The TV gods giveth, and the TV gods taketh away. While news broke earlier this week that Game of Thrones would be hitting HBO earlier than fans initially thought, today brings less stellar news for fans of Stranger Things — the nostalgic series’ eight-episode third season won’t drop on Netflix until summer 2019.
OK, so that’s the bad part. Ready to hear something more promising? Netflix VP of original content Cindy Holland hinted that fans can expect one heck of a season. “It’s a handcrafted show,” she said Sunday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
“The Duffer brothers and Shawn Levy [the executive producers] have worked really hard, and they understand the stakes are high,” Holland added. “They want to deliver something bigger and better than what they did last year. And so they really want to take the time to get it right.”
This shouldn’t come as a total surprise to fans. Unlike other Netflix series that maintain a relatively stable release date — like Orange Is the New Black — Stranger Things’ first two seasons debuted in July 2016 and October 2017, respectively. Not to mention Netflix teased the later release date earlier this month with a TV commercial-style video promoting Hawkins, Indiana’s brand new Starcourt Mall.
In the spot, Hawkins is hailed as a “growing patriotic community” and “a shining example of the American dream.” Naturally, this makes it the perfect locale for a massive center of consumerism offering trendy shopping spots like Claire’s and the ever-popular teen hangout: a food court.
At the end of the commercial, a familiar face makes a cameo: Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), decked out in a kitschy nautical uniform for his apparent new gig at Starcourt Mall’s Scoops Ahoy Ice Cream Parlor. While seeing Steve on-screen again certainly gave fans a jolt of anticipation, what followed felt less celebratory.
Ahoy! Something is coming… to Hawkins, Indiana! pic.twitter.com/BI4wFRVzvB
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) July 16, 2018
As the promo for the new mall draws to a close, it hypes that the establishment is “coming next summer.” At the time, fans still had hope that perhaps this was simply part of the marketing gimmick and not indicative of a delayed timeline. Since the actual release date hadn’t yet been announced, that assumption wasn’t entirely unrealistic.
However, Holland’s remarks make it official — Stranger Things’ third season (along with Starcourt Mall) will not arrive until the summer. But in this case, fans’ patience should pay off.
“I think it’s going to be a fantastic season,” Holland insisted. “It’s gonna be worth the wait.”