This post was republished on 6/25.
Well, it finally happened, and it took another juggernaut to knock Stranger Things season 4 off the #1 spot on Netflix's top 10 list after nearly a month planted there.
That would be season 3 of The Umbrella Academy, Netflix's hyper-successful non-Marvel or DC superhero series about an odd band of brothers and sister dealing with time travel paradoxes upon their return.
Stranger Things season 4 almost lasted in the #1 spot until July 1, which is when part 2 of the season airs with the final two episodes, which will no doubt propel it to #1 yet again for a period of time. Right now, the show is slowly inching toward Squid Game's viewership record, but it will need those final two episodes to perform even better than the previous seven if it hopes to catch it.
Regardless, Stranger Things season 4 has set all manner of English-language records for the service, and even if Netflix often sees conversations about its series fade after a week or weekend, that really has not happened with Stranger Things, given the short gap between part 1 and part 2, and "cultural moments" being created out of the first seven episodes, like how Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill is now charting #1 globally after 30+ years due to its use in the one of the season's best moments.
As for The Umbrella Academy, HBO has DC, Disney has Marvel, Amazon has The Boys and Invincible and Netflix has these misfits. But unlike the failed experiment of Netflix's Jupiter's Legacy, The Umbrella Academy has proven to be a great , highly-watched series over the last three years, and given its insta-placement at #1 after its debut, that suggests more of the same from season 3 here, as the gang is forced to take on an altered-timeline version of their own team, the Sparrow Academy. I'm only three episodes in, but it's great so far.
The Umbrella Academy is low key one of Netflix's most successful shows, routinely landing inside the top 10 for its yearly English language offerings. The Umbrella Academy does not have a pre-greenlit season 4, but it seems likely the series will continue on as long as it wants, a rare opportunity for only the most successful Netflix programs. Stranger Things, we know, will conclude at the behest of its showrunners in season 5.
Before this, Stranger Things had held off multiple comers who never made it past the #2 slot like, All American, Keep Sweet, God's Favorite Idiot and First Kill. I figured it would take something big to move it, and yes, The Umbrella Academy certainly qualifies as that. I'm only three episodes into the 10 episode season, but it's as fantastic as ever so far. I expect to see it remain on top until Stranger Things returns for part 2.
There's some news about the current #1 series, The Umbrella Academy, in that next season could be its last.
While Netflix has not renewed the show yet, it seems pretty likely, even if they're normally somewhat cancellation-happy, given the scale of hit that it's been. It also seems as if the plan is to end after just one more season, which would be additional reasoning to let them finish out the arc of the show.
This news comes from showrunner Steve Blackman himself speaking to The Wrap about the prospect for season 4. Here's what he had to say:
"I think inevitably if we got a Season 4, it's going towards an endgame," Blackman said. "I think at a certain point, I'm not sure where we'd go after Season 4. We have to be careful. My plan for next year is not to continually tread on the same ground we have before. It's a challenge to come up with a new way to subvert this storyline, and I think we have an idea how to do that. But I think if we got to Season 4, it would be a great ending for the run of the show. I'm not saying I couldn't do more, but you know, I think that would be very satisfying for the audience, four seasons."
So this doesn't necessarily mean season 4 would be the end, but just that he has an idea in mind of how to end it if they got that far. I already think the show is "retreading familiar ground" a bit too often, especially with the way both season 2 and season 3 ended, but we'll have to see what Blackman has in mind for season 4, and what could be the grand finale of the whole endeavor.
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