Stranger Things is an American science fiction-horror web television series created, written, and directed by the Duffer Brothers. The Duffer Brothers, Shawn Levy, and Dan Cohen serve as executive producers. The first season, released in July 2016, 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. For the second season, Schnapp and Keery were promoted to series regulars, along with the additions of Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, Sean Astin and Paul Reiser.
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 amid supernatural events occurring around the town, including the appearance of a girl with psychokinetic abilities who helps the missing boy’s friends in their own search. The second season, titled Stranger Things 2, is set a year after the first, and deals with attempts of the characters to return to normal and consequences that linger from the first season.
The Duffer Brothers developed the series as a mix of investigative drama alongside supernatural elements portrayed with childlike sensibilities. They established its time frame in the 1980s and created an 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, including several films, anime and video games.
The first season 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, and receiving nineteen nominations for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards and another twelve nominations for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, both including Outstanding Drama Series.
On August 31, 2016, Netflix renewed the series for a second season of nine episodes, which was released on October 27, 2017. In December 2017, Netflix ordered a third season, which began production in April 2018 and will consist of eight episodes, and is expected to be released in mid-2019. The Duffer Brothers have said that Stranger Things is likely to end after its fourth or fifth season.