The 13 Most Watched Netflix Original Series

Netflix remains the planet's most popular streaming service, surpassing 200 million subscribers at the end of 2021. But what are they all watching?

From whimsical melodrama to cult sci-fi, the only common trait between the following Netflix TV series is their popularity.

However, readers are advised to digest this Netflix original series viewing figures ranking with caution.

Any content played for more than two minutes equates to a "view," which some could suggest is a rather generous definition.

Additionally, as with many streaming sites, Netflix keeps many of its metrics under wraps, meaning viewing figure claims remain unverified by external sources.

Finally, the compilers add how Money Heist Season 3 and Airplane Mode would have ranked in the following list, but have been excluded for statistical consistency.

Read on to discover the most-watched Netflix original series as of May 2021, disclosed by What's On Netflix. The English language series has been capped at 10.

13. You S2 | 54 million

2018 ‧ Thriller ‧ 2 seasons

We're already anxiously awaiting 'You' Season 3, among lots of other possible renewals. Netflix

An instant attraction between a young couple evolves into something more insidious when the aspiring female writer becomes the brilliant young man's obsession.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states about the psychological thriller: "Penn Badgley's perversely endearing serial stalker keeps looking for love in all the wrong places during a second season that maintains the subversive tension while adding some welcome variations on the series' formula."

12. Who Killed Sara? S1 (in Spanish) | 55 million

2021 ‧ Thriller ‧ 2 seasons

Who Killed Sara?
The second season of Mexican mystery show Who Killed Sara? was released on Netflix in May 2021

A man pledges revenge on the family who framed him for the murder of his sister Sara and ruined his life.

Joel Keller of Decider, praised this Mexican mystery thriller, writing: "[Who Killed Sara?] has a few logic problems, but its overall vibe is energetic enough, with good performances, to keep viewers' attention."

11. Shadow and Bone | 55 million

2021 ‧ Drama ‧ 1 season

shadow and bone books
Ben Barnes' character in 'Shadow and Bone' does not get a name until the third book. Netflix

Evil powers follow an orphan mapmaker after she releases an incredible energy capable of transforming the universe.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states about the fantasy TV series: "From gorgeous costumes to impressive—if intimidating—world-building, Shadow and Bone is certainly as meticulous as its source material, but by folding in unexpected stories it expands the novel's scope to craft an exciting new adventure for fans and newcomers alike."

10. Fate: The Winx Saga | 57 million

2021 ‧ Drama ‧ 1 season

fate the winx saga season 2 netflix
Abigail Cowen in 'Fate: The Winx Saga.' The actor has teased that some familiar 'Winx Club' faces could appear in Season 2 Netflix

Fairies attempt to hone their magical gifts at a boarding school while negotiating love, rivalries and the Otherworld's monsters.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states about the teen drama: "Flat, flimsy, and forgettable, Fate: The Winx Saga is a fantastical flop that fails to capture the magic of its source material."

9. Emily in Paris | 58 million

2020 ‧ Comedy-drama ‧ 1 season

emily in paris season 2
'Emily in Paris' has been a hit for Netflix, suggesting that the show may soon be back for Season 2. Netflix

A 20-something woman is hired to provide an American perspective at a marketing firm in the chic French capital.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Though its depiction of France is tré cliché [sic], Emily in Paris is rom-com fantasy at its finest, spectacularly dressed and filled with charming performances."

8. Sweet Tooth | 60 million

2021 ‧ Drama ‧ 1 season

Sweet Tooth
"Sweet Tooth" will return to Netflix with season two. Netflix

A half-human mutant boy battles for a new beginning with a gruff protector on a post-apocalyptic planet Earth.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states about the fantasy drama: "Emotionally engaging, superbly acted, and incredibly entertaining, Sweet Tooth will satisfy fantasy fans of all ages."

7. The Queen's Gambit | 62 million

2020 ‧ Historical film ‧ 1 season

queens gambit season 2
Anya Taylor-Joy won a Golden Globe for Netflix TV hit 'The Queen's Gambit' Netflix

A beautiful orphan battles addiction in a bid to become the world's leading chess player in 1950's America.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states about the coming of age drama: "Its moves aren't always perfect, but between Anya Taylor-Joy's magnetic performance, incredibly realized period details, and emotionally intelligent writing, The Queen's Gambit is an absolute win."

6. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness | 64 million

2020 ‧ Documentary ‧ 1 season

Joe Exotic
Production still of Joe Exotic in "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" Courtesy of Netflix

This documentary explores the bizarre world of big cat breeding in the U.S., populated by a cast of eccentric characters and criminals.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "A bizarre true-crime story you have to see to believe, Tiger King is a messy and captivating portrait of obsession gone terribly wrong."

5. Stranger Things S3 | 64 million

2016 ‧ Sci-fi ‧ 3 seasons

Stranger Things Kids
Stranger Things Season 3 premiered on Netflix July 4. Netflix

A boy's mysterious disappearance from a small in the U.S marks the beginning of a paranormal conspiracy unraveled by a cliché of sci-fi obsessed young friends.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states about the third season: "Stranger Things transforms itself into a riveting–if familiar–summer ride that basks in its neon-laden nostalgia without losing sight of the rich relationships that make the series so endearing."

4. Money Heist S4 (in Spanish) | 65 million

2017 ‧ Thriller ‧ 4 seasons

Money Heist
'Money Heist' has become a TV phenomenon on Netflix. Netflix

A mismatched cast of criminals attempts another of their seemingly impossible mission planned by a genius mastermind.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states about Spanish heist crime drama: "An audacious plan told in a non-linear fashion keeps the third installment moving as Money Heist refocuses on the relations between its beloved characters."

3. Lupin S1 (in French) | 70 million

2021 ‧ Mystery ‧ 2 seasons

Lupin Part 2 plot holes
Lupin parts one and two are streaming on Netflix now Emmanuel Guimier

Legendary gentleman thief and master of disguise Lupin embarks on an audacious quest to avenge his wronged father.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states about the mystery thriller: "Omar Sy effortlessly hits every mark in Lupin, an engrossing espionage thriller that lives up to its source material and then some."

2. The Witcher S1 | 76 million

2019 ‧ Fantasy ‧ 2 seasons

Henry Cavill in The Witcher
Henry Cavill portrays Geralt of Rivia in Netflix hit TV show The Witcher Netflix

Monster hunting mercenary, the Witcher Geralt, battles to adapt in a world where he has to watch out for humans as much as his prey.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus describes the fantasy action series as: "Though the world of The Witcher at times feels only half-formed, Henry Cavill brings brawny charisma to a series teeming with subversive fantasy elements and dark humor."

1. Bridgerton S1 | 82 million

2020 ‧ Romance ‧ 1 season

"Bridgerton" (L to R) Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Harriet Cains as Phillipa Featherington, Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington and Polly Walker as Portia Featherington in episode 101 of "Bridgerton." Liam Daniel/Netflix

Inspired by Julia Quinn's popular books, this series traces the love lives of the Bridgerton family's children during Regency-era England.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus describes the period drama as: "Sumptuous design, soapy drama, and a sterling cast make Bridgerton a delightful treat."

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