The Best And Worst Shows On TV In 2016

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Photo: Netflix

7. Stranger Things

Stranger Things is making everyone’s list this year, so I apologize for my lack of originality. But I couldn’t leave it off just to satisfy my need to be different. It really is one of the year’s best new shows, and we can partially attribute that to its referential nature and heavy reliance on Gen-X nostalgia.

The story starts when Joyce’s 12 year old son, Will, goes missing, and she launches an investigation into his disappearance from their small town. Joyce, played by the interminable Winona Ryder, starts to uncover some disturbing and unbelievable facts about her’s son’s whereabouts, and soon his little gang of Goonies-esque neighbor boys are involved with trying to get him back. They come across a remarkable young girl who is the key to finding the lost boy, and she not only unlocks secrets about where Will is, but also about things they can’t even imagine.

I’m being so vague in this description because I just don’t want to spoil it for anybody. The delight in Stranger Things is in the surprise as it’s unfolding. While it seems like something you’ve never seen before, it will feel like every movie and show you loved as a kid. Producers and showrunners knew exactly what they were doing when they called up memories of not just Goonies, but also E.T., Alien, and Firestarter. You come for the science-fiction nostalgia and sentimentality, but you stay for the genius work these child actors are doing. They are magnificent.