1. Coming of Age?
The show conveys the less than conventional coming of age story as Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Eleven ( Millie Bobby Brown) are chased after the Demogorgon and the scientists who created “L”. When faced with the loss of their friend Will, Dusting and the gang become the adults taking on the responsibility of hunting him down.
2. A Mothers Love for Her Son
Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) , a single mother of two will stop at nothing to bring her boy home. Joyce only heard her son through the lights in their house. In order to communicate with Will she paints the alphabet on the living room wall and strings Christmas lights up. “We are having electrical problems,” Byers says trying to explain the lights. This is her way of staying connected with Will as he is in the Upsidedown. While this remains on the wall she still maintains company, trying to keep up a “normal” appearance.
3. The Bonds of Friendship
Five quirky kids are bonded together by their desire to bring Will home. From riding their bikes home from school to play Dungeons and Dragons to baiting a Demogorgon in their school gym this group of friends are nothing short of heartwarming. Several times in the season the kids remind each other, “friends tell the truth.”
4. Young Love
Still at such a young age, with the introduction of Eleven, Dustin, Mike and Lucas see her as one of the guys. As the story progresses “L” is housed at one of their homes, creating a deep connection between the two of them. This connection leads to a sweet yet awkward first kiss.
5. A Strong Female Lead
Both figurativly and literally Eleven is a strong young girl who one might argue was sent to save Will and his friends. When Mike is faced with bullies at school it is Eleven who comes in and ultimately stands up for Mike when he can’t.
6. Science is cool
The show displays how science as we know it may just be a concocted set of anomalies made up to persuade the general population into thinking they live some aspect of a methodical human life. The scientist convince Eleven that the test and experiments they are running on her are all part of a normal life. Papa is just acting as a normal father figure would.
The character of Barb has taken a mind of its own. Fall in love with the sweet and indeering character that is Barb Holland. She is the moral compass and best friend to Nancy. She watches out for her even when Nancy tells her not to. It is the bond between Barb and Nancy that is so relatable to young viewers.
8. Small Town Life
In the small town of Hawkins everyone knows everyone and life is moving at a slower pace. Dustin, Mike, Will and Lucas are free to ride their bikes around town and know their way around.
9. Family Values
The show takes place in the 80’s where family values and structures are slowly changing. Nancy and her family are very traditional with family dinners every night and open communication. Then you see the Byers household it is an entirely different dynamic. Joyce is raising two kids on her own after she divorced her alcoholic ex husband.
The first episode starts with Mike, Will, Lucas and Dustin as they are playing a 10 hour campaign of Dugeons and Dragons. “Somethings coming. Something hungry for blood. Ashadow grows on the wall behind you,” says Mike as the game heats up. Later Joyce Byers gets a call from who she believes is Will on her rotary phone ( a phone that is permanently mounted to the wall with a cord).
Something we take for granted as a soggy breakfast item slowly became the symbol for Eleven. L is being hidden at one of the boys houses and this is when she first tastes the waffle. It is one of the few things that stays constant in this action filed show.