I don't know what's going on with the fourth season of Stranger Things, but the show's creators seem to be experimenting with it. They are turning it into a long event full of long episodes, and are dividing the season up oddly. We know that season 5 is still to come, so this is not special for the final season.
The final episode and release schedule are here.
The first seven episodes are on May 27.
The last two episodes are on July 1.
What are you going to do here? I am not sure if I have ever seen a show do something like 75+ minute episodes with this regularity. I think a series like Sherlock has done movie-length episodes, but only three a season, not nine, and not with a finale as long as a superhero movie. The final season of Game of Throne did not go this crazy, and again, this is not the final season of Stranger Things.
With a budget of $30 million an episode, I suppose that allows for longer episodes at baseline, but the other odd decision is the split between the first seven episodes and the last two about a month later. This seems to address a common complaint withNetflix series, that no matter how big they are, new seasons are often forgotten about after the first week or weekend, and this way, we now have a 4 hour event in July as everyone tunes in. We've seen this more often recently with the biggest series on the service, as Ozark just split itself in half for its final season with a short break in between the parts, but it's still not going full weekly release. I think this is a continuation of that, but we won't have the final two episodes finished.
We will see if it works. Some of the first episodes are getting early reviews. It's going to be a monster, but it's curious what they're doing with these long episodes and the odd cutoff for the final two episodes.
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The Herokiller series and The Earthborn trilogy are my sci-fi novels.