Shannon Purser played Barb in Stranger Things Season 1, and no one could have predicted the mousey Molly-Ringwald type would become the soul of the series. After playing second fiddle to a prettier, more popular best friend for years, her kindness was rewarded (not!) when she was unceremoniously killed by the Demogorgon after being sucked into the Upside Down.
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Fans complained that not only did Barb get the shaft, but her absence was barely a blip in the resulting story-arch, as though she’d been forgotten. Stranger Things showrunners Ross and Matt Duffer have heard fans (loud and clear) and have promised justice for Bard in Season 2. No, the character isn’t expected to return from the great beyond, but we’ll at least see how much the town of Hawkins misses her.
Barb may be gone but her family will appear in Things 2. “You met her mom briefly last year but we introduce her dad,” says Matt Duffer. “The only thing that bothered me about the Barb criticism was people saying her parents didn’t care about her — of course, they care. In their mind, Hopper has been slacking off and he’s a joke of a chief.”
Stranger Things Season 2 hits Netflix beginning in October 27th; check out the trailer and synopsis below.
Official Synopsis: Joyce (Winona Ryder), is attempting to make things stable for Will and his brother, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and she is dating an old high school classmate, Bob (The Goonies’ Sean Astin). “She’s trying to mask a lot,” explains Ryder. “I think she’s made this choice with Bob because she wants a good father figure in her sons’ lives.”
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Meanwhile, Hopper (David Harbour) is attempting to keep all the events of last season, like the disappearance of Barb, a secret in order to protect Joyce and the kids. “It kind of falls on Hopper to be the voice of authority to say, ‘This did happen and this didn’t happen,’” says Harbour. “He’s struggling with the compromise that takes him to, having to lie and cover things up.” Siblings Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Mike are also much changed and mourning the (seeming) deaths of friends Barb and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). “She and Mike are both the most screwed-up because they’re the ones who both lost someone,” says co-creator Ross Duffer. “They’re both grappling with that, and we see the effects.”
Shaking up the dynamics in Hawkins is the arrival of another brother-sister duo, Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and Max (Sadie Sink). While Max becomes pals with the boys and attracts romantic interest from Lucas and Dustin (played by actors Caleb McLaughlin, and Gaten Matarazzo), Billy doesn’t exactly make friends. Teases Matt Duffer, “Stephen King always has really great human villains. The evil in the real world is often as bad or worse than the supernatural evil, so we wanted to introduce a character like that.”