What’s Worth Watching in Netflix’s Top 10


Like most companies worth more than a hundred billion dollars, Netflix desperately needs your money, so it’s going to do everything it can to make sure you keep feeding it your monthly subscription fees by providing you with shows and movies to watch. At first that meant bombarding you with algorithms that give you suggestions based on what you’ve liked, but this year, Netflix incorporated a new feature: The Netflix Top 10. 

Simply put, it tells you what the most-watched series, movies, and specials are each day, and it’s plastered all over the home screen so everyone knows. (Netflix still doesn’t reveal specific ratings information, however.) There’s one problem with it though: People have notoriously awful taste. So while something may be the second-most watched show on Netflix, there’s no guarantee that it’s actually decent. That’s why were telling you what’s actually worth watching from Netflix’s Top 10 before you dive into a 10-hour commitment of a drama just because a lot of people watch it. 

Best New Shows and Movies on Netflix This Week: The Devil All the Time, Criminal Season 2

Based on Netflix’s Top 10 from Tuesday, Sept. 15

1. Away

For fans of: Gravity, The Martian, The First | Is it good?: Yep, it’s a solid drama that just so happens to be in space

Hilary Swank stars in this drama about the first manned mission to Mars, and the family drama that follows the astronauts into space while their loved ones remain on Earth. It’s got some space stuff, but it’s mostly about the interpersonal drama, not the interplanetary drama. [TV Guide review]

2. Pets United

For fans of: The Secret Life of Pets and every other pet-centric animated movie | Is it good?: No, but will your kids care?

It’s totally unsurprising that this kids flick shot up to No. 2 this week, and don’t be surprised when it falls off the list just as fast. Every new animated movie will debut in the Top 10, but only the classics have staying power there. A Chinese film dubbed over in English like the atrocious animated film Cats that’s now streaming on Amazon, Pets United follows a group of pets as they try to save their city from an evil mayor. 

3. Cobra Kai

For fans of: Teenage Bounty Hunters, GLOW | Is it good?: Yep, it’s a surprisingly fun time!

Originally a YouTube Red series, Cobra Kai is the continuation of the Karate Kid film series that you didn’t know you needed. The twist here is that it’s mostly told from the perspective of Johnny (William Zabka), whose life never really recovered after Danielson (Ralph Macchio) crane kicked his nose to the other side of his face. [More shows like Cobra Kai]

4. The Social Dilemma

For fans of: The Social Network, conspiracy theories, staying offline | Is it good?: Yes, but it’s scary

This documentary film interviews former employees of all the popular social media platforms, who discuss the sinister ways their former companies intentionally make Twitter, Facebook, and more highly addictive in order to manipulate our behaviors. It’s chilling and insightful, and if you somehow don’t delete your Facebook account after, you might have a problem.

5. Get Organized with the Home Edit

For fans of: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Reese Witherspoon, screaming | Is it good?: Not really

Netflix’s follow-up to the taste-making sensation of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo features Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin — the founders of The Home Edit — as they help people get organized using their best-selling method… of putting things in bins. With no calming, sage, presence like Kondo, however, it just plays out like a cheap HGTV show. 

6. The Babysitter II: Killer Queen

For fans of: Slasher movies, Robbie Amell shirtless | Is it good?: Not really, but you might not care

McG’s sequel to the mildly entertaining self-aware campy horror film The Babysitter goes through the motions in its follow-up, bringing the evil babysitter and her awful friends back as demons to terrorize a high schooler. It’s working off a script that was written overnight and visualized by whatever flights of fancy came out of McG’s mezcal bender. [TV Guide review]    

7. Cuties

For fans of: The left, Toddlers & Tiaras if it had an actual message | Is it good?: Yes, if you understand the point of it

This film caused all sorts of controversy with its movie poster, which showed underage girls dressed provocatively and suggestively dancing. The alt-right and QAnon came after it hard, accusing the movie of sexualizing little girls, but they didn’t watch it. The Sundance film tries to start conversations about the way children are raised with social media and pop culture showing them unrealistic ideas of beauty, and it breaches uncomfortable territory to show how bad the problem is. 

8. Girlfriends

For fans of: Living Single, friendship | Is it good?: Yes, it’s an unheralded classic

All eight seasons of this 2006 CW series finally hit a major streaming service (no offense, CW seed). Known for being an earnest portrayal of friendship among four Black females, it’s a funny and heartwarming look at how besties stick together through the best and worst that life has to offer. 

9. Cocomelon

For fans of: Bright colors, CGI babies | Is it good?: Honestly, you’ll have to ask a toddler

Kids shows will always pop up on the Netflix Top 10 as long as they’re new, because during a shut-in pandemic, parents will do whatever it takes to keep their children occupied. This series, aimed at young ‘uns 4 and under, covers nursery rhymes and such. Not recommended for anyone over 5 unless you are trying to drive yourself insane. 

10. Julie and the Phantoms

For fans of: High School Musical, boy bands | Is it good?: It’s a charming series for the Disney Channel set

This adaptation of a Brazilian series by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) follows a high school girl who gains confidence in her ability to perform music live when she teams up with a group of boys who used to be in a power-pop band. Oh yeah, the boys? They’re ghosts. [TV Guide review]

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