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Netflix Has Revealed the 17 Most Popular Movies and TV Shows We've Been Streaming in 2020

'The Queen's Gambit', 'Tiger King', 'Enola Holmes', 'The Haunting of Bly Manor' — they're all on the list.
By Sarah Ward
December 11, 2020
By Sarah Ward
December 11, 2020

If there was ever a year to see if you could stream every film and television show ever, it's the one that we've just lived through. We've all heard the jokes about 'finishing Netflix', which have felt particularly accurate in 2020. But, en masse, Australians have been gravitating to the same movies and TV programs over the past 12 months — and Netflix has just revealed the 17 most popular titles.

The streaming platform hasn't detailed them in order, so no one flick or series tops the list. But it has broken down 2020's huge hits by genre, naming a film and show in each — except in the reality TV field, for self-explanatory reasons. The big trends: stars and twists. Famous faces and thorny stories feature prominently, as you probably noticed all year based on Netflix's in-platform top ten feature.

So, what were we all watching? In the action genre, Aussies feasted their eyeballs on Chris Hemsworth vehicle Extraction and Karate Kid spinoff Cobra Kai. We went light and fluffy in the comedy category, thanks to Holidate and Emily in Paris. In the horror realm, IT: Chapter Two and The Haunting of Bly Manor emerged victorious — and if you're wondering about the former, which first hit cinemas in 2019, Netflix counts anything that debuted on the platform across 2020.

When it came to drama, Aussies couldn't get enough of Enola Holmes and The Queen's Gambit (if you've been scoping out chess sets for Christmas, you know that's true). Spenser Confidential and The Sinner: Jamie were the top thrillers, The Kissing Booth 2 and Dash & Lily the most popular romances, and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu and Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous the kid-friendly hits. Too Hot to Handle took the reality TV crown, while, doco-wise, everyone watched American Murder: The Family Next Door. And Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, of course, because no one can now remember a time when we didn't know who Joe Exotic was.

Netflix didn't announce any figures to go with this list, so we don't know just how many people watched any of the above. And, obviously, popularity isn't the same as quality. Some of the above hits are great, and some are downright terrible. If Extraction and the Mark Wahlberg-starring Spenser Confidential didn't release in March and April, when the world was going into lockdown, maybe they wouldn't have attracted so many eyeballs, for instance.

Australian-made shows and movies didn't score their own category, but the streaming platform did note that Aunty Donna's Big Ol' House of Fun spent almost two weeks in the local top ten. In other trends, Aussies watched 60 percent more flicks and series in languages other than English compared to 2019, doubled our viewing of Korean dramas and checked out more than twice as much anime as well.

For more information about Netflix, or to stream any of the above shows and films, head to the streaming platform's website.

Top image: Phil Bray/Netflix.

Published on December 11, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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