“Stranger Things,” the hit Netflix series set in the 1980s and known for its supernatural and nostalgic themes, recently made headlines for an unexpected real-life impact. A 12-year-old boy named Austen MacMillan utilized a life-saving technique he learned from the show to rescue his therapist, Jason Piquette, from drowning.
The incident unfolded when Piquette lost consciousness and was submerged underwater for several minutes. Quick-thinking Austen sprung into action, performing CPR to keep his therapist alive. In an interview, Austen credited his knowledge of CPR to “Stranger Things,” the TV series that had taught him this crucial skill.
The show, featuring a cast that includes Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, and others, usually delves into fictional storylines involving supernatural forces threatening the town of Hawkins, Indiana. However, it was a CPR scene in Season 1, Episode 8, titled “The Upside Down,” that left a lasting impact on Austen. In this particular scene, Sheriff Hopper and Joyce Byers attempt to revive her comatose son, Will, through CPR while facing supernatural threats.
This remarkable real-world application of a TV show demonstrates the far-reaching influence of “Stranger Things.” Previously, the show’s inclusion of Kate Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill” led to the track topping the iTunes chart after its use in Season 4. Additionally, “Stranger Things” played a role in reviving trends like the mullet haircut and rekindling interest in Dungeons & Dragons, a game central to the show’s narrative.
While these impacts were mainly pop culture-related, Austen MacMillan’s life-saving act showcases how entertainment can have a profound effect on people’s lives. In this case, the knowledge gained from a TV show became a real-world heroism, emphasizing the significant role that widely popular shows can play in shaping the world around us. As “Stranger Things” continues to captivate audiences with its fifth and final season, its impact reaches beyond the screen, demonstrating the power of storytelling and the unexpected lessons it can impart.