The Duffer Brothers' Stranger Things swooped in and saved everyone's summer by delivering a nostalgic adventure series that most audiences have embraced wholeheartedly. The series seems to have some serious staying power in terms of being part of pop-culture conversation. Whereas most Netflix series come and go as quickly as most viewers can binge-watch them, this dark ode to an '80s childhood just keeps going and going, producing more exchanges than nearly anything the streaming giant has delivered to subscribers so far.
The continuing conversation around the series has been peppered time and again with questions as to whether or not Netflix plans to move forward with a second season and beyond. While there have been some rumblings from the higher-ups at the company – most notably with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings saying they would be "dumb not to" renew the show – nothing official has emerged as of yet. But despite the lack of an official green light on season 2, the series' creators have continued to discuss their plans for the future of Stranger Things and how they would like to incorporate their young cast growing up into the ongoing narrative.
In a new interview with EW, co-creator Matt Duffer reiterated the desire to use Harry Potter as the template for future seasons, saying, "The dream is a Harry Potter situation." That model definitely makes the most sense, as it would allow the series to move forward a year (or more) with each subsequent season, thereby covering the issue of seeing the cast – headed up by Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin – go through the inevitable growth spurts that makes more compressed television narratives require an additional suspension of disbelief.
Following the one-year-at-a-time model would also give the series greater breadth in terms of its storytelling. Each subsequent season – assuming there would be more than two, which seems likely given previous statements by the Duffers – would not only be marked by the strange things that happen in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, but also the strange human drama that typically unfolds as one enters their tumultuous teenage years – which are always bizarre, with or without psychic powers and access to another dimension. And as Duffer says, that particular approach to storytelling appeals to him:
"I love watching kids growing up on camera. So the idea seeing where these kids and these characters are one year later is cool to me. And it allows us to explore the mythology of our nether."
The other obvious advantage of this approach to the series is that it doesn't limit the narrative of Stranger Things to a time when its central characters were just pre-teens. That allows for a much more expansive story line that could see an investigation into the Upside Down go on for many years, and conclude as Eleven (presumably) and her newfound friends Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and the slug-burping Will approach their late teens. The same goes for the older kids like Nancy, Jonathan, and Jean-Ralphio lookalike Steve Harrington, whose everyday concerns would offer a nice balance to the joys and pains of going from being a kid to a young adult. Since the series is obviously fascinated by the pop-culture ephemera of the '80s, it will also be interesting to see how the Duffers choose what films, toys, and other artifacts from the decade will influence their characters as they grow up and perhaps begin to be interested by other things.
While there's no official word on Stranger Things season 2 just yet, Screen Rant will keep you posted with news as it develops.
Stranger Things season 1 is available in its entirety on Netflix.