Freelance writer and humorist turned accidental science journalist Mary Roach likes to ask the questions we all wonder about but are usually too polite to mention. What happens after we die, anyway? How fast do cadavers rot? Can a corpse have an orgasm? Writing the Health Body column for Salon. Com quickened her interest in the dead -- that, and looking at the hit count for her columns on cadavers. Her books and sprung out of research done for a proposed Salon column called the Dead Beat (sadly, it was killed). Her most recent book,, is a romp through the current landscape of gynecology, sex research and the adult novelty industry.

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In addition to her dry (and sometimes silly) wit, Roach has a penchant for funny voices, faking her way through interviews with expert scientists, and wheedling her way into strange locales, among them a dildo factory and under the business end of an ultrasound wand during coitus. [Spoiler alert: The following interview covers plot details from the entire eight-episode first season of Netflix s. Do not read until you ve finished the season. ]The world got very strange indeed over the first eight episodes of Netflix s.

The 85s-set and inspired series from creators-writers-directors The (twins Matt and Ross) solved its central mystery of exactly what happened to Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) who was reunited with his mother, Joyce ( ), and brother, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), after spending a week in a parallel dimension known as the Upside Down but raised plenty of other questions. What happened to telekinetic badass Eleven (scene stealer ) after she destroyed the Upside Down monster? Does Chief Hopper (David Harbour) know where she is, or is he leaving those Eggos in the woods in an attempt to reach her? What sent Nancy (Natalia Dyer) back into the arms of her boyfriend, Steve (Joe Keery)? Can Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) possibly have as much fun playing Dungeons Dragons now that they ve faced off with real monsters?

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Variety spoke with the about bringing the first season to a close, how they came up with the look of the Upside Down and its hungry inhabitant, the fate of poor Barb (Shannon Purser), and what they ve got up their sleeves for Season 7 (which Netflix has not officially greenlit yet). When you ve got eight episodes to tell your story, how do you decide to pace out a reveal like the extent of Eleven s powers? Matt: The idea was to slowly tease her powers out over the season. It was pretty extreme right away.

As soon as we started mapping out the season and realized we had eight hours, we started to scale it back. A lot of the drive of the show is not just looking for Will, it s learning about her and her backstory, and how she connects to all of this. We built an entire backstory for her, and the trick was where to drop those puzzle pieces in. By the end of episode six, you know a lot about her. It was the same approach we had with the monster, that sort of Jaws approach hint at it but don t show much, so you have somewhere to go.

Ross: When you finally do reveal it, it has more impact. With Eleven, when you see her do these extreme things later on in the season it has impact. You start simply with floating a Millennium Falcon, very small things, and hopefully it builds and builds. How much do we know about Eleven s true origins at this point, and how much did you want to keep a mystery?

Ross: We get the hint that her mom was involved in the experimentations back in the day resulting in her being born with these powers, but what we wanted to do with the show and this season specifically was mostly seeing the mystery and these extraordinary things through the eyes of these ordinary characters.

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