Stranger Things has taken online fandom by storm. What’s not to love about a sci-fi/horror series with quirky kids and our favorite stuff from the 1980’s?
kids living in small-town Hawkins, Indiana during the 1980s. Then their friend Will Byers disappears mysteriously one night on his way home from playing Dungeons and Dragons.
The boys meet a young girl named Eleven who has strange powers and information about Will, but they don’t know whether to trust her. The show is a roller coaster ride between the real world and the world of the upside down with a secret government facility that experiments on children and monsters that find their way to Hawkins. If you haven’t had a chance to see it and you are a sci-fi/horror buff; you should find some time. Be aware; Stranger Things is highly addicting. You won’t be able to stop after just one episode!
Stranger Things Season One Nominated for 18 Emmies
Stranger Things was nominated for 18 Emmys for its first season in 2017. And while they took home five of the coveted awards that year; they didn’t do as well as the critics thought they would. Still not a bad showing for the first season out; if you ask me!
The show was nominated for Outstanding in:
- Main Title Design
- Original Main Title Theme Music
- Casting for a Drama Series
- Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series
- Sound Editing for a Series
While the reception Stranger Things was given by the award judges may have been lukewarm; the fan reception for the show has been extremely hot. Stranger Things has developed a kind of cult following. And it happened really fast.
Everybody Loves the 1980s
The show takes place in the early 1980’s which is part of its charm and without doubt one of the reasons it took off so quickly. Every episode is filled with toys, foods, television programs and fashions of the era. This way parents are getting just as hooked on the show as their kids.
Like most teenagers; the characters are swept up by the trends and merchandise of the day, and the feelings of nostalgia are real if you were around when this stuff was popular.
And the music! The soundtrack is great. Especially if you are a fan of the 1980’s. You will find yourself singing along to songs you haven’t heard in a while. Grab yourself a Pepsi and some Pop Rocks and you will be ready to roll! The showrunners even cast Winona Ryder, the 1980s star of cult favorites Beetlejuice and Heathers, as Will’s mom.
Nostalgia. That is one of the absolute coolest things about Stranger Things. We are reminded of a time of Ghostbusters and Eggo Waffles and ET when kids played outside all day long. It summons a time before cell phones when you could either call your friend on the landline or — if you were super cool — you could get them on your high-tech walkie-talkie. Good times.
And brands that were popular in the eighties are making bank!
Stranger Merchandise and Things
The show has inspired some pretty cool merchandise. There are key chains and action figures and hat pins and t-shirts for every kind of collector under the sun.
UGP Campus Apparel World Full Of Tens, Be an 11 – Stranger Of Things T-Shirt
This show is super popular, so the merchandise has been too.If you are looking for your own Funko Pop Eleven figure, there are plenty to choose from. Not to mention the plushies… so many plushies!
Funko Supercute Plush: Stranger Things-Demogorgon Collectible
Funko Pop Stranger Things Eleven with Eggos Vinyl Figure, Styles May Vary – With/Without Blonde Wig
And “Unicorn” Products, Like this Eleven Ketchup Dispenser
Stranger Things has many fans, and among them is Adam the Creator, a prolific meme maker. That brings us to the above Eleven ketchup dispenser. Alas, Diply reports it’s from the diabolical mind of Adam the Creator, so it is a Unicorn product. That is, a product that we wish existed, but so far, it just doesn’t outside our imagination.
And you will find Stranger Things merchandise in the strangest places; pun intended. Check out this ketchup dispenser. I have even run into Stranger Things hat pins for sale at local concerts!
What could be more “80s kid” than a charm bracelet?
Stranger Things Charm Bracelet by BlingSoul Premium Quality Movie Jewelry Collection
The Eggo Waffle Purse
Just poke your head into a flea market and you will be amazed. You can even find this stuff at many gas stations. It’s a thing.
This Eggo Waffle purse is a prime example of how the nostalgia created by the show is making brands a lot of money. You can find all kinds of neat Stranger Things/Eggo themed merchandise if you look. From “Leggo My Eggo” T-shirts to lunch boxes you can deck yourself out six ways to Sunday!
Don’t want an Eggo purse? Check out this awesome game that would make any 80’s kid swoon:
Stranger Things Eggo Card Game
Christmas Tree Light Alphabet
And now you can get your very own version of Joyce Byers Christmas Tree Light Alphabet so you can try to contact The Upside Down whenever you want! Demogorgon not included. At least I don’t think they’d be able to ship that guy.
If you are looking for something easier to fit into your life, say, smaller, but just as awesome, check out these socks!
Oooh Yeah Women’s Crew Socks Stranger
Stranger Things Costumes
The last two Halloween seasons have been good years for the Stranger Things franchise. You couldn’t go to a Halloween party or walk down the street during trick-or-treat time without seeing someone dressed up as Eleven; box of Eggos in hand, or someone with Christmas Tree lights draped around their shoulders. Everything was Demogorgon focused.
We couldn’t get enough of the Demogorgan Mask by @RubiesCostumeCo spotted at the Halloween & Party Expo! What do you guys think? #demogorgan #halloweenparyexpo #strangerthings #escapade #fancydress #costumes pic.twitter.com/Ag0SHigIIA
— Escapade Fancy Dress (@Escapade_UK) January 19, 2018
My 7 year old wanted to be Eleven for Halloween. When I asked her what she wanted to do with her hair she just said, "Shave it," with a straight face. So we did. She LOVES Stranger Things and the character you play means a lot to her. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/63dUGYqcZx
— ᴅᴏʀɪᴀɴ ʀᴇɴ (@DorianDarkstar) January 14, 2018
— Stephanie R (@BroadStGhoulie) January 14, 2018
Stranger Things Fan Art
Fans everywhere have been inspired by the Stranger Things phenomenon. You can find everything from paintings to animations popping up as people express their love for the show.
“Are you sweet on Barb? Us too. That’s why this year, in search of an alternative to the sickly-sweet Valentine’s Day content we’re all accustomed to, we called in our favorite candy conjurer, Christine McConnell. And boy, did she deliver.” . Christine McConnell’s Stranger Things Valentine’s Day spread, full article at food.com
One of the main themes running through Stranger Things is friendship. The mantra you will hear over and over again is “friends don’t lie.” Will says this to Eleven and the idea has a huge impact on her understanding of what friendship ought to be. Friendship is inspiring and shows up often in Stranger Art fan art.
Another friendship focused piece that is very poignant by artist ErinTuohhy. Without throwing any spoilers out there; Eleven evolves from wondering what a friend is to understanding first-hand why friends sacrifice for each other.
Stranger Things Inspired Fan Pages
Like any great inspiring work of art; Stranger Things has prompted fans to create fan pages galore. These are places where fans can gather and share everything and anything related to the show. Netflix has an official Stranger Things page on their website. You can watch trailers for past and upcoming seasons here, and there are interviews with cast members and other video extras to view.
Image: CC 2.0 by Eva Blue via Flickr
Reddit Stranger Things Fan Page
Reddit.com has their own Stranger Things fan page where you can find a lot of activity. This is a cool place to hang out if you are a fan and don’t want to be bothered with spoilers. Even better, Reddit labels anything that has spoilers in it. That’s pretty awesome.
Wikipedia Stranger Things Fan Page
One of my favorite Stranger Things fan pages is on Wikipedia.The page is filled with videos and articles written by fans for fans. The official fan pages are always fun but the really good stuff often comes from the fans. The creators of Stranger Things think so too. They monitor the most popular fan theories out there and will even let us know when we are right.
Stranger Quotes and Things Worth Repeating
All great television shows and movies have lines worth repeating. Stranger Things is no exception. The show is written and produced by The Duffer Brothers and the writing is excellent. The show has a coming of age feel with some extraordinary lessons on friendship for people of all ages.
“Friends don’t lie.” – Eleven
The friendship between the characters, especially the kids, is a true lesson on growing up and learning to be a good friend. The writers make this the thread that ties everything together. Whether you are young or old; you will find many things you relate to when you think about the friendships you have experienced in your life.
“Why are you keeping this curiosity door locked?” Dustin Henderson
Dustin’s character is always good for some hysterical comic relief. He is sarcastic and quick and entirely worth quoting.
“And you shouldn’t like things because people tell you you’re supposed to.” – Will Byers
In this scene the writers take on the idea that you should be your own person. There are many lessons like this woven throughout the show. The writer’s do a fantastic job showing the struggles you face when you are a teenager on your way to becoming an adult.
Like most high schools; Hawkins has bullies. Mike and his friends have to deal with them pretty regularly. Mike calls them mouth breathers. I think he nailed it.
And truly one of my favorites is another really funny series of words from Dustin.
“I am on a curiosity voyage and I need my paddles. These books are my paddles.” – Dustin Henderson
Stranger Things Season Three is in the Works
Netflix has announced that they have renewed Stranger Things for a third season. And while the second season was released on Halloween weekend; there is some speculation as to when the third season will hit the streets. The Duffer Brothers are not willing to give us a timeline. David Harbour, the actor who plays Chief Jim Hopper on the show, is saying we will probably have to wait until early 2019.
Regardless of the date; I will be ready with popcorn in hand to binge my way through Season three in quick form. I personally can’t wait to take another ride on the roller coaster that is Stranger Things!
Feature Image Stranger Things promotional image via Stranger Things Crazy Fans