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Most Popular Netflix Shows For 2020: Global Fare, Docs, and Romance

Fern Siegel

2020 was a difficult year on every front. The source of solace — or distraction — during the pandemic is streaming shows. Netflix just released its summation of what we watched this year.

Romances, documentaries and reality TV scored well this year, as did anime. And the inability to travel didn’t shutter our interest in other cultures. Foreign-language content, such as “Money Heist: Part 4 (Spain) and (“Barbarians”) in Germany, hit the top 10 shows in 92 countries. The genre recorded a 50% year-over-year hike in viewership.

Some of the most popular shows this year included “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Enola Holmes,” “The Crown Season 4,” “Ratched,” “Ozark Season 3,” “The Umbrella Academy Season 2” and “Hillbilly Elegy.”

Romance earned twice as many views as 2019, with “The Kissing Booth 2,” “Princess Switch: Switched Again” and “To All The Boys P.S I Still Love You,” winning hearts.

Food and home shows were big in March, as the shelter-at-home edicts began taking place. “Get Organized,“ The American Barbecue Showdown” and “Crazy Delicious” comforted many.

Sometimes, escape from the worries of daily life gives a boost to reality show and docs.
On the reality TV side, “Floor is Lava,” “Love is Blind” and “Too Hot To Handle” were Netflix’s most popular releases.

The big winners in the docuseries category were “Tiger King” and “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,” while the most successful documentary features were “American Murder: The Family Next Door” and “The Social Dilemma.”

And after the murder of George Floyd in May, titles about the black experience soared: “13TH” was up 5000+%, “LA 92” spiked 1300+% and “Dear White People” rose 700+%.

Finally, action is always a popular category, and the titles that scored with viewers include “Cobra Kai,” “Spenser Confidential,” “Extraction” and “The Old Guard.”

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