Warning: This post contains references to Stranger Things 2. You can read our review of season one or episodes 1-3, episodes 4-6 and episodes 7-9 of season two elsewhere on the site.
Weird stuffNot only did the recent second season (successfully) return in the face of more hype; the show also had more resources to reckon with. Variety reported that the budget had increased by at least 25 percent, with Weird stuff from surprise hit to prestigious drama budget territory.
While some of that certainly helped shape another iconic 80s soundtrack, Stranger Things 2 ended up being more spectacular. More characters visited the Upside Down, demogorgons suddenly started to pack and appear in their adolescent forms, and our heroes got one last action movie-quality sequence to finally wrap things up.
“The ultimate goal of acting is to have your actual blood and flesh react to something imaginary, to actually live in an imaginative circumstance,” David Harbor (aka Chief Hopper) told us at San Diego Comic Con last summer when we asked about his growing CGI experience. “So it’s a similar process whether it’s a scene partner or a demogorgon.”
But if you think about Weird stuff, rarely will your mind first go to a gigantic set or alien statue. The show boils down to a character drama set in a certain period of time that many viewers fondly remember (or read/watched as a kid) – hitting the nail on the head. feeling of the nerdy life in a small town is more important than monster chaos.
And that’s exactly why, for our second edition of Technique on TVwe focus on the small technical details that make Weird stuff really sing. From old-fashioned gear leading to old-fashioned aesthetics in that iconic title sequence to getting the right RadioShack AV Club fodder no matter how much garage sales it took, the show’s staff went the extra mile in all the right places. Everyone appreciates a good Mind Flayer looming ominously over the suburbs of Indiana, but I hope Heathkits will play a bigger role in the next adventures in Hawkins.
List image by CNE/Netflix