The following contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 2, now streaming on Netflix.
From its endearing characters to its supernatural story and quality cinematography, there’s a lot to like stranger things. One of the things fans love is her constant callbacks to other properties. Season 4 really upped the ante, including elements of star wars, A nightmare on Elm Street and Carrie. These things undoubtedly contributed to making season 4 a huge success. Yet there was an inadvertent reference to Fear the living dead it just didn’t vibrate.
In addition to potentially deadly storylines, stranger things and Fear the living dead don’t seem to have much in common. There are so many stranger things fans that it has become Netflix’s biggest English-language series. FTWD, on the other hand, has consistently lost fans in its final seasons and the remaining fandom loves to hate the show more than anything else. However, there was an unfortunate and undeniable trend that stranger things picked up from the zombie-filled series. Here is a breakdown of FTWD bad influence on Strange things.
Since the reboot of season 4, FTWD was a mess – but the biggest problem is that it’s filled with too many useless characters. On top of that, Season 7 started introducing new characters and killing them off in the same episode. Will appeared in the Season 7 opener but Strand killed him just to drive Alicia crazy. Then Paul arrived in the Season 7B premiere, but it was a complete failure. The same thing happened to Garcia and Ali.
FTWD takes place in the apocalypse, so it makes sense that no one is ever safe. However, it’s gotten to the point that fans know the new characters won’t last long – if they even make it out of the episode. The reason the writers keep doing it is simple: someone has to die in the apocalypse, but they refuse to kill off any of the main actors. This would spark the whole plot-armor conversation that has plagued Season 7 endlessly.
During his four seasons stranger things did the exact same thing. Season 1 kicked things off with a stellar cast – but the following three seasons specifically added a character to kill. These characters always started off as unpopular or as enemies and then grew so much on fans that their death was terribly sad. In Season 2, it was Joyce’s lover, Bob Newby; in season 3 it was Alexi, the Russian scientist, and in season 4 it was Eddie Munson.
stranger things develops his characters better than FTWD because they use a whole season to do it. However, it is clear that the series protects its main actors. Some fans believe Eddie’s death was a cop-out to keep Steve Harrington alive, and star Millie Bobby Brown has called out the show for not having enough deaths to feel realistic.
Introducing characters to kill them didn’t hurt stranger things‘ audience, but it’s still a boring trend. It just makes things more predictable. Season 5 must break the trend and send important characters. If not, conversations about plot armor will begin and comparisons to FTWD persist in. Interestingly enough, the data already points to a significant death in Season 5, so fans will have to see if the pattern is ultimately broken.
Seasons 1-4 of Stranger Things are now streaming on Netflix.