(Spoiler warning: Avert your ever-scrolling eyes if you haven’t seen both seasons of Stranger Things, the Netflix show about telekinesis, monsters, and kids that should be watched more closely by their parents). TV shows are like portals, sucking us in over and over again to help us escape our mundane and stressful lives. Unlike stand-alone films, television series can foster emotional attachments that keep us wanting more of our favorite characters in each episode and season. We begin hoping for good things to happen to our favorite characters, like for Hopper, the lovable chief of police from Stranger Things, to somehow come out of the upside down alive. We also hope for bad things to happen to the TV jerks, like to the not-so-subtle racist character, Billy, and for fan-pairings like Nancy and Jonathan, both older siblings of the more important (sorry but it’s true) main characters, to become official couples. These shows teach us lessons, make us think in ways we might not usually, and make us wonder what it would be like to be one of those characters.
Personally, it’s difficult for me to get sucked into TV shows other than comedies that you can understand no matter which episode you jump into. (Meaning I don’t usually save up enough brainpower at the end of the day to think about complex dramas). And yet, when I finally joined the hype and began watching Stranger Things, I fell in love. My love of horror and well-thought-out plot-lines and characters were quickly satisfied by this series. I revel in the culture that has surrounded this show, including “Justice for Barb” memes and Halloween costumes based off of the characters. While thinking about the show, I know that I would thrive in most horror situations, stemming from my lack of fear of most “creepy” things and my morbid curiosity. (Actually, you know what? That might make me die sooner. I would have to stick with one of the main characters that can never be allowed to die, like Eleven, the heroine with telekinetic powers.) So if I were a character on any TV show, it would definitely be Stranger Things.
As an actor on the series, ignoring the fact that I actually have no acting talent, it would be amazing to work with the legend, Winona Ryder. It would be wonderful to just meet her because she is an iconic and talented actor, starred in my favorite movie Heathers, and overall seems like a cool person. The other Stranger Things actors seem cool too, but I would take a bullet for my girl Winona.
With my love for Stranger Things so strong that I’ll debate theories with you if you get me started, I would be happy playing any character, even if it were only for a few episodes and I end up dying from a demodog. However, it would be even more fun to stick around for longer to support the kids’ mischievous adventures and help the other characters, you know, not die. (Except for Billy, he’s on his own.) I’d also love to be friends with my favorite characters, Hopper and Steve, the once-jerk who has now become the unfortunate babysitter of kids that constantly almost get themselves killed. I would get justice for the randomly-iconic (dead) character Barb, Nancy’s friend, and the not-so-iconic but well-meaning (also dead) character Bob, who briefly dated Joyce, the only dedicated parent in that town. From this, I would become a small hero until I ultimately die or become part of the “upside down,” because only Eleven can be the real hero in the end.