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‘Stranger Things’ could be the most important show on Netflix

Otherworldly battles + ’80s nostalgia + cool kids = gold for Netflix.

Photo of Stranger Things kids from Netflix series Stranger Things 2	Screengrab from Netflix’s “Stranger Things 2” trailer

We don't know if “Stranger Things” is Netflix's biggest hit. But “Stranger Things” feels like Netflix's biggest hit, and Netflix is certainly treating it that way: It has been promoting the show nonstop in the 15-month run-up to the new season of “Stranger Things 2,” which is now live. (Wait, don’t go check yet!)

Again, we won’t ever know if Netflix’s big marketing run-up actually worked, because the company famously doesn’t release numbers about its home-grown programming or really anything else on the streaming service. It’s pretty much a black hole for metrics.

But. I do know that I’ll be bingeing the show this weekend. If you're going to be joining us in creating a permanent butt-print on the couch, here are some things to consider:

  1. The New York Times has an excellent breakdown of Season 1 so you can remind yourself of all the details from the first series.
  2. It’s no accident that “Stranger Things” has what calls a “pitch-perfect homage to the 1980s. And that includes its great open credit sequence.” Watch our sister site’s breakdown of how it was created to fully appreciate it.

3. Netflix is spending more on content than any other streaming service. This year alone, it will spend $6 billion. That’s $1.5 billion more than Amazon Prime Video and twice as much as HBO and Hulu. On Netflix’s Q3 earnings call recently, CEO Reed Hastings said the company is expected to spend close to $8 billion in 2018.

Graphic of how much Netflix, Hulu and HBO spend on original content

4. Netflix is on a roll, beating its own and Wall Street’s projections this past quarter. It added 5.3 million streaming subscribers around the world and had told Wall Street that it would add 4.4 million.

Graphic of how many subscribers Netflix has added to its service over quarters

5. Producers will finally be able to get some sense of how many people watch their shows — including rival shows. TV measurement firm Nielsen will start providing estimates (for a price). But Netflix isn’t buying it. “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix,” Netflix said in a press statement.

GIF of Winona Ryder in Stranger Things holding a ball of christmas lights as she talks to her son Will who is lost in the Upside Down Netflix

6. On a non-business note, take a few minutes and rewatch this genius Saturday Night Live skit about Lucas’s family (which SNL rightly points out is never mentioned or seen. What’s up with that, Duffer brothers?) and the real monsters in our world.

6. Finally, never forget the best character with the least amount of screen time from Season 1: Barb.

Barb from Stranger Things getting sucked into the Upside Down Screengrab from Netflix

Sorry, Barb. You deserved better.

This article originally appeared on

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