If you’ve been paying attention to Netflix the past few weeks, you’ll have noticed that Jeffrey Dahmer has been featured very prominently. That’s because people apparently can’t get enough of the serial killer’s story, and ‘Dahmer’ has been sitting at the top of the Netflix top 10 since shortly after its release on September 21.
Dahmer’s popularity is reportedly so high, that according to The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) it’s now the second-highest viewed English language Netflix show — and fourth overall. Which just goes to show how much people love true crime. Though not as much as they love Stranger Things.
While Dahmer has clocked in 701.37 million viewing hours so far, Stranger Things season four picked up 1.35 billion viewing hours in its first 28 days on Netflix. Meanwhile, Stranger Things is sandwiched between Korean-language thriller Squid Game, with 1.65 billion hours, and Spanish-language Money Heist with 792.23 million.
The data we have from Netflix only covers the period between September 21 and October 9. That means there’s an extra 12 days before Dahmer hits the 28-day deadline, which is plenty of time to clock in a few more viewing hours. Especially considering the show is currently still at the top of the Netflix charts.
It’s possible that Dahmer could take Money Heist’s place in the number three spot before its 28 days are up. After all, it's already managed to fly past Bridgerton season 2, which totalled 656.26 million viewing hours.
That said Squid Game and Stranger Things are probably well beyond its reach. In fact, unless there’s something really spectacular on the way, both shows are likely to dominate until the release of their next instalment. Dahmer’s disturbing subject matter is an obvious turn off for some people, which limits some of its potential reach. Of course, it’s pretty likely that this is why it has been so successful in the first place.
Sadly, we still don’t know when Squid Game season 2 or Stranger Things season 5 will arrive. But odds are both shows won’t be returning until sometime in 2024. The release date for Money Heist: Berlin, a prequel to the original series, is similarly unclear, but since filming has commenced there’s a good chance we may see it later on next year.
As THR notes, Dahmer’s success has had an impact elsewhere on Netflix. Conversations With A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes arrived last week, and has been sitting below Dahmer in the top 10 list. The series has reportedly pulled in 31.4 million hours of viewing so far. On top of that, The John Wayne Gacy Tapes also re-entered the top 10, following its initial release back in April — likely thanks to the serial killer’s brief cameo in Dahmer.
It’s not like Dahmer is going to get a second season, because that would defeat the point of being true crime. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Netflix started investing in similar kinds of content. Unfortunately, there are a lot of heinous people in the world, and their stories are ripe for dramatization.