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A Netflix Anatomy - Stranger Things

All the inspirations behind it

A Netflix Anatomy - Stranger Things All the inspirations behind it

1983 Hawkins, Indiana.

A little boy disappears.

The sheriff looks for him.

His mother, a wonderful Wynona Ryder, looks for him.

And, above all, his friends Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), helped by a strange girl with paranormal powers, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), look for him.

The story unfolds between unexplained facts, secret experiments, supernatural forces, mysteries, a monster and a parallel universe, the upside down.


In between there are Dungeons & DragonsThe GooniesStand by MeAlien and ET, Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, John Carpenter and all the 80s nostalgia.

Matt and Ross Duffer, creators and directors of Stranger Things, recreated on-screen a slice of that decade, encapsulating in 8 episodes their childhood (they were born in 1984), books, movies, games and the atmosphere, the mood of the times they were kids.

That, along with a great cast, is the secret which made their work the cult series of the moment: the pervasive immersion into the American pop imaginary of the eighties, full of quotations and references to the culture of that period (so many that finding them all has become the most popular sport of the web).

Curious? If you have not seen it yet, you are still on time before Stranger Things 2 starts in summer 2017.


FEEL LIKE: Arthur Fellig, Mary Ellen Mark, Marc Cohen, William Eggleston

The strength of Stranger Things is it recreates the slice of an era so well that it makes you feel the taste, the smells, the feelings of it – even better if you were a kid in the 80s. 

Arthur Fellig, Mary Ellen Mark, Marc Cohen, William Eggleston, William Klein have this in common with the Netflix series. They have the power to recreate the essence of human life in an instant with "extraordinary, effective, honest, beautiful and unforgiving photographsas American photographer and writer Eudora Welty said talking about Eggleston.


DRESS LIKE: Gosha Rubchinskiy

If right now there's a designer who perfectly embodies Stranger Things' style, that's Gosha Rubchinskiy.

His mix of sweatshirts, T-shirts, track suits, denim jackets with frequent intersections between sportswear and the aesthetics of post-Soviet Russia youth culture makes for perfect outfits for the most acclaimed series of 2016's kids.

And then there's Barb: bright orange hair, big glasses, mom jeans, bow blouses, ruffles, pale blue winter coat. This kind of glam nerd jumps straight out from a Gucci by Alessandro Michele's show. Almost no one notice when she disappears, doomed to a bad end, but through the web the motto #WeAreAllBarb is spreading.


THINK LIKE: Stephen King's Different Seasons

Even Stephen King himself wrote it in a tweet: watching Stranger Things is like watching a greatest hits of his own work.

Within the Netflix series the works of the thrill writer intersect, forming a compelling unicum.

There is It, in which a group of friends must save the city from a monster. There is Firestarter with the girl who has paranormal powers, but also Christine, The Dead Zone, The Shining and others. Feels strong echoes of The Body, contained story in Different Seasons which inspired the famous film with River Phoenix Stand by Me. The scenes from this film were even recited by hundreds of children during the castings.

The brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, series creators, have admitted to the Wall Street Journal "Those movies and the books were an important part of our childhood. What made those great stories and were logged on to each other was the exploration of the point where the ordinary meets the extraordinary."


SOUND LIKE: The Clash, Should I Stay or Should I Go

Into the soundtrack curated by Nora Felder there are hits by Foreigner, Joy Division, Jefferson Airplane, Joy Division, The Bangles, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Peter Gabriel, original instrumental tracks reminiscent of 70s-80s synthpop and an official theme song by Survive, but the real Stranger Things anthem is "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash. The song, written by Mick Jones in 1981 and included in the album "Combat Rock", is the means through which Will, disappeared and trapped in the upside manifests his presence to his brother Jonathan and to his mother, who desperately looks for a clue capable of denying his death and to help her save him.


TASTE LIKE: Eggo waffles

During the series Eleven eats a lot: potato chips, Benny's burger, ice cream, smarties, Pringles, apples, bananas, peanuts, Bazooka Joe gum, wafers, Mrs. Wheeler's meatloaf, chocolate pudding, but, above all, tons of Eggo waffles.

Fun fact: on set someone asked Millie Bobby Brown aka Eleven which ice cream flavor she'd prefer eating. She said vanilla, but decided to go for what was more telegenic, which was strawberry. Too bad the actress hates it and, so after filming the scene, she ended throwing up in the toilet.



Ok. The many references, more or less hidden, to 80s culture are pivotal, but what makes the series so special is the bond between Will, Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Eleven.

Those friends you have when you're a child. That deep, stubborn and sincere childhood friendship. That feeling that unites us, makes us feel strong, fearless and able to take on the world and its ugliness.