Netflix original Stranger Things is one of the most successful programmes in the recent year. Set in the early 1980s, both the music and culture of the time period heavily influence the smash hit show. The hunt for a missing boy, a discovery of a strange new world and a government conspiracy all take place in Hawkins, Indiana.
But perhaps the strangest thing was when the programme-makers took the odd decision of recasting with a collection of poker players. That’s downright spooky.
Eleven – played by Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates
The enigmatic star turn of Season 1 is undoubted ‘Eleven’, so named because of the mysterious number found on their body. Ethereal, with magical powers able to distract enemies of huge power, there’s only one player for the job – Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates. A complete riddle, Cates has provided everyone with episode-cliff-hanger-style questions for years, so can certainly bring what Netflix is after to the show. Curious to see ‘Jungleman11’ as his new alias goes into action at the poker table? Don’t miss him on “Godfather” week on Poker After Dark this week.
Chief Jim Hopper – played by Scott Seiver
Who better to police Hawkins than Scott Seiver? He’s big, he’s bold, he’s got the heart of a lion inside the body of a friendly grizzly bear. He’s also socially aware and could sort out the corruption in Hawkins with just a few tweets. Oh, and Seiver knows how to play as well! Catch him on-demand on “Leave it to Seiver” week on Poker After Dark.
Joyce Byers – played by Jennifer Harman
Here’s why Jennifer Harman makes a better Joyce Byers than Winona Ryder. Ryder, for all her acting quality, seen in such films as Mermaids and Heathers, starts episode one minute one crazy as a jailhouse rat. By episode 2, when her son Will has gone missing, she has got nowhere to go, so stays as crazy throughout the programme. Jennifer Harman always has another level to get to and can keep the Byers family in line for the duration, and she also knows how to win big come-from-behind poker hands on Friday Night Poker!
Johnathan Byers – played by Joey Ingram
Johnathan Byers is as changeable as Hawkins weather around wooded areas. He’s got to keep coming up with fresh ways of engaging with the audience. Who else is going to strut around Hawkins in a vest, dishing out bad-ass advice to a grateful populace if it’s isn’t everyone’s favorite MMA brawl analyst Joey? Exactly.
Will Byers – played by Fedor Holz
He exists in another world. Maybe he likes that other world, but he wants to go out and play with the other boys. He’s a special boy, but his gift is also his curse. It’s Fedor Holz, I mean… Will Byers. Plus, if Fedor is Will, then others may have a shot at winning poker tournaments.
Mike and Dustin – played by Charlie Carrel and Ben Heath
Both Mike and Dustin need to be tight as a drum, and Charlie Carrel and Ben Heath are the closest poker pals since Phil Hellmuth asked his alter-ego The Poker Brat if he was thinking of firing a parting shot at Gape Kaplan on Poker After Dark. Carrel and Heath will be able to lead the hunt for Fedor, especially if they can open up some $25k entry single-day tournaments. Hell, Fedor might even be able to win them using light-bulbs as a way to call, raise or fold.
Lucas – played by Ronaldo
Original Ronaldo would be a vital member of the Stranger Things squad, mostly because he’s great at seeking out new challenges, which Lucas often does in ST. From cliff-top showdowns to the new-season addition of soccer games set in Hawkins’ one and only pitch, the Brazilian striker can step up to a new challenge every episode. Goal-shot!
Steve Harrington – played by Scotty Nguyen
To complete the new cast, we need a cult hero, ideally, someone sporting a mullet, who exudes a detached coolness. Nguyen’er, Nguyen’er, Syrup & Waffles for dinner! When it comes to the problems in Hawkins, Indiana, it’s a case of “Stay cool, baby” – especially if you’re Scotty!
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