Tracey Mollet, Lindsey Scott (eds.), Investigating Stranger Things. Upside Down in the World of Mainstream Cult Entertainment, Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.
This edited collection explores the narrative, genre, nostalgia and fandoms of the phenomenally successful Netflix original series, Stranger Things. The book brings together scholars in the fields of media, humanities, communications and cultural studies to consider the various ways in which the Duffer Brothers’ show both challenges and confirms pre-conceived notions of cult media. Through its three sections on texts, contexts and receptions, the collection examines all aspects of the series’ presence in popular culture, engaging in debates surrounding cult horror, teen drama, fan practices, and contemporary anxieties in the era of Trump. Its chapters seek to address relatively neglected areas of scholarship in the realm of cult media, such as set design, fashion, and the immersive Secret Cinema Experience. These discussions also serve to demonstrate how cult texts are facilitated by the new age of television, where notions of medium specificity are fundamentally transformed and streaming platforms open up shows to extensive analysis in the now mainstream world of cult entertainment.