Stranger Things has the perfect formula for success — kids riding bikes while on a mission, an Evil Dead reference, and synths. Beyond the aforementioned holy trifecta, Netflix’s horror/sci-fi hit has charm oozing from the dozens of references to Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and ’80s pop culture. It’s a period piece and a love letter to the Hollywood Midwest terrorized by boogeymen over the last 40 years.
Beyond being the best X-Files Monster of the Week extended episode ever, Stranger Things is a loose tribute to Indiana. You know, Hollywood’s Indiana. Eerie Indiana. The train tracks are just a bike ride away and you can smell the burned leaves piercing the crisp perpetual fall.
Writer, director, executive producers the Duffer brothers have jam-packed a full eight hours of horror and pop culture references into Stranger Things, so it’s entirely possible that Steve Harrington, Nancy’s flame, and possible future long-time boyfriend, is the father of Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Recreation.
On this subject, I have two theories.
Steve is Jean-Ralphio’s real father.
This theory is based on the belief that Dr. Saperstein is not Jean-Ralphio’s real father. We don’t know yet, but considering how the denizens of Hawkins, Indiana don’t seem to be through with the dark entity unleashed upon them, it’s safe to say Steve will eventually be taken to his doom, or will completely lose his mind.
In the latter case, perhaps Steve shames the family with his gasoline buying, nailbat-making ways. He goes to the psych ward (or is eaten by a monster) with Nancy following in his footsteps. However, they have twins — Jean-Ralphio.