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.
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.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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