Parental Review: Stranger Things (Netflix Original Series- Season 1)

Parental Review: Stranger Things (Netflix Original Series- Season 1)

It appears that 2006 is the year for 1983.

First was this summer’s X-Men Apocalypse, and more recently, Disney’s reboot of Pete’s Dragon, both same in that marvelous year in history. And of course, Netflix’s Stranger Things.

I personally have had an obsession with 1983 since I was in Junior High, about a decade later. The culture, the style, the music, the movies, and the TV shows were so enjoyable.

Even John Mayer backs up my theory in his song, “83”, where he admits, “Had it make in ’83.”

So it makes sense to me that people today, in 2016, continue to enjoy seeing the year 1983 brought back to life.

Stranger Things

I am thoroughly impressed by the seemingly flawless way the Duffer Brothers have captured 1983 in their new sci-fi thriller, Stranger Things.

There is no question that Stranger Things is an exceptional TV show, like Breaking Bad and Lost.

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But the question you might be asking, as a parent, is at what age Stranger Things would be appropriate for your child to watch.

While I can’t answer that question for you, I can give you a brief overview of elements of the show which ultimately give Stranger Things what I deem as the equivalent of an intense PG-13 rated movie.


While there are no major curse words, like “g—d—“ or “f—“, every episode contains multiple uses of “sh—“ and many of the episodes contain the phrase “son of a b—-“ and/or “d-ck”. I should point out that much of the the profanity is by the 12 year-old boys, in addition to the adult characters.


Most episodes are free of sensuality, but there is an early episode in which 2 teenagers (who are protagonists) engage in sexual activity. While no nudity is shown, the bedroom scene is not a quick one. The event is referenced briefly again in a later episode, in which the girl is referred to as a “sl-t” by the boy she had sex with.


There is violence throughout the series, including a girl’s telepathic ability to break bones and even kill people. Additionally, there are many uses of guns and weapons.


There is occasional use of cigarettes and beer by some of the adult characters.

Dark Themes:

The overall theme of Stranger Things has to do with connecting to a darker, sinister parallel universe; as people are being taken there from the 1983 version of Indiana. Again, one of the main characters is able to excess her telepathic abilities.

Stranger Things is by no means a family friendly show, yet it is definitely fascinating, intriguing, and addicting.

As for a child watching it, I say the best comparison for inappropriate content for children would be Lost; regarding profanity, sex, violence, drugs/alcohol, and dark themes.

However, it’s up to the individual parent to decide at what age.

Dear Jack: Our 2nd Visit To Our New House/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h Family Friendly Review

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

Over the weekend I made it “Facebook and Twitter official” that our family bought a new house two weeks ago. To be specific, we’re building a new house in the “bedroom community” of Spring Hill, TN. (Our new home is currently a concrete slab.)

(See Dear Jack: We’re Building A New House In Spring Hill, TN.)

2014 Lexus GS: Family Friendly Review/Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”

I know this sounds strange, but other than going to our lot on the day we “bought” it (meaning we put down the honest money), that was the only time we saw it. We didn’t even check out the surrounding neighborhoods on that day.

Granted, we had well researched the neighborhood online, making sure it was in the “right county for schools,” which is Williamson if you live in the Nashville area.

Plus, our real estate agent Dave Stanley also verified it was a good neighborhood, too; as did another real estate agent in my office, along with about 4 or 5 other co-workers who live in Spring Hill.

(The picture directly below, looking out the car window, is a shot of our new home.)

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

So our family decided, now that we’ve signed all the proper paperwork and got all the financial approval and all that fun stuff… that we should officially check out the neighborhood.

Plus, we were able to pick out the color of our house (sort of a sea blue), carpet, and granite countertops. You helped the in-house agent enter the info into the computer.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

To keep you entertained, I played “Easter Egg Hunt” with him using balloons in the model home; which is the same floor plan as we will have. We also played “Balloon Basketball” using a shelf on the wall.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

Afterwards, our family did a “neighborhood drive-by”, checking out the elementary school and new rec center which you can see from our street.

It’s also convenient that the church we will be attending is right around the corner too.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

We were also able to meet our next door neighbor; a really nice lady from Detroit who has a 5 year-old granddaughter who happens to live in the neighborhood too.

This is really exciting stuff!

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

Of course, the whole time, we were cruising around in the glorious 2014 Lexus GS 450h. (I’ve been regularly reviewing cars for a solid year now, as a daddy blogger.)

I should say right off that I very much appreciated that it averages 31 miles per gallon. (The “h” in its name stands for “hybrid.”) Considering all the driving we did to, around, and from our new home, I never had to think about fueling up.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

After having driven the 2014 Lexus GS 450h for an entire week now, it’s still not down to half a tank yet.

Your favorite part about the car was that the windows have sun shades that pull down. I think it made you feel like you’re in your own private limo. You also liked the Sirius XM station, Margaritaville, (Ch. 24).

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

On the way to school this morning, you begged me, “Turn it to Jimmy Buffet, Daddy!”

(Speaking of the radio, you can control it (along with the air) from a special console that folds down from in between the back seats.)

Needless to say, Mommy thoroughly enjoyed getting to test-drive the car. You and me had as much fun while she did, as we apparently pretended to be pirates, I think…

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

I also enjoyed one particular safety feature it has where it beeps anytime it senses another vehicle as you’re backing up. That’s really cool- came in handy a time or two.

As always, people’s heads turned the entire week as we drove this Lexus around. It happens every time we review a Lexus.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

I just whipped up this for anyone interested as well: Syncing Your Phone To A New Lexus Vehicle.

And obviously, in the months to come, there will be more house updates as well.



2014 Lexus GS 450h

Fuel economy: 31 combined/29 city/34 highway

Price as shown: $70,000.00.

Dear Jack: GlowGolf (Real Glow-In-The-Dark Miniature Golf) A Family Friendly Review

3 years, 9 months.

GlowGolf: Real Glow-In-The-Dark Miniature Golf- A Family Friendly Review

Dear Jack,

Back a couple of months ago for Father’s Day, you (and Mommy) got me a Groupon for GlowGolf. We just now got around to cashing it in this weekend, here at the end of the summer.

GlowGolf: Real Glow-In-The-Dark Miniature Golf- A Family Friendly Review

Yesterday at school, you mentioned to your teacher Ms. Michelle that we were going golfing over the weekend… for my birthday. Birthday, Father’s Day… same difference.

GlowGolf: Real Glow-In-The-Dark Miniature Golf- A Family Friendly Review

She helped you make a birthday card for me. I loved it! I’ll be hanging it up on my wall in my office: “That’s you and me driving a train,” you explained.

Then this morning, you were so excited in anticipation, you celebrated by making a “Christmas tree” out of your basketball hoop and random plastic animals.

basketball Christmas tree funny

I suppose when you’re 3, it’s easy to confuse Christmas, Father’s Day, and my birthday.

While GlowGolf locations can be found all across America, the one closest to us was just down the road in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

GlowGolf (Real Glow-In-The-Dark Miniature Golf) A Family Friendly Review

I knew it would be fun, simply because it would involve our family and something we’ve never done before.

And sure enough, we totally had a blast!

You’re just 3 months away from turning 4, but you are definitely old enough to appreciate and enjoy it.

GlowGolf (Real Glow-In-The-Dark Miniature Golf) A Family Friendly Review

Granted, you aren’t old enough to play by the rules. In other words, we didn’t bother to actually take score.

In fact, you helped Mommy and me by scooting the ball in the hole anytime we got close to the hall.

How thoughtful!

GlowGolf (Real Glow-In-The-Dark Miniature Golf) A Family Friendly Review

At this particular GlowGolf, there are 18 different holes and you can play them up to 3 times. I was impressed by the glow-in-the-dark artwork surrounding us.

Also, note to self: Next time we go, make sure to stand right under the black light each time you take a picture. Even though the light is “black,” it makes for clearer pictures!

Yes, we will definitely be going back. Not simply because it was the perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon, and because it’s really cheap ($8 for adults, kids age 5 and less only $3), but because Mommy won a free ticket for next time!

GlowGolf (Real Glow-In-The-Dark Miniature Golf) A Family Friendly Review

The final hole is a Plinko-like toss-up where it’s fairly easy, yet random, to get a hole-in-one. But if you do, as Mommy did, you win a free game!

I just happened to catch a shot of her making the winning putt!

Thanks for my Father’s Day/birthday/Christmas gift. I had a really fun time with you and Mommy. That’s the best kind of gift you can give me anyway.



Williamson County Fair: Family Friendly Review

For the past couple of years now, our family has attended the Williamson County Fair in Franklin, Tennessee (near Nashville). We always have a great time!

Williamson County Fair: Family Friendly Review by Nick Shell

If for no other reason, it’s because it exposes our now nearly 4 year-old son to farm life that we “surburbians” would not normally be exposed to.

Williamson County Fair: Family Friendly Review by Nick Shell

Especially for a little boy, the kind of stuff they have at the Williamson County Fair is pure, easy, and cheap entertainment.

I divide the events into 3 main categories: science, heavy equipment, and livestock.

Williamson County Fair: Family Friendly Review by Nick Shell

There is a section of the building where dozens of hands-on science demonstrations are on display.

The rest of the floor is mostly dedicated the heavy equipment, including a fire engine, which families are welcome to sit in.

Also on the floor is a magic show and talent contest.

Outside is where all the animals are: Llamas, goats, bulls, cows, pigs, chickens, and more!


There is a unique “farm walk-through” in which children get to simulate harvesting produce, milking cows, feeding chickens, and fishing; then sell their products to the market in exchange for a snack.

Williamson County Fair: Family Friendly Review by Nick Shell


On the way out, there is an old-fashioned carnival, with all the classic rides you would expect, including one of those rocking pirate ships.

Williamson County Fair: Family Friendly Review by Nick Shell

On the drive home, when I asked my son what his favorite part of the fair was, he responded, “The goats and the pirate ship.”

Williamson County Fair: Family Friendly Review by Nick Shell

I thought that was pretty funny since he seemed slightly afraid of them both when we walked past them.

It’s a solid, fun family event. Just go early, though! Otherwise, it might take an hour just to get off the Interstate exit.

Williamson County Fair: Family Friendly Review by Nick Shell

Also, there is free parking courtesy of Nissan. (I wrote a car review on the Nissan Versa Note not too long ago.). Plus, volunteers will drive your family from the parking lot to the main door in golf carts; also free.

Williamson County Fair: Family Friendly Review by Nick Shell

If you end up going, let me know what you think of it. I’m sure you’ll have a great time!

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Family Friendly Movie Review By Nick Shell

There is no question that Guardians Of The Galaxy is an excellent, successful movie… not to mention hilarious! But the question I’ve already been asked is this: What age is appropriate for a child to see it?

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Family Friendly Review By Nick Shell

Like what I said in my recent review of X-Men: Days Of Futures Past, the movie follows a certain formula which ensures a PG-13 rating for an action/comedy; which is much more profitable than R, and completely more profitable than PG.

Therefore, the movie contains constant violence and on screen deaths; however, virtually no blood.

As far as profanity, again like X-Men: Days Of Futures Past, they casually use pretty much every word in the book once, except for “the f-word” or “g.d.” or references to female genitalia. The main character also “shoots a bird,” uncensored; unlike in the preview.

Regarding nudity, just like X-Men: Days Of Futures Past, there is a brief shot of a man’s bare butt. But female nudity is not a problem whatsoever.


I assumed that for a science fiction comedy, there would probably be reoccurring shots of scantily clad female aliens, but unless you’re really making a point to scan the background shots of crowds of people, you won’t find that in this movie.

That’s especially opposed to X-Men: Days Of Futures Past, which contained constant coverage of Jennifer Lawrence in a very form-fitting, yet non-explicit, skin suit.

As expected, Guardians Of The Galaxy contains a steady amount of “boy humor.” There is also an ongoing reference to the main character (Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt) being a playboy with female aliens across the universe, yet nothing explicit is ever mentioned.

So over all, I would project that the youngest safe age for a child to see this movie would be around eleven years old; 6thgrade, which is how old I was when I saw Jurassic Park in the theatre back in 1993.

Russian guardians-of-the-galaxy_international-poster

I want to close by pointing out that Guardians Of The Galaxy is a very well done movie. It’s nostalgic, action-packed, and contains a great script and plot.

Think of it as the underdog version of X-Men: Days Of Futures Past. Unlike the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy were not brought together as an all-star team.

It’s more like they ended together, not even liking each other for most of the movie.

However, they recognize they are all “losers,” all having lost something important in their lives; like their families and homes. That’s what brings them together.

Something else I particularly appreciate about the movie is that it has a perfect and happy ending, yet creatively leaves the door open to make a trilogy of the movie.

Thanks for reading my review today. You’re welcome back anytime!

*Click on “movie reviews” below to see other movies I’ve featured!