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Stranger Things - S01 E06

Horror . Fantasy . Sci-Fi & Fantasy . Mystery . Drama

A frantic Jonathan looks for Nancy in the darkness, but Steve's looking for her, too. Hopper and Joyce uncover the truth about the lab's experiments.

Episode Title: The Monster
Airs: 2016-07-15 at 00:01
  • David Wiegand

    Stranger Things reminds us of a time marked by a kind of no-strings escapism. And as it does so, we find ourselves yearning for it because the Duffers have made it so irresistibly appealing. There may be other equally great shows to watch this summer, but I guarantee you won’t have more fun watching any of them than you will watching Stranger Things.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Jeff Korbelik

    The series is fun, scary and a perfect tribute to the era, including the spot-on hairdos and clothes.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    The real star is Brown, who brings the enigmatic and ill-used Eleven to heart-wrenching life almost without benefit of dialogue. Her face flickers with wonder, woe and menace, often in the same scene, in a way that even cynics who make a point of rooting for horror-movie monsters will not be able to resist. Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    The rooting interests are many and varied in a drama that’s held together by the strength of its convictions and characters.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Joshua Alston

    Balancing style and substance is always challenging for a series like Stranger Things, but the show is perfectly calibrated. It feels like watching a show produced during the era in which it’s set, but with the craft of today’s prestige television.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    Over the course of the eight hours, the story and characters take on enough life of their own so that the references don't feel self-indulgent, and so that the series can be appreciated even if you don't know the plot of E.T. or the title font of Stephen King's early novels (a huge influence on the show's own opening credits) by heart.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    There are some genuine scares in here but some heartfelt beats, too, along the way to the bloody climax.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Terry Terrones

    I found the genre blending of pre-teen adventure with mild horror refreshingly unique.

    Colorado Springs Gazette Full Review
  • Emily Nussbaum

    This is astoundingly efficient storytelling, eight hours that pass in a blink, with even minor characters getting sharp dialogue, dark humor, or moments of pathos.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Molly Eichel

    You'll turn on the first episode and mysteriously find yourself sitting in the same spot on your couch eight episodes later, never having moved an inch.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Todd VanDerWerff

    Stranger Things might be a hodgepodge of lots of other things, but there’s a sincerity to it that’s hard to fake. And in its appropriations of those other things, it somehow becomes something new that rises above its collage-like origins. Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    For the most part, and in absolute defiance of the odds, Stranger Things honors its source material in the best way possible: By telling a sweet ’n’ scary story in which monsters are real but so are the transformative powers of love and fealty.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    It’s not homage as much as it is a recreation of a classic 1980s’ film stretched into eight episodes, a deeply satisfying series that’s all the more entertaining for anyone who grew up in the 1980s.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    Harder is capturing the tone of another era. The Duffers manage that quite well, too, thanks to a fine sense of restraint that increasingly seems a lost art these days. There are a few good shocks here, but mostly there is patience. None of it would work without solid acting, and the series has that in abundance.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    It starts a little slow, but builds speed and tension at a remarkable, consistent pace--every episode is more entertaining than the one before. Full Review
  • Daniel D'Addario

    The nostalgic tone of Stranger Things succeeds less from discrete moment to moment than as an overall ambience; in synthy music, vivid shooting style, and deeply earnest performances, the show is committed to selling you a sort of story that doesn’t exist in mainstream pop culture anymore.

    Time Full Review
  • Brian P. Kelly

    Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, brothers and the show’s creators, have done their homework when it comes to ’80s cinema. Whether you’re a fan of John Carpenter’s “The Thing” or “The Goonies” is more your speed, there’s plenty to like in Stranger Things.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Mitchel Broussard

    Thanks to Ryder and her ability to make you tear up over rainbow Christmas lights, the show’s ultimate resolution resonates far more emotionally than it does cerebrally.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Jen Chaney

    Stranger Things tries to strike a tricky balance between going fully meta and creating a piece of paranoid, magical, terrifying realism that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the works of Spielberg, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Wes Craven that it so overtly references. At times, it wobbles in that effort. But it manages to right itself pretty quickly by effectively hooking us into its central mystery and so evocatively conjuring up a not-so-long-ago yesteryear when walkie-talkie conversations were our Snapchat and what’s now considered free-range parenting was just called parenting.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Dan Fienberg

    You care what happens to the characters in Stranger Things because they're written authentically and they're cast exceptionally, especially when it comes to the kids.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Bruce Miller

    The Duffers captured the vibe quite nicely, tell a story that doesn’t seem watered down and emerge with a series that could be the summer’s equivalent of a large popcorn with plenty of butter and a kidney-busting keg of Coke.

    Sioux City Journal Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    This promising drama often has ambiguous and even sad things on its mind, and the familiar contours of its plot are most effective when they serve as a cover for somewhat deeper explorations.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ben Travers

    Stranger Things never establishes itself as anything more than a reminder of what was, instead of a celebration of past and present.

    Indiewire Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    Even as ’80s pastiche, there’s little unique about Stranger Things--the plot and novelty are stretched thin at eight hours. But it gathers momentum in episode 4 and generates pleasure in the convergence of various story lines.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    What I like most about Stranger Things is the way the Duffer Brothers never short-shrift the emotional content of the show in favor of thrills and CGI. ... [Ryder's] hysteria can be grating. At points, she’s almost a parody of a crazed mother, one that might fit in more on a different, more comedic show.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    As with J.J. Abrams’ ode to Spielberg, Super 8, Stranger Things is extremely watchable and a little empty, a paean to the Duffer brothers’ own youth masquerading as a compliment to a master.

    Slate Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Unless your name is Stephen King or Steven Spielberg, there’s only so much new anyone can bring to this potluck supper. The Duffers don’t bring much new. They do bring a large degree of enthusiasm, however.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Nothing here feels particularly new, except for the compelling way the Duffers have put it all together--and even that can’t fix some plot holes and deliberate obfuscation that make Stranger Things a clumsier ride than it needs to be.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    If only it all felt just a bit faster.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Lenika Cruz

    There’s a higher bar for original stories--even homages--to clear when it comes to incorporating the lessons Hollywood has learned recently about depicting female characters who are as layered as their male counterparts. For all its charms, Stranger Things doesn’t quite meet that standard.

    The Atlantic Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    Stranger Things ends up being an entertaining and impassioned throwback to the time when friendly aliens were all the craze, but there’s a consistent sense that a far more imaginative and daring series hiding behind the monsters, whether they be human or otherwise.

    Collider Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    Stranger Things is competently crafted, but exists as little more than the pointless sum of its spare parts.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    It's agreeable popcorn fare, though like many Netflix originals, might have had twice the impact at half the length. [11-24 Jul 2016, p.17]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    Things spends too much repetitious time trying to convince us that Mike, Dustin, and Lucas are cute kids, and the show’s sense of foreshadowing when it comes to revealing something that’s supposed to scare the daylights out of us becomes an exercise in tedium.

    Yahoo TV Full Review