Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ Becomes Most Popular Digital Original Series: Here’s Why Viewers Are Hooked
Netflix is no stranger to being the home for addicting series that viewers just have to finish in a weekend's worth of binge-watching. Any pop culture or Netflix fan can rattle off a few titles from the top of their heads, like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Daredevil.
However, it's actually a brand new series that is taking over the platform by storm.
According to Parrot Analytics, the data science company that has tools that measure the demand for TV content, Netflix's Stranger Things was named the most popular digital original series in the U.S. from the week of July 17 to 23.
Parrot Analytics data found that, in just the first week after its July 15 release, the new Netflix original sci-fi show became more popular than OITNB, with over three times the demand.
Stranger Things was even more popular than BoJack Horseman, the fan-favorite animated series that just released its season 3 over the weekend.
Those who have seen the new series won't be surprised by this at all. Stranger Things has the ability to hook the viewer early on and take them on this interestingly twisted ride that is a combination of E.T. meets Carrie meets Silent Hill — just to spit them out and leave them feeling empty and wanting more when it finally reaches a monstrous conclusion.
There are a few reasons why the show is so captivating. At its core, it's a thriller that is about a mother's (played by Winona Ryder) endless search to find her 12-year-old son Will (Noah Schnapp) who goes missing in their small town in Indiana in 1983.
That means it's a mystery series and remains feeling mysterious up until the very end, and even after all the events are over.
As Will's mom, Joyce Byers, begins to work with local police, including Jim Hopper (David Harbour), Will's three best friends are also on the hunt to find out what happened — as they all begin to uncover details about a mystery that involves top-secret government experiments and the supernatural abilities of a little girl known as Eleven (Mille Bobby Brown).
Its plot alone will have viewers curious to find out what is really going on in the town and who — or rather what — is kidnapping children. Finding things out along the way just contributes to making Stranger Things creepy, even more mysterious and yes, strange.
Another reason why this series is such a hit is because it feels familiar. Stranger Things brings on the nostalgia factor with '80s hairstyles and high school fashion, walkie talkies and a time when kids used to ride their bikes throughout their neighborhoods.
Following these boys in their suburban town in their quest can't help but have the viewer thinking of The Goonies, whereas the more supernatural parts seem to pay a homage to classic alien films — not to mention having a Freddy Krueger type living in the walls of the house.
Despite feeling familiar, the series is still fresh. The series feels like it takes pages from John Carpenter and Stephen King, while still being unique in its own right. Its story and characters are original, interesting and just straight-up entertaining, while paying homage to the greats across the horror and supernatural genres. Before long, the viewer will be a few episodes in and won't be able to stop watching.
Stranger Things is the hybrid series for any crime, mystery, thriller, alien, monster movie and supernatural fan. It successfully features other dimensions, a haunting creature and telepathic abilities all in one storyline without it seeming unbelievable. Not once does it feel corny, nor is it afraid to really go there and take the audience into a dark world. Also, just wait until the viewer sees what the "monster" looks like.
When the viewer finishes the series, they are left feeling like it's just not fair that this season is over and they will have to wait another year for the story to continue.
However, Stranger Things creators, writers and directors Matt and Ross Duffer (better known as the Duffer Brothers) do have plenty of ideas for season 2 of the series that might answer some lingering questions.
Although Netflix has not officially announced more episodes, there are lots of details that the Duffer Brothers have ready to go the next time around. This includes the possible connection between what Hopper really knows when it comes to Eleven and their future interactions after dealing with his guilt, as well as what the Upside Down is really like and how it really affects those who come back.
There is hope that, with its growing popularity, Stranger Things will make a comeback soon. In the meantime, don't be the only person not streaming the series.