Stranger Things has been likened to Amazon’s Paper Girls, but the comic book adaption is far superior to a knockoff of the popular Netflix Original.
Paper Girls season 1 spoilers are present in this article.
Stranger Things and Amazon’s Paper Girls are frequently contrasted, but these comparisons are inaccurate, and, to be honest, the new sci-fi comic book adaption is superior. Paper Girls is an extremely character-rich sci-fi narrative that exploits time travel and a time war as a handy plot device to take its twelve-year-old heroines on a voyage of self-discovery. It was inspired by the award-winning comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson. With the adaptation, Amazon has chosen an unexpected tack, removing some of the more fanciful parts to concentrate on the character journeys.
Of course, there have been similarities to Stranger Things on Netflix. These are only to be anticipated; fans will have to wait a long time for Stranger Things season 5, which will conclude the epic tale of the Duffer brothers. Everyone is currently searching for the next TV program that will satisfy their need for young protagonists, ’80s nostalgia, sci-fi, or horror. Paper Girls seems to be a good fit on the surface.
Because of these commonalities, Paper Girls is seen as a cheap knockoff of Stranger Things by some viewers, which is regrettable. Paper Girls is really a comic book adaption with a distinctive lead character. It is deserving of respect as such.
Why Stranger Things Is Being Likened To Paper Girls
On the surface, Paper Girls and Stranger Things appear to have many striking parallels. Both stories revolve around a group of teenage heroes who are regular youngsters from the 1980s who find themselves in a series of adventures. The Hawkins children learn about the Upside-Down, terrifying creatures like the Mind-Flayer and Vecna, and unethical government experiments on young psychics in Stranger Things. In contrast, the four 12-year-olds in Paper Girls learn that there is a time war going on between the Old Watch and the STF Underground and end up stuck in unfamiliar future worlds.
Amazon appears to have noticed the fundamental similarities and marketed Paper Girls by taking advantage of them. Accidental soundtrack from some Paper Girls promos felt like a planned parody of Stranger Things. Although this marketing strategy was completely acceptable, it is regrettably incorrect since it leads to fans into the program anticipating something altogether different.
The opposite of Stranger Things is Paper Girls.
In actuality, Paper Girls does not feel like a copy of Stranger Things; rather, it feels like the show’s thematic opposite. This is mostly because, in stark contrast to Stranger Things’ ’80s film and music nostalgia, the TV show properly recreates one key aspect from the comics themselves: a sense of “antinostalgia,” an admittance that the past wasn’t flawless.
Lai Nelet, a 14-year-old star, told the New York Post, “My parents have always taught me that the ’80s wasn’t a particularly fantastic period for a lot of people, just like now there’s a lot of homophobia, racism, and sexism.” “So, I really enjoy that the show depicts the gritty and true aspect of that age,” says the viewer. The experiences of discrimination that each of the four major characters has gone through have helped to shape who they are, setting them apart from the Hawkins children.
When watching Paper Girls, viewers will be able to discern right away that the program’s budget was far lower than that of Stranger Things, whose fourth season is estimated to have cost over $270 million. But that’s not an issue because Paper Girls focuses on the people rather than the fancy effects.
All four of the Paper Girls cast members had to consider their own futures by the end of season one. Erin and Tiffany argued with their future selves, Mac found out she would die of cancer, and KJ found out she is a lesbian. This most recent plotline is very endearing and seems quite unlike to Stranger Things, where Will’s suppressed sexuality hasn’t been directly addressed despite four seasons of indications.
Character growth in Paper Girls is more daring than it is in Stranger Things, where the authors take care not to overly alter the fundamental relationships. In season four, Eleven, a psychic with an enigmatic background, is continuing undergoing trials to learn more about it. All of these things were true in season 2 and are still true in season 4. Mike is madly in love with Eleven, Dustin enjoys being the smartest child in the room, Steve is in love with Nancy, and Hopper and Joyce are the parents.
In contrast, the time travel plot of Paper Girls gives its protagonists a real chance to look into the future, and they are shocked by how much will change. Mac finds it hard to accept that it took her passing for her brother’s life to take a turn for the better. KJ imagines a time when she has emerged from her mother’s shadow. Erin learns that the connections that define her are doomed to fail.
It’s Inaccurate To Compare Paper Girls To Stranger Things (On Either Show)
The Paper Girls cast has said outright that they don’t think parallels to Stranger Things are appropriate. Fina Strazza told the New York Post, “I’m blessed to even be regarded in the same genre or sector as that program. “Our program, in my opinion, has a distinct tone and message. We told this narrative that brought attention to the discrimination that was prevalent because I feel like so many ’80s shows are nostalgic and they concentrated on the teased hair, joyful music, and loud patterns.” While she is completely correct to note the thematic contrasts, in actuality, she is downplaying them.
Because of Amazon’s marketing, viewers are more likely to notice the superficial parallels between Paper Girls and Stranger Things. But despite its smaller budget, Paper Girls is hardly the next Stranger Things. Even if the Upside-Down enables time travel, it is a completely separate TV show with themes and concepts at play that have never been seen in Stranger Things and never will be. It would be good for viewers to let go of any preconceived notions and enjoy Paper Girls for what it is, rather than anticipating Stranger Things 2.