When Netflix hears about a good thing, it knows to quickly grab it: and that's exactly what happened with Stranger Things, the most recent original series on the streaming service.
Stranger Things not only won over critics when it debuted a week ago, but it also won over fans with its special sense of '80s nostalgia that had people comparing it with that decade's work of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg. It's part Poltergeist and part Stand By Me, with a little Close Encounters of the Third Kind thrown in for good measure.
Stranger Things was such a success that it became the most popular original series on Netflix in July, even topping other recent seasons of hit series such as Daredevil and Orange is the New Black.
However, if it weren't for Netflix, that success might not have happened. Fortunately, Netflix decided to give Stranger Things a shot quickly: the subscription streaming service bought the rights to a full season of the series the day after hearing a pitch about it. Shawn Levy, founder of 21 Laps Entertainment, worked with the Duffer Brothers to pitch the series.
"It is to a large extent in my sweet spot in that it's very Spielberg-ian, Amblin-y, but it's also way creepier, way more genre," Levy said to the Hollywood Reporter. "The Duffer brothers [the writers] came in, and within 10 minutes I knew that these were future major guys. They had a self-assurance that was self-evident. So, we pitched it to Netflix, and within 24 hours, we had the whole season bought. We decided that we would direct all of the episodes ourselves."
Levy also wasn't surprised at the show's binge-worthiness.
"It's deeply addictive," he said. "I would read a script, give notes on the script, and be waiting for my inbox to deliver me the next script. We've really broken out stories and told the story in a way so that it works if you want to take a breather between episodes, but we expect that you won't."
The rest, as they say, is history: Stranger Things quickly became one of the most talked-about TV shows on social media.
The first season of Stranger Things is now on Netflix. The Duffer Brothers have ideas for season two, although Netflix hasn't officially announced it yet, but it's a sure bet that the show will get several seasons thanks to its success.