Warning: This post contains spoilers for “Stranger Things.”
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of Netflix’s surprise summer hit “Stranger Things” was the popularity of Barb (Shannon Purser).
Barb, Nancy Wheeler’s (Natalia Dyer) best friend, was eaten by the Demogorgon in the show’s second episode. It was a shocking and terrifying moment, especially given that the character quickly became a fan favourite. and the object of worship throughout the internet.
The Duffer Brothers, who created the show, were concerned about Barb, even if it felt like her character fell by the wayside after a few episodes. In an interview with Alan Sepinwall on Hitfix, they addressed what happened to Barb.
“‘What about Barb?’ became a constant refrain. We said that almost every episode as we were writing season 1,” said Ross Duffer. “I think what it boils down to is we’re not following Barb’s parents, or her family. So what it boils down to is Nancy cares so much about Barb. It’s not that other people don’t, but that everyone else is connected to Will in an extremely personal way. It’s not that Barb’s forgotten, but that the characters we’re following are focused on finding Will.”
It wasn’t just the fans who loved and cared about Barb so deeply: the two creators, and everyone else behind the scenes, understood her importance.
“I’m surprised and also not surprised at the outpouring of love for Barb, because that was something everyone felt on set. The fact that people aren’t really following up on her disappearance to the same degree they are with Will makes her that much more of a tragic character,” Matt Duffer added.
Read the full interview here
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