How Netflix Makes You Pine for the Past

The Cultural References of Stranger Things and The Get Down Go Head-to-Head

By Hadley Tomicki ·
Netflix already risked giving you a severe bout of Pac-Man Fever to revel in 1983 through Stranger Things.

Then this past weekend, the company dove deeper into recent history with the debut of The Get Down, Baz Luhrmann’s tale about hip-hop’s conception in the South Bronx of 1977.

So how to effectively bottle the warm, fuzzy feelings of an entire generation?

It takes the right production designer. And the right powerfully memorable inanimate object whose legend survives the decades.

Here’s how the two shows get the details right.

Handheld Technology Prized For Long-Distance Communication
The Get Down: Paint cans.
Stranger Things: Realistic brand walkie-talkies.

Fashionable Sneaker
The Get Down: Suede Pumas.
Stranger Things: Low-top Nikes.

Artifact No One Misses
The Get Down: Medallions.
Stranger Things: Rotary phones.

Preferred Mode of Transportation
The Get Down: Subway.
Stranger Things: Banana-seat bikes.

Frightening Government Figure
The Get Down: Ed Koch.
Stranger Things: A blonde lady with a gun.

Au Courant Form of Mixed Media
The Get Down: Mixing records.
Stranger Things: Mixed tapes.

Everyday Hazard-Filled Hangouts
The Get Down: The rubble of an urban hellscape.
Stranger Things: Those woods behind the Byers place.

The Get Down: Bass-heavy.
Stranger Things: Synth-inflected.

Private Refuge
The Get Down: Burned-out buildings.
Stranger Things: Forts, pillow and otherwise.

Peacocky Outerwear
The Get Down: Warriors-style vests, fringe cowboy jackets.
Stranger Things: Corduroy jackets.

The Desired Electric Plaything
The Get Down: Technics SL-1200 turntable.
Stranger Things: As big a HAM radio as the world can offer.

Ubiquitous Haircut
The Get Down: ‘Fros.
Stranger Things: Moptops.

Geeky Leisure Activity
The Get Down: Writing poetry.
Stranger Things: Rolling polyhedral dice.

Seminal Song That Won’t Repel Younger TV Audiences
The Get Down: “Two to Make It Right.”
Stranger Things: “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

Coming of Age Moment
The Get Down: First rap battle.
Stranger Things: First kiss.

Weird Diss We’re Not Sure Anyone Really Used
The Get Down: “Disco Duck.”
Stranger Things: “Mouthbreather.”
Hadley Tomicki

Hadley Tomicki lives in Los Angeles. He is probably going nowhere on the 10 Freeway this very second.

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