Eleven is the best character of the Netflix era
For Stranger Things Week, we’re celebrating the most important character in Stranger Things, Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown. We’ve dedicated Thursday, Nov. 5, aka Stranger Things Day Eve to the character.
Stranger Things premiered on Netflix in July 2016, and since then, the series has been the most popular Netflix show to date. As you may recall, back then, Netflix was a big deal, but the network was just getting started making good TV shows and movies.
Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Daredevil, and Master of None had already premiered. They were some of the first Netflix original hits we’d seen, but still, Netflix had yet to truly earn the respect of the masses. Until Stranger Things.
And, there’s pretty much one reason why Stranger Things has distanced itself from the pack of other great streaming shows: Eleven.
No other show has a character as iconic and as recognizable as Eleven. When we look back and look at the rise of Netflix, there’s no doubt which character we’ll remember. It’ll always be Eleven, and there are so many reasons why.
Looking back, I think we need to understand how Stranger Things took the world by storm. It was the first time I remember a Netflix show becoming an event. Everyone was talking about the series online and with their friends. It was the perfect amount of familiar and new, weird and normal, and oh so nostalgic that launched this series on a path to the upper echelon of TV. This series put Netflix originals on the map.
Most of that success is owed to Eleven. Without the eggo-loving mini-superhero, this is just another series about a kid that went missing. Eleven is the glue that holds this whole thing together, and I think fans recognized that very early in the series.
Fans will always remember Eleven’s look. The shaved head, the dress, the wig, the blood dripping from her nose are what people will remember when they think of Stranger Things. I think we can all remember where we were when we watched the series for the first time and were sucked into the mystery of this little girl with superpowers.
Eleven is basically a blank canvas, but deep down, she has an incredible personality. She’s so loyal, probably to a fault, and her sayings, like “Friends don’t lie” and “Mouthbreather,” have been quoted millions of times. That’s one mark of an iconic character.
Eleven is such a good character because she has so many obstacles to repeatedly overcome. We can’t help but root for her.
I also need to mention Millie Bobby Brown. There are very few people, if any, who could bring Eleven to life like Brown does. I don’t think people understand how difficult it must be to play this character who doesn’t get many lines to express herself. It’s all subtle facial changes, one word answers, and physically demanding scenes. I don’t understand how Brown isn’t nominated for more awards for playing Eleven. It’s one of the toughest acting jobs, and Brown does it better than almost everybody.
Each streaming service will probably have an “it” character that we’ll remember. Disney Plus already has there’s in Baby Yoda. I think Amazon Prime Video will be associated with Homelander from here on out among a certain group of fans.
There’s no doubt who Netflix’s character is. Everyone already knows her.