"Stranger Things" is the English-language Netflix series with the most viewers – and after "Squid Game" the best Netflix production ever. The latest "Stranger Things" season not only broke the streaming record – but also caused the Netflix servers to fail.
Unsurprisingly, the streaming giant would love to continue producing many, many more seasons of the hit series. However, the creators of "Stranger Things", the Duffer brothers, announced years ago that the series would only have five seasons. So the next season will be the last – but Netflix has already announced an offshoot. The spin-off is also based on an idea by the Duffer brothers.
"Stranger Things" is reminiscent of "Supernatural"
The whole thing is very reminiscent of "Supernatural". The series about the Winchester brothers was also originally supposed to have five seasons – that's what producer Eric Kripke had planned at the time. Subsequent seasons faltered at times, as if the screenwriters had run out of ideas. But then the series got the curve and ran for a whopping 15 seasons.
In the case of "Supernatural," too, parent station CW wanted to milk the cow longer – and so it came about that over the years six spin-offs were announced (including an anime series). But, whether "Ghostfacers", "Supernatural: Bloodlines" or "Wayward Sisters": The projects did not have a long life and were mostly abandoned immediately after the pilot episode. There is still a chance: "The Winchesters" will start in October 2022. Let's see if this backstory will go any better.
What makes "Stranger Things" so successful…
"Stranger Things" offshoot could be a huge flop
"Stranger Things" and "Supernatural" owe their success to three elements: an interesting, extraordinary story, the atmosphere and especially the characters.
"Supernatural" was an interesting take on biblical mythology, wowed us with the soundtrack and the black impala – and we all fell in love with Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki). What's more, we also loved the cast and the brotherly bond between them.
"Stranger Things" told us an exciting, unusual story and also took us back to the 80s – pure nostalgia! Many of us could identify with the nerdy youngsters or at least found them sympathetic.
And that's exactly what is missing in offshoots that are discontinued after a short time: the characters and certain emotions that the story and the atmosphere arouse in us. We don't want any backstory or narrative around any supporting characters! We want more of what we already love.
… and why the spin-off could become a huge flop
Hardly anything has leaked out about the "Stranger Things" spin-off so far. The Duffer brothers only announced that it will be "1000 percent different". They will no longer direct and – as far as is known – the current actors will no longer be there either. So if the story and the atmosphere are different and the characters are missing as well – why should we still watch the new series at all? What else connects you to the original?
If the spin-off and the original series actually only share the name, I think viewers will watch the first two to three episodes because we're all curious. After that, however, the quality should go downhill and Netflix will quickly discontinue the spin-off. The streaming provider is already doing this for successful series. After two or three seasons it's over.
Under what circumstances the offshoot could be successful
I can only imagine two scenarios how the spin-off could be successful:
The first idea would be to make an anthology out of "Stranger Things" – similar to "American Horror Story". An expanded universe, such as the Arrowverse with the series "Arrow", "The Flash", "Supergirl", "Legends of Tomorrow" and the like would also be a possibility. In this case, the spin-off would have a completely different story, different characters, etc. They would probably have elements in common, such as the shadow world or the plot that takes place in the 80s. Although, hand on heart: I would also like a journey through time. Thanks to the parallel dimension, you can also play with this idea.
Speaking of other decades/centuries, here comes the second version, which should please many: skip a few years and follow the current characters and their development in the 90s. The children of that time are now young adults and you don't have to explain the leap in time. Nostalgics and fans of the current clique would definitely be there again – it only remains to be seen whether Elfie actress Millie Bobby Brown & Co. would also join in.