I also think it is a really good observation that 80s and 90s teen movies were all about ‘normalising’ the nerd (or swot). I’ve lost count of the number of films I’ve seen where some shy and deeply uncool girl is ‘made over’ pretty much just by having someone take off her glasses! It’s a trend I now find deeply annoying but actually completely accepted at the time.

I found it really interesting that there is a study suggesting that mental and physical exercise might be negatively correlated. This make a lot of sense to me. I also like the way that you separate out jocks and nerds as subsets of these two kinds of people, linked by obsession and the need to define themselves through their obsession. Taking this idea more widely, your comment about gate-keeping and cruelty might go some way to explain the competition and toxicity in certain online fandoms while others are generally supportive.

This is my favourite of your Stranger Things essays. I think it gets to the heart of what the series is all about. Your comment about Mikey’s asthma inhaler also really made me laugh!

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“What concerns Stranger Things is how people treat each other, and what it valorises is kindness.”

I completely agree with this. It echoes what we’ve spoken about before - that this programme takes 80s nostalgia and tempers it with modern sensibilities to make something altogether kinder and more palatable.

I think in this piece you’ve got to the heart of what appeals to me about Stranger Things. It takes a world I recognise and makes it feel just a little bit better.

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