Stranger Things is an American science fiction-horror web television series created, written, directed and co-executive produced by the Duffer Brothers, as well as co-executive-produced by Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen. The first season stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, and Matthew Modine, with Noah Schnapp and Joe Keery in recurring roles. The second season will see Schnapp and Keery promoted to series regulars, along with the addition of Sadie Sink and Dacre Montgomery.
Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, the first season focuses on the investigation into the disappearance of a young boy by his friends, older brother and traumatized mother and the local police chief, amid supernatural events occurring around the town including the appearance of a psychokinetic girl who helps the missing boy’s friends in their own search. The second season is set a year after the first, and deals with attempts of the characters to return to normal and consequences from that season.
The Duffer Brothers developed the series as a mix of investigative drama alongside supernatural elements with childlike sensibilities, establishing its time frame in the 1980s and creating a homage to pop culture of that decade. Several themes and directorial aspects were inspired and aesthetically informed by the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Stephen King, among others.
The series was released on Netflix on July 15, 2016. It received critical acclaim for its characterization, pacing, atmosphere, acting, soundtrack, directing, writing and homages to 1980s genre films. The series has received several industry nominations and awards, including winning the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2016. On August 31, 2016, Netflix renewed the series for a second season of nine episodes, which is set to be released on October 31, 2017.