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The Top 10 Most Popular Shows and Movies on Netflix Today, January 18

Find out where Archive 81, Cheer Season 2, and After We Fell rank

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Allison Picurro, Kelly Connolly
Dina Shihabi, Archive 81

Dina Shihabi, Archive 81

Quantrell D. Colbert/Netflix

The Netflix Top 10 list, which tells you which shows and movies are most popular on the platform, is a good place to start if you want to watch something everyone's talking about. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, the new horror-mystery series Archive 81 is at No. 1, with Season 2 of Cheer coming in second. After We Fell, the third movie in the supremely stupid After series (which was originally based on Harry Styles fanfiction, for those not in the know), comes in at No. 3. TV's bluest crime show, Ozark, ranks at No. 8 today as people catch up in time for the release of its fourth season, which hits Netflix on Friday.

But of the Netflix Top 10, which shows and movies are actually worth watching? We break down the entire Netflix Top 10 list and guide you through what to binge and what to skip. We do the same for Netflix's Top 10 TV shows, as well as Netflix's Top 10 movies. We also have our list of the 50 best shows and movies to watch on Netflix right now, as well as the best movies to watch on Netflix and the best TV shows on Netflix.

Based on Netflix's Top 10 from Tuesday, Jan. 18


1. Archive 81

For fans of: Stylish mysteries, feeling an overall sense of dread | Is it good?: It'll definitely suck you in

An archivist (Mamoudou Athie) is tasked with restoring old tapes that were salvaged from a fire, and gets sucked into the world of the grad student (Dina Shihabi) who appears in the footage — and the mysterious cult she was investigating. The show jumps back and forth between two timelines, which helps make this an extra twisty, extra scary mystery. (Yesterday's rank: 1)


2. Cheer

For fans of: Sports docuseries, watching the human body do unreal things, facing controversy head on | Is it good?: It's so good

Producer Greg Whiteley is one of TV's Midases, a man whose golden touch makes hits out of any sports docuseries he creates (see: Last Chance ULast Chance U: Basketball). But Cheer, which follows college cheerleading powerhouse Navarro College, might be his best. Following a Season 1 that won three Emmys, Cheer returns for Season 2 with its world upside down and dealing with celebrity, both the good and bad. Season 2 also deals with controversy — Season 1 star Jerry Harris was charged with sexual abuse of a minor and child pornography — head on, in addition to coronavirus and the brutal storms that hit Texas last winter. But the heart of the season is still the competition, which is magnified as cameras also follow Navarro's rivals, Trinity Valley, and the collision course of both teams in Daytona. (Yesterday's rank: 2)


3. After We Fell

For fans of: Harry Styles fanfiction, bizarrely intense romance | Is it good?: It's certainly committed to how bad it is

If you can believe it, this is the third movie in the After film series, which are movies based on books based on Wattpad fanfiction about — wait for it — Harry Styles! This is all so dark, but these movies are insanely popular among a certain demographic, and in this one, Tessa (Josephine Langford) and Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) are just as in love as ever, but revelations about both of their families threaten to tear them apart. And don't worry, After We Fell is nowhere near the last movie in this saga. (Yesterday's rank: n/a)


4. Brazen 

For fans of: Airport novels, being able to predict the ending | Is it good?: Nah

Alyssa Milano returns to acting with this adaptation of Nora Roberts' romantic thriller Brazen Virtue. She plays Grace, a mystery novelist and crime expert whose own family becomes something out of one of her books when her sister, who was living a double life as a webcam performer, is murdered. As Grace works to catch her sister's killer, she finds herself drawn to the detective on the case, Ed (Sam Page), who has different opinions about how to go about the investigation. It's an instantly forgettable thriller that only exists as long as you're watching it. (Yesterday's rank: 3)


5. Cobra Kai

For fans of: '80s nostalgia, well-choreographed karate scenes | Is it good?: It's pretty delightful

Cobra Kai's revolving door of rivalries and treaties stops spinning on Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka) being friends in Season 4, with the longtime enemies teaming up to take down the Cobra Kai dojo and Kreese (Martin Kove) once and for all (or at least until the next season). By now you know the formula: Friends become enemies, enemies become friends, everyone punches each other, there's a misunderstanding, and there's a huge, awesome fight at the end. Predictability, in the case of Cobra Kai, is comforting. (Yesterday's rank: 4)


6. Stay Close

For fans of: Netflix thrillers like The Stranger | Is it good?: It'll keep you hooked

Adaptations of novels by the mystery thriller writer Harlan Coben are a genre unto themselves on Netflix — Stay Close is the fourth in two years — and they're reliably entertaining yarns with multiple twists you never see coming. Stay Close stars The Good Fight's Cush Jumbo as a woman whose sordid past comes back to threaten her new life, and she has to take desperate measures to protect her family. (Yesterday's rank: 5)

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7. The Witcher

For fans of: Henry Cavill, serious fantasy | Is it good?: Yes

This epic fantasy series is one of Netflix's biggest. So big, in fact, that the first season, which came out two years ago, cracked the Top 10 last month as fans prepared for the release of Season 2. And now that Season 2 is out, it's going to stay on Netflix's TV list until Henry Cavill's real hair is that long and white and he doesn't have to wear a wig anymore. If you're looking for other great fantasy shows like The Witcher, check out this list(Yesterday's rank: 7)


8. Ozark

For fans of: The color blue, money laundering | Is it good?: It is the perfect show for people who love this type of show

Jason Bateman plays a normal seeming guy who moves his family to, you guessed it, the Ozarks after he gets in too deep with a money laundering scheme and a drug cartel. It's Netflix's blue tinted answer to Breaking Bad, and the final season is on the way. (Yesterday's rank: 9)


9. Don't Look Up

For fans of: Celebrities, veneers, general smugness | Is it good?: Ugh, no

In this Adam McKay satire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play astronomers who realize that an extinction-level comet is on a collision course with Earth and go on a media tour to warn humanity. But their warning is met with hostility, hysteria, or indifference by government, media, and the public. Everyone is just talking about the people who disagree with them about the comet instead of doing anything about the comet. It's about as subtle as a comet smashing into the face of the Earth. The gratuitously star-studded cast includes Jonah HillTyler PerryCate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep(Yesterday's rank: 6)


10. Emily in Paris

For fans of: Hate-watching, stupid rom-com choices | Is it good?: No, but that's kind of the point

Emily in Paris (and you gotta say it like it rhymes), who haunts the dreams of actual Parisians, is back on the streets of Paris like some kind of colorfully dressed cryptid. The new episodes kick off where Season 1 left off, with the titular American in Paris getting herself into a love triangle after sleeping with Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), which puts her in a tight spot with Camille (Camille Razat). Mon dieu! She also wears a checkered bucket hat. Hard to tell which sin is worse. Read TV Guide's full review of Season 2 here. (Yesterday's rank: 10)

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Margaret Qualley, Maid

Margaret Qualley, Maid

Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix