Scott Haden Church has a confession: At the start of the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” he rolled his eyes.
The opening scene — a person running down a hallway of flickering lights, reaching an elevator and frantically pushing the buttons to escape a mysterious creature — wasn’t anything new. That the person ends up getting demolished by the creature anyway was even more predictable.
Despite his initial hesitation, Church finished the first season of “Stranger Things” in three days. Aside from wondering what happened to Eleven and how being in the Upside Down would continue to affect Will, Church had another question on his mind: Why did he like the show so much?
He wasn’t alone. In 2017, Netflix ratings confirmed that during the first three days season two of “Stranger Things” was made available on Netflix, 15.8 million people watched the first episode. As a whole the season averaged 8.8 million viewers per episode, and 361,000 people watched all nine episodes of the season within the first 24 hours of its release.
Church soon after began his “Stranger Things” research — which he first presented last year at the Pop Culture Association in Indianapolis — by closely watching the show and picking apart the episodes to find how the Duffer brothers had remixed elements of ‘80s pop culture to create a new story.
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