Stranger things have happened

Posted on Jul 02 2019 in From the Editor
Emily with map

By Emily Schilling

My daughter says I’m a teenager stuck in a mom’s body.

Why? I’m a boy band fan who once sat in the front row at a 1D concert. I read young adult fiction — and watch adaptations of those books when they’re made into movies. I’m obsessed with Hello Kitty. I know what “Bughead” stands for. And, though I’m definitely over 20, I know what’s going on in Hawkins, Indiana. 

Hawkins is thankfully not a real town because, trust me, you wouldn’t want to live there. It’s the setting for the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things,” a popular sci-fi show based in the 1980s featuring Dungeons and Dragons-playing middle schoolers, a psychokinetic heroine named Eleven who binges on Eggo waffles, a scary underground world, monsters, cool music and (the real) Wynona Ryder. Season 3 of “Stranger Things” premieres on July 4 so if you have not been introduced to the “Upside Down” yet, you might want to check out the first two seasons now.

“Stranger Things” is just one of the several Indiana-based television shows with locales you won’t find on a map. Cases in point:

  • “Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt,” a recently-ended Netflix show, was based in Durnsville, Indiana.
  • “The Middle” took place in Orson, Indiana, which reportedly was based on real-life Jasper, Indiana.
  • Pawnee, Indiana, was home base in the popular Amy Poehler series “Parks and Recreation.” 

I have no clue why Indiana’s claims to TV fame are often fictitious. Why not put Monticello, Wabash, Rising Sun or Huntingburg in the spotlight? Faux teens like me might want to actually visit the hometowns of our small screen favorites — even though Wynona Ryder and Amy Poehler won’t be there to greet us.

EMILY SCHILLING is editor of Indiana Connection