Gosh darn it, aren't those kids from Stranger Things just the cutest?
The young cast of the hit #Netflix show are always up to some kind of adorable shenanigans, both on and off set!
Like when Eleven used her telekinetic abilities to crush coke cans, so that they could be recycled...
Or that time Eleven fell all sleepy after she... um... sort of killed those people.
Wait, what!? Isn't Stranger Things that fun kids show where the children all play games together and eat a ton of chocolate pudding?
Nope! Stranger Things may star the sweetest kids that the world has seen since children were first invented, but the surprise #TV hit of last summer was also a surprisingly unnerving affair that contained moments of genuine #horror.
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Stranger Things Wasn't Always Going To Be PG-Eleven
As if the demonic slugs and Demogorgons weren't freaky enough, it turns out that Stranger Things was originally set to be even darker in tone. Speaking to Vulture, the Duffer Brothers revealed that the pilot episode of their show was initially rated R in the early development stages, featuring a far more violent and disturbed version of Millie Bobby Brown's Eleven:
“The Eleven character, the kind of powers she has and to have a young protagonist that’s violent — it’s not E.T. It’s not a happy situation. She’s killing people, and brutally murdering them.”
While Eleven did end up killing people in the final cut of the show too, the Duffer Brothers rarely depicted this on screen, instead focusing on the troubled girl's obsession with waffles.
Eleven wasn't the only one who underwent creative changes during this transition. The series creators added that;
“The original pilot was much more violent. It was originally like an R-rated thing. Winona’s character was like, ‘Eff this, eff that!’ It felt a little bit unnecessary. I don’t feel like we sacrificed anything by toning it down a little bit.”
On the one hand, the idea of seeing a more extreme version of Winona Ryder's character fills us with joy — but ultimately, it seems as though the Duffer Brothers made the right decision.
Should 'Stranger Things' Be R-Rated?
The key draw of Stranger Things is the show's nostalgic tone, hearkening back to childhood favorites such as E.T., The Goonies and Stand By Me. To eschew this in favor of more sex and violence would have alienated a huge percentage of the show's audience, denying Stranger Things the attention that it deserves.
Despite this though, the Duffers have revealed that they're now intent on including more of these adult themes in the second season of Stranger Things. During an interview with Vanity Fair, the show runners explained that;
"Season 2 is bigger and potentially darker in its stakes. The threat, which in Season 1 was to Will Byers, has grown. That’s all I’m going to say! But, I will say Season 2 has a bigger cast and is definitely loyal to the kind of magical storytelling that we established in the first season. It’s character-based and still about our core group of characters."
While it seems unlikely that Eleven will become a full-blown psychopath in Season 2, telekinetically snapping necks with gleeful abandon, the events of Season 1 will have undoubtedly affected her and the rest of the cast in a number of unexpected ways, paving the way for a darker sophomore outing.
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The way that Stranger Things balances the innocence of childhood with the dangers of adolescence works on both a symbolic and literal level, setting the show apart from its contemporaries. Fans are fortunate then that the Duffer Brothers decided to hold back on the R-rated content as this would have compromised the very essence of the show. Let's just hope that the series creators remember this when Stranger Things returns to our screens sometime in 2017.