Get ready to take a wild trip down memory lane, Twilight fans, because the entire saga is now available to binge on Netflix.
Based on the books by Stephenie Meyer, the first novel Twilight, published in 2005, introduced the everyday teenage girl Bella Swan falling in love with the sparkly vampire Edward Cullen. Meyer later published over three sequels for the next three years: New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. The series also included a juicy love triangle between Bella, Edward, and the werewolf Jacob Black.
However, the books did not pick up full steam until November 2008 when the first film dropped in theaters starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in their breakout roles, grossing $393 million worldwide. New Moon set records for advance ticket sales and had the sixth-highest worldwide opening weekend with $274.9 million. Breaking Dawn was split into two-part films, with Part 2 becoming the highest-grossing film of the Twilight series at $830 million.
Twilight became such a major, mainstream cultural moment that it even inspired another major film project: Fifty Shades of Grey was first written as a Twilight fan fiction series before author E.L. James rewrote it as an original series. The phenomenon was virtually unmissable for anyone who lived through the late aughts and early 2010s. And as the series arrived on Netflix on Friday (July 16), fans were hyped to relive the nostalgia.
Despite the franchise’s success, the Twilight saga received its share of backlash and criticism, as well. The relationship between Edward and Bella and even the Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle often received the most criticism in the series due to the question of whether their relationships were healthy or abusive. As a result, a popular meme “still a better love story than Twilight” spawned on Internet forums and images.
Nonetheless, the story continues today. Last year, Stephenie Meyer published a companion novel told from Edward’s point of view, Midnight Sun. Fans can also learn more about Edward’s past in this book. And though Twilight may be a joyously bizarre fever dream, you can spend a great weekend re-watching the movies on Netflix, or exploring them for the first time to see if they still live up to their legacy. For its cult following, it is definitely one of those series you should watch at least once in your lifetime.