It's no secret that Netflix has been on a rollercoaster ride in recent months. Over 200,000 subscribers cut ties, cancelling the once must-have streaming service. It's down to a bunch of things: the cost of living crisis, Netflix itself laying off staff and burying projects before they're barely off the ground (here's every cancelled show in 2022 thus far), and too much competition.
With all that in mind, however, I've just resubscribed to Netflix. Why? Stranger Things, but of course. Now the 'part 1' phase of its fourth season is done and 'part 2' is also here to entertain us – Stranger Things is one of those blockbuster shows that maintains its much-watch status.
To me it's got cinema-like status: the kind of show that, when you sit down to watch it, feels special. As in: you'd pay to go and see it at a theatre. So, by that logic, I'm happy to chuck £15.99 at Netflix for a month of viewing. It's less than a ticket to the big screen and it'll deliver hours of entertainment.
Should I remain subscribed to Netflix?
Having already cancelled my Netflix subscription to save some cash, the way the streaming service has split Stranger Things 4 into two parts made a whole lot of sense to me. Because the two chapter-like releases fall over two months, meaning not a quick month of revenue, but at least two (and then it's easy to forget to cancel).
Which brings me to wonder how we arrived at the very idea of binge-watch culture. Yes, it can be fun. I'm currently revisiting some classics (Boardwalk Empire, albeit on Blu-ray). But if Netflix released an episode of Stranger Things, and other major week-by-week releases from month to month, then I might be hooked in enough to never consider unsubscribing.
But back to the original question: can Stranger Things save Netflix? The initial reviews were strong. And while 'part 2' is sure to be a disappointment, I'll still be watching with intent. Critics are loving it (except for the ultra-long episode runtimes).
But it'll all come down to the numbers. At least there's the promise of season 5 to follow in 2023. So, assuming that doesn't get axed (it just can't though), there's still plenty of life in the streaming giant yet.