Okay, this is just the cutest, most adorable damn thing on planet Earth.
Do you remember The Phantom Menace, and little adorable Jake Lloyd who, as it turns out, didn’t exactly shine under the direction of George Lucas?
Nothing personal, Jake, Natalie Portman was wooden too, and she’s, y’know, Natalie Portman.
Then remember, not long after, how we all met the fleshy human faces of the main characters from Harry Potter, and they were all laughably bad at acting?
Rupert Grint made that one face a lot, and everyone decided he was the best of the bunch for the rest of the decade, while Emma Watson overemphasized. Every. Syllable.
Meanwhile, Daniel Radcliffe just stood there, looking like he was half drunk, and hey, turns out even that performance involved very little actual acting.
It’s easy for us as moviegoers to roll our eyes, shrug, and accept that hey, maybe you’re not going to get the world’s greatest performance out of prepubescent actors.
Then, though, coming along to prove that you shouldn’t hold tweens to different standards than the rest of Hollywood, these guys came along to knock it out of the park:
How awesome are these kids? They’re pretty clearly reading off a teleprompter here, but each and every one of them delivers a more energetic, believable performance than anything even grown-up Daniel Radcliffe has delivered (unless he’s talking about his love of drugs).
This video is so cute that we’re willing to ignore the Ronald McDonald wig that Millie Bobby Brown is sporting, no matter how unrecognizable it makes her at first glance.
Yes sir, these kids are all fantastic, every single one of them.
It’s such a shame that they’ve only got maybe a year left before the infernal showbiz machine chews them up, spits them out, and ultimately destroys their entire lives.
But if any group of young actors is going to pull a Mara Wilson and come out of things relatively unscathed, it’ll be these guys. The trick is just to keep them as sheltered as possible from the fame and the notoriety that Stranger Things has generated.
This is certainly what producer Shawn Levy is working on. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, he said:
“That is the new challenge of season 2: quieting the cultural noise that surrounds our show.”
Yeah, no kidding. Plenty of movie sequels have been ruined by overhyped expectations, and the Little Netflix Show That Could is certainly not immune from the pervasive sway of what Levy so wonderfully describes as “cultural noise”.
That’s simply what it is: white noise which can interfere with the development of the show, and of its central cast of actors, but which adds no real value to either.
Because nothing screws up a bunch of preteens quite like having everyone tell them that they’re the most amazing people to walk the Earth.
Nothing, perhaps, except having the rug pulled out from under them once their voices crack, their faces break out into zits, and their cuteness dissipates, taking their innocence with it.
So let’s all make a pact here. Let’s do what’s best for these young actors, who have so much potential, but who are in serious danger of ending up like Miley Cyrus or Macaulay Culkin.
If they stop being cute, let’s not turn on them. If they visit one too many parties or make some bad choices, we won’t hound them until they feel sick, or decide they need to shave their heads to be taken seriously.
Maybe we should just stop talking about them entirely, and let them live normal lives.
But let’s face it, that’s not going to happen, so instead, maybe just keep your criticism of their growing pains to yourself, you monster.
If we’re very careful about how we treat these kids, we might just get a few new Neil Patrick Harris types out of all this.