Why STRANGER THINGS Needs To Do A Musical Episode

Warning: This post contains spoilers for season 3 of Stranger Things

Stranger Things 3 has finally arrived on Netflix and we’re big fans of the new season over here at Nerdist. We’ve been taking deep-dive looks at the new episodes–by highlighting our favorite moments, taking a closer look at the finale, and more–but that doesn’t mean we’re not already looking ahead to season 4. One of our favorite things about the latest season was the delightful musical moment in the finale, where Dustin and his (non-imaginary) girlfriend Suzy sing a duet of “Never Ending Story,” the titular song from the 1984 fantasy film of the same name. Both actors in the scene–Gaten Matarazzo and Gabriella Pizzolo–were Broadway actors before they landed on the Netflix series, like several of their other young costars. It made us wonder… why hasn’t Stranger Things–a show that loves a good reference–done a full-blown musical episode yet?

The show has already paid tribute to a number of iconic ’80s movies, but has yet to fully embrace movie musicals. Footloose, Fame, Pennies From Heaven, Grease 2, Purple Rain, Xanadau, Breakin’, and Flashdance all exist within the show’s current timeline, and if next season is set in 1986–which would follow the show’s mold of each season taking place in the subsequent year–then it’s the same year that two of the most iconic musicals from the ’80s were released: Labyrinth and Little Shop of Horrors. Can’t you just see Dustin wearing a Bowie mullet wig, or Mike in Seymour Krelborn glasses? Hell, the Demogorgon even sort of looks like Audrey II.

What’s more, the Stranger Things kids can sing. Like… really sing. Let’s start with Matarazzo, whose chops were on full display in that “Never Ending Story” number. He has a long list of musical theater credits including two stints on Broadway: First as Benjamin in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and then as Gavroche in Les Misérables. Here he is singing the National Anthem at a Mets game with his sister, Sabrina.

Gaten’s onscreen BFF Caleb, a.k.a. Caleb McLaughlin, also hails from Broadway, where he played Simba in The Lion King. Here he is performing “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” with his sister and Glee star Darren Criss.

The other two boys in the core Stranger Things friend group, Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Will (Noah Schnapp), don’t have Broadway credits, but Wolfhard is the lead singer in a band called Calpurnia, and Schnapp has been in a few music videos, including “LA Devotee” by Panic! At the Disco and “In My Feelings” by Drake. Both also sang alongside their costars on The Late Late Show With James Corden, and they’re also impressively great!

The girls are no slouches either. Sadie Sink, who plays Max, played Annie on Broadway. Here she is singing that musical’s iconic song, “Tomorrow.”

And even though she has no formal musical experience, before she was famous Millie Bobby Brown used to post videos of herself singing popular pop songs on YouTube, and–surprise, surprise–she’s also very good! There’s a soulful quality to her voice that makes her stand out among the others. Here she is singing “And I’m Telling You” from Dreamgirls at a Stranger Things fan event.

So as you can see, the Duffer Brothers are really wasting an opportunity if they don’t find a way to somehow incorporate a musical theme to season 4. It could be in the form of a hallucination from the Mind Flayer or a dream sequence or maybe one of the kids gets put under anesthesia and conjures the whole thing with their mind, like the Scrubs musical. Regardless, we really need to see these kids get up to some musical trouble next year. It’s what we deserve!

Images: Warner Bros., Netflix

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