Don't Expect Stranger Things Season 5 To Be As Long As Season 4

This season of "Stranger Things" followed the movie trend of making everything about as big as portion sizes in American restaurants: excessively big. Season 4 had a lot of good things about it, from brilliant uses of '80s songs, one of the coolest, most metal TV characters of the year, and also Sadie Sink giving an incredible dramatic performance. Yet it was also unnecessarily overstuffed, with each episode being over an hour long and finale being two and a half hours long.

From an overabundance of plots and characters, to repetitive storylines that went nowhere, season 4 gave us just too much stranger things, but thankfully it seems the long runtimes won't carry over to season 5. Speaking on the latest episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, "Stranger Things" creators Matt and Ross Duffer (aka the Duffer Brothers) said they expect season 5 will be significantly shorter than season 4. As Matt Duffer explained:

"The only reason we don't expect to be as long is, this season, if you look at it, it's almost a two-hour ramp up before our kids really get drawn into a supernatural mystery. You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, they're struggling with adapting to high school and so forth, Steve's trying to find a date, all of that. None of that is obviously going to be occurring [in season 5].

A fast and furious season

This is the first time that "Stranger Things" hasn't wrapped things up at the end of the season, instead leading very directly into the next chapter of the story. This means that the next and final season won't have to re-establish the characters or the setting, or introduce the threat once again as we end season 4 knowing where everyone stands ⁠— including Vecna

"Characters are already going to be in action, they're already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that's going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different" Duffer continued. "I'm sure the wrap-up will be a lot longer, it's going to be 'Return of the King'-ish with, like, eight endings."

Now, this remains to be seen. There are reports that next season will start with a time jump, so how exactly are the characters ready for action when they'll also have spent a significant amount of time doing nothing? Time will tell.

Not winding down with the finale

As for the actual series finale, expect another supercharged and supersized episode. According to Ross Duffer, they want to avoid the "Game of Thrones" thing of having a very strong penultimate episode, followed by a wind down with the finale. "We're more likely to do what we did here which is to just have a 2.5 hour episode," Ross Duffer said of the season 5 finale.

That said, Matt Duffer also warns:

"You know, if you had talked to us at the start of writing [season 4], I would've told you it's eight episodes and they're about an hour long each. So I wouldn't trust a word that comes out of my mouth."

"Stranger Things" seasons 1-4 are now streaming on Netflix.