How Will Stranger Things Deal With Puberty?

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Adolescents grow fast. If you don't remember this from your own childhood, just look at stills from the first season of Stranger Things next to current photos of its stars promoting season 2. This rapid growth has been noticeable in TV and movie franchises before — Harry Potter, the Stark kids, Will on Lost — but some execs at Netflix were particularly worried about how it would affect their smash hit's upcoming seasons.
"Every time you have a show that relies so heavily on the charm of kids, you want to capture that," an anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter. That's why the streaming service reportedly wanted Stranger Things to shoot seasons 3 and 4 back-to-back.
This sounds like a good idea in theory. A lot of the innocence and wonder of the Stranger Things' first season rested on their youth. Would we worry about Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) as much if he lost that wide-eyed look and has an Adam's apple? Would it be okay for a bunch of older teenage boys to hide a 17-year-old Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in their home? But if the upcoming seasons of the show try to replicate everything, we'd lose interest anyway.
More to the point, creators Matt and Ross Duffer, along with executive producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen, told Netflix there was no way they could make the show on that kind of timetable. Given how long it's taken them to finish one more season — season 2 premieres on October 27, more than 15 months after season 1 — we're inclined to believe them.
"[T]here’s a handcrafted quality to Stranger Things,Ross Duffer told New York magazine, explaining why it takes them so long to make one season. "We’re a little controlling."
Instead of rushing, the Duffers said they will try to accommodate the kids' ages with the plot. “We just have to keep adjusting the story,” Matt Duffer said. “Though I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year.”
How did they adjust the plot for season 2? That's hard to say since all we know is that it takes place around Halloween of 1984, and there is something demonic haunting Hawkins, Indiana that may or may not have something to do with the video game Dragon's Lair.
After this season, Netflix shouldn't be too worried about the aging kids — the raging hormones of puberty are great fuel for horror stories. What the company may want to solve instead is the fact that the Duffers don't want the show to go on indefinitely.
"We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out," Ross told New York. Someone ask Eleven to fix this, please.
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