In Stranger Things, the story of each character's search for Will Byers seems to be represented thematically differently. Like Jim Hopper's search follows a conspiracy thriller approach, Joyce Byers's search follows a horror/supernatural theme, Jonathan Byers's search was more like monster horror, and Mike and gang's search represents more of a mystery theme.

Was that intentionally done this way and is my interpretation right for each character's theme?

  • 7
    Interesting interpretation. For me it was more like each of the searches focused on different parts of the equation (Hopper - Department of Energy, Joyce - Upside-Down, Jonathan - The Monster, the kids - Eleven) and that triggered the different theme feeling, although you may of course be right that it was done of purpose, especially in a show that so heavily recycles pop culture themes. Oct 12, 2016 at 21:20
  • 4
    I don't know of any sources to reference, so I'll leave this as a comment, but I don't think there were any artistic differences in the way scenes were shot for each character. They weren't trying to emulate different genres - the whole show was uniformly Lovecraftian. Each character investigated Will's disappearance in the way that made the most sense to them. For example, I wouldn't call the Sheriff's investigation a "crime thriller" just because it involved him breaking noses and asking the sorts of questions policemen ask. That's just how his character operates.
    – Steve-O
    Nov 18, 2016 at 15:39
  • The show was very creative and highly referential, so I'd think your instincts are correct.
    – DukeZhou
    Mar 22, 2017 at 21:16
  • @DukeZhou Agreed. It seemed to be very obviously intentional to have each of the different storylines referencing/adhering to different genres of movie. Not entirely sure what specific term I'd use for the adults' investigation of the DoE, but the teenagers are obviously in a teen slasher movie and the kids are obviously in an adventure movie (e.g. E.T., The Goonies, etc.). Mar 27, 2017 at 10:19
  • 1
    I think I agree with @Steve-O on his interpretation. I think the style was emergent, and the intent was to explore how each character dealt with and reacted to Will's disappearance based on their characters, and in a way that supported their character arcs.
    – ViggyNash
    Jul 25, 2017 at 17:01

2 Answers 2


I can't prove that it was intentional by the show's executive producers or cast, but season two details from an up-coming EW Magazine, is doing something similar by having the character be on more separate, but ultimately converging paths. So it doesn't yet support a filming style in terms of different styles/genres/shots for different characters in season one (however, they each do represent Dungeon and Dragons characters), but to do this specific act, this coming season, *may imply a juxtaposition to season one and may support that the EP's are constantly trying to be creative with how they go about filming the characters, one way or another.


While season one was focused mainly on finding Will (Noah Schnapp) and defeating the demogorgon, Things 2 features several disparate stories that intertwine but all roads eventually lead to the “shadow monster,” a nickname given to a giant creature Will first meets in PTSD-like visions of the Upside Down. “It’s all connected to this singular threat, which is tied into this shape that Will sees in the sky,” says Ross. By the end of the nine-hour season, fans can also expect new characters, like Bob (Sean Astin), a love interest for Joyce (Winona Ryder), and some pretty wow-worthy action sequences. Says Matt, “Each episode is building on the last one. It gets much crazier than it ever got in season one.” http://ew.com/tv/2017/09/27/stranger-things-2-cover-story/


I believe it was intentially done because movies generally have a technique that they use that makes things look like they were done on accident but they were actually done inntentially. If you look at the facial expressions of the charcter causing it, you will see if was accidental or intended though not all directors allow this to be seen.

  • 2
    You've missed the point of the question. "Intentionally" refers to the intentions of the show's creators, not the intention that is shown on the faces of the character in the show.
    – Flater
    Aug 24, 2017 at 12:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .