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<   No. 4521   2021-05-24   >

Comic #4521

1 SFX: Riiing!
2 Mike: Great, school’s out! We’ve got five hours to find Will!
3 Eleven: Don’t you need to go home or something? So your parents don’t get worried?
4 Mike: Nah. Nobody cares what kids do between the end of school and sunset!
4 Eleven: Ah, the 1980s, I forgot.

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I'm very glad I grew up in an age when kids could go on adventures after school, heading down to the creek to look for frogs or tadpoles, doing impromptu scavenger hunts, exploring the neighbourhood. As long as you were home in time for dinner, it was all good.

On reflection, it's interesting that the 1980s produced so many movies based around the plot element of a bunch of kids having adventures in that magical time between school and dinner (or during school holidays time). And I just realised this is why Stranger Things had to be set in the 1980s. You can't have a show/movie where kids do this sort of stuff, realistically set in the 2000s. Because kids just don't do this any more.

New movies of this genre have to either be set in the past, where they are believable, or go out of their way to establish some contrived reason why the kids can go on these adventures (a) in the first place and (b) without their parents getting hauled in for child neglect.

We haven't just lost the childhoods of that era, we've lost the ability to make fiction about childhoods in the same way.

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