Does Stranger Things have anything to teach us about the world we live in?
(Possible spoilers in the post and comments)
My wife is a major fan of the Netflix series Stranger Things. We had to use a free trial this time around to watch the season that came out on Independence Day, but we did watch it and we weren’t disappointed. Season 2 had honestly been a let down to us. Season 3 made up for it.
Old Testament scholar Michael Heiser has a book coming out in October about Christianity and Stranger Things. One of the things I think that will be in that book based on the description is the openness of the world of the show to what we would call the paranormal. In this world, you have a number of science nerds who come together and fight a being from another side of reality.
If you don’t know, the series takes place in the 80’s and involves a group of boys that somehow have one of their members get trapped in a world called the Upside-Down where strange creatures live that are starting to make a move onto our world. The boys have to work together normally with their siblings and select adults in the community. They also work with one character who essentially has super powers such as telekinesis and a sort of projection of themselves into other places.
I do like the show being set in the 80’s since I was born in 1980 and grew up in that time. It’s also good to know the heroes at the start are a bunch of Dungeons and Dragons nerds who find themselves going on a real adventure against a real monster. There are also other aspects that I think are interesting.
A few years ago, I wrote a post on Final Fantasy XV here. In it, I talked about how some heroes go about saving the world they live in while many people are living their lives oblivious to what is going on. The same happens in Stranger Things. There is one difference in the people who do come together to confront the evil.
In the seasons, normally, you see different story arcs taking place. They seem unrelated at first, but in the end, everything comes together. There is normally one final confrontation with the evil and of course, the good guys win. Keep in mind also that in many ways, most of these are ordinary people. They don’t dream of doing anything super heroic, but when the time comes, they fight and win.
It’s also people from all walks and ages. You have at first the younger children who are now just really entering puberty. Their older siblings also eventually get involved. The parents also play a part in what happens, and then various people in the community. About the only one who might expect to do something heroic in the party is the police chief.
Aside from the one superpowered character who goes by the name Eleven, there is nothing specifically amazing about these characters. Despite that, they are not stopped whether it be facing Russian spies or Upside Down monsters. They all do what they have to do because evil has to be stopped.
There is certainly a reason this is a hit series and I look forward to Heiser’s book coming out. Until then, perhaps like was discussed with Final Fantasy XV, we should consider we have been put on this Earth also to help deal with evil here as well and we don’t have to have super powers to do it. Everyone of us has a role we can play.