If there's anything Netflix may love anymore than distracting us from our lives, it's stats. God they love stats. While they tend to keep most of the numbers to themselves, they did pull back the curtain on the year's most popular TV and movies based on country, and here's the deal: the Australian edition is quite weird.
Given the whole, unprecedented pandemic sitch, we expected a list rich with escapist fluff requiring very little cerebral engagement from viewers. And hey, there was definitely a bit of that. Our darling Emily In Paris did predictably well with Australian viewers, taking the lead for most popular comedy TV series, as did the light-as-a-soufflé christmas movie, Holidate.
But that's where our attempt to explain the year's viewing habits end. This is also the year we got quite into anime for some reason, watching double the amount of anime than we did in 2019.
We also had no qualms switching on the subtitles, judging by a surge in interest in titles from Spain (The Platform, Money Heist), Germany (Barbarians), and South Korea. Yep, Australians have somehow found their way to the world of K-drama, with our consumption of titles like The King: Eternal Monarch and It's Okay To Not Be Okay on the up and up.
If all that wasn't confusing enough, we collectively decided an anxiety-inducing pandemic would be the perfect time to make ourselves even more anxious, with average viewing hours for thrillers like The Haunting Of Bly Manor up 70 percent.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said [this claim is disputed], the measure of any society is what that society watches on Netflix. From this, we can only conclude this was the year Australians collectively lost it. There is literally no rhyme and reason to any of these viewing patterns; they scream only of deep and protracted emotional confusion. One day we're watching Lily Collins model her extensive beret collection, the next we're deep into a six-part retelling of Germany's Battle of Teutoburg Forest. And don't even get me started on Tiger King.
This year's most-watched list makes zero sense, a fitting tribute to the year that was (and for a couple of weeks, continues to be) 2020. Anyway, I'm off to watch Too Hot To Handle. Why not, right? Why the hell not.
Catch Netflix Australia's most popular titles across each genre here.
Written by Reena Gupta, a Melbourne-based writer at MTV Australia. Follow her at @purpletank
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