Since its 2016 premiere on Netflix, Stranger Things has become a cultural phenomenon and a shining example of the streaming era’s success stories. All good things must come to an end, and Stranger Things will be no exception. A fifth and final season is on the way, and it couldn’t come at a better time given the show’s crowded fourth season.
Winona Ryder, who shot to fame in the late ’80s thanks to the spooky classic Beetlejuice, plays one of the series’ main characters. Due to its chronological release, that film forced the creators of Stranger Things, a show steeped in 1980s nostalgia, to bring the series to a close. It’s all Joyce Byers’ fault, but here are the reasons why the Netflix hit must end.
Discovering the Secrets of Beetlejuice’s Epic ’80s Success
Weird Things The events of Season 4 occur in 1986, making it the final chapter of the series to take place in the latter half of that decade. Numerous references to ’80s pop culture, especially the science fiction and horror films that served as inspiration for the show’s plot, have been peppered throughout the series. Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice is a great example of a film that fits this description, and it also happens to take place around the same time as the most recent episodes of the show. In 1988, with the release of Beetlejuice, Winona Ryder and Tim Burton both became household names. After that, she shot to fame and starred in several blockbuster films throughout the ’90s.
Ryder’s portrayal of Lydia Deetz, a gothic teen, in Beetlejuice was a great introduction to Tim Burton’s signature Gothic style for a wide audience. Both Deetz and Beetlejuice became champions of weirdness, and Deetz became something of a Goth icon for a generation. It has not yet been determined how long after the fourth season the events of the fifth will take place, but the next season of Stranger Things is expected to take place after a time jump. However, with the 1988 release date of Beetlejuice being only two years away from the events of the fourth season, the possibility of the Hawkins children seeing Will’s mom on the big screen increases.
Stranger Things Faces a Catch-22 With Winona Ryder’s Star Power
Stranger Things has made numerous allusions to and homages of a wide variety of ’80s films, but including Beetlejuice would be taking things a step too far. After all, Hawkins residents, especially after Winona Ryder’s huge success thanks to the film, must have noticed the striking resemblance between her and a younger Joyce Byers. A character might make a sly aside by asking Will if he’s seen Beetlejuice, then joking that he should watch it because there’s a girl in it who looks just like Will’s mom. As much as it would be endearing to wink at the spectators, it could be too much to believe.
In light of Ryder’s prominent part, the Duffer Brothers have discussed the necessity of wrapping up Stranger Things before Beetlejuice’s actual release date. As an inside joke, they said the series could end with the kids seeing the film in theaters and having their minds blown by Ryder’s portrayal of Lydia Deetz. Even if it were a joke, adding something so obviously tongue-in-cheek to the series finale would be a bad idea. As a result, the series would do well to wrap up the story before 1988, as this would eliminate the potential for confusion.
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