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Matt and Ross Duffer, the twin brothers who are Stranger Things’ showrunners and series creators, sat down with Yahoo Entertainment and discussed the second season of their celebrated Netflix show with us. We covered quite a bit of Season 2, so if you’re not up to date, consider this your fair warning — spoilers ahead.
In the fifth episode of Stranger Things 2, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) decides that the time has come to confide in his crush and new friend Max (Sadie Sink). While we don’t see all of it, Lucas basically recaps Season 1 for the new kid. Upon hearing all the information, Max responds, “I really liked it. … I had a few issues. I just felt it was a little derivative in parts. I just wish it had a little bit more originality, is all.”
After watching that episode, we couldn’t help but wonder if that wasn’t a sly nod to the critics who covered Season 1. The Duffer Bros. confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment that it was indeed.
“I guess it was a little wink at what we knew were some criticisms leveled at the show,” said Ross Duffer. They tried to keep that element limited, though. “We don’t like movies that are too ironic or self-aware,” he added.
The Duffers said they were surprised how many people glommed onto the references alluded to in the first season. Ross Duffer stressed that they do not prioritize nods to 1980s classics when scripting the season.
“It’s not like when you’re making the show you’re just coming up with, like, ‘Oh we can make a reference to this scene, we can make a reference in this scene,’” Duffer said. “You can’t tell a story like that. So, it wasn’t our No. 1 focus. We were making a love letter to those movies. It wasn’t intended to be ‘Spot the reference.’ We were surprised in that first initial wave of reviews how much of the focus was on [the references]. Which is fine, and I think there’s audience members who love [spotting references].”
“You discuss those movies, but at a certain point, it’s just about us trying to tell the best story we can.”
Stranger Things is streaming now on Netflix.
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