Stranger Things is one of those shows that you binge-watch it, excitedly taking in all the “facts” being presented to you and just like an excitable child at Christmas accept all of them as honest truth, because all you care about is where the hell Will is and how he’s going to be rescued from this real-life dungeons and dragons saga.
But just like Christmas, when you have some time to reflect, you realise that all isn’t as it seems. In the same way that a man was never going to shove his arse down your chimney (who has a fucking chimney these days anyway?) without either dying or being arrested, there’s no way that a group of twelve year old boys would be allowed out of the house to go “demogorgon” hunting when one of their best friends has just disappeared.
Before you start getting all hoity toity, I’m not talking about the unbelievable bits of science fiction, because if you can’t let loose and believe in that then there’s no hope for you anyway. I’m talking about the everyday stuff that would NEVER happen, that makes even the “upside down” look more feasible than real life:
*This article involves spoilers bigger than Eleven’s eyes, look away now if you haven’t finished the whole series*
Why does no one care that Barb dies?
For starters, and it’s one Twitter certainly picked up on, why does no one care or even really notice that Barb goes missing/dies? When Will went missing they not only had a massive search party, but also a vigil and a special assembly. Barb doesn’t even get a look-in. I know she wasn’t the most popular girl at school, but neither was Will, and all you see of her parents is that awkward phone call from Nancy. Should Nancy have put a bit more effort in, rather than focusing on her lost v plates? And why doesn’t Nancy’s mum go to the police? It’s not like she’s busy looking after her other children, one of which is hiding a child with pyschokinetic, daemon-portal opening skills in her basement.
Why are Nancy and Mike’s parents so shit?
Leading on from that, why are the Wheeler parents just so uninterested in any of the terrifying shit going on in and around their household. I get that their dad being absent might be some kind of motif around eighties parenting, but he seems almost as vacant as when we eventually see Barb’s poor lifeless body in the “upside down”. And someone should definitely call the social on the mum. Despite everything that’s going on, her main point of concern is Nancy losing her virginity, even when she finds out about Barb. As aforementioned she has no idea Eleven is living in her house, let’s Mike and the rest of the gang go out at night despite what’s happened with Will and then fails to do anything even when Mike runs out clearly freaked out of his mind when Papa’s crew turns up. Oh, and her only support for Joyce was to go round with a freezer dinner. Basically, there’s no hope for Holly growing up. Poor kid.
Where are Dustin and Lucas’ parents?
Maybe I’m giving Karen a bit of a hard rap, considering that Dustin and Lucas’s parents seem to be completely out of the scene. Even Eleven’s “Papa” seems to care more…
Johnathan and Nancy’s Friendship
I get his brother’s just gone missing, and you know, I’m a J-fan as much as the next person, but I just don’t think there’s anyway Johnathan and Nancy would have started hanging out? He hid in the shadows and took pictures of her making out with her boyfriend, the night her best friend went missing. That is pretty creepy, even in the context of all the supernatural shit that’s going on. Why doesn’t she consider that he might be the one that knocked off Barb and Will in the first place, rather than befriending him and following him into a dark forest? Also, with all that aside, we’ve all felt the compulsion and heartache of first love. No matter how much of a dick Steve is, I just don’t think she’d befriend Jonathan if she thought it would ruin their relationship.
Why does Chief Hopper not take the fake body and run with it to the White House or something?
The whole fake body thing is a massive deal. Just imagine if that actually happened: a boy goes missing in your home town, everyone is led to believe that he sadly drowned in the quarry, but in then turns out the government faked the whole thing and used some horrendous cotton wool stuffed doll to cover up the whole thing. It also means that everyone who attended the “we’ve found the dead boy” call was also in on the whole thing, which I guess is the only explicable reason why (again) no one reported four children out and about at a crime scene at night. Anyway, in addition to all that when Chief Hopper discovered the body, why didn’t he grab it and run with it out of the morgue to the local press/government/media someone? I know the FBI or whoever they are, aren’t exactly very trustworthy but someone out there surely would have taken an interest in the proof that the whole thing was a big lie. Also, it’s pretty hard to believe that Jim would ever have been allowed back at work after beating up most of the next town’s police service, as well at the guy at the morgue…
Why does Will not freak out and tell his mum about vomiting ?
I get not wanting to ruin Christmas and everything, but there is no way as a twelve-year-old I’d have had the restraint to not freak out if I vomited a bit of other-wordly lizard. Especially when you consider what Will’s just been through. I’d have ran back screaming and shouting so that everyone in Hawkins knew about it, if it meant I didn’t face having to go into the “upside-down” again. Does it mean Will is actually down with being part demogorgon now? Or were children in the eighties just insanely polite? I’ve seen Breakfast Club, and I just don’t buy it.
Did you notice anything glaringly obvious in Stranger Things? Let us know in the comments.