Since its debut last summer, one of the most common comparisons that Stranger Things has received is to the works of Stephen King, as the author also regularly explores supernatural occurrences in small towns in the '80s and utilizes young protagonists. With the second season having debuted less than two weeks ago, King himself took to Twitter to praise the series and what it accomplished.
STRANGER THINGS 2: Ladies and gentlemen, that's how you do it: no bullshit, balls to the wall entertainment. Straight up.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 9, 2017
The author has never been known to mince words on the internet, freely speaking his mind about a variety of topics. The above tweet couldn't be a clearer endorsement of the show, which must be some of the most rewarding praise yet for show creators Ross and Matt Duffer.
From the show's first trailers and images, audiences immediately picked up on the influences of King, most notably in how similar the premise felt to that of his epic novel IT. For some, these King influences made the experience highly enjoyable, as it had been such a long time since a successful adaptation of his stories. Others, however, were frustrated by the King influences, feeling as though the show was ripping off the author instead of paying homage.
After King's bold claim about the show, he tried to preemptively shut down anyone who had a different opinion about the series.
Feel free to disagree, but...you would be wrong.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 9, 2017
The second season of the series leaned even further into its King influences, even creating a character whose backstory mirrored the events of IT.
Throughout the series, Bob (Sean Astin) reveals that he grew up in Maine in the '50s and was deathly afraid of clowns. In IT, young characters confront the villainous clown Pennywise in the '50s in Derry, ME. Matt Duffer, who co-created the show alongside brother Ross, revealed to Vulture that this connection was totally intentional.
"Well, we both have a problem with clowns," Matt pointed out. "I’ve had it my entire life. I had it when I was really little, so when there were clowns at a party, it was a real problem for me. Then in 1990, we saw the IT mini-series and Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise really messed me up. Like, it scarred me in a major way. It was one of the first true horror things I had seen, and I had not experienced Stephen King before."
While the development of this character trait might have been an organic incorporation of the creator's own childhood fears, he wanted to fully embrace the true origins of that phobia.
"I’m sure we were just like, 'It would be cute if [Bob] suggests moving to Maine, right next to Stephen King,'" he shared. "Stephen King exists in this world. Some of the characters have read Stephen King. But Bob definitely does not read Stephen King. He’s not interested at all in Stephen King because he hates that kind of story."
The second season of Stranger Things is currently available on Netflix.