June is the month to prepare for summer in earnest. There are many ways to spend the summer, such as exciting water play at the sea or water park, and a hotel vacation, but among these, the one that can never be missed is a chilling thriller. The drama I will introduce now is 'Stranger Things’, an SF thriller series that will make you forget the scorching heat of summer. 'Stranger Things' deals with the subject of parallel worlds, and monsters. However, it is also a drama that makes the us think about the role of true friendship and adults through the process of coming together and overcoming various hardships. In this article, I would like to talk about the unique plot of this drama that warms the hearts of viewers and the message we can get from it.
A total of four seasons of "Stranger Things" have been released so far. Among them, Season 1 is the most interesting and important season with all the backgrounds of the story leading up to Season 4. Let's get into the "strange" story of a small American country town in the 1980s, focusing on season 1.
The power of “us”
Season 1 revolves around five children (Will, L, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas) who live in a village. Will suddenly disappears one day, and the police investigate his disappearance. Dustin, Mike, and Lucas, his best friends who Will met before his disappearance, discover a girl (El) while trying to find Will in the woods. The children seem strange, but for the safety of El, who has nowhere to go, they decide to hide her in Mike's house and stay with her. After learning that their best friend Will is missing, Elle informs him that Will is still alive and that he has been captured by a monster named Demogorgon. And El believes that her superpower will help them, and she confesses that she has supernatural powers.
Chief Hopper, Joyce, and the children learn the dark truth that unites Will's disappearance and El's appearance. Together, they devise a way to maximize El's superpowers to defeat the Demogorgon and rescue Will. In conclusion, those who decided to go directly to the 'upside down world' and bring Will to carry out the operation after a thorough division of roles. Mike's older sister Nancy and Will's older brother Jonathan fight Demogorgon in the real world, while Joyce and Hopper go to the 'Upside Down World' to rescue Will and bring him back to the real world. Although El has already used all her strength to save Will, she once again uses her superpowers to the fullest and sucks into an ‘upside down world’ to save her friends who are on the verge of being captured by the Demogorgon. Season 1 ends with El's sacrifice for her friends.
Conspiracy and Cover-up
Hopper discovers traces of a certain girl (El) during the investigation. This reveals that the “Energy Bureau” adjacent to the village is hiding something important. It turns out that the Department of Energy was a secret government agency under the direction of Dr. Brenner, researching paranormal phenomena for military use. Dr. Brenner was working on research to weaponize young children by taking El (who was born with telepathic superpowers) from her mother, brainwashing her to think of him as her “dad”. In the process of using El's superpower to extract information from the enemy, she discovers the existence of an "upside down world" in another dimension and learns that a monster creature (Demogorgon) lives in it. Afterward, Dr. Brenner asked El to contact the Demogorgon when he went to the 'Upside Down World', and as a result, the dividing line between the 'Upside Down World' and the real world was broken, resulting in terrible events such as Will's disappearance. The catastrophe caused by the endless greed and unreasonable demands of Dr. Brenner, who has absolute power in the Energy Bureau, has now reached a point where they can't control it anymore. Nevertheless, the government tries to cover up the case so as not to be held accountable until the end.
‘Stranger Things’ is science fiction, and a monster named ‘Demogorgon’ appears as a threat to the human world. This makes viewers curious about the suspicious government conspiracy and keeps the tension going while waiting for the appearance of Demogorgon. In addition, it is a visual style of the drama that creates a gloomier atmosphere through the retro background setting of a rural village in the early 1980s, giving it a different vibe from the other thriller films that can only be dark and heavy. Above all, the setting of the ‘upside down world' (that exists in the same world as we know it but in a different dimension) makes 'Stranger Things' into a drama that differentiates it from existing sci-fi films.
Another thing to pay attention to is the message of the story. These days, it is hard to build sincere relationships between people. But the way the main characters help each other by sacrificing themselves is something that we should learn. In addition, it shows how Dr. Brenner and the government conduct unreasonable research solely for their benefit without considering the consequences or effects it will cause, use innocent and weak children freely in the process, and try to cover up the negative consequences they caused. Through this, 'Stranger Things’ raises issues in our society about the abuse of power, the negative consequences of greed for only profit, and the exploitation of children, which are prevalent in our society. The drama 'Stranger Things' is a drama that makes you think again about the things we need to look back on with a sense of the problem in our society, the true friendship that we have forgotten in life, and the sincere support and sacrifice we give to our loved ones through a 'fiction'. How about binge-watching it this summer with family and friends?
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