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Why do I love “Stranger Things?” I was the same age in 1983 as the main characters, and the show contains a slew of 80’s cultural references aimed directly at my sentimental sweet spot. And then there’s Eleven — not since 12-year-old Natalie Portman made her big screen debut in “Léon: The Professional” has there been a character with such a mix of vulnerability and sheer badassery. But what speaks to me most is the show’s emphasis on friendship as a way to face our deepest fear — a useful message as we find ourselves struggling against the darkness of a world turned upside down.

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