Strangererest Things

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Strangererest Things

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:27 am UTC

zomg go watch this now. naaaaaaaaaow.

Did you read House of Leaves? Play Silent Hill? Remember the 80's? Watch the Goonies? Adore Stephen King? Kabam, they all are super sweaty from a pretty weird orgy and this show is great and wonderful and adorable and charming and eerie and well shot.

Spoiler:
Great ending, gives room for a sequel without leaving you angry that you aren't watching it right now. I think El is still alive, running around the Upside Down battling the creature, flickering over for Eggos
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Zohar » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:31 pm UTC

Saw the first episode. Liked it, will continue to watch. I wonder about all the 80s nostalgia - how much is it that the creators grew in that decade, how much is it that they don't want easy solutions through cell phones.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:41 pm UTC

A lot of the issues in the series are due to technological constraints of the time. I don't think that's a bad thing.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Zohar » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:51 pm UTC

I didn't say that as a criticism, necessarily, just a recurring issue I encountered.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby AngrySquirrel » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:16 pm UTC

I loved the first season of this show. And I don't even say that about my mom.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Diadem » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:43 pm UTC

You don't love the first season of your mom?

I suppose most people's first season is pretty bad. Lots of screaming, lots of shit, no coherent plot.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:02 pm UTC

I think more shows should take a page from the way this was wrapped up. The story was concluded, there was room for some more, but you aren't left with this 'OH MY GOD I HAVE NO IDEA WHATS GOING ON UNTIL THE NEXT SEASON'.

I loved the not remotely subtle parallels in the D&D game at the end.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:04 am UTC

Spoiler:
Did they just stop looking for that girl who went missing at the pool or what? Doesn't feel like her family/friends got a whole lot of closure.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:59 am UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:
Spoiler:
Did they just stop looking for that girl who went missing at the pool or what? Doesn't feel like her family/friends got a whole lot of closure.


Have you watched all the episodes? If so:
Spoiler:
Her friend kept looking for her, and had 11 try to find her in the upside down, which she found her dead.


Also, I kind of want to go back and count how many shots were fired out of that revolver. It seemed like a lot, which I would assume is intentional, given that it's an 80s nostalgia flick.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby You, sir, name? » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:07 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:
Spoiler:
Did they just stop looking for that girl who went missing at the pool or what? Doesn't feel like her family/friends got a whole lot of closure.


Have you watched all the episodes? If so:
Spoiler:
Her friend kept looking for her, and had 11 try to find her in the upside down, which she found her dead.



Spoiler:
I saw that, but given a major part of the story is how the family and friends of a missing desperately tries to find him, I find it odd that apparently she could go missing without anyone besides her friend giving a singular fuck. Just feels like a loose thread.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby AngrySquirrel » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:51 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:
Thesh wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:
Spoiler:
Did they just stop looking for that girl who went missing at the pool or what? Doesn't feel like her family/friends got a whole lot of closure.


Have you watched all the episodes? If so:
Spoiler:
Her friend kept looking for her, and had 11 try to find her in the upside down, which she found her dead.



Spoiler:
I saw that, but given a major part of the story is how the family and friends of a missing desperately tries to find him, I find it odd that apparently she could go missing without anyone besides her friend giving a singular fuck. Just feels like a loose thread.

Spoiler:
Well, it was passed off as if she'd run away by the government dudes. I bet they kind of gave her family the same message and they aren't exactly looking for her where the main characters are if they are looking.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:30 am UTC

Re: Barbara
Spoiler:
I was a little surprised they didn't show her mother's panic at her being missing beyond a brief phone-call from Nancy, but I presumed it was because we had enough characters already and showing how Barbara's family was freaking out would have been too much to deal with.
This series was absolutely amazing; from the music to the frigging title intro to the monster. I also loved how...
Spoiler:
...they tied a fable (the Demogorgon, residing in the vale of shadows, summoned by blood), a coming-of-age story (three kids trying to save their friend with the help of a mysterious girl with special powers; the love-triangle with the three main teens), a creepy detective mystery (the sheriff with a troubled past, pursuing clues against a government organization that will stop at nothing to cover up the truth), and a ghost-story (the mother struggling to make contact with her possibly-dead son) together into a sci-fi rigmarole. Despite this show being such a complicated mess, it actually totally works.
I was also impressed by how little I was able to predict in this series; usually I'm pretty good at knowing what characters are going to die (and when the jump-scares are going to come), but this time it was pretty hard. The only things I got right off the bat were...
Spoiler:
I knew Barbara was dead and Will was alive; I also was pretty sure right after Mike kissed El that El wasn't going to make it. I also expected Hopper's plan was to convince them to let him go into the portal, since that would solve both their problems (he gets a shot at getting Will back, they get to have him disappear if he fails -- plus they get more data on what's going on). I did not expect Steve to show up when he did, or the very end, with Will coughing up the ew-tentacle or seeing a flash of the Upside Down again.

Also, that one scene, when the government agents find El -- and Michael just says 'Blood'... and you realize. Oh shit they just summoned the demogorgon, ROLL FOR INITIATIVE. So good.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:24 am UTC

Re:your predictions

Spoiler:
apparently the actor who played Stvee was so damn likable they didn't want to get rid of him. I don't think he was supposed to die or anything, just run off and never be seen again.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Biliboy » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:34 am UTC

Just finished this, I'm up way too late and getting up for work tomorrow is going to be a pain.

I'm normally very much not a horror/suspense person, but I think the addition of the kids that you knew weren't actually going to get hurt helped a lot to let me enjoy it without issue. Amazingly well done, add my recommendation to the list. Go watch this!


Spoiler:
Re: the revolver, yeah I counted about 11 shots, after the first three. There was time to reload while waiting in the room the first time, but no time during the second firing. It was likely on purpose as they were pretty good about other realism in the show so far.

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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:20 pm UTC

Thoughts after marathoning the first season tonight into this morning:

Spoiler:
I kept thinking of parallels between the shadowy government lab that accidentally opens up portal to another dimension in this and Black Mesa from Half Life, possibly because I just finished marathoning the Half Life series again. My personal headcanon is that Hawkins Labs is a predecessor to Black Mesa and the Upside-Down is another border-world-like dimension, possibly further exploration of that world leads to Xen. Also, in the last episode, Dr. Brenner gave off some very strong G-Man vibes.

Also also, in ep 4 the guy shown to be the first one to explore the portal is named Shephard.

Actually, once we saw more of the Upside-Down, it didn't remind me so much of Xen as it did the dead parallel earth from the first Laundry Files book by Charles Stross.

And to add another link to beloved 90's SF properties, In Stranger Things, the Hawkins Lab project is presented as a successor to MKUltra, apparently investigating psychic phenomena, Eleven is shown participating in primarily remote-viewing type experiments before the portal is opened.

In reality, there was a U.S. government program investigating 'remote-viewing' and other 'psychic' phenomena that began a few years after MKUltra was shut down and continued through the 80s and even into the mid nineties. The name of that program?








Stargate.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Djehutynakht » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:20 pm UTC

This show was pretty awesome. I mean, aside from the fact that it was extraordinarily well done technically, I think the writing was superb and the characters truly were amazing. A few off the bat notes:

Spoiler:
I liked Steve. I found it very interesting in how they subverted the whole "weird kid is the nice guy whereas the cool kid is a total amoral a-hole". I mean, yeah, he's definitely still a bit of a jackass. But in the end... he was a good guy. He tried to atone for his jackassery and that of his friends, and when he could have run away, and we totally expected him to...he didn't. I think that whole thing isn't over yet, but I like the fact that Steve is definitely more interesting than I originally expected him to.

And then... there's El, of course. El was an amazingly well done character, both by writer and actor. And... dammit, I have a soft spot for young love. That young romance between El and Mike was really cute and the ending was very much a "noooooo" moment for me. I really appreciated that they show the fact that Mike still has her bed there, waiting (or is sleeping there himself?)

I'm really hoping that they get her back. I'm really sad about that.

Just reunite them for heavens' sake. I can accept romantic turmoil with the older teens but don't break my heart on this one.

(On that note... the idea of a "happy ending" seems to be somewhat lambasted nowadays as a bit of a cliche. There must be sacrifice. Loss. It can't possibly turn out ideal because that would be cliche. But, honestly, I feel that this idea itself has become a bit of a cliche. I had a nagging feeling Eleven was going to end up sacrificing herself at the end of the season and even as I was going "nooo" in those final moments, I was also sort of going "of course" at that)



Also, I've read somewhere that apparently the creators may be up to doing one of those things where new characters are slowly introduced and old ones are slowly phased out--not least, in part, because the kids playing the characters of course age faster than the characters themselves--apparently the new season will air a year later, and is being billed more a "sequel" than a second season. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that, either. I liked the characters, and while introducing new ones is always good, I'm not sure about getting rid of the older ones just for such technical reasons. Plus, I feel like we've barely gotten to know them.

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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Djehutynakht » Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:20 pm UTC

It's Stranger Things week!

Today is Sunday November 6, which is the day that Will Byers disappears (around 8:30 pm or so).

If I'm correct, everything concludes Saturday night (excluding aftermath stuff).


Also of note:

The Energy Department decided that it needed to respond to its depiction in Stranger Things.

This inspired one reporter to file a FOIA request on the DOE, which uncovered a surprising amount of discussion and an aversion to spoilers.


And finally:

Spoiler:
It's been confirmed that Eleven will be returning. A few new characters also added.

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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Liri » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:26 am UTC

I loved it.

Steve was a great character.

Looking forward to the next season.

Spoiler:
The ending was very Twin Peaks.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:59 am UTC

I just finished watching it and holy shit that was great. I don't think I have any real discussion to add but I am so hyped for the sequel season.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Raidri » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:43 am UTC

PSA: Only one week until season 2 starts! The Trailer is great and I can't wait to see the new season.

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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Liri » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:52 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I just finished watching it and holy shit that was great. I don't think I have any real discussion to add but I am so hyped for the sequel season.

QQ: did you use 'season' because it's a USian show, there are lots of non-Brits here, or both? Or neither?
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:53 pm UTC

I tend to use "season" rather than "series" because in the context of franchise shows "series" can be ambiguous (cf. TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT, DiscoTrek are all series and all but one have more than one season)
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Ranbot » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:29 pm UTC

What do people think about Season 2? Without spoilers.... I'm about half-way through Season 2 and liking it well enough that I'm sure I'll finish it, but I definitely liked the first season more. The pacing of the Season 1 was perfect to me - initially a slow burn of supernatural reveals/events that steadily grew into a firestorm by the end. Season 2 skips most of the build-up and jumps right into some relatively big supernatural events, the viewer just doesn't know why they are happening. Maybe this is purposeful to avoid it feeling formulaic, but there are benefits to following a successful formula too. I think Season 2 still has plenty of 80's nostalgia references and the limitations of technology mentioned earlier in this discussion is still apparent.
Spoiler:
Last night I watched the episode with the Aliens inspired scene where the soldiers were ambushed in the tunnels and was grinning through it all :D


I would call Season 1 excellent, and Season 2 good to very good. I'm looking forward to more Stranger Things. I just hope the story pacing shifts back more like Season 1.

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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby charliepanayi » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:48 pm UTC

Season 1 - 6/10
Season 2 - 7.5/10 (loses half a mark for episode 7)

Spoiler:
Favourite character in season 2: Steve
Favourite line in season 2: 'Analogy? That's what you're worried about right now?!'
Most confusing part of season 2: Paul Reiser is playing a good guy?
Most traumatic part of season 2: Mews :(
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Liri » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:52 am UTC

Steve is, as always, great.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:34 am UTC

I definitely like Season 2 better than Season 1. I think a big part of this was that I didn't watch season 1 until Christmas last year (i.e. I'd heard a lot of praise about it before I got around to it) while I watched this one the weekend it came out so I wasn't as hyped. The reverse is just a pattern for sequels to things that were surprisingly good and came out of nowhere- even if the sequel is as good or slightly better, the expectations are set so much higher that people end up feeling a little let down especially because there's no "Wow, this is actually really good" moment the second time around.

Overall I think the atmosphere was every bit as good, the old characters got really good development, the new ones were all just as good and the show managed to keep the mystery and suspense going instead of jumping the shark by trying to overexplain. There were two aspects of the second season that I really liked. One was that Dustin and Lucas felt secondary to Mike in the first season but their roles were reversed in this one a bit so the two of them got a lot more attention and development to the point where I feel all three are pretty much on par. The other was Eleven's storyline- it was a little separated from the "main" plot and I know some people are unhappy with episode 7 but I absolutely loved it.
Spoiler:
Basically her whole story was about searching for family so she goes through a (surrogate) father, biological mother, aunt, (surrogate) sister and finally makes her choice. Episode 7 might have been unusual for focusing on her exclusively but it established a number of important things- world building, cool transformation, actual serious temptation for her to stay instead of returning to Hawkins, choosing Hopper to be her family and inevitably some very important setup for the third season.


There were some parts that weren't bad but weren't quite as good as the rest.
Spoiler:
Will still feels more like a mcguffin than a fully realized character- we were getting some development at the start but then he turned into a quest item instead of a hero once again.

Billy, Max's abusive and abused stepbrother, got a great setup then sort of petered out. I guess we got her side of a resolution but he never even found out anything supernatural was happening so he ended up getting really sidelined. Maybe we'll get to see more of him next season but I was really expecting he'd be sort of an anti-Steve - faced with the supernatural he freezes or has a panic attack or runs away or... I don't know what exactly but I would have liked it better if his courage had failed in front of Max instead of her making a physical threat. I still really liked the setup and their dynamic but Billy just didn't end up affecting anyone else all that much, not even Steve who took a beating but kept going unperturbed.

Nancy and Jonathan's story ended too early. What was there was interesting especially the lesson of working within the system to affect change instead of railing against it but all that was done by episode 6 after which they both just drifted around aimlessly.


Ranbot wrote:The pacing of the Season 1 was perfect to me - initially a slow burn of supernatural reveals/events that steadily grew into a firestorm by the end. Season 2 skips most of the build-up and jumps right into some relatively big supernatural events, the viewer just doesn't know why they are happening.
I really don't see it- both seasons had very similar structures (except for S02E07) including the amount and kind of buildup. The first "big" supernatural thing is at the end of S02E03
Spoiler:
where the "Mind flayer" possesses Will except we have no idea what is actually happening
and things don't really get going until S02E05
Spoiler:
when Hopper goes in the tunnels.
By comparison S01E03 starts with Barb in the Upside Down which is easily as supernatural as anything in the first half of Season 2.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Ranbot » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:43 pm UTC

I finished the rest of Season 2 last night. Good stuff... and looking forward to more.

maybeagnostic wrote:...the expectations are set so much higher that people end up feeling a little let down especially because there's no "Wow, this is actually really good" moment the second time around.
Ranbot wrote:The pacing of the Season 1 was perfect to me - initially a slow burn of supernatural reveals/events that steadily grew into a firestorm by the end. Season 2 skips most of the build-up and jumps right into some relatively big supernatural events, the viewer just doesn't know why they are happening.
I really don't see it- both seasons had very similar structures (except for S02E07) including the amount and kind of buildup. The first "big" supernatural thing is at the end of S02E03
Spoiler:
where the "Mind flayer" possesses Will except we have no idea what is actually happening
and things don't really get going until S02E05
Spoiler:
when Hopper goes in the tunnels.
By comparison S01E03 starts with Barb in the Upside Down which is easily as supernatural as anything in the first half of Season 2.


Maybe I had the expectations effect, but I felt like the supernatural reveals came bigger and faster in Season 2.
Spoiler:
S02E01 had Will's visions of the behemoth mind-flayer in the upsidedown, the car-chase scene with the punks where we learn there is another like El, and the laboratory causally burning the growth around the portal. Those seemed like much bigger reveals to me than the early episodes of Season 1


I agree with your assessment of the character development. It was good to shift the focus to characters didn't get as much development in Season 1.

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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Liri » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:35 pm UTC

Fun fact: two of the bodies of water Samwise mentions in ep. 5, Jordan Lake and the Eno River, are, in actual fact, right around Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, where the Duffer Brothers are from. They went to the same high school as a couple of my friends.

I live about 5 minutes from Jordan Lake and maybe 10 from the Eno.
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:20 pm UTC

Generic season 2 spoilers, all assume you've seen the whole thing but I'm also not getting specific
Spoiler:
Eleven spent too much time away from The Group. Especially for the stuff with Kali to not really go anywhere while using stock characters (the large black guy is actually a teddy bear with a heart of gold? This is my shocked face. :| )

Honestly, the only real thing that came from all that was a sweet pre-teen punk look and the idea that the ten are all still out there, and that there may be 12 (or more) out there too.

Steve's been getting all this love or respect or whatever as The Babysitter and yes, that's what he was, but.... he's still a shitty 1980s teenage boy, with all the shitty tropes that go with it.

Hooper = Best. Even as a neglectful dad.

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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Liri » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:11 pm UTC

Oh, I feel bad for
Spoiler:
suspecting Samwise was a super-secret bad guy.

:(
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby charliepanayi » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:46 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Generic season 2 spoilers, all assume you've seen the whole thing but I'm also not getting specific
Spoiler:
Eleven spent too much time away from The Group. Especially for the stuff with Kali to not really go anywhere while using stock characters (the large black guy is actually a teddy bear with a heart of gold? This is my shocked face. :| )

Honestly, the only real thing that came from all that was a sweet pre-teen punk look and the idea that the ten are all still out there, and that there may be 12 (or more) out there too.

Steve's been getting all this love or respect or whatever as The Babysitter and yes, that's what he was, but.... he's still a shitty 1980s teenage boy, with all the shitty tropes that go with it.

Hooper = Best. Even as a neglectful dad.

Paul Riesier!!!!! Playing Paul Reiser as Shitty Corporate/Government Spook! Woooo!


Sorry, but what on earth did Steve do this season that was 'shitty'?
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:17 pm UTC

Spoiler:
You may want to re-read the exact words I wrote.

At any rate, giving a shit about your appearance and using a product typically associated with women? Unmanly and worth shame to the point of threatening a child. Presented as a bonding moment with said child - because it was.

Pretty much every single interaction with Billy that wasn't resolved with Steve saying "Who the fuck cares, what are you even going on about, why are you trying so hard?" And instead engaging him in shitty one-upsmanship.

The 80s were a shitty time.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

maybeagnostic
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Re: Strangererest Things

Postby maybeagnostic » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:03 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Spoiler:
Pretty much every single interaction with Billy that wasn't resolved with Steve saying "Who the fuck cares, what are you even going on about, why are you trying so hard?" And instead engaging him in shitty one-upsmanship.
Spoiler:
He never did that though- his attitude with respect to Billy was consistently "let it go, it isn't important, just water under the bridge" right up until they had their fight and he had a very good reason to stand up to him then.

Steve really is a subversion of every stereotype he looks like he might represent or at least that's what I thought. Isn't that exactly why everyone likes him so much?
T: ... through an emergency induction port.
S: That's a straw, Tali.
T: Emerrrgency induction port.

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Diadem
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Strangererest Things

Postby Diadem » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:38 pm UTC

Just finished watching season 2. It's pretty awesome.

Am I the only one who absolutely can't stand Joyce though? Almost every single scene she's in is grating. The character is basically a combination of two annoying mum-stereotypes, which combined with Winona Ryder's overacting are just... blegh. Cut out every single scene she's in and the series would go from a solid 7 to something like a 9.5.

Love the pacing of the show. This is basically what lost should have been. Set up mystery, resolve it while leaving room for another good season.

Musing: (minor final episode spoiler, not plot related).
Spoiler:
Is there a name for the trope that they played out in the scene where Will was tapping out morse code? They have a kind of montage scene with many different characters talking to him, implying leaps in time, but at the same time they show him tapping out letters in morse code in order. The chronology makes absolutely no sense there.

I recently saw the exact same continuity issue in an episode of Lucifer, and I'm sure I've seen it other places before.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister


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