Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story came very close to stealing one of Stranger Things’ season 4 crowns, according to new data from Netflix.
According to the streaming giant’s latest review of its top 10 TV shows list (opens in new tab), the deeply disturbing drama series amassed nearly 300 million hours of viewing in its second week on Netflix. This makes it the second most-watched original series in English over a seven-day period in Netflix history. Season 4 of Stranger Things is the only English-language show to perform better in a week.
That’s not all either. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’s 299.84 million hours of viewing for the week of September 26 to October 2 represents a 65% increase over its release week numbers. For context, the Netflix show garnered 196.2 million hours of viewing in the first seven days after its release.
In total, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has amassed 496.05 million hours of viewing since it debuted on Netflix. According to the streamer, this equates to 56 million households watching the show from start to finish.
Even more shockingly, Monster’s massive viewership numbers make it the ninth most popular Netflix show of all time. Read it again, in case it hasn’t sunk in: Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is Netflix’s ninth biggest TV series. Always. And this position was won after just 12 days. Not even other hit Netflix shows like The Umbrella Academy, You, Cobra Kai and Shadow and Bone can boast such numbers.
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story can beat other very popular shows, including The Witcher and Bridgerton, in the ratings department. It has already surpassed The Witcher Season 2’s 484 million hours of viewing – and that number was accumulated in the 28 days following the release of Season 2 in December 2021.
Meanwhile, Monster is within striking 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 numbers are collected in the first 28 days of each season after release as well.
Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer series was so dominant, in fact, that Dynasty Season 5’s 44.6 million hours watched was a distant second on the updated list of Netflix’s Top 10 TV Series. Meanwhile, The Sandman is the only Netflix original show — since Stranger Things 4 — since August that comes close to matching any 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 the Squid Game for further proof of this.
Analysis: why did Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story prove so popular?
The reasons for Monster’s success are seemingly threefold: the story it tells, its place in the genre, and a helping hand from some negative publicity.
For starters, Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer series is inspired by real-life events. It tells the story of American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. It’s a nearly two-decade story that gripped America and the wider world, and one that explores his gruesome, horrific crimes in extremely disturbing. disturbing and shocking detail. And I’m putting that lightly.
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is also 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 list of the best Netflix documentaries – and mass-murderer documentaries, with the Conversations with a Killer series being a particularly cheesy but compelling watch. So it seems that Netflix subscribers just can’t like shows like Monster.
Then there’s the negative press Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has garnered since its release. Many viewers revealed that they were unable to finish the series due to the graphic and highly painful content it contains. Meanwhile, Kim Alsup — a production assistant on the show — slammed Netflix for how they treated her on set, saying it was “one of the worst shows” she’s ever worked on (per Entertainment Weeky (opens in new tab)). In an interview with the LA Times (opens in new tab), Alsup also said that the show’s trailer gave her PTSD. Relatives of the victims of Dahmer’s murder also spoke out in the LA Times article, with some accusing Netflix of profiting from their trauma.
Combined, these three factors seem to have given Monster a significant boost and convinced Netflix audiences to check out the series. Those who have watched it are likely to have discussed it at length with friends, work colleagues and adult family members as well, with word of mouth increasing its popularity as well.
Just like Stranger Things and Squid Game before it, Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer series has become a runaway hit for the streaming giant. It will be exciting to see if Monster breaks more records in the coming weeks.
For more Netflix-based coverage, check out our list of the best Netflix movies, see what’s left of the streamer in October, or read about every new movie coming to Netflix before the end of 2022.