Netflix has Stranger Things – Prime matches with Paper Girls

The following is a discussion of a new Amazon Prime video series.

I am not nor ever have been a 12 year old girl. I don’t think I can even imagine that. I don’t get many of the things they face. But I know that what these four 12-year old is not normal. Time travel … time wars … dinosaurs … meeting your older self. This is a weird series.

Amazon just recently dropped online the entire series, eight episodes, of Paper Girls.  This is not a recommendation, just a thoughtful internal dialogue put to paper.

Now, the sci-fi geek in me loves it. Four innocent tween-agers are grabbed off their paper routes in a sleepy suburb of Cleveland – yes, Cleveland.  It starts on the early morning of November 1, 1988. They are taken to 2019 and later to July 1999.  But the catch is the time war is really further in earth’s timeline and they just fight it in the past by some traveling and some trying to eliminate travelers. And these four get plopped down in the middle of it.  Twists in the story line, coming of age for young girls, giant robot battles, you watching your older selves die, medical fireflies healing laser shots, and more make this story enjoyable.  Tie in classic rock and cool 20th century culture … this was pretty cool. But it wasn’t without flaws – and some major flaws.

Now, the sci-fi geek in me loves it. Four innocent tween-agers are grabbed off their paper routes in a sleepy suburb of Cleveland – yes, Cleveland.  It starts on the early morning of November 1, 1988. They are taken to 2019 and later to July 1999.  But the catch is the time war is really further in earth’s timeline and they just fight it in the past by some traveling and some trying to eliminate travelers. And these four get plopped down in the middle of it.  Twists in the story line, coming of age for young girls, giant robot battles, you watching your older selves die, medical fireflies healing laser shots, and more make this story enjoyable.  Tie in classic rock and cool 20th century culture … this was pretty cool. But it wasn’t without flaws – and some major flaws.

I hated the language – especially of tweenagers. I mean way too much F bombs and foul mouth lingo. I could have done without the 20 minute confab on feminine hygiene (but it is 12 year old girls with minimal adult assistance)

There is a little woke messaging – but interestingly, very little of it – a little, but very little. This was actually very surprising and quite refreshing.

There is no place in these episodes where there is any discussion for God. Religion is trivialized are just part of one’s culture. The Jewish girl talk of her upcoming batmitzphah. The Asian tween discusses honoring ancestors. There is a mention of hell, but laughed off as “not in our beliefs.” 

Very little positive roles for males in this story.

So what is good? What opens honest and relevant discussion? 

  • The young girls get to see a glimpse of where life takes them, how their dreams get shattered or fulfilled. This is truly deep. How often do we a adults look back and ask, “How did I get here?” In this series, the tweens get to see their future self and evaluate consequences of decisions. It’s about choices.
  • Fate is discussed. A great look at do we control our destiny? Is there someone in charge? Can we make different choices if we grasp where we are headed? Fate. It’s about consequences.
  • There is strength in numbers. They realize they lasted so long in the vexing situation because they stick together. It’s about friendships.
  • Based of comic books.  No I haven’t read them, probably won’t … but I love comic books.
  • A fresh look at how culture changes 1988-1999-2019.

In the end, well … I won’t ruin that. Except to say, season one does not bring this storyline to a conclusion.

Bottom line – I can not recommend this for kids because of the language. And it could have worked just as well without 95% of the foul language. If they could do this story without that, I would whole heartedly recommend it.

Parents – know what is out there.

This entry was posted in Christian Life and tagged , , , on by .

About Todd K Estes

In this journey called Life, it gets a bit muddy - But Jesus sees beyond the mud and sees the person He created, the person He loves, and the person He is still working on. I am one of those persons - and so are you. I am a sold-out follower of Jesus, husband way out of my league, father to a great son, part of the family of God, and pastor of a great church family - Evergreen Baptist in Appomattox.

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