Stranger Things is officially a juggernaut. The first season was a phenomenon, the second season is currently burning up the Netflix servers, and future seasons are being discussed and teased by just about everyone associated with the show. It’s a big deal. And because it’s a big deal, there’s going to be a temptation to bleed every dollar out of the franchise in not necessarily great ways. That’s right, the time has come to talk spinoffs. Lots of them. About lots of things in the Stranger Things universe. They have plenty of options if they really want to do it.
How do I know? Well, because I have ideas. Bad ideas, mostly. I’ve listed a few of them below. I simultaneously want none of these to ever get made and all of these to get made immediately. It’s fine. I’m fine. Stop looking at me like that.
Let’s rip open a portal and dive in.
You know how everyone loved the Rock/Statham pairing in Fate of the Furious so much that the studio decided to greenlight a spinoff starring their two characters that will come out before the next full Fast & Furious movie, even though it is apparently tearing the Fast Family apart? That’s basically what we’re doing here. The pairing of Dustin and Steve was the best part of season two, especially when “King Steve” tried to take Dustin under his wing and teach him about girls and hair and being popular. That’s what this is: a one-season digression between seasons two and three that focuses entirely on Steve teaching Dustin to be cool. No monsters, no labs, no possessed children. Many montages, though. So many montages, most of them taking place at the mall or in front of a mirror as Steve helps Dustin learn how to dress and groom himself. Lots of shots of Steve looking up from a magazine and sliding his sunglasses down his nose to examine Dustin’s look and then shaking his head dismissively.
I know I sold these ideas as “pretty crappy” right up at the top, but the more I type this out the more I think I might be serious. The best part will be when we come back for season three and, blammo, Dustin is suddenly super cool. It’ll be so weird.
Small Town Dreams, Big City Danger
Nancy deserves better. This is just a fact. Her romantic options in Hawkins leave plenty to be desired (Jonathan is a drip, Steve is busy with mentoring at-risk youths, Billy is trying to bang her mom), and even beyond that, the town seems too small for her. Nancy has dreams. Nancy has ambition.
And that’s why Nancy is now attending Columbia. Yup, we are leaping forward a year or so to Nancy’s freshman year at the New York City Ivy League institution, where she is majoring in… I don’t know, let’s say journalism. Her experiment in duping the media to get justice for Barb inspired her. Are secretive government employees after her in the Big Apple, trying to keep her quiet? Probably! Does she need to enlist the help of a grizzled reporter to break the story and keep her safe? I guess so! Isn’t this starting to sound kind of a lot like the plot of The Pelican Brief? Shut up! I’m just trying to do right by Nancy here. We can work out the kinks later. Or just lean into it and cast Denzel Washington. Either way.