The Duffer brothers may end Stranger Things after season 4. It's hard to imagine one of Netflix's biggest hits to date may already be only a couple of years from being over, but that looks like it may very well be the case. While it's commendable that the Duffers don't want their creation to overstay its welcome, the idea of Stranger Things going away before the end of the decade is sure to make many fans unhappy.
Then again, there are several instances of popular genre shows that arguably hung on way too long, such as The X-Files -- at least in its original run -- and the still currently airing Supernatural. While the later seasons of those shows still have their fans, many wish that X-Files had wrapped up back around season 6, or Supernatural had ended after season 5, in line with what creator Eric Kripke originally intended. There is something to be said for picking an end point for your series and sticking with it, thus placing creative quality over ongoing ratings success.
As for why the Duffer brothers are considering ending Stranger Things after season 4, they offered their reasoning to Vulture during a recent interview concerning the series' rapid rise to iconic status. Ross Duffer said, "We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out." Meanwhile, his brother Matt followed with:
"We just have to keep adjusting the story. Though I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year."
The concern isn't a new one for writers and creators of continuing drama series (after all, how realistic was it for every murder in Cabot Cove to involve novelist Jessica Fletcher?), it's respectable that they are worried more about how to make a constant threat to Hawkins and their main characters remain dramatically consistent, instead of just figuring out ways to keep their series in new episodes and their jobs intact.
Of course, just because the Duffers are leaning toward ending Stranger Things after 4 seasons now, doesn't mean they'll necessarily feel the same way by the time season 4 has arrived on Netflix. The brothers may very well become inspired to make further seasons by that point, as one never knows where a creative spark will come from.
Stranger Things season 2 premieres October 27 on Netflix.