It’s clear the Duffer Brothers, creators of Netflix’s Montauk-inspired hit Stranger Things, remember the old days fondly. In keeping with their show’s classic 1980s vibe, Netflix announced the release date for their hotly anticipated third season on New Year’s Eve—with a take on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, circa 1985.
Unfortunately, it’s still a bit of a wait. As the vintage-style video reveals, Stranger Things Season 3 won’t return until another big holiday—July 4, 2019. In the meantime, let’s breakdown what we’re seeing.
What child of the ’80s doesn’t have fond memories of the Big Apple dropping in Times Square? For those who don’t know, timessquarenyc.org says the Big Apple ball featured here was introduced to the annual Times Square festivities in 1981 as part of the “I Love New York” marketing campaign—conceived by late East Quogue Advertising Icon Lawrence Brown—and it remained through 1988. It’s a perfect addition to the time capsule that is Stranger Things.
The video is labeled as “Brought to You by Starcourt Mall.” We don’t know why this mall is so important, but it was the focal point of a previous teaser trailer (below) for Stranger Things Season 3, before the release date dropped. Another teaser featuring episode titles reveals one called “Mall Rats.”
Ahoy! Something is coming… to Hawkins, Indiana! pic.twitter.com/BI4wFRVzvB
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) July 16, 2018
In the New Year’s video, as Dick Clark’s show focuses on the final seconds of the ball dropping, the screen begins experiencing interference, and we see the green computer text of that era. The words “When Blue And Yellow Meet In The West” are highlighted. According to various online sources (we used Junkee.com), these words were part of the book Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down: The Official Behind-the-Scenes Companion, in Morse code on pages 79 and 80, released over the summer. The Starcourt Mall clock has blue and yellow hands. Coincidence? We think not.
There’s also mention of Lynx Corp, which will probably revealed as some sort of dark corporation or cover for the scientific experimentation folks. Also note the SilverCatFeeds.exe, another line going back to Morse code messages in the companion book. The Duffers are having a lot of fun with this stuff, and so are the fans.
Stranger Things was originally meant to take place in Montauk and explore the Camp Hero and Montauk Project legends of interdimensional and time travel, experimentation on young people with hopes to create brainwashed super soldiers, and a whole host of other dark tales. It was even going to be called Montauk, according to the early press releases in 2015.
When Season 1 of the supernatural drama aired in 2016, we learned the Montauk setting had been replaced with Hawkins, a small Indiana town turned, ahem, upside down by the disappearance of a young boy. As his friends search for answers, they begin unraveling a terrifying conspiracy. But you should already know this. If not, do yourself a favor and catch up on Stranger Things seasons 1–2 before July 4. You have time.
Stranger Things Season 1 and Season 2 are streaming now on Netflix. They’re also available in some pretty groovy, retro DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K boxed sets with lots of extras.