If you grew up in the 1980s and were into Stephen Spielberg blockbusters and Stephen King mini series, there’s a good chance that you were mysteriously drawn to Stranger Things. After a rousing first season, Netflix quickly greenlighted a second season, which made fans give a collective sigh of relief.
Now, as we all get geared up for part two of the creepy, mystery-laden Stranger Things saga, it’s the perfect time for all you ST devotees (and devotee-wannabes) to catch up on some of the odd facts behind the show.
It Was Odd From the Get Go With Twin Directors/Creators
It’s entirely possible that there’s so much creativity and genius in Stranger Things because two brains that think alike came up with it. The Netflix series is the brainchild of twins Matt and Ross Duffer, who are also the show’s co-directors and co-writers.
The Show Wasn’t Necessarily Meant to Have a Second Season
The Duffer twins noted in early interviews that Stranger Things wasn’t intended to be a multi-season series. They thought of it as a stand-alone, single-season mini-series, kind of like the old Stephen King stories that aired on TV in the 80s.
Stranger Things Merch Have Achieved Pop Culture Status
You know you’ve reached pop culture icon status when every type of merch imaginable has your show’s characters on it. There are Stranger Things shirts, posters, lunchboxes, phone cases, coffee mugs, pillows, advent calendars, and much more. Given how clever and intriguing the show is, it’s no surprise the merchandise is equally entertaining.
The Show is an Homage to the 80s
The online pub, Vulture.com jumped all over the series early in 2016, before it went mainstream. In an interview, the twins revealed their 80s obsession. It was the decade the Duffer twins were born in, and it seems like they’ve been living in it ever since. However, they say they set the show in the 80s because it’s inspired in part by government experimentation that was going on at the end of the Cold War.
The Duffers Got a Nod from Stephen King Himself
One of the greatest kudos Stranger Things has received came from the King of creepy. On Twitter, Stephen King gave the show a shout out by tweeting, “Watching STRANGER THINGS is like watching Steve King’s Greatest Hits. I mean that in a good way.” He tweeted again later, noting, “STRANGER THINGS is pure fun. A+. Don’t miss it. Winona Ryder shines.”
The Duffer Brothers Started Making Movies Early
The Duffer brothers found a calling in film early in life. They claim that they made their first film in fourth grade. Maybe that’s why they’re so interested in casting kids as the leads.
It’s Meant to Relate to Normal People… Really
The Duffer twins have said that they like King and Spielberg stories because they involved everyday character that people can relate to. As freaky and out-there as the storyline for Stranger Things is, the characters are carefully crafted to give the sense of “ordinary meets the extraordinary. We appreciate that it’s one of the few family-friendly TV shows that kids and parents truly enjoy watching together.
The Show Was Originally Set in the Duffer Twins’ Hometown
Although Stranger Things is set in Indiana, the Duffer twins originally envisioned in being filmed in their hometown of Montauk, on the coast of North Carolina. But for various reasons they ended up shooting in Atlanta, so they had to change the location of the story. They picked Indiana because it has a more “Anywhere, USA” vibe.
It Took Two Months to Come Up With a Name for the Town
Relocating the setting wasn’t a big deal, but settling on a name for the fictional town was far from easy. In fact, it took nearly two months to decide. The biggest issue was the legal necessity of coming up with a name that didn’t already exist. Hawkins wasn’t their first choice, but the directors say they’re happy with it.
The Actress That Plays Eleven is a True Professional
In an interview with NPR, the Duffer brothers gushed about how lucky they were to find 11-year old Millie Bobby Brown for the role of Eleven. It’s a tough role to pull off, even for adult actors since emotions have to be conveyed without words. They said she was such a pro on set that she’d ask to do another take, and then deliver an even better performance. And her instincts are on par with her much more experienced co-stars.
Photo credits: Netflix