• Netflix shared its “What We Watched” blog post for 2020, highlighting the shows that resonated with audiences on the streaming service throughout the year.
  • Netflix split up its most popular content into categories based on the emotions or sentiments that they elicited, like crying, laughing, learning, or escaping.
  • A ton of you watched Korean dramas this year, and that’s awesome.

Netflix was once one of the most secretive entertainment companies in the industry, but the company has let its guard down in recent years. We know more about the popularity of streaming shows and movies than we ever have, and on Thursday, Netflix pulled the curtain back once again to share some interesting trends from 2020.

“It’s been a tough year, to say the least,” the company wrote. “And What We Watched 2020 – this year’s US viewing trends on Netflix – reflects those high and lows. Documentaries, reality TV, romance and stories from outside the US saw some of the biggest gains as people sought love, escape and connection through the pandemic.”


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Rather than just rattle off a list of the most popular shows, Netflix took to Twitter to research which of the shows on its streaming service were most often receiving certain reactions and combined those sentiments with their total viewing hours. This resulted in a pleasing and rather interesting color wheel of shows and movies:

Netflix-Emoji-Chart-2020
What We Watched in 2020 according to Netflix. Image source: Netflix

If you’re having trouble reading the chart, here’s a list of the emojis and their corresponding shows and movies:

  • Love: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, Princess Switch: Switched Again, The Kissing Booth 2, Love Is Blind, The Half of It
  • Laugh: Hubie Halloween, The Wrong Missy, Space Force S1, Kevin Hart: Zero F**ks Given, Never Have I Ever
  • Escape: Tiger King, Floor Is Lava, Over the Moon, Extraction, Selling Sunset
  • Cry: Miracle in Cell No. 7, All the Bright Places, The Lost Husband, Hillbilly Elegy, My Octopus Teacher
  • Learn: 13th, Dear White People, The Social Dilemma, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Crip Camp
  • Travel: The Platform, Barbarians, Kingdom S2, Money Heist, Rogue City

There are some fascinating tidbits throughout the blog post that Netflix shared as well. For example, the latest season of Money Heist hit the Top 10 in 92 countries, viewership of Korean dramas nearly tripled, Love Is Blind stayed within the US Top 10 for 47 days straight, and searches for “sad movies” spiked 30% in April.

2020 might be coming to an end, but the pandemic isn’t going anywhere, at least not yet. The good news is that Netflix and other streaming services will continue to pump out content to keep us entertained while we try to keep each other safe until we can finally get back to our lives. In the meantime, keep streaming.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.

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