Before the pandemic hit it seemed like we were well on our way to more Stranger Things awesomeness sooner rather than later. A short teaser showed us that Hopper was indeed The American, and here I thought that was George Clooney, and was apart of a Russian chain gang. The scripts had been written and ready to roll. Production had begun aaaannnnd then #pandemic. Much like everything else production on season four of Stranger Things shut down and we now live in a world where the wait for this fourth season will be even longer than intended. Joy, he said sarcastically.
As the world has shifted into this weird nexus where nothing awesome is allowed to happen without the fear of spreading a global pandemic, most Stranger Things fans have turned to re-watches in order to get their Hawkins fix. Not like the pandemic has given many options besides massive binges but in our most stressful times it doesn’t hurt to tune into what makes you feel comfort. For many of us that’s seeing Eleven, Dustin, and the rest of the gang battle the Upside Down reminding of us of a simpler time like the ‘80s when all we had to worry about was terrible wardrobes, insane hairstyles, and a possible cocaine addiction.
Well, good news for those of us who have been waiting for any type of Stranger Things news ever since we saw Hopper getting his cold on in Russia. According to the Duffer Brothers, season four of the show will not be the last of the series! Most of us have suspected that there is only a few more seasons of Stranger Things left and some even believed that this fourth season, which looks to be so much larger in scale, would be the show’s last. The Duffer Brothers are here to put those fears to rest.
“Season four won’t be the end. We know what the end is, and we know when it is. The pandemic has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show. Starting to fill that out gave us a better idea of how long we need to tell that story.”- Ross Duffer
It’s been well documented that I love when a show knows when to end as it allows for tighter storytelling and certainly raises the stakes. Think back to LOST season three when Cuse and Lindelof told ABC that there could only be three more seasons otherwise we’d get more Jack tattoo flashback episodes and it changed the course of the show allowing for some really intense, and very important, story focused episodes. With ten episodes a season there isn’t much room for filler but knowing the end of the series allows the show to not drag its feet. Having an endgame is important for any story especially in television.
The bigger question becomes, how many more seasons does Stranger Things have left? I’ve pushed for five seasons to complete the story and I hope that the Duffers are thinking along those lines too. Even with an ending in their pocket, not a lot of shows have a great deal of success when they hit the seven or more season mark. Look at something like The Walking Dead which is going into season eleven and probably should have been put to bed after season… eight? Seven? Maybe after Rick Grimes left. That sounds like a better spot.
The other concern has to be the age of this cast. There was a pretty lengthy delay between seasons two and three, and because of COVID it appears that there will be another sizeable delay between seasons three and four. Part of the charm of Stranger Things is watching these kids grow up within this universe but I feel it’s important that the kids aren’t in their early to mid-twenties when this thing wraps. I don’t know, I just feel that hurts the integrity of the story? Unless there’s a planned time jump which could be a new direction for the show. Puberty is a hell of a thing.
And while Netflix has become stingy as of late with giving shows more than four seasons, I can’t see them pushing Stranger Things out the door before this story is complete. For starters this show is a cash cow for the streaming network and they have a strong relationship with the Duffer Brothers. I would be willing to bet that an agreement has already been reached concerning the end of Stranger Things. There’s comfort in knowing the safety of a beloved show.
Now, all we have to do is wait for production on season four to pick back up. Yet, that all depends on COVID and the environment is safe. In the meantime, re-watch (again), make some more waffles, play some D&D, read some of the books, and smile knowing that there is more Stranger Things in our future. On a one to ten excitement level, that news is an Eleven.