If you’re not binging Stranger Things, the Netflix series that mashes Steven Spielberg with Stephen King and serves it up on a plate of ’80s teen nostalgia, well… we feel sorry for you.
The show is so good on so many levels, and presents us with a host of fresh new talents. Perhaps the greatest of which is Barb (Shannon Purser) the stern best friend a swoosh of copper hair and problematic thighs.
Barb isn’t the popular girl, or the slutty girl, or the funny girl. She’s the loyal friend left behind when the popular girl blossoms into womanhood. She’s the downer who tells you going to the quarry with those boys from vocational school is a bad idea.
“Barb is real—she reminds me of girls I actually knew in high school in the 80s,” says filmmaker/YA author Brian Sloan, who’s about halfway through Stranger Things.
“The quiet, smart ones who knew what was going on and didn’t care what other people thought of them. She’s not like a bad teen movie caricature of a nerd—Barb is a survivor in high school, which makes me think she can survive in the ’upside down’ and, using her no-nonsense smarts, somehow kick that monsters ass!”
Homages to Barb have popped up all over the Internet.
WHO DID THIS pic.twitter.com/WStObCmLa2
— Netflix ANZ (@NetflixANZ) July 21, 2016
But perhaps the best is from queer wit and Friend of NNNN Justin Sayre, who’s been tweeting out fictionalized entries from Barb’s diary.
“10/1/82 There was that ham smell again today,” reads one entry. “What is going on? #BarbsDiary #StrangerThings”
“1/19/80 I know I was hesitant at first, but these Boy’s corduroys are just more flattering,” reads another. “#BarbsDiary #StrangerThings”
We’d like to think she wrote these in a Lisa Frank spiral notebook with Strawberry-scented stickers on top.