No, Netflix Isn't Re-Editing Old Episodes Of 'Stranger Things'
The Duffer Brothers (the creators of Stranger Things, not a family of brewers in the Simpsons) recently mentioned in an interview that they might go back and change the date of Will’s birthday in an earlier season – thus fixing season four’s most talked-about continuity error, and ensuring the airtight believability of a series filled with constant ‘80s anachronisms and literal goddamn monsters.
In the same interview, the pair also admitted to secretly “George Lucas-ing” past episodes that “people don’t know about.” Which presumably caused some fans to go searching for retroactive edits that would be tantamount to Han Solo awkwardly ducking Greedo’s sloppy blaster fire. And people did seem to notice a change; reportedly, in the first season, Jonathan doesn’t snap a photo of Nancy in her underwear. This “revision” was picked up by multiple news outlets –
And even inspired a GQ editorial about how this could be the start of a “dangerous TV trend.”
But there are a few problems with this. For one thing, such an edit, purportedly to de-creepify Jonathan’s character, makes zero sense because in the following episode, we still see that Jonathan possesses a photo of Nancy half-naked – rendering any earlier changes completely pointless.
In response to these reports, the Stranger Things’ writing team denied that any scenes, specifically including Jonathan’s peeping tom moment, have been re-edited.
Their denial is supported by older YouTube uploads of the scene, which match the version that’s currently on Netflix. And fans who own the show’s DVDs, too, claim that nothing has been altered. Long live physical media!
It seems as though the Duffer Brothers' interview about George Lucas-ing Stranger Things perhaps planted that idea in fans’ minds; and the combination of the photograph we see in the later episode, along with the earlier scene of Jonathan holding a camera, potentially created a false memory for viewers who recall him actually snapping the pervy pick. Add into that stew of distrust the fact that Netflix has previously been known to re-edit their shows, including 13 Reasons Why and Arrested Development (for wildly different reasons), and we arrive at the confusing mess we’re in now.
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