I'm a Trill!

You know what?  I promised a review of Stranger Things on my Tumblr and never delivered.  Go-go-Gadget review!

Okay, Stranger Things...the interwebs is kind of in love with this show.  I watched it.  My feelings are a little more lukewarm.  [Spoilers ahead!] Here is what I thought:

  • It was a very good creepy/mystery story
  • The monster was excellent.  Very scary
    • I was slightly disappointed by the flower-opening-mouth thing it had going on.  I've seen that before, so I was a little like "Oh, that's not new.  Unfortunate."  Had they done something else with the mouth/face, I think that would have been even more creepy.
    • I really wanted to know more about the monster and where it came from and why Eleven making contact with it opened that rift.  I figure it lives in some alternate in-between type of dimension, which Eleven's consciousness passes through when she does her mental searches.  Why the rift, though?  Did Eleven accidentally tear the fabric between dimensions when she freaked out after touching it?  The monster seems to live in some kind of creepy shadow world, though, so why would making contact in the in-between world (did she only mentally make contact?  With the creature's mind maybe?)  Like I said, I want to know more about that.
  • I thought most of the actors' performances were superb
    •  I don't really care for Winona Ryder's acting.  I never really have, not in Star Trek, not in Girl Interrupted, not Edward Scissorhands, nothing that I can think of.  That being the case, this really isn't a critique about her; it's more a personal preference.
    • I was especially massively impressed by the kids.  In my experience, it's usually painfully obvious when kids are trying to act.  They just don't usually have the skills built up.  Not here, though.  These kids came off convincing and natural.
  • I have a huge issue with the way Nancy's character was treated.  It all pretty much hinges on the horrible message that was painted on the movie theatre marquee (you can see a huge rant about this on my Tumblr @danafraedrich ).  Had Steve just broken up with her, that would have been fine.  He's a dumb guy that jumped to conclusions instead of confronting her about what he saw (you know, like an adult should).  They publicly humiliated her, though, and movie/showmakers need to think about the subliminal messages their productions are sending.
    • 1) Double standards: Steve was established early on as having been around with numerous girls, and that makes him super cool and a winner.  He catches Nancy in what appears to be a compromising situation, though, and she's a slut.  This is a massive double standard in our society that needs to stop, and this show did nothing to address the fact that this double standard even exists, much less how inequitable this is. 
    • 2) Public humiliation: believe it or not, there is an issue in our culture of shaming and humiliating women.  If the consequences fit the crime, that would be one thing.  Nancy is publicly humiliated in front of the entire town.  Therefore, if Steve was then also publicly humiliated in front of the entire town as penance (my vote would be for his mum to publicly whoop him in the center of town while shouting at him about the correct way to treat women), I think that would have fixed things.  No, instead he just tells off his best friend, does a wee bit of community service, and then Nancy takes him back.  Nope, that is not okay.  That sends such a poisonous message about how it's no big deal to publicly shame women.
  • The evil government scientist trope is a bit overdone, don't you think?
  • The action moved a bit slow for me.  There were long periods of not much happening, at which point I caught up on emails and social media.

Right, there are my thoughts.  What do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  Feel free to share in the comments.

Speaking of reviews, I also promised I would review the Adventure Science Center's Star Trek vs. Star Wars Way Late Play Date.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few thousand words for you:

Luke!  We found you!  Take note: this dude was one of the costume contest winners.

Luke!  We found you!  Take note: this dude was one of the costume contest winners.

R2-D2, what are you doing here?  Oh, you're helping with the robotics lab demonstration.  That's awesome!

R2-D2, what are you doing here?  Oh, you're helping with the robotics lab demonstration.  That's awesome!

This is the hubs' idea of dressing up.

This is the hubs' idea of dressing up.

And this is mine!  Those hardcore trekkies reading this will, of course, know that I transformed myself into a trill for the big night.

And this is mine!  Those hardcore trekkies reading this will, of course, know that I transformed myself into a trill for the big night.

The split between Star Trek and Star Wars representation was pretty evenly split, but the trekkies seemed more broad in their costuming choices.  There were far fewer specific characters and more general members of Star Fleet.  I did, however, find this great Riker.

The split between Star Trek and Star Wars representation was pretty evenly split, but the trekkies seemed more broad in their costuming choices.  There were far fewer specific characters and more general members of Star Fleet.  I did, however, find this great Riker.

No big deal, just hanging out with Riker. :-D Of course I had to get a picture with him.  That's what you do at these sort of events.

No big deal, just hanging out with Riker. :-D Of course I had to get a picture with him.  That's what you do at these sort of events.

Darth Vader and a couple of Storm Troopers were on hand for photos.  You can see in the picture next to this one that the hubs and I took full advantage.

Darth Vader and a couple of Storm Troopers were on hand for photos.  You can see in the picture next to this one that the hubs and I took full advantage.

If you live in Nashville or are even considering visiting when one of these Way Late Play Date nights are on, you must attend - the Adventure Science Center's Way Late Play Date Page can be found here.  Like I mentioned in last week's post, these are awesome nights wherein you get three drink tickets (wine or beer), and then they let you loose on the children's science center!  It's amazing!  In addition to being able to play with all the educational exhibits and crawl over and up a four-storey jungle gym, there are tons of science demonstrations as well, and the exhibits are really interesting too.  Some things I learned at this most recent WLPD: how panting cools dogs off, that you will boil (not freeze) in the vacuum of space, and how magnets work.  Oh!  And there are always food trucks.  And a moonwalk simulation.  Seriously, guys, I cannot stress enough how much fun there is to be had at these.  And, for you serious cosplayers, there is always a costume contest.  Be sure to bring your A-game, though; the participants are crazy serious about their costumes.  Harry Potter is the next theme, in case you're interested. :-)

That's it for this week.  Thanks for reading!