Stranger Things (Netflix)

This thrilling Netflix-original drama stars award-winning actress Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, who lives in a small Indiana town in 1983 -- inspired by a time when tales of science fiction captivated audiences. When Joyce's 12-year-old son, Will, goes missing, she launches a terrifying investigation into his disappearance with local authorities. As they search for answers, they unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries involving secret government experiments, unnerving supernatural forces, and a very unusual little girl.

I watched this whole series in one day (yeah I binge a lot, too many days off).  Here's what it gave me.  A "Stand by me" feel, a Spielberg /J.J Abrams concept series and just a very likable Sci-Fi series without being too much in your face.  Not as technical as Fringe but not to story laden like the first season of "Wayward Pines" (great first season).  The basic story is 4 grade school boys hanging out growing up together and dealing with the day to day things kids go through. Then all of a sudden they lose one of their friends (Will), who disappears under mysterious circumstances.  This then goes to how these kids at their age, copes, adjust and deal with something they shouldn't have to go through.  The children are so likable and natural you enjoy every interaction they have.  From I hate you to you're my best friend in whole wide world.  But as they deal with one of the boys being taken away from them, a young girl is introduced to the group out of the blue.  Feelings change and the they have to deal with a change that the adults in the town have no idea what they are going through.

Now another side of the story is the Secret government institution are testing things on the outskirts of their town that no one paid attention to and never became an issue until the search party of the missing child brings them to their front door.  The assumption has always been they were doing something to stop the Russians (the time period of the late 70's early 80's dictates this mentality).  Also a big focus is on the obsessed mother who won't give up even though she has been presumed crazy prior to her son missing, and does everything to keep looking for him.  The sherif of the town has a good back story that you appreciate later in the episodes but plays a great center role throughout the series.

The standout character of this series is 11 (kids call her L).  The young girl with super powers as the boys describe it.  Barely says a word but you can feel her pain, confusion and growth throughout the series.  As someone who some how escaped from the government facility she is in a world that she seems to not truly understand.  This amazing young actress played the role perfectly.  O by the way, this is all played out in the 70's in a very small town with small town views.  Stranger things is a strange series but pretty family clean and will keep your interest all throughout the series.  Worth a watch.  Remember, this is a Netflix series.