin and Lucas.

Am I in a parallel universe where somehow everyone my age grew up 10 years before they were born? I, like most of you, was born in the 1990’s. My nostalgia is for Pokémon, Arthur, Watch My Chops – and I had to Google the last one just to remember the name. So, how is it that everyone suddenly appears to remember the 80s? Surely these references aren’t giving you more satisfaction than watching, say, SpongeBob Squarepants. The 90’s weren’t the most interesting time, I admit, but trying to overwrite your childhood with a forced 80’s aesthetic is not going to make that go away.

Maybe you know this. Maybe you’re watching for the plot. God help you.

I understand that the real world has all gone a bit pear-shaped, and some mindless escapism is lovely. But does that mean all complexity must disappear? There’s a reason Captain America: Civil War and Batman vs. Superman sold so many tickets. It’s because that even in these franchises of good versus evil, it’s much more interesting to watch when it’s not that obvious. Life is full of grey areas.

the show seems afraid of its own sci-fi

So a mindless killer plant just isn’t going to cut it, I’m afraid. Hiding what the killer plant looks like for the first few episodes isn’t going to make that any less underwhelming either.

The best moments of Season One were watching Eleven snap a neck, and Hopper telling the scientists where the kids were. But, with the Upside Down, why should I care about something so one-dimensional?

I’ll add it to the list of mysteries. Hopefully it’ll have a better answer than the rest. For a show that begins with so many mysteries, it really is incredible how unsatisfying every single one is. Where did Eleven come from? A lab. Why does she have powers? Because MK Ultra or something. Where did the Upside Down come from? Don’t know, it’s just kind of there.

The Upside Down as a concept is great. The idea of people being snatched into an alternate dimension that is on top of our own should be so interesting. But, it isn’t, because the show seems afraid of its own sci-fi. Instead, we get brief blanket explanations out the way, so we get to spend more time with the colourful crew of characters. We have: Greasy weird guy, pretty high school girl with teen relationship drama, stock bully turned nice guy, ANOTHER stock bully, hysterical mother, new girl who’s not-like-other-girls-because-she-plays-games-and-things, annoying kid, annoying kid the second, undeservedly mourned Barb, “haha typical man who does nothing”, Dad, some scientists we learn almost nothing about, and various other bland exposition devices with legs.

If it weren’t for Mike, Will, and Eleven, this show would not exist, and if it did, it would just be called ‘Steve,’ and would follow the adventures of one man and his bat.

I’d watch that.

But, for now, I’m done with this. It seems that for something to be universally liked, it must be stale, packed full of tropes and simplicity. I hate to get all hipster on you, but if that’s what mainstream is, I’m not having it.

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