Like many TV shows, Stranger Things didn’t start out with a big bang. In fact, people were really surprised at how amazing the show was. In its short 8-episode first season, the show has not only been renewed for a second season, with more episodes, but it was nominated for two Critic’s Choice Awards, People’s Choice Award, Grammys, Screen Actors Guild Awards and of course two Golden Globe Awards.
With such critical acclaim in a few short episodes, people are starting to wonder just what about the show makes it so great. And what strange things about Stranger Things that they need to know.
1. The Upside Down
The parallel dimension where the strange and scary things exist, aka the ‘Upside Down’ was partly inspired by the horror video game, Silent Hill.
2. A Soup of Ideas
The creators of the show have revealed that the hit series pulls references from many of Hollywood’s most creative minds. They include Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter.
3. Most Auditions Ever
Finding the young leads for the show was no easy task. Talent scouts and producers auditioned over one thousand children to find the right young actors for the job. If you’re really curious about the numbers, they went through more than 900 boys and just over 300 girls.
4. Head Start
Luckily for Millie Brown, the little girl who plays Eleven, she walked into the audition with a recommendation from none other than Stephen King- one of the men who inspired the show. Back in 2014, he tweeted about her performance in a paranormal British TV show called Intruders.
5. The Demogorgon
The not-so-fun Demogorgon is based on a creature from Dungeons & Dragons. The creature is a combination of lots of practical effects.
6. Salt-y Water
Remember the episode where Eleven floated in the kiddie pool? Well the producers use a whopping 1200 pounds of Epsom salt to achieve the feat.
7. The Kids are Angels
Despite being part of such a dark and scary show, you’d think that the kids would need some kind of psychiatric help after dealing with those daily horrors. But that’s not the case. The wonderful kids of Stranger Things are busy loving the life that the show’s success has brought them; gracing the red carpets at the biggest events in Hollywood.
8. Homework Time
Before filming began, the young actors and actresses had some homework to do. It came in the form of watching some classic films, including The Goonies, Poltergeist and Stand By Me. The writers also had a bit of work to do. Their watch list included movies like E.T., The Thing and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
9. Showing Initiative
Sometimes we tend to underestimate children. This great group of kids took it upon themselves to make a group chat way before the show began filming. It helped their on-screen performances because they had already formed a great bond.
10. Acclaimed Producer
The executive producer of the show, Shawn Levy, is no stranger to the TV/film scene. Shawn, who is also a director, directed movies like The Internship (starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn), Night at the Museum ( starring Ben Stiller) and Date Night (starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey).