Every Tuesday, Netflix announces its Global Top 10 lists, the most-watched movies and shows in English and not in English from the previous week. The ranking metric Netflix uses to share this information with the public is "total hours viewed," which is the sum of the time Netflix subscribers all over the world spent watching a given show or movie. This is a decent way of measuring a show or movie's popularity, as hours viewed roughly corresponds with the number of people watching it — and more meaningfully to Netflix, watching it all the way through.
Below is the list of the most-watched English-language TV series. For the week of Nov. 22-28, the most popular Anglophone Netflix show in the world was True Story, Kevin Hart's dramatic crime thriller limited series, which reached No. 1 in its first week of release. It's followed up in the top three by Season 1 of Cowboy Bebop, Netflix's space Western anime adaptation, and Season 4 of glossy reality series Selling Sunset. The rest of the list includes heavy hitters like Tiger King, Narcos: Mexico, and You.
But just because something is being watched for millions of hours doesn't mean it's actually good. So every week, we break down what's worth watching in Netflix's Global Top 10 English-language TV shows. We do the same for Global Top 10 English-language movies, as well as the American Daily Top 10 list, which we further break down into the Top 10 movies and the Top 10 shows. We also have a running list of the 50 best shows and movies to watch on Netflix right now, plus the best movies to watch on Netflix and the best TV shows on Netflix.
Based on Netflix's Global Top 10 TV shows in English for the week of Nov. 22-28
For fans of: Comedians doing serious roles, Cain and Abel | Is it good?: It isn't good, but it isn't boring, either
Kevin Hart makes his TV drama debut in this crime thriller limited series from Narcos creator Eric Newman. He plays The Kid, a famous comedian from Philadelphia, a character bio that makes True Story seem like it will be semi-autobiographical. But as far as we know, Kevin Hart never woke up next to a dead woman and turned to his career criminal brother (Wesley Snipes) to cover it up, leading to a life-threatening situation involving some very bad people who want a piece of him. Snipes is great, but there's an off-putting bitterness to Hart's performance. The uneven writing and tone make the show feel out of control, usually in a bad way, but every now and then in an exciting, unpredictable way. It reached No. 1 in seven countries, including the United States. (Weeks in Top 10: 1)
For fans of: Gutsy adaptations, corgis, Westerns but in space | Is it good?: It's not as bad as the anime superfans are saying
I get that fans of the sci-fi anime that Netflix's live-action adaptation is based on are overly protective of the original, but it's really not nearly as terrible as they say. In the space Western, John Cho and Mustafa Shakir play a pair of bounty hunters who bust all sorts of wanted space criminals while dealing with their own problems, be it pining after a long-lost love or trying to acquire a hard-to-get toy for a daughter. It's stacked with humor, style, violence, and, according to its detractors, total and complete disrespect for the original. Cowboy Bebop moved up four places from last week, topping the list in a few European countries, including Iceland. (Weeks in Top 10: 2)
For fans of: Luxury real estate, workplace gossip | Is it good?: It's pretty addictive
The reality series about the personal and professional drama of a group of high-end real estate agents in Los Angeles is back for Season 4, and the drama is just as messy and poorly handled as ever. These people all seem very emotionally unwell! This remains Netflix's answer to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It reached No. 1 in Canada, Ireland, Norway, the UK, Cyprus, and Australia. (Weeks in Top 10: 1)
For fans of: Sibling dynamics, League of Legends | Is it good?: It's a solid adaptation and visually exciting
For those uninitiated, League of Legends is a fantasy video game about battling other avatars in an arena, and this show actually makes the source material into something worth watching. Two sisters (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld and Ella Purnell) end up on different sides of a class war, and Arcane is good about balancing their backstories with the big, thrilling fight scenes you want from a show like this. The first season was released weekly in three-episode chunks, and Netflix has renewed it for a second season. The show is especially popular in European countries like Bulgaria, Latvia, and Croatia. (Weeks in Top 10: 3)
For fans of: The struggle, female empowerment, the Pacific Northwest | Is it good?: It'll make you sad, but it's pretty great
You won't often leave an episode of Maid — adapted from Stephanie Land's memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive — feeling overjoyed with the world, because the miniseries isn't afraid to focus on the difficulties faced by single mothers escaping abusive relationships. But stick around and you'll be inspired by the perseverance of Alex (Margaret Qualley in a star-making performance) as she becomes a housecleaner in Washington to make ends barely meet. Even though it's a little longer than it needs to be, you won't complain as long as Qualley is on the screen. (Weeks in Top 10: 9)
For fans of: Crime dramas, cartel violence, drugs | Is it good?: Yes, and this final season gives it the send-off it deserves
The final season of Narcos: Mexico comes without its big bad. Diego Luna, who played cartel leader Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo in the first two seasons, isn't in Season 3 after his character was (Season 2 spoiler!) arrested in last season's finale. But that only increases the chaos as other wannabe kingpins battle to fill his loafers, escalating into a torrent of violence in Mexico that the series never shies away from showing. (Weeks in Top 10: 4)
For fans of: Murder, voiceover, Penn Badgley | Is it good?: It's a super engaging, very bloody time
TV's premiere sociopath showcase is back for Season 3, and this time Joe (Penn Badgley) and Love (Victoria Pedretti) are performing normalcy as they settle into a new life in the suburbs, where they're both pretending they're not crazy murderers. They have a new baby, they're meeting new people, and they totally don't want to kill people anymore. Right? Probably not! If you've already seen Season 3, here are more shows like You to watch next. (Weeks in Top 10: 7)
For fans of: Nostalgia for the early pandemic era, conspiracy theories about Carole Baskin | Is it good?: It's totally unnecessary
March 2020 will go down in history as the month the world changed for millions people. Oh right, the pandemic and global lockdown went into effect, but I was talking about the release of Tiger King, Netflix's ultra-insane, ultra-popular true crime series that was a balm to the panic of early quarantine. Netflix somehow managed to do a second season despite its star, Joe Exotic, being behind bars and Joe's archenemy, Carole Baskin, refusing to participate in the new episodes (Baskin's lawsuit to prevent the use of footage of her in Season 2 has been fruitless so far). Season 2 catches up with some of the stars to see how Tiger King changed their lives and further investigate the disappearance of Baskin's husband, Don Lewis. Also, more jet skiing! Tiger King 2 was the most popular show of the week in the United States and other English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia, but the rest of the world is not too interested in this particularly seedy corner of America. We say that's good, because Tiger King makes us look bad. (Weeks in Top 10: 2)
For fans of: Mashed vegetables, pacifiers | Is it good?: For babies, sure
Colorful objects, preschool songs, and big-headed babies make this catnip for toddlers and younger kids who get screentime. (Weeks in Top 10: 3)
For fans of: Scandalous families, uncut soap | Is it good?: Watch the '80s Dynasty instead
You might be surprised to learn that this CW series is in its fourth season — with a fifth on the way — but a big part of why it's still around is that it's very popular in countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya, and Switzerland. Season 4 revolves around wedding sabotage and mineral rights. It's a shamelessly unoriginal and over-the-top show, but if you love mess, you probably won't be bored. (Weeks in Top 10: 6)