Commentary: ‘Stranger Things’ Is A Show Of Sequels

Writing multiples season for a successful TV series is tricky. This is mostly because it’s unknown whether a series is going to be successful or not before it even airs. For this purpose, shows are often bunched in seasons. Writers will create a storyline that lasts the length of their current episode order and then essentially restart the story in subsequent seasons. Some series try to skirt this by crafting a long story from beginning to end. But again, this is tricky because writers never know if a show will air long enough to reach that conclusion. Stranger Things, meanwhile, did something a bit different with their seasons which was successful on a number of different levels.

In the 1980s, sequels for sci-fi and horror franchises were all the rage. And keeping in line with the ’80s theme of the show, the writers chose to treat each individual season not as a new season of television, but a sequel to the one that came before it. It might be a subtle semantic difference, but it’s important when viewing the show through this perspective. If each season is not part of a larger series, then it’s not one continuous story from beginning to end. Just like a sequel in a movie franchise, each season really stands alone as its own independent thing.

In this way, Stranger Things manages to honor its 80s roots while also solving a little bit of a problem other shows have when they start fresh every season. This is usually dictated by the main threat. Different seasons of a show tend to start over by introducing a new enemy the main characters must face. Stranger Things does the same thing too, but since they have taken the “sequel” approach to their seasons it helps to view the show as not one entire story but a collection of separate installments. It’s a subtle but profound perspective that gives the show a unique feel amongst its competition.

Stranger Things is now streaming on Netflix.

Writing multiples season for a successful TV series is tricky. This is mostly because it’s unknown whether a series isCOMICONRead More

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