Part of the reason Stranger Things is so great is because it goes against the typical stereotypes of '80s films. The "hot jock" in Steve is actually an incredible three-dimensional character. Look at him! He has a bruise on his face, people!
There are tons of theories floating around the internet about what exactly Eleven is up to and what the deal is with the Upside Down (besides being a place that is so terrifying it makes me pee from fear a little bit just thinking about it).
According to co-writer and co-creator Matt Duffer: “Barb will not be forgotten. We’ll make sure there’s some justice for Barb. People get very frustrated, understandably, that the town doesn’t seem to be really dealing with Barb. That stuff is all happening. We’re just not spending any screen time on it. It’s not like her parents are like ‘Oh Barb left. She died!’ Season One actually takes place over the course of six or seven days — it’s a really short period of time. So part of what we want to do with hypothetical Season 2 is to explore the repercussions of everything that happened.”
NOPE! There's a glimmer of hope (can you even call it hope if you hate a character so much?) that Brenner will return. According to the writers and creators: “I would say that if we were going to kill Brenner… As an audience member watching the show, if that was his death, that would be very unsatisfying to me — when the monster jumps on him and we cut away. He would deserve much more than that as an ending. So yes, there’s a possibility of seeing him again.”