This summer’s biggest hit isn’t a movie… it’s a TV show.
A Netflix original series, to be exact.
Stranger Things premiered on July 15, 2016. The season has 8 episodes ranging from 42- 55 minutes (aka the runtime of an hour- long show without commercials). The series stars few big names, four little kids, and takes place in 1983.
People love the show for its high- fidelity nostalgia. Stranger Things feels a lot like early Steven King adaptations such as Silver Bullet and Pet Semetary, but has decidedly dark 21st- century vibes akin to American Horror Story. The whole thing makes for a creepy, fun, slightly disturbing summer sleeper.
Any mystery opens a Pandora’s Box of unanswered questions. Here, I answer a few:
Q: Is Stranger Things based on a true story?
A: Maybe! The Duffer Brothers drew heavily from Preston Nichol’s 1992 book The Montauk Project. Nichols claims to have participated in government research projects at Montauk Air Force Station in Long Island, similar to the experiments at Hawkins Lab. Conspiracy theorists believe the government experimented on humans to develop a psychological weapon. Most people classify the story as science fiction. The Air Force decommissioned Montauk in 1981.
Q: Did Steven King have anything to do with Stranger Things?
A: The Duffer Brothers openly cite King stories like The Body as influences, but King had nothing to do with production. He likes, it though.
Q: Can I binge this show?
A: It takes just under 8 hours, aka a full work day. You definitely can, but I recommend watching the episodes in pairs to build anticipation.
Q: Can my kids watch this?
A: They can, but they will probably have nightmares. The boys in the story are 12. I’m going with 12 and up.
Q: Who sings that excellent cover of “Heroes” at the end of Episode 3?
A: Glad you asked! Peter Gabriel sings the cover David Bowie’s “Heroes”. You can find the track on his album Scratch My Back, which is fantastic.
Q: Did Barb die?
Q: Will Netflix produce a second season?
A: Netflix exec Reed Hastings says Netflix would be “dumb” to pass up a second season. So most likely.
Q: Who are these Duffer Brothers?
A: Twins Matt and Ross Duffer grew up in North Carolina and graduated from Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. They wrote 4 episodes for M. Night Shyamalan’s Fox series Wayward Pines (2015-) and wrote and directed the feature film Hidden (2015). They are 32.
Q: Okay, I watched the whole series and now I want more! What should I watch? I have Netflix.
A: The X Files, duh.
Wanna talk theories? Check out Stranger Things Reddit right here.