Welcome to our guide of the most popular new releases on Netflix. It’s February 2021, and and what a month it’s been. Just this week, longtime Bachelor producer Chris Harrison stepped down from hosting duties amid ongoing allegations of racism towards him and the series, Kellyanne Conway’s bizarre appearance during her daughter Claudia Conway’s pre-tapped American Idol appearance has renewed attention and scrutiny at their prolonged and distressingly public spat. Like we said: it’s been a month.
The long, bitter, turbulent winter makes the enduring warmth and respite of new movies, TV shows, and anime all that more a relief. What are audiences turning to while cozying up on the couch? Netflix’s 10 most-watched movies and TV shows at the moment includes everything from Todd Philips’ War Dogs and Derek Simonds’ 2017 TNT crime drama anthology The Sinner to new and exciting Netflix originals like Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel and Firefly Lane. To help you navigate the list, we’ve gathered our reviews, features, and quick takes on the shows and films that have cracked the Top 10 list for the United States, and put them in one easy-to-read place.
Read on to find out what people are watching, and get coverage to help you choose which of Netflix’s most popular hits meet your needs or personal tastes.
Polygon updates the Netflix Top 10 each week. The actual top 10 may is subject to change between updates.
Netflix’s biggest new releases
The steamy period piece romance drama Bridgerton continues to hold strong as one of Netflix’s most popular series this week at number 10. In its six weeks of release, the show’s already become a tabletop RPG, so you know the popularity is legit.
Unfamiliar? From our review last December:
Austen’s 19th-century prose became synonymous with Regency romances through the subtle art of eroticism. Bridgerton, from Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland, the studio behind Grey’s Anatomy, also has its fair share of yearning glances and soft hand-holding. The difference is that it’s incredibly horny. Based on the modern books of the same name by author Julia Quinn, the Netflix series pulls from the tropes of classic novels (hand flexes! dances!) with saucier turns from the current romance genre.
If your kid’s got to watch something (or possibly even you, no judgement!), the YouTube-animated-nursery-rhymes-and-songs-channel-turned-Netflix animated series is one of the most popular children shows on the service this week.
8. Red Dot
In this new Netflix Original thriller, expectant couple Nadja and David travel to northern Sweden on a hiking trip to rekindle their romance, only to be attacked by a malicious sniper in an ensnared in a nightmarish fight for survival.
7. War Dogs
Produced by Bradley Cooper and based (albeit loosely) on true events, Todd Philips’ 2016 dark comedy-crime film stars Miles Teller and Jonah Hill as David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, two ordinary idiots-turned-arms-dealers who secure a Pentagon contract to supply weapons in the ongoing war in Iraq.
6. The Sinner
In this TNT series, Bill Pullman stars as Harry Ambrose, a sympathetic police detective struggling to unravel the mysteries behind the young mother’s inexplicable act of murder in Derek Simonds’ anthology crime drama The Sinner. The first season starred Jessica Biel, but subsequent seasons have recruited Carrie Coons (The Leftovers) and Matt Bomer (Doom Patrol) as leads with skeletons in their closets.
5. The Crew
Netflix’s The Crew certainly has one of the most unique workplace sitcom premises to come along in awhile. Kevin James stars as Kevin Gibson, the crew chief of a Nascar Racing Team who finds himself butting heads with his former boss’ daughter played by Jillian Mueller and her staff of tech-savvy millennial technicians.
4. To All the Boys: Always and Forever
Netflix’s popular rom-com film series based on Jenny Hans’ YA books returns for its third and final installment in To All The Boys: Always and Forever. Here’s what our review had to say,
In the end, the best thing that can be said about Always and Forever is that it’s a beautiful collection of snapshots. The bright interior sets, such as Lara Jean’s room, her family home, and the diner she and Peter frequent, create an atmospheric evolution of the everyday, showing how even the most mundane settings can look warm and beautiful in Lara Jean’s romantic eyes. The moments she has not just with Peter, but with her family and friends, are similarly tender. In that vein, these individual scenes almost coalescence into a reflection on change at the end of senior year.
3. Firefly Lane
Netflix’s Firefly Lane, based on the popular book by Kristin Hannah, follows the story of Tully and Kate, played by Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, two lifelong friends who meet on Firefly Lane and go on to navigate the ups and downs of adolescence and adulthood across 30 years of friendship.
The first two seasons of teen sitcom iCarly, which ran from 2007-2012 on Nickelodeon, were added to Netflix earlier this month, amassing enough effusive support among fans of the series to secure it’s number 2 spot on Netflix’s most popular shows this week. Somewhere, Paramount Plus executives weep.
1. Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
Netflix’s new original true-crime docuseries, which recounts the story of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old woman from Vancouver who disappeared in 2013 while staying at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, California, is the most popular show on the service this week. The hotel, known for its sordid past for harboring such infamous serial killers as the “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger, is a much a living principal character as any the investigators and talking heads attempting to unravel the circumstances and ultimate fate of Elisa Lam in this in this dark and gripping miniseries.