Spoilers for Stranger Things season four ahead.
I just finished Stranger Things season four, which is maybe the season of TV most in need of an editor (an editor who says no to things) that I’ve ever watched. It has its ups and downs, with the biggest down being any screen time given to the obscenely stupid high school drama and townsfolk plot lines. Luckily, there are some very fun elements, like the core horror story about a monster named Vecna wreaking havoc on the teens in Hawkins.
About halfway through the season, the squad of smart teens figures out that the key to resisting Vecna — and getting him out of his victims’ heads — is to play their favorite song. This is why “Running Up That Hill” hasn’t left my brain in a couple of weeks, and why the song is near the top of the pop music charts nearly forty years after it came out. It’s a great song, to be clear, and it’s Max’s favorite, which allows her to escape monster man in a truly anime-ass sequence.
In a celebration of music and fandom, Reddit user KrickzZ is building a massive playlist with Stranger Things fans’ favorite songs (or favorite songs for this purpose, so there is a bit of a “pump up” element here). It’s one of the sweetest and most wholesome things I’ve seen on the internet in a minute.
The thread is just a bunch of strangers (Strangers?) sharing their favorite “get hyped” songs, with KrickzZ collecting it all in a Spotify playlist for the greater good.
There are some predictable bangers on there, as you’d expect. We’ve got “Under Pressure,” “Rebel Yell,” “Enjoy the Silence,” and many more songs from the 80s era in which the show takes place. There are 80s throwback songs like “Bulletproof” by La Roux, a bunch of metal, and the unimpeachable “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult among the top replies.
And truly, god bless the user who (unironically, it seems) chose “Bring Me Back To Life” by Evanescence, a song that will never leave us and that remains a gift that keeps giving. There is no hate in my heart for this — I truly want this person to live their best life imagining an epic run through a hellscape away from Vecna, with Amy Lee wailing, “bring me back to life!”
Maybe the best part is the stories people are attaching to their submissions for why, say, “Take On Me” is their go-to. Most folks are just posting a banger and leaving it at that, but some of these personal tales about freedom and feeling alive are really getting me through my early Monday.
Stranger Things is not the best show in the world; it’s not even the best show about teens solving scary problems and fighting monsters. But it is good for 80s texture, nostalgia, and great music — and somehow, this mighty little thread is strengthening even that. You can go ahead and add to this legendary Stranger Things playlist by participating in the thread.