All good things come to an end. Barb on Stranger Things will not be returning, so say the Duffer Brothers. Although to be far the two did not mention the character by name. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, they talk of the second season and really it is a case of death by omission.
To be fair the last glimpse of the character played by Shannon Purser was not a nice one. Laying in the Upside Down with a slimy slug crawling out of her mouth was proof positive that Barb was dead. Even Eleven says that poor Barbara is “gone.”
The young actress, however, is alive and well. She turned up on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show, airing tomorrow on the steaming website, to deliver a birthday cake to Gaten Matarazzo, aka Dustin on Stranger Things. It was a present for the lad’s 14th birthday.
While the Chelsea show promises the “kids” from Stranger Things, Finn Wolfhard appears to be missing. Millie Bobby Brown and Caleb McLaughlin are there with Gaten but “Mike” is not part of the group.
Shannon come out to the surprise of the other young actors from the show. She then talks a little about her astonishment at the character of Barb becoming so popular. It was, Chelsea tells the audience, Purser’s first ever acting job.
She has not stopped there, however, if one glances at IMDb Shannon is also listed on another television show’s cast list. “Riverdale” has Purser playing Ethel Muggs. The series airs October 10. It is about, fittingly enough, another town full of secrets. It looks like Shannon may be getting typecast almost before her career gets properly started.
The real news, however, is that Purser has been cast in a new film. According to People Shannon has been given a role in the Melissa McCarthy movie “Life of the Party” (due for release in 2018.). Mike Page hopped onto Twitter and tweeted a thank you to Purser for seeing him.
Shannon’s manager talked about how busy she has been fielding offers since her appearance in Stranger Things. The 19 year old Atlanta girl was cast as Barb, her first acting gig, and the character’s death spurred on the audience’s imagination.
After the character’s demise, the social media platform began trending #JusticeForBarb. (Something the younger cast members of Stranger Things did not quite understand. On Chelsea, Brown initially opined that justice was a gift.)
The Duffers have mentioned that season two will have few new characters and move away from Hawkins, just a little. They have actually, according to Millie Bobby Brown and Caleb McLaughlin anyway, promised some sort of “justice” for Barb. This seems to indicate that the poor high school girl will never leave the Down Under.
At any rate, Shannon may be too busy to make a return to Hawkins, alive or dead. With another television series, which will be airing on The CW, and a film, the Duffers may find getting Shannon for any length of time a tad difficult.
Purser is delightful on the couch next to Chelsea on Thursday’s episode of the talkshow. She, and Barb, have clearly moved on from Stranger Things. There are no details about Life of the Party but is seems fair to assume it will be a comedy. Something that will be a new experience for Shannon after two “drama” shows on the small screen.
Here is a clip from tomorrow’s episode of Chelsea where “Barb” returns to see the kids: