Warning: Minor Stranger Things season 3 spoilers ahead.
This one's for you, my totally tubular 1980s friends. Stranger Things season 3 is finally out and it takes place during our very own summer of love, the summer of 1985. As a nostalgia nerd who's co-written two books all about the lost pop culture of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, as well as a proud graduate of the class of 1985, I watched the whole season with an eye on the 1980s goodness.
Personally, I disagree with the critics who claim the 1980s accents in the show are overdone. OK, maybe the scene where Joyce wistfully recalls how she and Demodog-victim Bob would cuddle while watching Sam and Diane's romance on Cheers — that felt like a reach. But I'd actually have crammed a few more 1980s references in there. Starcourt Mall needed a Benetton, for one thing.
Here are my 8 favorite 1980s throwbacks from Stranger Things' third season.
1. Sharp QT-50 pastel boombox
Not all boomboxes were the big honking ones derogatorily nicknamed "ghetto blasters." There was also a wonderfully pastel-colored line of Sharp QT-50 round-edged mini boomboxes issued in pastel tones that looked like nothing more than bowls of delicious sorbet. They played both cassette tapes and AM/FM radio — what more could you want? I never was lucky enough to have one, but I recognized them instantly when I saw one pumping out Corey Hart's Never Surrender in Eleven's bedroom. Watch the whole season carefully, the pastel boombox shows up multiple times. (And admire this Etsy version in pin form.)
2. Farrah Fawcett hairspray
Stranger Things viewers have seen Farrah Fawcett hairspray before — it played a vital role in season 2, when Steve coached Dustin on haircare. (He recommended Fabergé Organics shampoo and conditioner — yes, of "and they told two friends" fame — followed by four puffs of the Farrah Fawcett spray.) Dustin is obviously listening to Steve HAIR-rington still, because it's a can of Farrah Fawcett spray he selects as a weapon when his robot toys, including R2-D2, mysteriously come to life. But his friends choose that moment to surprise him, and, well… sorry about your eyes, Lucas. Sadly, no ads for Farrah Fawcett hairspray seem to be around, but the above YouTube video shows a bunch of her commercials, including her own shampoo.
3. Hopper smoking in a restaurant
We're more educated about the health issues caused by smoking today, but back when I was in high school in 1985, there was actually a smoking room (seniors only) in our student cafeteria. So Police Chief Jim Hopper's constant smoking in season 3 feels realistic. But kids born since the big US tobacco backlash might get fired up by the scene where he's stuck waiting for Joyce in a crowded restaurant, and just lights right up in the middle of a room full of diners. How's about some nicotine with your salade niçoise, Eighties ladies?
4. Telephone extension tag
In one scene, Mike Wheeler's mom, Karen, answers a phone call in the kitchen, then yells that it's for him. Mike picks up on another phone extension — yes, we were able to do that then — and Karen, in true Spy Mom fashion, doesn't hang up. That means she can listen to his entire phone call, and if she doesn't cough or sneeze, he'll never know. We '80s kids were pros at the silent hang-up after listening to whatever vital gossip we needed. Karen obviously isn't practiced at this feat, as she gives herself away almost instantly. (But once you hear what Mike's lying about, can you blame her?)
5. Orange Julius rules the mall
No self-respecting US shopping mall in the 1980s would be caught without an Orange Julius location, and the Hawkins, Indiana, Starcourt Mall is no exception. (You raised-on-Jamba kids today wouldn't understand, but when the Strawberry Julius flavor came out, it was as big a deal as the moon landing. Those things are crazy-good.) In the second episode of season 3, which is maybe the most 1980s-reference-packed of the whole season, Eleven and Max get some sweet revenge on some stuck-up mall rats using an Orange Julius and El's telekinetic powers. Man, would that have been a useful talent back in the my own mall days.
6. Glamour Shots
The show doesn't call it Glamour Shots, but we all know better. In a second-episode scene, Eleven and Max head to a mall photo studio in their new rainbow-toned outfits to pose for high-stylin' photos like true 20th century foxes. I remember Glamour Shots-style pics as more an iconic trend of the 1990s than the 1980s, but it's so much fun to see El and Max giggling and showing off their new styles that it doesn't even matter. As of May 2019, there are five Glamour Shots locations left, Read More – Source