If the trailer for Quibi’s new series When the Street Lights Go On is giving you major Stranger Things vibes, there’s more than one good reason for that. The series is directed by Rebecca Thomas, one of the helmers behind Netflix’s beloved sci-fi series, and it leans heavily into the nostalgia factor of coming-of-age in another decade. Unlike in Stranger Things, it’s the ‘90s instead of ‘80s that’s explored through the eyes of the show’s teenage characters.
When the Street Lights Go On tells the story of a suburban community rocked by the murder of a beautiful and popular teenager, Chrissy (Looking For Alaska’s Kristine Froseth). In very Stephen King-meets-Steven Spielberg fashion, the show is narrated by one of the teens in the town, Charlie (It star Chosen Jacobs), as he looks back on the “summer of ‘95, the hottest summer in years,” when the “single of the season was Seal’s ‘Kiss From a Rose’ and Jim Carrey was the biggest star in Hollywood.”
Charlie’s summer is initially carefree, involving trips to the pool with friends and discussions of that infamous Marilyn Manson rib removal rumour. Then, Charlie discovers two bodies in the woods — and just like that, everything is different. Queen Latifah stars as the detective attempting to put the pieces together of this surreal murder, one that also marks the death of Charlie’s childhood.
When the Street Lights Go On has a unique history. It is based on a feature film script by then 21-year-old AFI students Chris Hutton and Eddie O’Keefe, which placed second on the Blacklist but failed to find funding as a feature film. It was then reimagined for TV, with director Brett Morgen helming an hour-long pilot for Hulu, which screened at Sundance in 2017. Ultimately, the show didn’t go to series. Last year, When the Street Lights Go On was picked up by Quibi with a new script, one that takes the original ‘80s setting and swaps it out for a ‘90s aesthetic. As with all Quibi series, each chapter of the story will be told in 10-minute portions.
Check out the trailer below:
Quibi launches on April 6 and will be available through Bell in Canada.