'Stranger Things' After-Show Announced... But It's Not Really An After-Show?

The after-show is fast becoming just as ubiquitous as the multitude of scripted prestige dramas in the age of Peak TV.

The phenomenon was kicked off in 2011 by Chris Hardwick's Talking Dead, a complement to AMC's hugely popular Walking Dead, but has since spread to every series from Orphan Black to Bachelor in Paradise. Now Stranger Things, as Netflix's flagship show, will be the first original series at the streaming service to get its own after-show programming.

Netflix is launching Beyond Stranger Things, a seven-episode after-show program hosted by "super fan" Jim Rash (who played the dean in Community and is also the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Descendents), according to The Hollywood Reporter. The after-show program teases an exploration of the "inspiration for the series, behind-the-scenes stories, and analyzes every aspect of the second season – answering all the burning questions."

But the after-show comes with a curious warning to viewers: don't watch the spoiler-filled after-show until after you've finished season 2. Which kind of negates the point of an after-show. An after-show to accompany a series made to be binged in one setting was already a bit odd, but unlike other after-shows, viewers are encouraged to watch the seven episodes after the final episode of Stranger Things 2. The show even automatically plays for viewers after the last episode of the new seasonWhy does this show even exist if this is the format? It sounds to me vaguely like a special feature from a movie Blu-ray — which ties into the Duffer Brothers' insistence that the series is a "9-hour movie not a show" — but then why call it an after-show?

Netflix released a preview of the first episode of Beyond Stranger Things, showing the group sit in a recreation of the Wheeler's basement, around a gaming table with Dungeons & Dragons pieces scattered about.

Watch a Clip from the Stranger Things After Show

Rash will bring on guests with each episode, including showrunners Ross and Matt Duffer, executive producer and director Shawn Levy, and Stranger Things cast members Millie Bobby Brown, Sean Astin, Linnea Berthelsen, Natalia Dyer, Brett Gelman, David Harbour, Randy Havens, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Dacre Montgomery, Paul Reiser, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink and Finn Wolfhard.

Here's the synopsis of Stranger Things season 2:

Stranger Things 2 is set a year after Will's return, and everything seems back to normal... but a darkness lurks just beneath the surface, threatening all of Hawkins. It's 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the demagorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

Stranger Things 2 and its after-show premieres on Netflix on October 27, 2017.