Barb is back! Yes — the Barb who was the first victim of the Upside Down in Season 1 of Stranger Things; the Barb whose death was not well received by fans, prompting them to start a #bringbackbarb trend; the Barb who is the bestie of Nancy Wheeler — is back. Although she has not returned to Hawkins per se, Barb has made a comeback in an ad for McCain, the largest producer of frozen French fries, in honor of National French Fry Day.
McCain plucked Barb, played by actress Shannon Purser, from the Upside Down to promote its new initiative to utilize regenerative agriculture on all of its potato farms by the year 2030 in order to preserve healthy soil for generations of people — and potatoes — to come. The ad, released on Thursday, July 13 (seen above), begins with Barb driving a tractor through a field. Speaking to the camera with stereotypical 1980s beats playing in the background, she says, “Sometimes when things go away, they never come back, like me.” The hashtag “bringbackbarb” appears, followed by scenes of Barb riding the tractor through acres of potatoes. A voiceover by the star begins, explaining why it’s important to keep Earth’s soils healthy and productive.
“Together, we can bring back anything — even me,” Barb adds, now standing with a container of McCain French fries. However, the commercial ends on an unsettling note: A black mass flashes across the screen, resembling the Demogorgon that snatched Barb in Stranger Things. Uh-oh!
“McCain heard you wanted to #Bringbackbarb, so I’m back to tell you something important!” Shannon, 26, wrote in the caption of the ad she shared on her Instagram page. Fans went wild with excitement in the comment section after getting one more glimpse of Barb. “YO ON NATIONAL FRENCH FRIES DAY! LET’S GO! BRING BACK BARB,” one fan seemingly screamed from behind their computer screen. “this is the kind of advertising we want to see,” another fan wrote. A third added, “This is the justice for barb we needed … saving the word from the upsidedown!” Others, however, took a moment to judge the Duffer Brothers for giving Barb such an unceremonious exit from the show.
Stranger Things debuted in 2016 and instantly became a hit — and record breaker — for Netflix. But sadly, all good things must come to an end. The show’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, announced its upcoming fifth season will be its last. The final season of Stranger Things is expected to debut in 2025.
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