Kate Bush’s 1985 song “Running Up That Hill (Make a Deal with God)” has been enjoying a worldwide renaissance since last week: it became the unofficial song of the US Memorial Day weekend, topping the Apple Music charts and making the top 10 in 34 other countries. In the new season of Stranger Things, the song is given a special role: Max, who is mourning the death of her brother Billy, listens to the Bush classic over and over again, and (SPOILER ALERT), the song even saves her life.
The cult singer of the eighties, Kate Bush, is herself a huge fan of the show and when the creators approached her with their vision, she immediately gave her permission. But it’s not just Bush who’s a big fan of the Duffer brothers’ TV series! After a nearly three-year wait due to COVID, Stranger Things is finally back, the hype around the new episodes has remained unbroken, and once again, it’s producing impressive ratings for Netflix. The first episodes of Season 4 have already broken the record for the biggest opening weekend ever for an English-language series in the US, previously held by Bridgerton. Season 4 of the hit sci-fi series from the Duffer Brothers was watched by 287 million viewers in the week 23-30 May, almost immediately taking the number one spot. But that wasn’t enough: all four seasons of Stranger Things are back in the Netflix Top 5. In October 2019, season 3 was still the most-watched season of the series, with around 64 million households tuning in during its first month of release. According to Netflix, more than 40 million people watched Stranger Things season 3 in its first four days.
Stranger Things has already become a flagship Netflix show since its debut in 2016, featuring a cast of mostly young, brand-new actors including Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin, along with veteran actors Winona Ryder, Matthew Modine, and David Harbour. The Duffer brothers masterfully blend different genres, horror with science fiction, the childlike sensibility of youth cinema with the most astonishing supernatural elements, to end up with a unique investigative drama. The series is set in the 1980s and is full of references to the pop culture of the decade, with stylistic touches from directors such as Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter, but also the worlds of Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft.
With the fourth season, Netflix is scrapping the typical feature length and is once again pulling a new one: the shortest episode is 63 minutes long, while episode 7 is actually a 98-minute movie, and the yet-to-be-released season 4 finale will be nearly two and a half hours long.
Stranger Things season 4, part 2, will arrive on Netflix on July 1 and will consist of two episodes.