One of the biggest gripes about Stranger Things Season 1 was the fact that while everyone seemed to be worried sick about the disappearance of Will Byers, nobody really cared when Nancy Wheeler’s best friend Barb went missing too. Thankfully, just in time for Halloween, the fine folks at Netflix have released a faux newscast to give an update reminding us that the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are also worried about Barb’s whereabouts heading into Season 2.
Under the headline “Another Missing Teen?” WIYZ anchor Brenda Wood recalls that Barb was last seen at Steve Harrington’s home with other Hawkins teens. “We reached out to her best friend, Nancy Wheeler, sister of Mike Wheeler, best friend of missing boy Will Byers, for a comment,” the anchor says, “but so far we’ve been unable to reach her.” That’s probably because Nancy was too busy fighting the Demogorgon with everyone to give WIYZ a quote.
Besides being a bit of Halloween fun, the clip shores up the idea that the people of Hawkins just kind of ignored Barb to focus on Will. Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer said, “I can’t see it [Barb’s return] happening, but Barb will not be forgotten.” The fallout from the Demogorgon incident will definitely come into play in Season 2, and here’s hoping this newscast isn’t the last time we hear about Barb.
In a nice bit of viral synergy considering WIYZ anchor Brenda Wood is actually a real-life news anchor for local TV station 11Alive where the show was shot. She also made an appearance in the show’s premiere episode, “The Vanishing of Will Byers,” as the same news anchor who reported on the power outages caused by the Demogorgon escaping the Hawkins National Laboratory.
She signs off with the ominous but perfect note: “Avoid Mirkwood this Halloween.” Unless you want to end up like Will Byers, we’d heed her advice.