Incidentally, besides the title treatment, a little of the music, and some a la carte tropes, this show really didn't feel anything like an 80s horror/sci-fi film to me, let alone Spielbergian.
As someone who grew up in the 70's and 80's, and watched an awful lot of Spielberg, Carpenter, and the many films they inspired, this does in fact capture that time quite well. I find the obsession with ITC Benguiat to be far more disturbing. The credits are OK but hardly exemplary of the kind of work Imaginary Forces is capable of.
I found the tribute to the era very superficial. I didn't once feel like it really covered the actual thematic elements of Spielberg or Carpenter, instead choosing plot & conventions over the auteur aesthetics of the former. I can't even remember one great looking shot or moral theme that didn't amount to much more than "friends unite!" Spielberg covered a lot more, particularly in Close Encounters, and certainly in E.T., nor was it ever close to conjuring the creeping dread of Carpenter. It was, for me, just another TV show with an 80s veneer.
OH, I get what you mean now.
I disagree. Joyce Byers downward spiral with the lights and where everyone thinks she's insane except her practically rips off Roy Neary's actions with the mashed potatoes and obsession with the UFOs in Close Encvounters of the Third Kind. The monster in the series is a mix of Carpenter's Thing and Ridley's Alien (which predates the '80's but set the tone for sci-fi monsters throughout the decade). The upside down is a mix of elements from stories like Barker's Hellraiser and Wes Craven's dream world from Nightmare on Elm Street. The romantic story between Nancy Byers and Steve Harrington, even the spat between Steve and his friend, is classic John Landis. The friendship between the four kids, Will, Dustin, Lucas, and Mike is classic E.T. or The Goonies. There are tons of elements that are lifted, on purpose, directly from pretty much everything Stephen King ever did and while he's STILL churning out books, his stories are definitely a product and very much reminscent of the '80's decade. It's not perfect, but the show puts on more than a simple veneer of the '80s decade.
"for me, just another TV show with an 80s veneer."
Albeit a smug as heck part of your comment, I'm glad you at least included 'for me'...
I know right? Thankfully just sharing an opinion of a thing from a streaming service in an internet message board. My speech at the UN Summit next week is way more diplomatic.
Oh god finally someone said it. Thanks!
Who doesn't like Benguiat? ducks
Okay, so pretty much everything in the show felt like the 80s.
It looked like the 80s, but in terms of the film aesthetic, it didn't connect for me.
To me it feels just enough like those touchstones to give the thrill of nostalgia, while being enough of its own new thing to be compelling to watch. I think it would be disappointing if it felt exactly like its inspirations, and dull if it were a flawless historical reproduction. For me the balance is just right.