What if the Upside Down is just...the future?
[Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things 3].
Stranger Things has spawned a lot of pretty outlandish conspiracy theories.
From the proposal that the show takes place in the same universe as It to the idea that Chief Hopper's daughter was a lab experiment, speculation seems to be venturing closer and closer to Upside Down levels of absurdity.
Recently, one fan theory has surged in prominence, and it has to do with Winona Ryder. Or rather...Winona Ryders.
Think about it: The actress shot to prominence with the films Edward Scissorhands, Heathers, and Beetlejuice, becoming world-famous by the late 1980s. Stranger Things 3 takes place in 1985, and if Stranger Things 4 finds itself in 1986 or later, Winona Ryder would've already been starring in films. Thus, there's a good chance that the Stranger Things kids have heard of her. Maybe they'll have seen her in a film. Maybe they'll notice that she looks strangely like Will's mom.
Image via giphy
Some fans have proposed that the series will create some sort of time warp scenario in which, because of some wrinkle in time created by the Upside Down, the real Winona Ryder exists alongside Joyce Byers.
After all, many of the characters who have fallen into the Upside Down have encountered their doppelgängers in that glowing, dark universe. Could it be that Joyce Byers' younger doppelgänger might make her way onto the movie screens of the "right-side up" world? Could it be that she's somehow been working with the Mind Flayer this whole time?
Image via i-D Magazine
Perhaps the "real" Winona Ryder might even encounter the kids, and in a Bandersnatch-like scenario, she could inform them that a show called Netflix is recording and broadcasting their every move to the general public in the distant year 2019.
Some Mashable reporters actually asked one of the show's producers, Shawn Levy, about this very theory. "That's really funny, and I suppose it's possible," he said, adding, "Eventually, there will be an interesting new relationship between [the Stranger Things production timeline] and what's going on in the time period we are watching the show in... But as far as how those two timelines will sync up, I can't predict."
This Winona Ryder theory might be far-out, but it's not unmatched in scope. Some fans have proposed that Stranger Things is connected to the series Chernobyl, which makes sense when you think about the important role played by the Russian government in each show.
Image via Metro
Maybe the Chernobyl accident wasn't the fault of a nuclear power reactor at all. Maybe it was the result of a breach in the portal between our world and the Upside Down. According to one Reddit poster, "So did a nuclear reactor explode or did El have the greatest battle of her life?"
Other fan theories have been slightly less speculative. For example, many fans have noted that every character who dies has a name that starts with "B,"and of course, nobody thinks that Hopper is actually dead.
In some ways, Stranger Things seems designed to incubate conspiracy theories. According to The Atlantic, "Conspiracy theories, in fact, are in the show's DNA, a counterforce to all the cuddly Spielberg evocation and the tween-age bonding." That article cites the fact that before the series was called Stranger Things, it was entitled Montauk, after rumors about government-led psychological experiments on humans in military bases in Long Island, NY.
Government land in MontaukImage via Thought Catalog
"The show's story is built on the premise that various strains of delusional thinking are actually true," continues the article. "The government has conducted highly unethical drug tests on human subjects. Terrifying alien monsters are real. People can become possessed by dark external forces that absorb them into one diseased hive mind. On the rare occasions when these events are exposed, the military does cover things up."
As a proposed Area 51 invasion gains momentum in the real world (albeit the digital portion of it), Stranger Things seems to be brushing closer and closer to our reality. Some have noted that the Upside Down resembles a world ravaged by climate change. Or maybe it's indicative of the technology that, with the advent of Apple and other technologies, would soon erupt into the world, effectively ending the good old days of bike rides and walkie talkies. Could it be that the Upside Down is nothing more than...the future?
To find out the truth, of course, we'll just have to wait for Season 4.
Image via Vice
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One Texas couple became a meme after they went 18 minutes without shredded cheese on their fajitas. What could be worse?
Karens. Even if you don't know them by name, you know who they are.
Karens have been asking to speak to managers all over American suburbia ever since Kate Gosselin debuted her infamous reverse-mullet on Jon and Kate Plus 8 in 2007. "Karens"—the collective nickname for middle-aged entitled white women who love nothing more than being pains in your ass—have been walking among us for quite some time, but as shelter-in-place orders and mask mandates have taken over the world, the presence of Karens has become even more apparent.
Last weekend, a Karen went viral in a since-deleted Tweet for a reason only Karens would empathize with. Jason Vicknair, a 40-year-old man from Allen, Texas, was just trying to enjoy his first date night out in three months with his wife at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Mi Cocina. Things took a turn for the worse.
This year's Emmys nominations favored female-created shows.
This year's Emmys nominations list has made headlines because many of the selected shows are actually really high-quality television.
It's noteworthy for another reason: Women (whether female actors, writers, creators, or otherwise) are at the forefront of the majority of the shows under consideration.
Leading the pack is Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the writer and creator of not one but two Emmy nominated shows: Killing Eve and Fleabag. Another show in talks for a win is Russian Doll, the breakout Netflix hit created by and starring Natasha Lyonne. Naturally, Beyoncé also scored six nominations for her Netflix Homecoming special.
Image via The Ringer
Not only do all these shows have female creators: they also star women above the age of 30. Amidst a Hollywood crowd that notoriously snubs this demographic, or writes them into restrictive roles, it's refreshing to see women so well-represented in the nominations list (which could perhaps use more diversity in general).
Don't worry, though: Men were still represented in this year's nominations. Craig Mazin's disaster drama Chernobyl scored 19 nominations, and Game of Thrones scored an incredible 32, despite terrible reviews of its last season. On the other hand, Julia Roberts was snubbed for her role in Veep, while Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and (thankfully) The Big Bang Theory received almost no recognition.
Whatever happens, this means that more people will be prompted to bask in the glory of Russian Doll, Fleabag, and Homecoming, and that's a blessing for everyone.
Here's the full list of nominees, via CNN:
Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or TV movie
Mahershala Ali, "True Detective"
Benicio del Toro, "Escape at Dannemora"
Hugh Grant, "A Very English Scandal"
Jared Harris, "Chernobyl"
Jharrel Jerome, "When They See Us"
Sam Rockwell, "Fosse/Verdon"
Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie
Amy Adams, "Sharp Objects"
Patricia Arquette, "Escape at Dannemora"
Aunjanue Ellis, "When They See Us"
Joey King, "The Act"
Niecy Nash, "When They See Us"
Michelle Williams, "Fosse/Verdon"
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series
Anthony Anderson, "Black-ish"
Don Cheadle, "Black Monday,"
Ted Danson, "The Good Place"
Michael Douglas, "The Kominksy Method"
Bill Hader, "Barry"
Eugene Levy, "Schitt's Creek"
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series
Christina Applegate, "Dead to Me"
Rachel Brosnahan, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Julia-Louis Dreyfus, "Veep"
Natasha Lyonne, "Russian Doll"
Catherine O'Hara, "Schitt's Creek"
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, "Fleabag"
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series
Jason Bateman, "Ozark"
Sterling K. Brown, "This is Us"
Kit Harrington, "Game of Thrones"
Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul"
Billy Porter, "Pose"
Milo Ventimiglia, "This Is Us"
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series
Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones"
Jodie Comer, "Killing Eve"
Viola Davis, "How to Get Away With Murder"
Laura Linney, "Ozark"
Mandy Moore, "This Is Us"
Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
Outstanding reality/competition series
"The Amazing Race"
"American Ninja Warrior"
"RuPaul's Drag Race"
Outstanding variety talk series
"The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"
"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee"
"Jimmy Kimmel Live"
"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"
"The Late Late Show with James Corden"
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"
Outstanding limited series
"Escape at Dannemora"
"When They See Us"
Outstanding comedy series
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
"The Good Place"
Outstanding drama series
"Better Call Saul"
"Game of Thrones"
"This Is Us"
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