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The 25 most watched TV shows on Netflix in 2021



Netflix had a mixed year in 2021. Although it experienced a noticeable slowdown in subscriber growth in the middle of the year due to the impact of COVID on production schedules, it also launched some of his biggest tv shows like Bridgerton and Squid game.

The good news and bad news are reflected in this year’s list of its most watched shows, based on data from streaming analytics company FlixPatrol.

Some of Netflix’s biggest US shows are noticeably missing from the list. The streamer has released new seasons of You, sex education and Lucifer. But other great shows like Stranger things, the crown and Ozark all were scheduled to skip 2021, and the streamer’s US release was noticeably light on breakout hits.

The good news, however, was that there was more attention paid to shows than the streamer was doing in other countries and languages. In this list, the top three shows are not in English, indicating that the service may have done a good job of making TV a global market like never before.

Netflix’s 25 most watched shows of 2021

One year of Netflix. Characters and actors from some of the most watched TV shows of 2021.

25. Sweet tooth

Netflix had a mixed bag with fantastic series in 2021. While shows like Damn were canceled after one season, the streamer had success with Sweet tooth, a show about a half-human, half-deer boy living in a post-apocalyptic world. Season 2 has been ordered.

24. Snowdrops

Snowdrops is the TV show based on the Bong Joon-ho movie of the same name, and was a big hit as the world talked about his movie Parasite. Season 2, however, has proven that the show on a post-apocalyptic train can work on its own.

23. Friends

In the United States, Netflix may have lost Friends to HBO Max, but subscribers around the world can still watch the adventures of Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Monica and Joey on the streamer. Even 25 years later, it looks like this show, as Chandler would say, couldn’t BE more popular.

22. Esoteric

This year, other streamers like Disney + have released their big IP guns, hoping familiar characters will keep you away from Netflix. Netflix responded by purchasing the rights to do shows on large properties like League of Legends. The result is animated fantasy Esoteric.

21. Shadow and bone

Another fantastic 2021 hit was Shadow and Bone, Netflix’s adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s dense fantasy world of magic, dark realms, and young adult heroes locked in Generation Wars. Following the success of the first season, filming for season 2 begins in Budapest, Hungary, in January 2022.

20. Pasion of Gavilanes

Many non-Netflix originals are popular on platforms, but few genres do as well as telenovelas – something about long seasons and wild twists and turns makes them perfectly unmanageable. Another telenovela was the most watched, but Pasion of Gavilanes (Hidden passion) was also a great success.

19. Behind his eyes

Some commentators love to complain about the so-called “cancellation culture” and how “awake mobs” keep shows from seeing each other, but Behind his eyes proves to them that they are all wrong. The astral projection drama remains on Netflix despite being denounced by dozens of publications for its homophobic end.

18. Riverdale

The display of numbers can be very low Riverdale on The CW in the United States, but the series remains a big international success, making the top 10 across the world every time a new episode comes out. A daring Season 6 that killed a number of characters continued this trend.

17. Paw Patrol

Netflix offers a lot to a lot of people, but one of its under-reported functions is that of unofficial babysitting. Auto-play feature means exhausted parents can sit their kids in front Paw Patrol and know that the service will continue to serve them endless dilemmas to silence them.

16. Sex education

One of Netflix’s greatest shows, Sex education, returned for season 3 in 2021. The new season saw the show start to crackle under the weight of too many characters, but that didn’t stop it from becoming one of the hits of the year – and it didn’t stop it from becoming one of the hits of the year. did not prevent season 4 from being ordered.

netflix vincenzo
Song Joong-ki in “Vincenzo”. The show was one of the first big K-dramas of the year.

15. Vincenzo

Squid game (more on that later) has made Korean dramas (K-dramas) notice to the world, but the country has produced streaming hits in recent years that international viewers have flocked to. Before Squid Game in the Netflix charts, the Korean man joins the Italian mafia drama Vincenzo.

14. Pablo Escobar, The drug lord

Two genres have been guaranteed winners for Netflix – real crime documentaries and cartel life dramas. Finally in 2021, the streamer was able to reunite the two with his doc on Pablo Escobar – whose story, of course, had already been told in Narcos.

13. You

Start life like a canceled lifelong drama, You became an unlikely massive success once it stumbled across Netflix. Now the show seems impossible to kill – unlike the long line of victims Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) left first in the big city and then in Season 3 in the suburbs.

12. The good doctor

Another surprisingly popular genre around the world is American medical drama. Two network shows made this most watched list – the first is autistic surgeon Freddie Highmore’s drama The good doctor, whose fifth season airs on ABC in the United States

11. Yo soy Bette la fea

Another telenovela, Yo soy Bette la fea was also on last year’s most watched list. Generally considered to be one of the most popular shows of its genre, the story of an “ugly” girl’s progression in business (which inspired the American show Ugly Betty) is still popular two decades later.

ten. Ginny and Georgia

Taylor Swift may have objected to what she called a “sexist” joke at her expense on the show, but it may have, ironically, made more people pay attention to a show that was. previously considered that of a poor man. Gilmore Girls by many television reviews.

9. Maid

A dormant success for the streamer, this story of a single mother escaping abuse by becoming a housekeeper crept up the Netflix charts as the world obsessed with You and Squid game. At the end of his run, he was successful and won three Golden Globe nominations.

8. Who killed Sara?

… a question the world was asking when the Spanish murder mystery series aired on the streamer in March. Two seasons later, we’re no closer to an answer – although luckily a third season is on the way, which could finally reveal the cause of that parasailing accident.

seven. Lucifer

Aka the show that gave fans of every canceled show a false hope that Netflix would save their series. The reason for this hope was that Lucifer has been a real hit for the streamer since being rescued from Fox, ending after three more years of evil dealings.

6. New Amsterdam

The second hit US medical show on Netflix is New Amsterdam, the NBC series set in one of America’s oldest hospitals. Season 4 is now airing on NBC, while international viewers have come to the streamer to get their fix of doctors and drama.

(Left to right) Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Harriet Cains as Phillipa Featherington, Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington and Polly Walker as Portia Featherington in episode 101 of “Bridgerton” . The show was a hit in early 2021.
Liam Daniel / Netflix

5. Bridgerton

Bridgerton was Netflix’s first big new show of the year – and it started the year off on a high. The drama of the Torrid Period made a true star of René-Jean Page – who showed his gratitude by stepping out after Season 1 into a world of SNL hosting and James Bond rumors.

4. Gender / Life

One of the most-viewed movies of the past year on the service was 365 days, a Polish erotic drama heavy with sex scenes. Gender / Life continued that formula with plenty of steamy scenes, steamy looks, and prosthetic-enhanced penises, and did just as well. Season 2 was ordered in September 2021.

3. Money theft

Netflix’s biggest Spanish-language hit ended this year with one daring final score. The show is winding down, however, as a global phenomenon – Netflix is ​​even running now “Money theft experiences “for fans who want to pretend to be in the show world.

2. Lupine

2021 has generally been a good year for heists, with Money Heist, Army of the Dead and Red Notice all huge successes for the streaming service. In front of them all, however, was Omar Sy as a jewelry thief inspired by classic French novels about the gentleman’s thief Arsene Lupine.

1. Squid game

… What else could be the biggest show of 2021? The K-drama took the door opened by Parasite and smashed it down. The hype around this survival sci-fi show even went above and beyond – it allowed English speakers to read the subtitles (although we don’t know how many people secretly watched the dub).

A scene from the "Squid game" series.
A scene from “Squid Game”. The show was Netflix’s biggest hit of 2021.