Why Pop Culture Is Obsessed With The 1980s Right Now: "The ’80s are back, baby – and they’ve been back for what feels like forever in terms of the pop cultural zeitgeist’s notoriously short attention span. While the decade might have once been branded as a tacky, one-note punchline filled with aerobics videos and unfortunate shoulder pads, it’s now considered worthy of genuine artistic examination. Take, for instance, the critical success of recent television shows like The Americans, Halt and Catch Fire, and GLOW, all of which examine different facets of distinctly ’80s cultural phenomena, from Cold War intrigue to the birth of computing and women’s wrestling respectively. It would be impossible for their central narratives to take place during any other decade.
Yet the ’80s craze isn’t just limited to a desire to realistically document the era. Smash-hit genre properties like Stranger Things and the 2017 IT remake both place clearly supernatural horrors into imaginary towns that are nevertheless situated within that historical milieu. They draw on the period’s broader cultural context, such as its widespread panic over child abduction, in order to deepen their drama and terror. Stranger Things strives to pay homage to the decade’s character even in its non-diegetic elements, such as its shimmery, faintly sinister John Carpenter-esque score."