Netflix's Jeffrey Dahmer series almost broke a major Stranger Things 4 record

Evan Peters' Jeffrey Dahmer stands up in court in Netflix's horrifying drama series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is dominating the Netflix charts right now. (Image credit: Netflix)

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story came very close to stealing one of Stranger Things season 4's crowns, according to new Netflix data.

Per the streaming giant's latest round-up of its Top 10 TV show list, the deeply disturbing drama series amassed nearly 300 million hours viewed in its second week on Netflix. That makes it the second most-watched English language original series, across a seven day period, in Netflix history. Stranger Things season 4 is the only English language show that performed better in a single week.

That's not all either. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story's 299.84 million hours viewed for the week running September 26 to October 2 represents at 65% increase on its release week viewing figures. For context, the Netflix show accumulated 196.2 million hours viewed in its first seven days post-launch.

In total, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has amassed 496.05 million hours viewed since it debuted on Netflix. According to the streamer, that's equivalent to 56 million households watching the show from beginning to end.

Even more shockingly, Monster's huge viewing figures make it the ninth most popular Netflix show of all-time. Read that again, just in case it hasn't sunk in: Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is Netflix's ninth biggest TV series. Ever. And that position was earned after just 12 days. Not even other hit Netflix shows, such as The Umbrella Academy, You, Cobra Kai, and Shadow and Bone can boast such numbers.

Vecna stares directly into the camera in Stranger Things season 4

Stranger Things season 4 managed to retain one of its crowns despite pressure from Netflix's Jeffrey Dahmer series. (Image credit: Netflix)

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story might beat other really popular shows, including The Witcher and Bridgerton, in the viewing figure department. It's already bested The Witcher season 2's 484 million hours viewed – and that figure was accumulated in the 28 days after season 2's release in December 2021.

Meanwhile, Monster is within touching distance of surpassing The Witcher season 1 (541 million hours), Bridgerton season 1 (625.49 million hours) and Bridgerton season 2 (656.16 million hours) – those three figures being accumulated in each season's first 28 days post-release, too.

Netflix's Jeffrey Dahmer series has been so dominant, in fact, that Dynasty season 5's 44.6 million hours viewed was a distant second in Netflix's updated Top 10 TV series list. Meanwhile, The Sandman is the only Netflix original show – since Stranger Things 4 – since August to come close to matching either of Monster's weekly figures. 

Simply put, it just goes to show that any show can become a global phenomenon if the conditions are right. Just look at Squid Game for further proof of that.

Analysis: why has Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story proved so popular?

Evan Peters' Jeffrey Dahmer stands in front of a measuring wall as his police photograph is taken in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Netflix's Jeffrey Dahmer series has exploded in popularity. (Image credit: Netflix)

The reasons for Monster's success are seemingly three-fold: the story it tells, its genre positioning, and a helping hand from some negative publicity.

For starters, Netflix's Jeffrey Dahmer series is inspired by real-life events. It tells the tale of US serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. It's a near two-decade story that gripped America and the wider world, and one that explores his gruesome, grisly crimes in extremely unsettling, upsetting and shocking detail. And that's putting it lightly.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story also feels like the right fit – if such terminology can even be used in this context – for Netflix. The streaming giant has become the go-to platform for documentaries – check out our best Netflix documentaries list – and docu-dramas about mass murderers, with its Conversations with a Killer series a particularly morose but fascinating watch. So it seems Netflix subscribers simply can't get enough to programs like Monster.

Then there's the negative press Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has earned since it launched. Many viewers have revealed they couldn't finish the series due to the graphic and acutely distressing content it contains. Meanwhile, Kim Alsup – a production assistant on the show – has called out Netflix for how she was treated on set, saying it was "one of the worst shows" she's worked on (per Entertainment Weeky). In an interview with the LA Times, Alsup also said the show's trailer gave her PTSD. Relatives of Dahmer's murder victims also spoke out in the LA Times article, with some accusing Netflix of profiting off their trauma.

Combined, these three factors appear to have given Monster a significant boost and persuaded Netflix's audience to check the series out. Those who have watched it are likely to have discussed it at length with friends, work colleagues, and adult family members, too, with word of mouth likely increasing its popularity, too.

Just like Stranger Things and Squid Game before it, then, Netflix's Jeffrey Dahmer series has become an unlikely hit for the streaming giant. It'll be riveting to see if Monster breaks more records over the next few weeks.

For more Netflix-based coverage, check out our best Netflix movies list, see what's leaving the streamer in October, or read up on every new film coming to Netflix before 2022 ends.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

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