Lately I've been posting a bunch of things on Twitter and Instagram about
, sharing the related knick-knacks I've picked up and just generally expressing my affection for the show. One evening in October, when I was most definitely meant to be unwinding before bed, I found myself scrolling through photos on my Twitter profile (
we all do it!
) when I came across a recent picture of my ZeroBriant
print. As I sat for a second to think about why I love the programme so much, minutes soon passed, and all of the following came pouring out.
When I became hooked on
, it was when I was coming to terms with having depression. Simply, it gave me something to get lost in. The show has a range of characters to follow, as well as a complex narrative with layers and overlapping storylines, that is still easy to keep up with. It gave me something I could use to connect with others too. I tuned in just as the series was starting to blow up online. Being able to understand related tweets and appreciate the excited buzz around the show gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. I felt like I was part of something; the same feeling I got when I saw how
references other shows and films. I've always been a fan of this in film and television. I find it to be one of the most respectful ways to engage an audience. There's no spoon-feeding, and the final product can be enjoyed further with repeated viewings and wider reading; encouraging you to seek out and explore other worlds too.
provided me with both an escape and a safe place, despite the goings on in the show!
The running time was perfect. It wasn't like starting a series that had over twenty episodes that ran at an hour each. Not that I don't enjoy those, but they felt daunting when I was struggling to get through anything and everything - even films running around the hour and thirty mark.
was manageable; I could dip in and out, but wanting to know more kept me coming back. From this point, I started devouring film and TV in the way I wished I could; with an interest and passion. And I didn't find myself becoming as distracted, or worrying that I may be wasting time. Depression makes me think about death a lot. It makes me incredibly time conscious, but cinema and television is providing me with the means to let me forget all about that. Instead giving me the opportunity to live countless different lives. Lives I would never know otherwise. And whilst 99% of are those on screen, it's encouraging me to make the most of the other 1% too. That 1% of course being mine; the most important percentage of all.
The show made me feel like it's okay to not be "normal". Eleven isn't "normal", but where would any of the other characters be without her?
She's strong. She's smart. She's powerful. And they all love her despite the fact her brain works a lot differently to how their's do.
Whilst depression and Eleven's powers are so far from another, I've found a couple of parallels between the two. One being that Eleven's powers hurt not only herself, but those around her too; something I have experienced myself with depression. It was endlessly comforting to see how her friends stick by her and love her unconditionally. The other parallel is that I feel fighting depression is like having a super power. You learn what it's like to feel empty, and you learn how to build yourself back up again, but into a new and improved version of yourself. You have an understanding of the world from a fresh perspective. When you have a good day it's because you've pushed yourself to do a small task, and every single day after that you appreciate the most tiniest, littlest things. Particularly the things you couldn't do or thought you never would. Depression is debilitating and strips you of everything that you are, but I'm conquering it, and
makes me feel like I have a super power. That makes me feel invincible.
has quickly become one of my favourite TV shows. It was undoubtedly so before I had even watched the final episode. I distinctly remember where I was when I finished it. Sitting in the living room of my family home, on the sofa facing the fireplace in my PJs, home alone, eyes drooping, but determined to find out what had happened to Will. I stayed up into the early hours to learn of his fate - something I had never done before, and I hadn't binged on anything in months. Our home phone also rang
as the episode ran into its final minutes, which scared the absolute hell out of me! As the show includes a couple of sequences revolving around unsettling phone calls, you can probably imagine just how much I jumped out of my skin.
So thank you to whoever accidentally called!!
As the show brought all of the stories and characters together, I felt a sense of closure. Everything was tied up neatly. Leaving me feeling satisfied and whole. I finished the show loving everything about it; especially the characters and brilliant actors who played them. I wish I could say a personal thank you to the Duffer brothers. This show came when I needed it most, and for that I am eternally grateful. I can't wait to watch the show all over again and to find out what the second season has in store. No matter how it turns out, this show will always have a special place in my heart.