Eight Facts That Tell Us How The Eighties Shape Stranger Things

Archita Kashyap - 64 weeks ago

Stranger Things returns to Netflix with Season 3 where the trailer says it all - We are not kids anymore. As the four friends - Max, Dustin, Mike and Will - have teenage come knocking, Eleven begins to find her footing in the real world, and Max, the new girl in town grows into the group, this cult series just gets a little stranger and all the more attractive for that. The series doesn’t hide its indulgent tributes to favourite films of its makers - the Duffer Brothers. Here are 8 quick facts about this cult series that reflect just how committed it is to the celebration of the Eighties, when smart phones, virtual games and the Internet didn’t rule childhood and teenage. As fans worldwide begin counting down to July 4 for Season 3 of Stranger Things, these fun details reflect all that went into making this Eighties disco coloured universe of geek science fiction.

 (Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer on the sets of Stranger Things (Image courtesy - Netflix)

1. Steve Harrington was meant to be killed off, torn apart by the Demogorgon in Season 1. Having slut shamed Nancy and pulled off arrogant, bully like, spoilt moments this character was destined to die a bestial death. But Duffer Brothers were enamoured by the vulnerable likeable performance of actor Joe Keery that they kept him on, making him a protective elder brother/ child minder in Season 2. In season 3, he continues with the protective role, adding potential fodder to popular Dad Steve memes that rocked Twitter during the last season.

2. Duffer Brothers envisaged Stranger Things as an anthology series, with new characters, alternate story lines and new locations for each season. But as the awesome foursome and the adorable science experiment offspring, Eleven, lit up the Internet and became cult, Hawkins and its people stayed on to battle the Demogorgon and unexplained stranger phenomena. The small town of Hawkins became a permanent location. Also, the Demogorgon, the super strange monster in Stranger Things, is actually the ultimate super villain in the Eighties game, Dungeons and Dragons.

(Matt Duffer explaining a scene to Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, and Gaten Matarazzo during the filming of Stranger Things (Image courtesy - Netflix)

3. In this season, Eleven and Max, the new girl in town that makes Millie Bobby Brown’s character go green with envy become friends. They hang out, go shopping and get on with life as young teenagers know it. It’s beating a cliché, that of young girls always getting envious of each other, by developing their dynamic as buddies that help each other out. Millie Bobby Brown wore a disguise of a pink dress and a blonde wig, similar to the disguise that ET works in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

4. After planning the climax of Seasons 1 and 2 around Thanksgiving and Halloween, Stranger Things 3 will play out on the All American holiday of July 4, Independence Day. A lot happens at a fun fair organised by the local mayor. And the year is 1985 so new Coke, the Coca Cola logo as we know it today, makes its appearance in Hawkins. According to New York Times, Netflix has signed agreements with 75 brands which includes both in-series placement and external tie ups. Baskin Robbins will be introducing new flavours based on the ones sold at the ice cream parlour in the series. Polaroid will be introducing an upside down camera and H&M has agreed to stock replicas of the clothes worn by the charatcers of the series.

(Millie Bobby Brown during the shooting of Stranger Things (Image courtesy - Netflix)  

5. Millie Bobby Brown was picked to play Eleven after over 300 girls were auditioned. She got an unexpected fillip when Stephen King, the horror best seller writer, saw her work in the BBC show Intruders and tweeted how much he liked her in it.

6. Duffer Brothers were rejected by 15 TV Networks before Netflix said yes to Stranger Things. Rejection wasn’t new to them, having been refused admission by all top film schools that they wanted to go to. Both cite Tim Burton, Sam Raimi, John Carpenter’s horror films and Steven Spielberg as creative influences and tribute these filmmakers routinely in the series.

(Winona Ryder in a still from Stranger Things)

7. Winona Ryder, who plays Joyce Byers, the stressed out, dedicated single mom, didn’t know what streaming meant when she was first approached for this part. She doesn’t have a Twitter account, or a Kindle till date. Ryder believes that the surge of technology all around us today, will make us ‘go blind’ and prefers to read a book instead.

8. The official poster of Stranger Things is inspired and created by the popular and applauded poster and album art work by Drew Struzan. Struzan has created posters for Star Wars: A Force Awakens, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Blade Runner, Back to the Future, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial amongst plenty others. Struzan remains uncredited for his poster work but is a legend for this contribution to his impressive career in the art department. He has also acted in a couple of films in small parts. Kyle Lambert adapts Struzan’s style and form for Stranger Things cult posters.


Matt Duffer / Ross Duffer / Millie Bobby Brown / Finn Wolfhard / Winona Ryder / Sadie Sink / Gaten Matarazzo / Finn Wolfhard / Noah Schnapp / David Harbour / Coke / H&M / Polaroid / Drew Struzan

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of The Film Hashery.

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