Netflix has a serious fall slate on the way from Marvel's The Punisher to the return of The Crown. But one of the biggest is the upcoming release of Stranger Things, which comes directly in the middle of the fall slate on October 27th. But while The Crown would like you to luxuriate in the sumptuous costumes and settings, and The Punisher is adding to the already-expanded MCU, the showrunners, the Duffer Brothers, are far more concerned about making sure the audience knows how to watch Stranger Things Season 2.
Sounds a little strange, right? How do you watch? On Netflix, right? Which means any device, from phone to tablet to the biggest, newest screen in the house. Except that's exactly where the problems lie in the view of the Duffer Brothers. This is a show that's all about the nostalgia of the 1980s, when TVs were 4:3 not 16:9, and your options of what sort of set to watch on ranged from “color” to “that really old black and white in mom's bedroom that she watches I Love Lucy on to fall sleep.”
Being '80s aficionados, Matt and Ross Duffer not only made their show to feel like an '80s throwback in script and plot, but also in visuals. According to Matt:
Us and everyone in Hollywood puts so much time and effort and money into getting things to look just right and when you see it in someone's home, it looks like it was shot on an iPhone.
We were just at Comic-Con, and we walk on the main floor and the settings on every single TV is wrong. I was like, 'Didn't a bunch of nerds put this together? What is wrong with them?'
You see, Stranger Things is actually *shot* to look like an '80s TV show, not just sound and feel like one. So the best TV to watch it on is one where you'd watched any 4:3 edited-for-TV '80s movie on HBO back in the day.
So how do you solve a problem like modern technology? The Duffer Brothers know they can't tell everyone to go out and get cathode ray tube boxes to huddle around, so they have one request, especially for the folks with the newest 4K TVs.
The key thing is to turn off anything that says 'motion': 'TruMotion,' 'Smooth motion.'
Not that they say exactly where that setting is, but I'm sure if you're dedicated, you can easily google it. Meanwhile, those of us with older TVs will feel slightly more smug that we'll be getting a closer view to what the Duffers meant for us to see.