Doja Cat’s Scarlet album is here, people, and you know what that means! More epic music videos. Doja Cat thrilled fans by finally releasing her highly-anticipated 17-song fourth album on Sept. 22, and she has already dropped one of the most iconic music videos for her track “Agora Hills.” Doja, as always, is serving several looks throughout this retro, ’80s-like video, and people are already saying how similar this production seems to the hit television series Stranger Things.
Stranger Things is all about dangerous and mysterious forces, and Doja has been increasingly using this gory, horror theme to promote Scarlet. And there’s no better way to continue this eerie and nostalgic world than masterfully blending elements of horror and nostalgia, creating a visual masterpiece that seems to pay homage to Stranger Things while maintaining her unique style.
Agora Hills — which could be a reference to Lenora Hills, where the Byers family moves in Stranger Things Season 4 — plays a significant role in the video, showcasing Doja Cat’s small town and childhood bedroom. The emphasis on childhood could mirror the importance of youth in Stranger Things as the show follows a group of tween friends. All of these scenes throughout the music video seem to be filmed via old tapes, harkening back to the ‘80s era of cassettes.
The video kicks off in a bathroom, and for Stranger Things fans, this image immediately conjures memories of the Rainbow Room or Hawkins National Laboratory, places where secret experiments were conducted on some of the main characters from the show. When a pair of heels walks into the shower, viewers are met with a chilling scene — blood being washed away and going down the drain. This instantly creates a sense of impending doom as the story unfolds.
Once the scene changes to one of the roads in the small town, sparks fly and chaos ensues, mirroring the relentless forces that threaten Hawkins in the series. Doja effortlessly captures the danger and intrigue as she floats in the air above the street, similar to the character Eleven. In the background, the Upside Down is even visible to watchers as the sky reflects the town below it.
Later on, we even witness Doja’s transformation from a long-haired girly-girl to shaved head tomboy. If this uncanny parallel didn’t confirm the ties between Stranger Things and “Agora Hills,” then I don’t know what will. Doja looks almost identical to Eleven, especially as she explores the laboratory-like cellar. The crew she is with down there also seem to mimic the psychokinetic child test subjects of Hawkins.
The end of the video also exudes mall rat vibes, reminiscent of the popular mall setting in Stranger Things Season 3. The neon-lit corridors and the vintage storefronts capture that ‘80s mall culture, while Doja and her crew hang out and dance throughout it. It’s a captivating nod to a time where malls were not just for shopping but also social hubs, adding an extra layer of charm to Doja’s choice for this video’s overall aesthetic and vibes.
In the final scene, Doja Cat rides a bicycle throughout that small town, paying a clear homage to the main characters in the series. While everything seems fine at first, once she goes under the bridge, destruction and chaos erupt once again, completely alluding to a portal to the Upside Down. Despite her beef with Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp, Doja clearly still is a devoted fan through “Agora Hills,” and I’m here for it.