Are you binge-watching the third season of Stranger Things? Did you see the opening sequence to the Stranger Things series the episode “Chapter One: Suzie, Do You Copy?”? Anyone that grew up during the 1980s, at least in these United States, will probably get more of the references to the period than people resident of other countries. Should this stop you from watching it? No. The series is seriously entertaining, and it does not take long for evil to become unleashed on the world for a third time.
Did you see the Back to the Future and Day of the Dead posters? They were both in the movie theater. Back to the Future premiered in these United States on Wednesday, 3 July 1985. Two weeks later, on Friday, 19 July, Day of the Dead premiered. Does anyone remember if the time travel comedy adventure was still in movie theaters when the horror film hit movie theater screens?
Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) has returned home after a month being away. Because no one responds to his “Gold Leader” calls on his walkie-talkie, Dustin feels a tad let down by his friends. It’s been a month. What does Dustin expect? Fanfare? If you recall from at least one of the season three trailers, there is a sequence where Dustin’s toys begin moving towards the door of his bedroom on their own. The toys are iconic of the period. It is evident from the way the scene plays out, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) controlling the toys with her mind.
The Women Know what they Like…
Do you see the way all women at the outdoor swimming pool were looking at lifeguard Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery)? It is clear they all saw the lifeguard as a piece of candy they could get their teeth into. Karen Wheeler (Cara Buono), in her new swimsuit, is especially interested in Billy’s candy cane. Were all lifeguard uniforms red?
In a clear reversal of David Hasselhoff’s late 1980s show Baywatch, not that anyone remembers when people nicknamed it “Babe-watch,” the women in this scene are treating a male as their eye-candy. Even though this season is set before Baywatch premiered in these United States, for decades, both film and television productions treated women like eye-candy for men.
Later in the episode, Billy cannot take his eyes off Karen as she swims laps in the public pool. This is an aspect of 1980s television people should be familiar with. When Billy starts talking about the various styles of swimming: freestyle, butterfly and breaststroke, it’s clear from the way he’s looking at Karen he is not really talking about taking a dip in the pool.
Jim Hopper (David Harbour), ever the overly protective father figure, does not like Eleven and Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) kissing as much as they have been. Their kissing is constant. They are apparently kissing way too much for the police chief’s liking. There is a difference between yelling, ordering and talking. It’s not surprising Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) gets this point better than the police chief.
Hopper is having serious issues with his adoptive daughter constantly kissing her boyfriend. Sharing feelings is not something men of his generation do.
Was Magnum a Re-Run?
Did you recognise the episode of Magnum P.I. the police chief is watching? From what we see on the television screen, its the scene during the series premiere, ‘Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii,’ where the title character tests the security on the estate. Magnum attempts to steal the Ferrari. It’s a recognisable scene. The episode, titled ‘Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii,’ was first televised in these United States on 11 Dec. 1980. Consequently, because the scene is from the series premiere, the episode the police chief is watching must be a rerun.
When this Stranger Things episode is set, the most recently televised new episode of the Hawaii set series would have been the fifth season finale, ‘A Pretty Good Dancing Chicken.’ This episode hit television screens in the U.S. on Thursday, 4 July 1985.
You might think the sexist misogynistic attitude of the newsroom depicted in this episode is a thing of the past. It really isn’t. There are still men that behave like this towards women every day. They somehow feel it acceptable to treat women in such a manner.
Bruce (Jake Busey), the quintessential sexist pig, talks about women as if they are slabs of meat. In one scene, Bruce talks about a woman’s breasts like he is an avid reader of the British tabloid newspaper The Sun. Anyone familiar with The Sun newspaper will know, during the 1980s, the British newspaper was infamous for its page three photographs of women wearing very little.
Will’s “spider-sense” is tingling. Did you see how the rats spontaneously exploded? Later in the episode, someone calls into the newspaper to report what is happening with rats all over town.
Suzie, Do You Copy?
Dustin and his friends erect a walkie-talkie antenna on top of a hill so that he can speak with his girlfriend. Because Suzie does not respond in a timely fashion, his friends leave. Immediately after his friends leave, Dustin picks up a Russian frequency on his walkie-talkie. What’s going on? What have the Russians been doing?
In a flashback scene to the previous scene, Joyce remembers what life was like with Bob Newby (Sean Astin) before he died. Life is now a glass of wine and a microwave meal.
On his way to meet with Karen, something hits Billy’s car windscreen. Consequently, Billy crashes his car, subsequently injuring himself. When investigating what hit the windscreen, Billy is dragged by something unseen into the mill. Is he now in the Upside Down?