BYLER IS REAL, AND THIS WE STRONGLY FEEL!!
we got to admit something. byler is real. and we ship it so hard. for anyone who is not living life to the fullest (aka anyone who doesn't have the feeling of condensed milk rising in their body when they think of byler....it sounds weird but the comparison of condensed milk to your swelling-love feeling is dead on), we will fix that. byler is the most adorable ship (relationship) from any tv show EVER!! it consists of the characters mike wheeler and will byers from netflix's stranger things. now, if you haven't seen stranger things, please go fix that. personally, for personal and filmmakeic (??) reasons, we think the third season was not very good, but season one and two absolutely still hold up and season four is very redeemable. and we can assume that, if you haven't seen this iconic television phenomenon yet, you have heard this already, but we will say it again. GO WATCH STRANGER THINGS!! what are you hiding from?? anyway, this isn't a "go watch stranger things" sidenote, this is all about byler. therefore, if you haven't seen the show, you may not understand what we are talking about, but you are happy to read along. these are just facts. literal. factual. real-life. facts.
like most byler shippers, we shipped them from the get-go. we watched stranger things on our 15th birthday. initially, we didn't watch the show when it first came out, because we were very, overly sensitive childs and would've definitely been "scarred" or something. however, the show did interest us. funny enough (switching to third person quickly), annie was interested, because she thought will and mike were twins (HAHA), and katie thought dustin was going to be the main character. 🤷♀️ funny how your brain can truly convince yourself that a show is going to be completely different when you don't know any better (also end of third person). another thing that helped was the fact that we meet the cast, prior, at the dallas fan expo convention.
we were in that hella awkward, middle-school-phase and didn't know the hype of who they were (plus, katie was super nervous, because we were meeting DUSTIN!! the main character), so you can probably imagine how cringe those encounters were 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️. honestly though, we weren't going to meet them, but we thought "let's meet them before they get famous", even though they were there for promotion of the second season and therefore already famous 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️. plus, our mom had grilled us the days leading up to the convention for not meeting millie bobby brown a few years back. it's probably a good time to mention that we've been going to the fan expo's version of "comic con" twice a year with our grandpa since fourth grade. (our grandpa is cool like that, deal.) so, we did have the chance to meet millie when literally the whole world didn't know about stranger things yet, but, at that time, we were very, very nervous and intimated by her due to our social-awkward-hermit-ness. our grandpa was just like "she's around your age", but for whatever reason that scared us more, and we just shook our heads 'no'. that said, she did pass us, walking to her lunch break or something, and kindly said "hi" to us.
(we included a super cringey middle-school-phase photo of us, so you can also really understand the unfathomable cringe we are talking about - 😵💫😵💫😵💫😵💫🤢🤢🤢🤢🤮🤮🤮🤮💀💀💀💀💀💀💀💀
GOING BACK TO OUR 15TH BIRTHDAY!! jjeezz, do we know how to sidenote in our sidetones or what?!?! sorry about that. anyways, we have now since graduated high school, so we can finally say this without fear, but we actually skipped school to watch the show. the thing was our birthday was on a sunday, and it was that sunday that one of us (annie) decided it was time to put an end to the long-time pining to watch the show and finally convinced the other to watch stranger things. so, with the help of our mom's convincing and participation in the binge, we did!! we got through the first six episodes of the first season that sunday. but like all sundays, the unfortunate monday followed. but we didn't let this stop us. in true aries style, we were obsessed, and we told our parents that "THE ONLY THING WE WANT[ED] FOR OUR BIRTHDAY [WAS] TO STAY HOME AND FINISH STRANGER THINGS SEASON 1 AND 2". to be fair, we weren't really doing anything that monday, because we had a district test that tuesday, but that did mean we went into that district test only thinking about stranger things....it is definitely a special memory for us that we keep close to the heart.
BUT now that you know about how we got here, IT'S TIME TO TALK BYLER!! going perfectly along with our middle-school-phase cringe and our aries obsession, we wended up re-watching season one and two about 3, 4, 10+ times. we even made 555-odd question quizzes for each other to test our knowledge about the show. like we said, true aries obsession - it's real (like byler 😆). anyway, it was somewhere during this time that we started keying in on mike and will's very close relationship. we began shipping them before 'shipping' was even a common phrase. we would tell our mom how mike is always there for will, and she would just smile and dismiss the idea, knowing that this was probably just us over-analyzing the show in our obsessive minds. from the outside, yes. yes, we were totally geeking out over this show that, from the outside, us preaching about byler just looked like more of that. at least, that was until season three. once we finally got the "it's not my fault you don't like girls" scene, we were vindicated. but not with our parents. they still believe, 'til this day, that we are over fantasizing about this theory. we were vindicated with the online world. we aren't very social people (if that wasn't cleared up above), but we do know how to use the internet to look up things, and that's when we first saw the word: byler. after this, we knew that we weren't the only ones thinking this, and we were able to watch the byler *mash-ups* or fan-made-videos. we have included some of our favs below, but don't just rush to scroll. we still got lots to rant about.
the first thing that people who don't believe in others' theories ask about is PROOF. so let's commence the byler proof, shall we??
PROOF A) TENSION
the main evidence surrounding the proof of byler is from the show's tension. unfortunately, we can't force you to watch that or have all that information zapped into your brain to understand what we mean by this at the moment, but, to fill you in on the gist, mike and will got lotta tension. sexual tension at that (in the later seasons when they're older). we get a lot of lingering stares, shared heart eyes, the "crazy together" scene, a bunch of 'mike being there for will' moments, more 'mike being protective of will' moments in the second season, will clearly being bitter in the third season when seeing mileven together, also his sad puppy face when mike favors eleven over him on several occasions, and let's not forget the "it's not my fault you don't like girls" scene. basically, any scene with them together (!!), the evidence is crystal, and the tension is clear. specifically, going back to the fact that they ALWAYS look at one another. you can feel it through your screen, those looks are definitely more than friendly. but you might see that evidence more as....
PROOF B) SUBTEXT
whether you like it or not, subtext is up to interpretation. yes, subtext can be blunt and to-the-point, but, at the end of the day, it's all up to the audience to decide what is being said nonverbally. why?? because good writers know not to write in a character's subtext. if they crap it up and do write subtext in, that's when you get into unrealistic dialogue or, as we call it, infopackets. so, even though when you write you may get the urge to coddle your audience through the plot, refusing to do so essentially what you have to do. like we said, whether you like it or not. this relates to byler, because byler is practically the best example of subtext, and the memes and pictures on the left are just a few examples of this. they are fan-curated byler theories that are all surrounding what is not being said. likewise, this also plays hand in hand to what is called backstory. traditionally, you, as a viewer, think of backstory as a character's past, but have you ever wondered how it comes about?? luckily, we are well-educated film students and can tell you. backstory for a character is gathered from script facts and imaginative facts. script facts are facts about the characters in the, duh, script. we would even go as far to also include the possible character profile, if a writer has made one, but, in general, this is just facts from the script. however, imaginative facts are facts that are not in the script. this means actors can make them up to give their character history. AND, like we said previously, inforpackets are not encouraged script writing. thus, an actor isn't going to, first, drop their backstory in the middle of a scene and, second, they're not going to go out of their way to ask the director if they can do so. as a result, noah - and even finn - could have included hints at byler in their acting and in their SUBTEXT, because of the imaginative fact that byler is real. that's just our filmmaker-minds' take, but you can believe what you want out of the subtext, but, we promise you, this last one is harder to ignore....
PROOF C) OBVIOUS EVIDENCE
when all else fails, look to the answers. obvious evidence would be what we were talking about before with the script facts, as you can see that from our pictorial-proof of the original season two script. so go and say "byler isn't real", if you want, but the script say otherwise. it literally says that, during the snowball dance scene, will's eyes, aren't on "cute girl" but "are on -- mike". 🙌🙌 equally evident, we have the FACT that mike was listening to will's mixtape while he was making out with el. subtlety is key to genius-ness, and man, was this subtle. so subtle that we have to give credit to @byler_endgame on instagram for finding this one. her entire page is very telling, but we found this post very intriguing for our sidenote. when we open season three with mike and el weirdly kissing in her room (after all russia stuff), we see that they are playing music off of a boom box, but we guess, just like us, no one really thought to check it out. thankfully for us, @byler_endgame decided to, because that is such a pronounced byler proof moment!! and it's just some OBVIOUS EVIDENCE to disprove anyone who thinks byler is just some *silly* theory. 'cause why would mike - or eleven - turn on will's mixtape during a make out sesh?? to set the mood, perhaps??
ultimately, put all these versions of proof together and it's pretty (*good*) difficult to avoid believing that byler is real. and especially if you have had the magnificent chance to watch volume one of the fourth season - HOLY COW does that have major byler pulse or what?? sure, sure, nothing has been officially made official, but we are essentially there. we, byler shippers, don't just have to look at the accurate byler memes anymore!! (though they still hold up, so of course we had to add some of them for kicks and giggles)
OH HOW COULD WE FORGET!! most of all....if we didn't just lose our shit while watching all the obvious - blatantly obvious - byler moments in volume one of season four of stranger things, we about lost what was left after stumbling upon this interview....
CAN'T EVEN!! and we know that's SO gen-z-er of us to say, but it's true. volume two for season four needs to release pronto, because we seriously can't stop losing our shit. byler is official. byler is real. and byler is everything.
if you don't see it, that's fine. we, byler shippers, will just go crazy together!!