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Stranger Things Season 4 Officially Falls Short Of A Major Record

"Stranger Things" Season 4, which released its episodes in two batches in May and July, has been the binge-watch of the summer. Featuring new fan-favorite characters, such as Joseph Quinn as misunderstood D&D club leader Eddie Munson, as well as a fearsome new villain in the form of powerful Upside-Down entity Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower), all the ingredients were there to make the latest season a must-watch for Netflix viewers around the world. The fact that Season 4 received mostly positive reviews from critics and audiences didn't hurt, either.

By most metrics of success, Season 4 of "Stranger Things" lived up to the hype. According to Deadline, the release of Vol. 1 in May broke the record for most hours watched during a premiere weekend for a Netflix series, beating "Bridgerton" Season 2 for the honor. And not to be outdone, the Duffer Brothers' latest return to Hawkins, Indiana quickly rocketed to become Netflix's most-watched English language program ever, per Variety.

But despite its juggernaut success, there's one coveted Netflix record "Stranger Things" Season 4 just couldn't beat.

Stranger Things couldn't beat Squid Game for Netflix's top spot

"Stranger Things" Season 4 failed to beat "Squid Game" as Netflix's most popular season of television, Variety reports. While the Duffer Brothers' production racked up a truly unfathomable 1.4 billion viewing hours in the first 28 days after Volumes 1 and 2 of the season were released (Netflix combined both periods for its figures), Hwang Dong-hyuk's capitalist satire kept eyeballs on screens for 1.7 billion hours in the same time period following its own debut.

To be clear, both numbers are nearly beyond comprehension. To put them in perspective, "Squid Game" was viewed for a cumulative amount of time equal to almost 194,064 years. For reference, 195,000 years ago, the earliest humans were only beginning to develop on Earth (via Smithsonian Magazine). In other words, both "Squid Game" and "Stranger Things" Season 4 are pretty huge shows.

Still, clinging to one of Netflix's most sought-after records is yet another testament to the unexpected nature of the popularity "Squid Game" saw. Hwang famously faced "Squid Game" rejections for 10 years while trying to find someone willing to take a chance on his social satire. The Duffer Brothers had a similarly notorious struggle while trying to find a home for "Stranger Things" (via Business Insider). Perhaps the success of both shows will encourage more studios to take a risk on creators whose visions are outside the established norm.