If you’ve gotten into a two-minute conversation about Netflix these days, chances are someone has frantically asked you, “DO YOU WATCH STRANGER THINGS??” I was asked this question at least ten times in the last week (three of those times were by the same person — she really wanted me to watch “Stranger Things”), and every time I watched their optimistic smiles fade and the hope drain from their eyes when I replied apologetically, “… no.”
But all of that has changed now. Being the dedicated and loyal friend that I am, I could not stand to disappoint any longer. During a two-day battle with procrastinator’s guilt and Netflix addiction, I successfully binge-watched the entire premier season of “Stranger Things.” My friends were all very proud. It was a formative experience; I laughed, I cried. I also realized how every main character accurately represents a member of a close-knit friend group with hilarious quirks and unbreakable bonds.
L to R: Lucas, Mike and Dustin
Mike gets stuff done. He is determined and smart, passionate and charismatic — he is the leader of your friend group whom you can always count on to have all the answers. Sometimes you don’t want his answers, such as going on this insane adventure to rescue Will from a monster in an alternate universe. Just casual.
Dustin is the cute, lovable one. He is usually slightly behind everyone else like an adorable puppy who tails the rest of the friend group. But don’t be fooled by his non-threatening appearance, he will rise to the occasion when needed; like when he thinks of the compass trick to find the portal between their world and the Upside Down.
Lucas is the sarcastic, funny one. He’s very blunt and can be mean at times, but you know he doesn’t mean it. The Lucas friend can be annoyingly stubborn, like when he won’t shake Mike’s hand so that they can just all be friends again for the greater half of an episode, and you sometimes think you really just keep him around for the laughs; but secretly, he has a heart of gold.
Eleven is kind of like a … powerful baby. She’s adorable in her innocence, but terrifying in her strength at the same time. She’s that reserved, mysterious friend who puts up walls. But once you get to really know her, she would totally get swallowed up by a dying monster as she uses the last of her energy to kill it for you. And you would do the same for her.
Jonathan is the quiet friend. His clothing is always vaguely disheveled, and he’s often unintentionally creepy. He’s an outsider, but okay with being different because he knows that you guys, his true friends, know who he really is.
Nancy seems to be the stereotypical good girl first, and the clichéd friend who changes herself for her boyfriend. But when you get to know her better, you see that the claws (or the guns) will come out when the people she loves are threatened. You don’t want to mess with the Nancy of the friend group.
Steve is the jerk friend. He is not too bad by himself, but we all have that perfectly nice friend who just seems to befriend the worst people on the planet (Carol and Tommy). Around them, he is not his usual sweet self, but rather a temperamental bully who constantly feels the need to prove himself. Despite this, when it comes down to it, he will stick by your side because he really is good person with some bad friends.
Hopper is the standoffish friend that confuses everyone in the group. He seems cold and unemotional at first. But when you realize he’s been through some pretty terrible stuff, like losing his daughter to cancer, it makes it even more remarkable what a reliable ally he is in a pinch.
Joyce is the friend who always tries her best, but is still a mess. She is a little kooky, but you love that about her. And she has the uncanny ability to be right about things that she can’t possibly know (that her son is communicating to her through lights). She is the unassuming, anxious friend who is actually tough as nails when she needs to be.
So basically, “Stranger Things” perfectly sums up your entire social life in eight episodes of glory. Which friend are you?