Stranger Things 4 has missed a trick with its release window

Stranger Things Staffel 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Finally, Stranger Things 4 has been given a launch window for next year – but has Netflix missed a trick over its upcoming release?

After what has felt like an eternity, Netflix revealed when we can expect to see Stranger Things season 4 arrive. On Saturday, November 6 – aka Stranger Things Day – the streaming giant confirmed when the show's fourth season would arrive: summer 2022.

Check out the reveal via the teaser trailer below:

We've got a seven month wait, at least, before Stranger Things 4 lands on our TV screens, then. In our view, though, Netflix has missed out on a great opportunity to bring it to us earlier.

To explain why, we need to back up a little bit. Earlier on Stranger Things Day, Netflix released the fourth and final teaser trailer for Stranger Things season 4. It focused on Eleven and the Byers family's relocation to California after the events of season 3. 

Of course, moving to another part of the US doesn't mean that they're safe from the threat of the Mind Flayer or the Upside Down. But that's not the important part of the trailer: the part that we're concerned with is when Stranger Things 4 is set.

Check out the fourth official teaser below:

As we see from the trailer, Stranger Things 4 is set around Spring Break. Eleven mentions as much in a letter to Mike, who is still living in Hawkins, Indiana at the start of season 4.

And this is where we think Stranger Things season 4 has missed a trick. As its name suggests, Spring Break, which is a US holiday, takes place in the season of spring – in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway. Spring occurs between March and June, with Spring Break usually pencilled in around the Easter holidays. Normally, then, it'll take place sometime in March or April.

In our view, March or April 2022 is when Stranger Things season 4 should launch on Netflix. Why? Because the streamer has previous form for releasing new Stranger Things seasons around the time of year in which they're set.

Season 2, which launched on October 27, 2017, was set around Halloween 1984. The show's third season, taking place around Independence Day, 1985 arrived on July 4, 2019 – aka Independence Day.

The only outlier in all of this is Stranger Things' first season. It landed on Netflix in July 2016, but its story began in November 1983. At the time, however, Netflix didn't know that Stranger Things was going to be as big a hit as it is today, so it didn't really matter when season 1 was set or released.

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There are a couple of reasons, though, that Netflix can use to justify its decision to release Stranger Things 4 in summer 2022.

Firstly, there's the lengthy post-production process. Filming on season 4 only ended in September 2021, but there's plenty of work that still needs to be carried out before its arrival. VFX needs to be included, episodes need to be edited down, the soundtrack has to be added, potential reshoots may occur and more.

Next, there's also the prospect that Stranger Things 4 may not, in fact, be set at Spring Break. Eleven only mentions it to Mike in the latest teaser, so there's every chance that season 4's events take place before Spring Break arrives. Even if they do, however, it seems like a strange move to release Stranger Things season 4 in summer 2022 if it's set in the spring.

So it's more likely that Stranger Things 4's summer 2022 release is simply down to how much post-production work needs to be carried out. It's plausible that, in a world where there hadn't been a global pandemic, Stranger Things 4 may have been on track for a spring 2022 release. This would have tallied with season 2 and 3's releases around their holiday periods, and would have been a fitting way to launch Stranger Things 4.

It seems, then, that the pandemic may have taken that potential release out of Netflix's hands. We know that Stranger Things 4's production was significantly slowed by the pandemic, hence the lengthy wait between seasons 3 and 4.

Still, it's a shame that Stranger Things season 4 won't be with us in time for Spring Break 2022. It would have been fun for Netflix to continue releasing new Stranger Things seasons around the holidays that they're set. If it means we'll finally get the series' next entry, though, we'll make do with summer 2022.

For more on our Netflix-centric coverage, check out the best Netflix TV shows to watch right now. Alternatively, see which of these top tier Netflix movies you should view instead.

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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