It’s notoriously known that Netflix is super secretive about divulging its streaming numbers for a simple reason; if producers and studios knew exactly how many people watched, then they would demand more money.
Mitigating any leverage in the negotiation process is a genius tactic. However, occasionally they will reveal how many people watched only if it’s an original production.
And Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3” had a monstrous four-day opening, but here’s everything that was wrong with the show.
It was the streaming sensation that took the nation by storm almost exactly four years ago on July 15th 2016. “Stranger Things” was the most nostalgic 1980s show appealing to older generations that lived through the time period. While it centers around a ragtag team of pre-teen characters, the show was clearly marketed towards adults with its violence and mystery elements.
The third season just hit Netflix and it smashed records.
Netflix tweeted, “Stranger Things 3 is breaking Netflix records! 40.7 million household accounts have been watching the show since its July 4 global launch — more than any other film or series in its first four days. And 18.2 million have already finished the entire season.”
.@Stranger_Things 3 is breaking Netflix records!
40.7 million household accounts have been watching the show since its July 4 global launch — more than any other film or series in its first four days. And 18.2 million have already finished the entire season.
— Netflix US (@netflix) July 8, 2019
The third installment beat out the previous records set by “Bird Box” and then “Murder Mystery.”
But was it all it was cracked up to be?
The third season picks up around six months after the end of season two when they closed the portal into the upside down, but now the kids are growing up. For instance, they’re losing interest in playing Dungeons & Dragons and are more focused on the pursuit of girls.
The show dove deeper into the romances of Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and El (Millie Bobby Brown), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink), and Dustin and Suzie (kind of), and provided new perspectives on the subject from other characters. Also, it seems as though Steve finally finds the girl for him (again, kind of), his co-worker at an ice cream shop in the mall, Robin (Maya Hawke).
This season was bigger and bolder than the two previous seasons; you could tell the production got a lot more money in their budget.
But while the budget expanded, the storytelling lacked focus.
Underneath the new expensive mall is a secret Russian project; basically to open a new portal into the upside down, which coincidentally also happens to be the most interesting part of the season involving Dustin, Steve, Robin and a phenomenal comedic performance by Priah Ferguson as Erica, or as they joke in the show, “you can’t say America without Erica.”
Outside of that one storyline, it was mostly bland, except when you see the CGI of the mind flayer in all of its glory. Yes, even Hopper’s (David Harbour) storyline alongside Joyce (Winona Rider) wasn’t as good. In fact, you could tell Harbour was making the most out of what he was given.
An article published by “The Ringer” recently entitled “Does Season 3 Have an Eleven Problem?” focused specifically on the sixth episode with the showdown between the mind flayer and Eleven in the hospital. It raised an interesting question about stakes; basically saying the stakes are pointless if Eleven solves everything with her superpowers.
And that’s why the Duffer Brothers were wise to show Eleven losing her powers in the final two episodes.
Other than that, it was a remarkably weak season and by far the worst of the series. With that said, there’s no way Hopper is dead. The American they were talking about in the credits sequence was absolutely him, wasn’t it?