Less Barb, More Aliens: What We Want From A Second Season Of ‘Stranger Things’

Seemingly out of nowhere, Stranger Things burst onto the scene and became a sensation that we all had to tell our friends about. A must-binge love letter to the ’80s and the films of the era (with more than a little Stephen King thrown in), the show has sparked memes, the inescapable sensation known as “Barb,” and a few interesting theories. But while this cultural flood of (mostly) goodwill was going on, a worry crept in: Why was Netflix taking so long to renew the show? Thankfully, the network eventually followed through but now our collective dread has transferred from worrying about if we’ll see more of the show to wondering when it will return, what it will be, and whether we will have the same kind of reaction to it. While we don’t have hard answers to all of those questions now, though, we do have a group of eager staffers who wanted to share what they think season two should be.

More Dustin

Honestly, I just don’t want them to mess up a perfect season of television with a mediocre second one. While I am glad that we’re getting more (DUH), part of me would rather have them leave it alone. But in more concrete terms, I would really love it if they avoided a love triangle because they’re the worst. Also more Dustin. That kid knows the importance of snacks and friendship and is, therefore, a child after my own heart. — Alyssa Fikse

Junior Wolf Pack

I think you need to Hangover trilogy this sh*t. Will needs to go missing again. Has to. Will is the Justin Bartha of the junior wolf pack. Also, let’s get Mr. Harris off the bench and into the game. Guy knows about science. He’s a nerd. People love that. Big Bang Theory. Scorpion. He should adopt Eleven.

I like the heat coming off the public’s love for Barb but bringing her back would cheapen it. What if they give her a surprise twin? A blonde twin without glasses. Same girl (unless she’s too expensive now). She’s also really popular and also shorter. — Jason Tabrys

Death And Dungeons And Dragons

I know I’m going to be the odd man out here, but I really hope just about everyone dies in the second season of Stranger Things. Well, maybe they don’t have to die, per se, but they have to disappear to the Upside Down. I liked season one as-is, and I have no need for these characters anymore. I’d much rather this be an anthology piece than a continuation.

I’d also love an episode where the guys just play D&D in the awesome basement for 45 whole minutes. A fun bottle episode if we can’t have everyone die, please. — Jason Nawara

Something Different

I’m also pretty iffy about the need for a second season of Stranger Things, finding the first one pretty satisfying as a self-contained work. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the world or the characters, but I felt like it got the job done. That said, I’d love if season two didn’t delve further into the mythology of the first one but instead explored some other sort of mystery. Not that I wouldn’t want Eleven to come back, but we did the whole big-government-lab-secret-alternate-dimension-thing already. So maybe aliens? Sure. Let’s do aliens. — Keith Phipps

Becoming The Monster?

That giant slug that Will coughed up at the end of season one didn’t seem so great for him, and given that one of the season two episode titles is “Pollywog” (another name for a tadpole), it seems likely some sort of metamorphosis is going to be taking place. But even though season two supposedly picks up a year after the events of season one, I can’t imagine that Will would have gone full-on Demogorgon yet.

So maybe this journey will be also about saving Will, but this time from becoming the monster? And if the Demogorgon comes back does that mean Eleven will be back too? Honestly, I don’t even care what happens as long as they bring Eleven back. — Stacey Ritzen

Don’t Be Such A Barb

I get why Barb is so popular, but I also don’t. She’s Stranger Things‘ most “oh, I’m SUCH a…” character — everyone wants to be cool and attractive Nancy and Steve, but admitting that means you lack humility; it’s better to call yourself “SUCH a Barb,” and let whoever you’re talking to disagree on your behalf. But Barb, who it’s worth mentioning basically slut-shamed Nancy for “going upstairs” with Steve, was terribly underwritten. She’s a curmudgeon to her best friend, disappears, then no one mentions her again. That’s her complete arc. As far as lame friends of teenage protagonists go, she’s no Millie from Freaks and Geeks. I don’t care what happens in season two, so long as no one makes a winking reference to Barb’s absence, or even utters her name. So, basically season one. — Josh Kurp