If anyone is in need of proof as to exactly how huge the Netflix original series Stranger Things is, look no further than Halloween 2016. The number of costumes inspired by the nostalgic sci-fi/adventure series are everywhere. It seems people love discussing and paying tribute to the series almost as much as they love watching it.
Although the popularity of the cast of characters is a given, some stand above the others. But the popularity of someone like Barb Holland – the bespectacled best friend of Nancy Wheeler – gained cult-like status after she disappeared into the Upside Down, never to be seen again. Barb’s death came as a genuine shock and was even the source of some indignation when the first series finished without much of an investigation by Hawkins authorities into what exactly happened to her.
Well aware of Barb’s fan base, Netflix has offered a short viral news clip, assuring viewers that the search for the girl described by her friends as “loyal to a fault to Nancy” and “the kind of girl who notices if you’re wearing a new bra,” is underway. The video plays out in jumpy, lo-fi VHS quality, thereby maintaining the beloved 1980s aesthetic that fans have come to know Stranger Things for. While describing Barb, the tongue-in-cheek clip also praises her celebrated appearance, with her “oversized pair of absolutely fantastic glasses” as well as her ability to “really rock a pair of mom jeans”.
Aside from reporting on Barb’s disappearance, the viral clip also reports on a shoplifting spree and strange electrical occurrences that took place at Bradley’s Big Buy, where a “vagrant juvenile” escaped with “an unprecedented number of Ego waffles.” This, of course, is a reference to Millie Bobby Brown’s character Eleven, who is seen loading up on the frozen treats during an episode in the first season. The news segment on Eleven ends with a plea for citizens to relay any information that they may have on the girl to Chief Jim Hopper as well as a warning for viewers to avoid Mirkwood this Halloween – Mirkwood being the nickname given to the road that runs past Hawkins National Laboratory.
The video is a great little wink and nudge to fans as well as a Happy Halloween gesture from Netflix and Stranger Things, but it likely won’t be much of a comfort for those who truly want to see the return of Barb in season 2. The Duffer Brothers have previously stated that the fictional town of Hawkins is dealing with Barb’s disappearance; it’s just that they aren’t devoting any screen time to it. They’ve also stated that they can’t see a return of Barb happening, so it’s safe to say that this little viral video is as close to closure on Barb’s fate as anyone will get.
Fortunately, the Duffer Brothers have a brand new second season on the way, in which new characters will arrive and a deeper understanding of many of the current characters will take place. There may only ever be one Barb, but with such a creative and talented series as this, new favorites will always be in store for Stranger Things’ dedicated fanbase.
Stranger Things season 1 is currently available on Netflix. Season 2 is currently in production and is expected to arrive in 2017.