This Stranger Things character starred in an HBO Dark Comedy series

The following contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1 now streaming on Netflix.

With Hopper trapped in Russia, the police in stranger things Season 4 is set to investigate the new Big Bad causing murders in Hawkins, Indiana. Phil Callahan served as Hopper’s right-hand man on various investigations, making him a strong recurring character on the show. Actor John Reynolds plays Officer Callahan, but he’s not used as much as he could be as he’s proven to be a solid lead in another critically acclaimed HBO Max show – Research group.


Although not as popular as the juggernaut that is stranger things, Research group is a vastly underrated dark comedy series. The HBO Max series ran for five seasons and was picked up from its original premiere on TBS ahead of its third season. Reynolds played one of the main characters with a strong cast, including Alia Shawkat, John Early, Meredith Hagner, and Brandon Michael Hall. In Research groupDrew (Reynolds) was a complicated character who often thought of himself as a good person when most of his actions didn’t fit that narrative, adding depth and complexity to him in the same way as many other characters on the show. .


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On stranger things, Officer Callahan doesn’t get much screen time because he’s not a main character. He serves as a goofy sidekick to the officer in charge of the case. For most of the series, he played Hopper’s sidekick, who dominated every scene as one of the main characters. But in Season 4, Callahan has a better chance of making a small impact on the audience since he serves as a sidekick to another supporting character. More of his reactions are filmed and his opinion seems to have a higher value than previously seen on the show.


This extra spotlight might give viewers a chance to recognize it from Research group, Four weddings and a funeral (where he played another leading role) or the Netflix psychological drama horse girl (with Alison Brie of Community). Reynolds slowly made a name for himself through regular performances in the Chicago comedy scene, and landing those big roles was a strong transition for him into the film and television industry. His presence in stranger things serves as a fun cameo for his growing fan base.

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Watching Officer Callahan do his best to crack the case was an entertaining experience as he serves as a reactionary background character for stranger things. The events that have transpired in Hawkins over the years would shock most people, and Callahan took those situations head on. With Season 4, Volume 2 releasing later this summer, Callahan has a chance to make more of an impression once Hopper returns from Russia (or there’s hope, at least) since he’s been such a reliable sidekick over the years. Let’s hope he doesn’t get killed off, as some characters might appear in the show’s final installment, but only time will tell.


Reynolds was cast as Officer Callahan around the same time he was cast as Drew in Research group, so it’s unlikely the creators could have predicted his personal success as the lead in another series that’s pretty much run side-by-side over the years. Drew had his own murder cases to solve as an ordinary man living in New York City with hilarious reactions to the unthinkable things he and his friends go through. More reactions and involvement from Reynolds could have made a significant difference, but Reynolds does his best as a one-dimensional character and adds humor in his own way throughout.

Stranger Things is now streaming on Netflix and Search Party is now streaming on HBO Max.

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