Let me preface this entire thing with, I rarely watch full series of shows. I’m not a binge-watcher.
On Netflix in particular, I can only justify spending a full day of my life watching a show if it seems to be Breaking Bad level awesome. I spent 3 weeks straight watching Breaking Bad and I don’t regret a thing. I took a stab at House of Cards too. But other than that, I just can’t get into shows. It takes a lot of peer pressure to get me to commit to watching a show for days on end.
So when Stranger Things came around, with their ensemble of middle schoolers bombarding my timeline and biking through the Oscars, I still didn’t care.
But then I got a girlfriend.
She was kind enough to pause in her tracks and let me start from the very beginning. That’s how you measure love in ’17 by the way. We blew through season 1 over the last week and I only had one thing on my mind while watching Stranger Things….Is this Goosebumps coming back from the dead? Yes. Yes it is.
For those who missed the Goosebumps boat, it was a killer horror series for kids from R.L. Stine.
Come to think of it, it’s a good thing I didn’t have Google back in the 90’s or else I would’ve known what R.L. Stein looks like.
Anyways, Goosebumps is a legendary horror series which sold over 350 million copies since 1992, and at its peak in ’96, accounted for 15% of scholastic’s income. Yes, the same company that made every textbook you ever read in elementary school and put on the book fairs we use to get HYPED over. Goosebumps had me buying books and getting engaged in them, they were awesome. The TV series was also mind-warping. It set off a spark from the second its signature theme song crept into my living room, and the same spark gets ignited in me during Stranger Things.
A. The dog’s yellow eyes used to scare the shit out of me.
B. Stranger Things is extraordinarily similar to Goosebumps.
They’re both generally based on kids wandering off sans technology and encountering monsters and other dimensions in which they somehow encounter by chance, normally in the middle of the woods or a closet. They’re both horror series, and I think horror is the right word. They’re not scary, not dark, it’s just a situation I would prefer not to live in. Or would I? That’s the mystery that keeps us watching for more. It’s enjoyable…from a distance.
I’d say more than less, Stranger Things is just an extended version of Goosebumps that’s not filmed on your Mom’s JVC Camcorder.
To give you perspective, here’s a video of the Stranger Things intro video with the Goosebumps audio. You wouldn’t even question yourself if you saw this.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from Goosebumps is that being dead doesn’t mean shit. And now apparently means you can land yourself a nice deal with Netflix too.
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