The 20 most talked-about shows on Netflix in 2020

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  • 2020 was a major year for TV shows, with series like "Tiger King" and "Emily in Paris" going viral. 
  • Plenty of other shows caused a stir as well, including fan-favorites like "Stranger Things" and "The Umbrella Academy." 
  • Using data from Parrot Analytics, Insider compiled the 20 most talked-about Netflix shows from this year. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

This year saw the release of numerous buzzed-about Netflix shows, including "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" and "Emily In Paris."

New seasons of fan favorites like "Ozark," "The Umbrella Academy," and "Stranger Things" also caused plenty of chatter online. 

To determine which shows made the strongest impressions on viewers this year, Insider reviewed data from Parrot Analytics, a platform that analyzes factors such as ratings, social media chatter, blogging, and illegal pirating to figure out the viewer demand for shows. 

Here are the most talked-about Netflix shows in 2020. 

20. "Castlevania" is based on a Japanese video game series of the same name.

Netflix synopsis: "A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly beasts controlled by Dracula himself. Inspired by the classic video games." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

The anime series is one of Netflix's most popular animated shows to date and has garnered praise from fans and critics alike for its original and in-depth exploration of classic vampire lore. 

"Castlevania" has also garnered praise for its bright visuals and skillfully-animated characters. 

19. "On My Block" follows a group of teens in an inner-city Los Angeles neighborhood.

Netflix synopsis: "In a rough Los Angeles neighborhood, four smart, funny, and streetwise teens find their lifelong friendship tested as they begin high school." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 95%

Critics and viewers alike have praised the show's handling of violence and crime, as well as the diverse cast. 

But in addition to the themes discussed on "On My Block," the funny, complex, and diverse characters at the heart of the show have also resonated with viewers. 

18. Season six of "BoJack Horseman" premiered in January of this year.

Netflix synopsis: "Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the '90s, 20 years later. He's a curmudgeon with a heart of… not quite gold… but something like gold. Copper?" 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

The deadpan and surprisingly heartfelt animated show has long been a critical darling, even garnering several Emmy awards during its six-season run. 

With a voice cast that includes Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris, and Alison Brie, and an ability to explore topics like depression, loneliness, and addiction in a hilarious yet sensitive way, it's easy to see why "BoJack Horseman" has also resonated with viewers. 

17. "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" is another popular animated show from Netflix.

Netflix synopsis: "Soldier Adora finds a magic sword — and her identity as legendary hero She-Ra. She joins the Rebellion, but her best friend stays with the evil Horde." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 97%

A reboot of the eponymous 1985 animated series, "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" released its fifth and final season in May of this year. 

Viewers loved the show's diverse cast and brilliant animation, and the complicated relationship between Adora and her frenemy Catra also struck a chord with audiences. 

16. Most viewers loved to hate on "Emily In Paris."

Netflix synopsis: "After landing her dream job in Paris, Chicago marketing exec Emily Cooper embraces her adventurous new life while juggling work, friends, and romance." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 63%

A lighthearted and decidedly escapist comedy-drama, binge-watching "Emily in Paris" was a guilty pleasure for many viewers stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. 

And while the fashion and chic setting of "Emily In Paris" were noteworthy, critics (and some viewers) called out the show's propensity for clichéd and unrealistic plot twists. 

15. "13 Reasons Why" has garnered criticisms for its portrayal of teen suicide.

Netflix synopsis: "High school student Clay Jensen lands in the center of a series of heartbreaking mysteries set in motion by a friend's tragic suicide." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 35%

The show's fourth season premiered earlier this year, and viewers took issue with the chaotic storylines and unsatisfying finale. 

An episode centered on a school shooter also drew backlash from critics and fans alike, with many calling out the show for being too triggering in its depictions of violence. 

14. "The Haunting of Bly Manor" premiered in October.

Netflix synopsis: "Dead doesn't mean gone. An au pair plunges into an abyss of chilling secrets in this gothic romance from the creator of 'Haunting of Hill House.'" 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 87%

While "The Haunting of Hill House" was definitely scarier than this gothic horror-romance, viewers still loved the queer love story and rich history at the center of "Bly Manor." 

And the show's diverse cast of characters, in addition to its surprising twist ending, also captivated audiences. 

13. "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" takes an in-depth look at big cat rescues.

Netflix synopsis: "A zoo owner spirals out of control amid a cast of eccentric characters in this true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 86%

Instantly quotable and larger-than-life, Joe Exotic is the undisputed star of "Tiger King," although his rival Carole Baskin is certainly a character in her own right. 

The deranged antics of Exotic and his coworkers instantly attracted viewers when the series premiered earlier this year, leading to plenty of memes and even some celebrity fans. 

12. "Black Mirror" explores the darker side of humankind.

Netflix synopsis: "This sci-fi anthology series explores a twisted, high-tech near future where humanity's greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%

With its eerily prescient episodes and stirring explorations of morality, it's no surprise that "Black Mirror" was one of the most talked-about shows on Netflix this year. 

Each of the episodes portrays a different, terrifying vision of our future — generating plenty of food for thought. 

11. Season three of "Ozark" premiered in March.

Netflix synopsis: "A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 81%

Over the past few seasons of this Netflix drama, which has drawn comparisons to "Breaking Bad," viewers have been drawn into the story of the dysfunctional Byrde family and their antics in the Ozarks. 

And this season was no different, with the mild-mannered Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) coming into her own and making a shocking decision in the final episode. 

10. Mind-bending drama "Dark" spans multiple timelines.

Netflix synopsis: "A missing child sets four families on a frantic hunt for answers as they unearth a mind-bending mystery that spans three generations." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 95%

With its complex, sci-fi inspired plot, Netflix's first German-language original series has drawn comparisons to "Twin Peaks" and "Stranger Things." 

The third season of "Dark" premiered in May and takes viewers even deeper into the mind-bending world of Jonas and Martha as they rush to prevent the apocalypse. 

9. Penn Badgley plays a psychopathic bookstore owner on "You."

Netflix synopsis: "A dangerously charming, intensely obsessive young man goes to extreme measures to insert himself into the lives of those he's transfixed by." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

Season two of the over-the-top crime drama premiered on Netflix in December 2019 and introduced a whole new group of fans to the delusional antics of Joe Goldberg (season one first premiered on Lifetime). 

With psychopathic tendencies and a warped understanding of "love," Joe was the villain audiences loved to hate — and in some cases, hated to love. 

8. "Cobra Kai" is based on the "Karate Kid" movies.

Netflix synopsis: "Decades after the tournament that changed their lives, the rivalry between Johnny and Daniel reignites in this sequel to the 'Karate Kid' films." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%

This action-packed drama picks up 34 years after the events of "The Karate Kid," and features older versions of fan-favorite characters like Johnny, Daniel, and Amanda. 

Netflix acquired the series earlier this year, and the third season is expected to premiere in early 2021. 

7. Season four of "The Crown" premiered in November.

Netflix synopsis: "This drama follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%

"The Crown" has long been a favorite among viewers for its lush costumes, painstaking attention to detail, and dramatic storylines, but chatter over the show reached new heights after the fourth season premiered. 

Focusing on Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles, and her unsuccessful integration into the royal family, season four has caused some viewers to call out Charles for his behavior portrayed on the show. 

6. "La casa de papel (Money Heist)" is set in Madrid.

Netflix synopsis: "Eight thieves take hostages and lock themselves in the Royal Mint of Spain as a criminal mastermind manipulates the police to carry out his plan." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

Another foreign-language hit for Netflix, "La casa de papel" became an international sensation after being re-released by the streaming service in 2018. 

Season four of the popular series premiered in April of this year. The latest episodes featured a controversial response to a season three cliffhanger, and numerous other twists that shocked viewers. 

5. "Narcos: Mexico" follows the rise of a Mexican drug cartel.

Netflix synopsis: "Witness the birth of the Mexican drug war in the 1980s as a gritty new 'Narcos' saga chronicles the true story of the Guadalajara cartel's ascent." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 88%

An offshoot of the original "Narcos" series, which took place in Colombia, "Narcos: Mexico" moves the action further north, but has kept the juicy drama and outrageous exploits fans of the show have grown to love. 

The second season of the show was released in February and ended with a bombshell twist that left fans stunned. 

4. The first half of the fifth season of "Lucifer" was released in August.

Netflix synopsis: "Bored with being the Lord of Hell, the devil relocates to Los Angeles, where he opens a nightclub and forms a connection with a homicide detective." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 86%

With its intriguing premise and dangerously charming leading man, "Lucifer" is part cop drama, part surrealist fantasy. 

Fans of the show haven't been shy in their praise for Thomas John Ellis, who plays the title character, and even got a treat earlier this year when Netflix renewed "Lucifer" for a sixth and final season. 

3. "The Umbrella Academy" follows a group of supernaturally gifted siblings.

Netflix synopsis: "Reunited by their father's death, estranged siblings with extraordinary powers uncover shocking family secrets — and a looming threat to humanity." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 82%

Both critics and fans enjoyed the second season of "The Umbrella Academy" — which premiered in July this year — more than the first, which was criticized by many for being too uneven in tone. 

But in the latest season, the Hargreeves siblings finally get their chance to shine and save the world from an impending apocalypse while they're at it. 

2. A mutated monster hunter is the focus of "The Witcher."

Netflix synopsis: "Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, journeys towards his destiny in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

"The Witcher" was a hit amongst fantasy viewers on Netflix, where it quickly became one of the platform's most-watched series following its premiere in December 2019. 

Even though it premiered nearly a year ago, the show has continued to make waves on social media and within fandoms. 

1. "Stranger Things" was the most-talked about show on Netflix this year.

Netflix synopsis: "When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one strange little girl." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

Despite the fact that the show's third season premiered in July 2019, "Stranger Things" was still the most talked-about show on Netflix this year.

Given the massive popularity of the sci-fi drama, it's no surprise fans couldn't stop talking about the antics of characters like Eleven, Steve, and Dustin. 

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