At the recently held AsiaPop ComicCon in Manila, there was a 12-year-old girl sans any space costume that commanded long lines. Her name: Millie Bobby Brown, the actress who plays Eleven in Netflix's eight-part series, Stranger Things. If you have been mulling an online streaming subscription, this series, our favorite show so far this year, would be the best reason to do so, and we are not alone in thinking so. A lot of attendees, young and old, went to the event dressed as Eleven, a psychokinetic heroine. (Oh, Winona Ryder is also in it--and it may just be her best work--until season 2, of course.)
One of Millie's fans is Essy, 3, daughter of Chappy Callanta, head coach and fitness director of 360 Fitness Club. After her press conference, Millie met Essy backstage and asked her if she wanted to play. Essy was shy at first, but she warmed up when her dad told her that Millie was the girl who plays Eleven, the girl Essy said she wanted to meet. Chappy wrote on a Facebook, "[Essy] also said that she told you she was Eleven and that you said you were Three. I have no idea what else you talked about but judging from her snapchat pics of you guys, I think you guys had fun."
Stranger Things is a show that we would highly recommend for the whole family to watch. In our opinion, it is simply genius in illustrating life lessons without your kids rolling their eyes. Now Common Sense Media suggests the show for kids 14 years old and above. Parents are warned that it contains some swear words (well, you wouldn't be able to help it either when your child goes missing), a little of bit of violence (they do fight a sinister government agency and a mysterious dangerous creature), and sex (teenagers!).
Yes, there are some scenes that you would need to explain to your kids, so we stress that you should watch it WITH your child. Here are more reasons why:
1. Share with your kids a glimpse of your childhood. The TV series is set in 1983 in the small, quiet town of Hawkins, Indiana. Kids who grew up in the '80s and the '90s will love the nostalgia. Your child will get a glimpse of how your life was like without the technologies they have access to today.
2. It is a mystery-thriller. The premise of the story itself is compelling: a 12-year-old boy mysteriously goes missing, and events that followed get dangerous and crazier (think aliens and...parallel unviverse). The creators and writers, the Duffer Brothers (who are twins!), pay homage to old school storytelling that brings to mind Steven Spielberg movies and Stephen King novels. It can be frightening but we're pretty sure your tween can handle it.
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3. True friendship shines.
It is the friendship of Will, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin that really takes center stage. They play board games and love science. The boys and Eleven also stand up for each other when the school bullies pick on one of them. Their friendship also shows that no matter what happens, even if they fight, they stick together. Of course, they're friends off cam!
4. Kids learn to "just be yourself." The boys pretty much remain true to themselves even if they get bullied. Dustin has a dental condition that cause him to lisp, but it doesn't bother him. Mike's older sister Nancy eventually embraced her true self to fight for her friends, who were being bullied by her boyfriend and his friends.
Millie as Eleven sported a shaved 'do, not exactly something girls dig except for 7-year-old Sophie (shown above). Sophie's mom, Czyka Tumaliuan, posted their story on her Facebook page Freestyle Mommy. Sophie decided she wanted to shave her head to look like Millie even after if her mom explained that Millie only did it to play the role. The mother and daughter are fans of the show, so Czyka was cool with the idea. It didn't sit well with Sophie's grandmother, however, and she and Czyka fought about it. On the way to APCC 2016, Sophie comforted her mom who was crying because of the fight, saying, "Stop thinking about what other people will think about me. Just think that I have superpowers," Czyka told Inquirer.net. (Millie also said a similar thing when she agreed to shave her head for the role.) Sophie had her photo taken with Millie and said to her mom, "Thank you, mom. It’s the best thing that happened today. I won’t forget this."
5. Family relationships take the spotlight. Set in a time when phones aren't in everybody's pockets, the show illustrates the importance of communication and being able to talk to the parents about anything. The issues that were tackled in the show are true even today. Parents still have a tricky time guiding their teenagers to adulthood, and solo-parent families today still face the similar challenges as shown in the show. You and your kids will not only enjoy the show, but there will be many presented teaching opportunities that will benefit you and your child.
Season 1 of Stranger Things is now available to watch on Netflix.com.ph. Season 2 had already announced to air next year.