Article on NPR: Kids On Bikes: The Sci-Fi Nostalgia Of ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Paper Girls’ & ‘Super 8’

First of all, can you all tell I’m obsessed with this show, Stranger Things?

I came across this article today on NPR and it seemed written for me specifically. I adore ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Paper Girls’ & ‘Super 8’. In fact, I still consider ‘Super 8’ to be 2/3 of a really really good movie.

Anyhow, NPR explains in this article some of the similar themes in these three things.

Autumn 1979. Ohio. Five kids on bikes tool around their suburban development and stumble into an adventure involving monsters and sinister authority figures.

Autumn 1983. Indiana. Four kids on bikes tool around their suburban development and stumble into an adventure involving monsters and sinister authority figures.

Autumn 1988. Ohio. Four kids on bikes tool around their suburban development and stumble into an adventure involving monsters and sinister authority figures.

These are the setups of three recent pop culture offerings: respectively, the 2011 filmSuper 8, the new Netflix series Stranger Things, and the Image Comics series Paper Girls, which launched last year.

The article goes on to list the core tenets of what they call the “kids on bikes” genre: The Bikes, The Time, The Place, The Adults, The Authority Figures, and The Monster.

This interests me greatly as I look for patterns in entertainment that I like in the hopes of recreating it with my own spin in my own stories.

Stranger Things Opening Credits

This show, man. I’m only 5 episodes in, but I am loving it. I had to take a couple days break, though, because I was so enthralled with the story that I could not sleep afterward.

I love the 80s aesthetic and settings. The  child protagonists, ala movies like Goonies (I can still at my age feel that longing for adventure in my bones) are great. Winona Ryder and the other adults do a really good job as well. This is one of those shows that you finish and immediately go looking for something like it, and are both disappointed that there isn’t much like it and also reassured because one of the main reasons your like it is because it is so unique.

The band behind the theme song, by the way, is called S U R V I V E. You can pre-order their upcoming album on bandcamp.