Stranger Things, screened for the first time on 15 July 2016, was received with great success by audiences worldwide and became a cult hit almost immediately. The show is interspersed with citations and references – explicit and implicit – linked to pop culture from the 1970s and 1980s. Its intertextual dialogue seems to foreground a desirable aesthetic from the past. Nostalgia is a complex feeling, capable of activating itself starting from specific and well-defined signs anchored in the past and from situations, ways of doing that function as a simulacrum of a time that no longer exists. Its evocative, projective (and sometimes optimistic) power is therefore increasingly used in contemporary media productions (Loock 2017; Tsapovsky and Frosh 2015; Garner 2016). This chapter will focus on the importance of commodities in Stranger Things and their link with the notion of vintage and the marketing of ‘retro’ merchandise. Using examples such as the collections of Levi’s and Gap featuring outfits from the third season, I will explore how the nostalgic mood turns into a style to be appreciated and purchased by younger audiences (Grainge 2002). From the results of a questionnaire administered to 250 respondents aged 19 to 24, it is evident that the many references regarding movies, objects, clothes from the 1980s are not meant to appeal to well-versed, refined audiences capable of reading subtle meanings within the text. They are screamed ‘out loud’, overexposed, exaggerated, and often predictable in many instances in the plot. Concerning this, the way references have been used is original, as the different fragments on screen become a sort of patchwork made of topoi, linked to pop and medial culture from the 1980s and immediately recognisable as forms of intertextuality. As Twomey (2018) has argued, 1980s nostalgia in Stranger Things takes shape as a manifestation of cultural capital. This raises wider questions regarding audience engagement with 1980s popular culture in the contemporary era.

Sponsored Things: Audiences and the Commodification of the Past in Stranger Things / mascio antonella. - STAMPA. - (2021), pp. 223-239. [10.1007/978-3-030-66314-8_12]

Sponsored Things: Audiences and the Commodification of the Past in Stranger Things

mascio antonella
2021

Abstract

Stranger Things, screened for the first time on 15 July 2016, was received with great success by audiences worldwide and became a cult hit almost immediately. The show is interspersed with citations and references – explicit and implicit – linked to pop culture from the 1970s and 1980s. Its intertextual dialogue seems to foreground a desirable aesthetic from the past. Nostalgia is a complex feeling, capable of activating itself starting from specific and well-defined signs anchored in the past and from situations, ways of doing that function as a simulacrum of a time that no longer exists. Its evocative, projective (and sometimes optimistic) power is therefore increasingly used in contemporary media productions (Loock 2017; Tsapovsky and Frosh 2015; Garner 2016). This chapter will focus on the importance of commodities in Stranger Things and their link with the notion of vintage and the marketing of ‘retro’ merchandise. Using examples such as the collections of Levi’s and Gap featuring outfits from the third season, I will explore how the nostalgic mood turns into a style to be appreciated and purchased by younger audiences (Grainge 2002). From the results of a questionnaire administered to 250 respondents aged 19 to 24, it is evident that the many references regarding movies, objects, clothes from the 1980s are not meant to appeal to well-versed, refined audiences capable of reading subtle meanings within the text. They are screamed ‘out loud’, overexposed, exaggerated, and often predictable in many instances in the plot. Concerning this, the way references have been used is original, as the different fragments on screen become a sort of patchwork made of topoi, linked to pop and medial culture from the 1980s and immediately recognisable as forms of intertextuality. As Twomey (2018) has argued, 1980s nostalgia in Stranger Things takes shape as a manifestation of cultural capital. This raises wider questions regarding audience engagement with 1980s popular culture in the contemporary era.
2021
Investigating Stranger Things Upside Down in the World of Mainstream Cult Entertainment
223
239
Sponsored Things: Audiences and the Commodification of the Past in Stranger Things / mascio antonella. - STAMPA. - (2021), pp. 223-239. [10.1007/978-3-030-66314-8_12]
mascio antonella
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/822213
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