So, you’ve binge watched all of season two’s Stranger Things in an evening? You know you’re going to be okay for the next day or two. Halloween is approaching and there’s horror movies to keep you distracted. However, as you undoubtedly inch towards the weekend those horror movies are not going to satisfy you: it’s the nostalgia that’s got you. The 80s is calling and it wants you to stay and let’s face it; you do too. You love that back to a simpler time feel. A time when the sun determined your home time, video gaming was a social activity and watching films often involved a trip outside and a rental card.
Times have changed, technology has allowed us to time travel at the push of a button and there’s a nice slice of the eighties out there for those of us without a TARDIS or a DeLorean.
Here’s my top eighties fixes that will see you through your Stranger Things withdrawal.
This Netflix original landed June 2017 and, just like Stranger Things, is a short run of episodes that is binge-worthy and will leave you wanting more (Season Two was announced in August). The 80s are very much present in lycra and hairspray; but don’t let it fool you. It’s gritty, funny and character focused.
By the time you’re halfway through the series (Debbie Does Something), the characters have found their feet and the plot looks into dating (without social media), a field trip to a wrestling match and Ruth finds her alter ego in the form of the Russians.
Black Mirror Series 3 Episode 4: San Junipero (2016)
This BAFTA and Emmy winning episode of the anthology show is unlike other episodes. It’s upbeat tone and bittersweet twist will fill you right up with nostalgia. Centred on shy Yorkie as she parties alongside Kelly: its distinct costume and music screams 80s nostalgia. Considered part nostalgia therapy, part period piece, you’ll lose yourself within the synthetic world and wish is was possibly.
The Real Ghostbusters (1986- 1991)
After episode two of Stranger Things’ new series, you’ll be humming the Ghostbusters theme tune and reaching for your duology DVD. However, everyone who grew up in the 80s knows the animated series is where it’s at. Head to Netflix and you can binge watch all five series in the eccentric continuation. Nothing says eighties love more than Egon’s blonde tubular hair and the animated inspiration for Annie Potts’ visual style change in the follow up movie.
Check out episode 48 of series 1 (Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster) if you want to see Janine rid her own apartment and don the Ghostbusters jumpsuit.
Sing Street (2016)
Stranger Things makes one thing very clear; music is the key to the 80s, so sit back, relax and watch young Conor try his best to impress his crush by starting a band in his new Dublin school. From mix tapes to Back to the Future inspired music videos, she won’t be the only one falling in love with this charming film.
Mel Brooks’ sci-fi spoof takes pop-culture to the extreme in this send up to Star Wars and other high-profile films that transcended the late seventies. Unlike modern spoofs, Brooks’ is able to harness the longevity joke, provide plot and substance to ensure that this Bill Pullman fronted vehicle has aged a little better than some of its modern counterparts. Look out for the tap dancing chest buster and the Hutt who is after Lone Star.
Breakfast Club (1985)
There’s plenty of John Hughes for your money on Netflix, however, no 80s retrospective would be complete without a Saturday detention in March 1984. The five misfits who have been labelled by society discover they’re not so different after all. With iconic hallway running, teen makeovers and impromptu dancing; you’ll never forget about your first movie detention. There’s the added bonus that it will give the first Pitch Perfect movie added context.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Published 2011)
Not only will this book fill the Stranger Thing sized hole left in your life, it will prepare you for the upcoming Steven Spielberg release based on the novel. Follow Wade Watts on his virtual reality Easter egg hunt to win the inheritance from the OASIS creator.
It’s filled with its own 80s Easter eggs and Blade Runner inspired dystopian future that will draw you in from the very first page. Be careful and set some time aside; once you start, you won’t want to stop until you’re finished.
Stranger Things: The Game
If nothing is going to ease your withdrawal, the role playing game by BonusXP, inc might be your only option. Available for free on IOS and Android, you are able to explore Hawkings as one of your favourite characters.
With its old school graphics, synth music and retro game modes, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re having a Will-like experience and not knowing where you really are.