An Ode to Barbara from “Stranger Things”

Stranger Things debuted when I was mired in finals so I didn’t have a time to watch it when it first came out. So I’ve been binge-watching it now and finally finished it yesterday. Surprise, surprise, I love it!
The music is perfect, the performances are strong, and the story is spooky. On a level, I know I’m being pandered to based on my nostalgia for media from the 80s but I don’t even care because the attention paid to the details makes it worthwhile.
Things are going to get spoiler-ish from here on out so stop reading now if you don’t want things to be spoiled.
Stop now!
I’m here to talk about my favorite character, who I wish we’d seen in more than two episodes, Barbara “Barb” Holland (Shannon Purser).
Barbara is Nancy Wheeler’s (Natalia Dyer) best friend. She’s loyal to her friend but isn’t afraid to call her out when she does stupid things, like hanging out with a gang of jerks because they’re popular.
Stranger Things follows a group of misfits and obviously appeals strongly to the misfit demographic. Maybe that’s why Barbara appeals so strongly to fans?
She’s older than the group of boys the show follows. And she clearly doesn’t care what people think of her, but she still hurts when she’s rejected by her friend. At least Mike, Will, Lucas, and Dustin have each other when things get rough. Barb’s at that age where you watch the people you know become popular and you’re just kind of left behind.
Barb sitting alone on a diving board is all of us who ever went to a party, against our better judgment, and hated every minute of it, but really hoped this time would be different, that this time we’d fit in. Oh, Barb, I’d probably accidentally cut myself with a bottle-opener too.
I really wanted Barb to survive the Upside Down, I wanted her to be a fierce final girl. She tried but she wasn’t.
Barb, you deserved better.


About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
This entry was posted in 1980's, 21st century, supernatural, tv and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to An Ode to Barbara from “Stranger Things”

  1. crazycanuck says:

    This show is the ultimate 80’s love letter; references to King, Spielberg(or his Mexican non-union equivalent), Carpenter, and Raimi abound.Luv it! Poor Barb, she got shafted..although I hear we might get some more love for her next season. Stranger Things Happen Again-Barb’s Revenge!!

    • scarina says:

      It really, really is. I’m 33 and, in a way, I know I’m being pandered to but the material is so good that I don’t even care.
      Poor Barb, she deserved so much better.

  2. crazycanuck says:

    Please pander, can’t get enough. I love the cast, filled with kids who can act! Let’s see what season 2 brings us-no sophomore jinx please.

    • scarina says:

      The kids are outstanding. I love that they’re not Disney-fied, they call each other “pussy” like actual damn middle schoolers do.
      I just wish it could get a physical release, I want to own this.

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