Netflix’s absurd new dating show proves it wants to meme-ify the viewing experience while competitors lock in viewers with actual storylines

two reality show contestants on netflix
  • Netflix unveiled a new reality dating show on Wednesday, setting off an online meme storm.
  • The same thing happened with “Tiger King” and “Bridgerton” in 2020.
  • That feat will come in handy for Netflix as it relies on a broad array of content to keep its place on the streaming throne.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Part of Netflix’s strategy seems to be meme-ifying the streaming experience – and it’s working.

We saw the same thing happen when the streaming platform dropped “Tiger King,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” and “Bridgerton” in 2020

Now a new reality dating show coming to Netflix in July has set the online world aflame once again. It’s outlandish, slightly nightmare-inducing, and it might be exactly what the platform needs if it wants to keep HBO Max and Disney+ from gaining on it.

“Sexy Beasts” will test people’s chemistry by dressing up contestants in elaborate costumes and prosthetics, transforming them into creatures like beasts, demons, and dolphins. The participants will then go on blind dates with each other and then make personality-based decisions on who they choose to match with.

Based on the trailer, there’s a “Beauty and the Beast” moment in the end when the couple is revealed to each other in their human, makeup-free forms.

Netflix’s promotional photos of the show, in all of their absurd glory, instantly prompted memes across the internet. You couldn’t log into a social media website Wednesday without spotting the furry and made-up faces of the show’s participants.

“Sexy Beasts” is the latest example of Netflix dropping a new release and immediately taking over the world of pop culture. But it’s also indicative of what Netflix banks heavily on to keep viewers hooked: wild original programming, and the wilder it is, the better.

It said in April that it would spend over $17 billion in cash on content this year after the pandemic caused a lull in original releases.

Netflix defines original content as anything offered exclusively on its platform. That’s been the company’s strength in the streaming market as it competes with Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon instead of, for example, rounding out its movie selection.

Of course, other platforms have had a similar cultural effect, such as Disney+ with every new Marvel release and HBO Max with its DC content. But those services mainly tether their movies and shows to specific characters. Subscribers love Disney+ because it’s a cozy home to everything Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and more.

And while Netflix also has storyline-driven movies and series, it’s evident with “Sexy Beasts” that the company is determined to keep as many customers entertained as it can with a wide array of content.

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How to change your Netflix password, even if you don’t know your current one

man using laptop watching shows
It’s easy to change your Netflix password.

  • You can change your Netflix password using the website or mobile app.
  • If you don’t remember your Netflix password, click or tap “Forgot password?” to reset it.
  • Like all passwords, it’s a good idea to make your Netflix password unique and complex.
  • This story is a part of Business Insider’s Guide to Netflix Tips and Tricks.

Your Netflix password is an important tool for protecting your account. It keeps strangers from using your account, obviously, but it also helps safeguard your payment information.

Related Article Module: How to create strong passwords for every site, and keep your info secure from hackers

Experts agree that keeping a different password for every site you use – and making sure that password is complex – is the best way to keep your information secure.

With that in mind, here’s how to change your Netflix password, even if you don’t remember it.

How to change your Netflix password

The steps to change your Netflix password are the same on both computers and phones.

1. Head to https://www.netflix.com/YourAccount and log into your account, if you haven’t already.

2. In the Membership and Billing section, click Change password.

A Netflix account's options page, with the "Change password" option highlighted.
Select the “Change password” option.

3. On the Change Password page, enter your existing password and then the new one you want to change it to. There are no requirements for what your password has to contain – it just needs to be between six and 60 characters long.

4. Confirm the new password, and when you’re done, click “Save.”

Netflix's "Change Password" page.
You can choose to log out of every Netflix session when you change your password.

How to change your Netflix password if you’ve forgotten it

If you want to change your password, you usually need to enter your current password to prove you really own the account. But if you’ve lost or forgotten your password, there’s a workaround.

If you’re currently logged into your account, follow the steps above to reach the Change Password page. Once there, click Forgot password? If you’ve been logged out of your account and can’t remember the password, head to the login page and click or tap Need help?

You’ll be given the option to reset your password via email or text message – you’ll be sent a link where you can make a new password.

Netflix's page for recovering your password when you don't remember it.
There are two basic ways to recover your Netflix password if you’ve forgotten it.

If you don’t remember which email address or phone number you connected to your Netflix account, you can enter the first and last name associated with the account, as well as the card number you use to pay for it.

Dave Johnson contributed to a previous version of this article.

How to download Netflix movies and shows onto your phone or tabletHow to delete your Netflix viewing history, and prevent something you’ve watched from affecting your viewing recommendationsHow to use a Netflix gift card to pay for your Netflix subscription planHow often you should change your passwords, according to cybersecurity experts

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The top 9 shows on Netflix this week, from ‘Manifest’ to ‘Lupin’

manifest nbc
“Manifest.”

  • Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Insider a list of the TV shows that have been most prominent on Netflix’s daily top-10 lists.
  • “Manifest” was Netflix’s biggest show this week, just as its network, NBC, canceled it after two seasons.
  • Netflix counts a view if an account watches a movie or TV show for at least two minutes.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
9. “Workin’ Moms” (Netflix original, 2017-present)

workin' moms netflix

Description: “Maternity leave is over and it’s time for these four moms to return to work while navigating kids, bosses, love and life in modern-day Toronto.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

8. “Fresh, Fried and Crispy” (Netflix original, 2021-present)

fresh, fried and crispy netflix

Description: “Passionate about food and ready for fun, critic Daym Drops drops in on America’s smokin’ hot spots for the best, freshest takes on fried food.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: “Despite Daym Drops’ energy and the really wonderful food that’s on display in ‘Fresh, Fried And Crispy,’ the show is just too heavy on shtick to be enjoyable.” — Decider (season one)

7. “Dirty John” (USA Network, 2018-present)

dirty john

Description: “When love becomes twisted, and trust turns into manipulation, anything can happen — including murder — in this true-crime anthology series.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80%

What critics said: “Slater’s recognizable star power aside, the focus, really, is exclusively on Betty, and if there’s any real reason to recommend The Betty Broderick Story, it’s to appreciate the sheer range and volume of characterizations Peet gets to offer.” — Hollywood Reporter (season two)

6. “L.A.’s Finest” (Spectrum, 2019-2020)

la's finest

Description: “In this spinoff of the ‘Bad Boys’ franchise, two police detectives team up while trying to keep their stormy pasts — and differences — from interfering.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

5. “Lucifer” (Netflix original, 2016-present)

lucifer
“Lucifer”

Description: “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%

What critics said: “This second half feels stronger than the first, in part because it does what Lucifer does best.” — IGN (season five, part two)

4. “Cocomelon” (YouTube, 2019-present)

cocomelon netflix

Description: “Learn letters, numbers, animal sounds and more with J.J. in this musical series that brings fun times with nursery rhymes for the whole family!”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

3. “Lupin” (Netflix original, 2021-present)

lupin
“Lupin.”

Description: “Inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief Assane Diop sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 96%

What critics said: “If Part 2 has a flaw it’s only that it feels like what it is: a continuation of the previous series, rather than an adventurous leap in a different direction.” — Guardian (season two)

2. “Sweet Tooth” (Netflix original, 2021-present)

sweeth tooth netflix
“Sweet Tooth.”

Description: “On a perilous adventure across a post-apocalyptic world, a lovable boy who’s half-human and half-deer searches for a new beginning with a gruff protector.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 98%

What critics said: “The performances are strong throughout — Anozie is particularly remarkable — but it’s the consistently inventive writing and robust filmmaking that makes the project stand out.” — RogerEbert.com (season one)

1. “Manifest” (NBC, 2018-2021)

manifest nbc

Description: “When a plane mysteriously lands years after takeoff, the people onboard return to a world that has moved on without them and face strange, new realities.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: “Manifest’s premiere is confident and declares that it hasn’t lost any of its heart or soul, as the Stone family conquers the new threats that face them more together than ever, even if they’re hundreds of miles apart.” — Tell-Tale TV (season three)

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The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from ‘Awake’ to ‘Wish Dragon’

awake netflix
“Awake.”

  • Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Insider a list of which movies have been most prominent on Netflix’s daily top-10 lists that week.
  • Netflix counts a view if an account watches a movie or TV show for at least two minutes.
  • More than a month after its release, “The Mitchells and the Machines” is still attracting Netflix viewers.
  • But the biggest movie this week was an animated children’s movie, “Wish Dragon,” followed by the thriller “Awake.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
9. “The Secret Life of Pets 2” (2019)

the secret life of pets 2 fox

Description: “On a farm outside New York, Max aims to boost his confidence while in the city, Snowball attempts to rescue a tiger cub and Gidget pretends to be a cat.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 61%

What critics said: “It’s never a great sign when the biggest laughs a movie gets are during the end credits.” — New York Post

8. “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” (2021, Netflix original)

mitchells vs machines netflix

Description: “A robot apocalypse put the brakes on their cross-country road trip. Now it’s up to the Mitchells — the world’s weirdest family — to save the human race.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 98%

What critics said: “This is a perfect movie for the whole family, which is an all-too-rare thing to find.” — Newsday

7. “The Devil Below” (2021)

the devil below

Description: “When a team of researchers tries to find out what started a fire in a coal mine, they quickly discover that the disaster is anything but natural.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 0%

What critics said: “The heroes have all been reduced to just one or two identifiable traits: One’s a conspiracy theorist, one’s a fortune-hunter, one’s religious and so on.” — Los Angeles Times

6. “2 Hearts” (2020)

2 hearts

Description: “In parallel love stories, the lives of college student Chris and wealthy businessman Jorge intersect in a profound twist of fate. Based on a true story.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 17%

What critics said: “It’s a softheaded piece of morbid romantic treacle — two parallel cloying love stories for the price of one.” — Variety

5. “Dog Gone Trouble” (2021, Netflix original)

dog gone trouble netflix

Description: “The privileged life of a pampered dog named Trouble is turned upside-down when he gets lost and must learn to survive on the big-city streets.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: “Home is at the center of ‘Dog Gone Trouble,’ about a lost pooch whose owner has just died. But this Netflix animated family feature is nothing to write home about.” — New York Times

4. “A Haunted House 2” (2014)

a haunted house 2

Description: “Grieving after a tragedy, Malcolm tries to start fresh with his new girlfriend and her kids — but supernatural shenanigans find their way back to him.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 8%

What critics said: “A few observational gags deliver, but all the doll-humping and chicken-slaughtering will haunt you for days.” — Guardian

3. “Home” (2015)

home dreamworks movie

Description: “When misfit alien Oh mistakenly sends a party invite to the entire galaxy, he goes on the run to avoid trouble and befriends spunky human girl Tip.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 52%

What critics said: “A surprisingly moving tale of friendship and family, dressed up as an adorably frivolous sci-fi comedy.” — Vulture

2. “Awake” (2021, Netflix original)

awake netflix

Description: “After a global event wipes out humanity’s ability to sleep, a troubled ex-soldier fights to save her family as society and her mind spiral into chaos.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 30%

What critics said: “So for those asking the obvious: Yes, Awake should put you to sleep rather quickly.” — Globe and Mail

1. “Wish Dragon” (2021, Netflix original)

wish dragon netflix

Description: “Determined teen Din is longing to reconnect with his childhood best friend when he meets a wish-granting dragon who shows him the magic of possibilities.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 65%

What critics said: “Sure, the lowbrow gags and rote combat drags the film down, but in the moments where Appelhans breathes contemporary specifics into the story, ‘Wish Dragon’ is a quirky, appealing ride.” — Polygon

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The top 9 shows on Netflix this week, from ‘Sweet Tooth’ to ‘Lucifer’

sweeth tooth netflix
“Sweet Tooth.”

  • Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Insider a list of the TV shows that have been most prominent on Netflix‘s daily top-10 lists.

  • Netflix’s new fantasy comic-book series “Sweet Tooth” topped this week’s list, followed by “Lucifer” after the second half the penultimate season debuted recently.
  • Netflix counts a view if an account watches a movie or TV show for at least two minutes.
  • Visit the business section of Insider for more stories.
9. “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix original, 2018-2021)

kominsky method

Description: “Acting coach Sandy Kominsky and best friend Norman Newlander keep each other laughing as they navigate the ups and downs of getting older.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

What critics said: “Michael Douglas is remarkable as the flawed, wise acting coach Sandy Kominsky … This season, Alan Arkin is not back as his best friend, Norman, a twist that the writers handle in unsurprising but fruitful ways.” — Boston Globe (season three)

8. “Alone” (History, 2015-present)

alone history tv series

Description: “Equipped with limited resources, an isolated group of individuals is subjected to the harsh conditions of the wilderness and must survive — or tap out.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

7. “Human: The World Within” (Netflix original, 2021-present)

human the world within netflix

Description: “Cutting-edge science and captivating personal stories collide in this illuminating docuseries about the incredible workings of the human body.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

6. “Ragnarok” (Netflix original, 2020-present)

ragnarok netflix

Description: “In a Norwegian town poisoned by pollution and rattled by melting glaciers, the End Times feel all too real. It’ll take a legend to battle an old evil.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

What critics said: “Has a fairly shaky grip on its tone, but the YA drama works well in tandem with its smart adaptation of Norse myth, even if it doesn’t quite stick the landing in the end.” — IGN (season one)

5. “Kim’s Convenience” (CBC, 2016-2021)

Kim's Convenience Simu Liu

Description: “While running a convenience store in Toronto, members of a Korean-Canadian family deal with customers, each other and the evolving world around them.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: “Losing Kim’s Convenience means losing another series, maybe the last one airing with a global audience, where Asian lives are the norm. We can only hope there will be more to come.” — Vanity Fair (season five)

 

4. “Cocomelon” (YouTube, 2019-present)

cocomelon

Description: “Learn letters, numbers, animal sounds and more with J.J. in this musical series that brings fun times with nursery rhymes for the whole family!”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

3. “Dirty John” (USA Network, 2018-present)

dirty john

Description: “When love becomes twisted, and trust turns into manipulation, anything can happen — including murder — in this true-crime anthology series.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80%

What critics said: “While Betty’s performance gets much less convincing, Peet’s just keeps getting better and better. There is not a moment wasted, not a single line or non-verbal reaction not fully explored for all its potential.” — RogerEbert.com (season two)

2. “Lucifer” (Netflix original, 2016-present)

lucifer
“Lucifer”

Description: “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%

What critics said: “This season, really, is a love letter to the fans who kept the show alive and threw down over the possibility of it ending too soon. The Devil is back, baby, and he’s gonna use that mojo on you.” — Uproxx (Season 5)

1. “Sweet Tooth” (Netflix original, 2021-present)

sweet tooth netflix

Description: “On a perilous adventure across a post-apocalyptic world, a lovable boy who’s half-human and half-deer searches for a new beginning with a gruff protector.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 98%

What critics said: “‘Sweet Tooth’ may not offer a full meal, but sometimes all you need is a good piece of chocolate.” — Indiewire (season one)

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Viewer data sheds light on why Netflix ended ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ and renewed ‘Shadow and Bone’ for season 2

jupiter's legacy
“Jupiter’s Legacy.”

  • Netflix ended “Jupiter’s Legacy” last week and renewed “Shadow and Bone” for season two this week.
  • Data from the research company Nielsen and the streaming search engine Reelgood sheds light on why.
  • The data shows that “Jupiter’s Legacy” fell short in viewership compared to some Netflix hits.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Netflix isn’t moving forward with a second season of its big-budget superhero series “Jupiter’s Legacy.”

The show, which was the first product of the streamer’s acquisition of comic-book company Millarworld, debuted on May 7. On Wednesday, Mark Millar, the Millarworld founder, announced that the cast had been let out of their contracts, effectively ending the series.

The show appeared in Netflix’s daily top 10 lists of its most popular titles in the week after its debut (Netflix counts a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a show or movie). And it was the top streaming original series the weekend of its premiere with US viewers watching 696 million minutes of the series from May 7 to May 9, according to the research company Nielsen.

But Netflix never announced viewership numbers for “Jupiter’s Legacy” as it has for its biggest hits in recent years, suggesting that the series didn’t live up to the expectations set by its sizable production budget (it cost $200 million to make including reshoots, according to reporting by The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit).

While it made Netflix’s daily rankings, “Jupiter’s Legacy” fell short of other shows that have dominated those lists.

The series spent six days as the No. 1 show on Netflix in the US and 26 days in the top 10 shows, according to the streaming search engine Reelgood.

Alina Shadow and Bone season one Netflix 2
Jessie Mei Li as Alina in Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone.”

Netflix’s hit fantasy series, “Shadow and Bone,” which the streamer renewed for season two this week, was the No. 1 show for 12 days and spent 35 days in the top 10, according to Reelgood. Netflix said on Monday that the series was watched by 55 million households globally in its first week, placing it among Netflix’s top 10 original shows of all time.

“Shadow and Bone” was also watched for 1.2 billion minutes in the US over its debut weekend, according to Nielsen, well ahead of the numbers for “Jupiter’s Legacy.” Both shows’ first seasons included eight episodes.

“Jupiter’s Legacy” also fell short of other Netflix hits in its tenure on the streamer’s top 10 list.

“Ginny and Georgia” was the top show for 29 days and appeared in the top 10 for 68 days. “Bridgerton” was the top series for 19 days and spent 71 days in the top 10. Both have been renewed for second seasons. And the limited series “The Queen’s Gambit” was the No. 1 show on Netflix in the US for 23 days and spent 79 days in the top 10.

The chart below breaks down the numbers:

reelgood jupiter's legacy shadow and bone top 10 lists chart
“Jupiter’s Legacy” fell short of other Netflix shows when it came to the streamer’s daily popularity rankings.

“Jupiter’s Legacy” also received poor reviews from critics and has a 38% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, while “Shadow and Bone” earned an 87% critic score. In a review of “Jupiter’s Legacy,” CNN’s Brian Lowry wrote that it “moves in what feels like slow motion.” Rolling Stone’s Alan Sepinwall wrote that the series is “meant to be viewed with utmost seriousness, yet it feels like a parody where someone forgot to insert the jokes.”

Audience enthusiasm for the shows also diverged; “Jupiter’s Legacy” has a tepid 72% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and “Shadow and Bone” has a more favorable 90%.

Since Netflix bought Millarworld in 2017, the streaming giant’s pursuit of genre-heavy IP has intensified as competitors like Disney and WarnerMedia focus on mega franchises to boost their own streaming businesses. Netflix introduced two new divisions last year to advance in this effort: the events/spectacle team, which oversaw “Jupiter’s Legacy,” and the franchise team.

While “Jupiter’s Legacy” is done, Netflix still intends to mine Millarworld for comic-book IP.

“Super Crooks” live-action and anime shows are in the works, set in the same universe as “Jupiter’s Legacy” but from the villains’ points of view. And series based on Millarworld comics like “American Jesus” and “The Magic Order” are also in development.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Netflix’s top 10 original TV show hits of all time, including ‘Shadow and Bone’

Alina Shadow and Bone season one Netflix 2
Jessie Mei Li as Alina in Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone.”

  • Netflix said “Shadow and Bone” was watched by 55 million households in its first 28 days.
  • “Bridgerton” is still the biggest Netflix original series ever though, with more than 80 million.
  • Insider ranked Netflix’s biggest originals based on how many member households watched each in the first 28 days.
  • Netflix counts a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a show or movie.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
10. “Too Hot to Handle” season one – 51 million

Too Hot To Handle

Description: “On the shores of paradise, gorgeous singles meet and mingle. But there’s a twist. To win a $100,000 grand prize, they’ll have to give up sex.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 37%

What critics said: “For those viewers who aren’t already primed to suspend their disbelief in the face of manufactured drama, Too Hot to Handle gives them no reason to care.” — Polygon

9. “You” season two – 54 million

you netflix
Penn Badgley in “You”

Description: “A dangerously charming, intensely obsessive young man goes to extreme measures to insert himself into the lives of those he is transfixed by.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 88%

What critics said: “A self-aware work of melodrama, You combines the best elements of murder-mystery series, Millennial sitcoms, and revenge fantasies.” — The Atlantic 

8. “Shadow and Bone” season one – 55 million

shadow and bone

Description: “Dark forces conspire against orphan mapmaker Alina Starkov when she unleashes an extraordinary power that could change the fate of her war-torn world.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 87%

What critics said: “If Shadow and Bone doesn’t provide quite the level of characterizing nuance and challenging chronological complexity of The Witcher – and it does not – it does go down easier, and seems expressly intended to make long weekend afternoons pass more quickly.” — NPR

7. “The Queen’s Gambit” – 62 million

queens gambit
Beth Harmon practices chess in a hotel room.

Description: “In a 1950s orphanage, a young girl reveals an astonishing talent for chess and begins an unlikely journey to stardom while grappling with addiction.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 97%

What critics said: “Raise your hand if you anticipated a coming-of-age, period-piece drama about a female chess prodigy in the 1950s and 1960s becoming perhaps the most addictive and binge-worthy series of 2020.” — Chicago Sun-Times

6. (tie) “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” – 64 million

tiger king joe exotic
“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness” was released on Netflix on March 20, 2020.

Description: “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%

What critics said: “A compelling series in fits and starts that doesn’t amount to much more than a trip through an extremely strange world filled with extremely strange people.” — Newsday

6. (tie) “Stranger Things” season three – 64 million*

stranger things season 3 netflix
“Stranger Things.”

Description: “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: 89%

What critics said: “It’s a real and joyful return to form for the show that has been taken fiercely to the hearts of people who weren’t there the first time round and, perhaps even more fiercely, by those who were.” — Guardian

*based on Netflix’s former viewership metric, in which an account had to watch at least 70% of a TV episode

4. “La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)” season four – 65 million

money heist

Description: “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: 75%

What critics said: “All the joy in the heist format is wondering how the robbers will escape. With Money Heist, I’m starting to dread the new ways the producers will find to keep me locked in.” — Independent

3. “Lupin” season one – 70 million

Lupin TV show Netflix Emmanuel Guimier
Omar Sy stars in “Lupin.”

Description: “Inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief Assane Diop sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 98%

What critics said: “The series also doesn’t waste a single minute, packing each and every moment full of suspense. Put all of that together, and it’s an early front-runner to steal a spot as one of the best shows of the year.” — Slate

2. “The Witcher” season one – 76 million

the witcher

Description: “Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, journeys toward his destiny in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

What critics said: “And although The Witcher is more fantasy balderdash, it’s also somewhat addictive fantasy balderdash. Bring on the blood-spilling, the orgies, the haunted forests and wizards: It seems we can’t get enough.” — Detroit News

1. “Bridgerton” season one – 82 million

BRIDGERTON

Description: “The eight close-knit siblings of the Bridgerton family look for love and happiness in London high society. Inspired by Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 89%

What critics said: “There are eight episodes of Bridgerton, and they all have endings that are like chapters in a good book: They leave you in a spot where you just want to read one more chapter before you turn off the light for the night.” — NPR

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Netflix apparently wants to break into the video game business. Experts say that’s a bad idea.

reed hastings ted sarandos
Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings, left, and Ted Sarandos, right.

  • Netflix is reportedly fishing around for a major video game business executive to hire.
  • The company intends to expand its gaming efforts – to break into the lucrative video game industry.
  • That initiative is likely to fail, given the history of tech and entertainment companies in gaming.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

With over 200 million paid subscribers worldwide, Netflix is an absolute behemoth.

The streaming entertainment giant has successfully transitioned from a scrappy startup paying to license its content to a major player in Hollywood, splashing out tens of millions of dollars on its own productions.

So, what’s next for Netflix? The answer to that question, at least in part, appears to be video games.

Netflix is fishing around for a gaming executive to help it expand out its gaming initiative, according to a recent report in The Information. While the company has acknowledged an interest in interactive entertainment, it has yet to decide what this will mean in practice. Licensing content from existing game makers? Making its own games? And how will you actually play those games?

While we still don’t know much about Netflix’s plans, one thing is clear right now: Netflix getting involved in gaming is almost certain to fail.

“I do think they will try, and do think they will fail,” Wedbush managing director Michael Pachter told Insider. “It’s hard to make games.”

bandersnatch choice
“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is an “interactive movie” on Netflix that is more choose-your-own-adventure than video game.

Indeed, the video game industry is a very risky business, and even entrenched studios with top-tier talent and years of experience regularly go under. “We have the failures of THQ, Midway, Acclaim, 3DO, BAM, Eidos, Atari, Infogrames, Interplay, and probably a few others to illustrate how hard it is,” Pachter said. “I don’t see how Netflix could possibly think it can develop and sell games.”

Joost van Dreunen, author of “One Up: Creativity, Competition, and the Global Business of Video Games,” echoed Pachter’s skepticism.

“Big tech sucks at games,” he told Insider.

He pointed to Google’s Stadia, Amazon’s Luna, and Facebook’s scattershot gaming efforts across the last decade as prime examples of how major tech companies routinely fail at gaming initiatives.

Google and Amazon and Facebook have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into gaming across the last decade, yet none are major players in the video game market. “They look at it in a way that distribution goes before the content,” Van Dreunen said, “and that’s the wrong way around.”

Instead of creating video games and building beloved brands, they’ve largely focused on the mechanics of how you buy and access those games: Google’s Stadia platform, a Netflix-like video game streaming service, is a prime example.

Less than two years after Google announced a major game development initiative led by “Assassin’s Creed” creator Jade Raymond, and less than one year after outright buying a video game studio, the company folded those efforts this past February.

What’s Google focusing on for its big gaming service rather than making games for it?

An “increased focus on using our technology platform for industry partners,” Google Stadia Vice President Phil Harrison said in a blog post – a pretty huge step back from the splashy announcement of Stadia back in 2019, which promised a new digital service that would compete against the likes of Nintendo, Sony’s PlayStation, and Microsoft’s Xbox.

FILE PHOTO: Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison speaks during a Google keynote address announcing a new video gaming streaming service named Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company's cloud technology and global network of data centers, at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Google VP Phil Harrison speaks during a Google keynote address announcing Google Stadia at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, March 2019.

For Netflix, which has the benefit of owning a beloved intellectual property like “Stranger Things” that could lend itself to games, another problem exists.

“Building games from owned IP is also super hard,” Pachter said. “Disney has failed at least three times trying to do so, and its IP is much stronger than Netflix.”

In recent years, Disney’s biggest properties – from Marvel characters to the “Star Wars” franchise – have found success in gaming by Disney largely handing over creative control to major video game companies.

Examples include 2018’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” and 2019’s “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The former, a PlayStation 4 exclusive game made by Insomniac Games, sold over 20 million copies. The latter, a multiplatform “Star Wars” game with original characters and story, sold over 10 million copies.

At approximately $60 apiece, each game has grossed well over $1 billion in sales.

Spider-man (PS4)
2018’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” for the PlayStation 4.

Netflix could follow a similar model and potentially find success.

The company could build a wildly successful game streaming service that seamlessly leverages its existing streaming service. It could spend years, and hundreds of millions of dollars, building its IP into major game franchises.

Or it could buy its way in, splashing out billions of dollars on a major game publisher like EA or Ubisoft – akin to Amazon’s recent purchase of MGM Studios, but for gaming. That would require a major, long-term institutional buy-in from Netflix, in addition to major financial investments.

“You need to have the stomach,” Van Dreunen said. “Like when you look at Google and Amazon – they just don’t have internally the numbers or the understanding of the space to say, ‘Yeah, you know what we should do? Spend $10 billion to really break in.'”

For its part, Netflix hasn’t detailed its gaming plans just yet – but the company is acknowledging the reported interest in a larger gaming investment in the future.

“Our members value the variety and quality of our content,” the company said in a statement. “Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love – through interactive shows like ‘Bandersnatch’ and ‘You v. Wild,’ or games based on ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘La Casa de Papel’ and ‘To All the Boys.’ So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.”

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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The 10 biggest Netflix original movies of all time

army of the dead
“Army of the Dead.”

  • Netflix has shed some light in recent years on its most popular original titles.
  • Its biggest movies include “Extraction,” “Bird Box,” and now Zack Snyder’s zombie-heist movie “Army of the Dead.”
  • Netflix measures a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a show or movie.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
10. (tied) “Army of the Dead” – 72 million

zombies army of the dead

Description: “After a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries takes the ultimate gamble by venturing into the quarantine zone for the greatest heist ever.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 70%

What critics said: “Snyder understands the tonality of a modern zombie film. Like Dawn of the Dead, it’s where his trademark snark shines best.” — Polygon

10. (tied) “The Midnight Sky” (2020) – 72 million

the midnight sky

Description: “In the aftermath of a global catastrophe, a lone scientist in the Arctic races to contact a crew of astronauts with a warning not to return to Earth.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 50%

What critics said: “The Midnight Sky is a good example of a movie that sells itself short by trying to be one thing — serious, heavy, emotional — when, by all available indicators, it should be more of a thriller, or more ridiculous, or at the very least more fun.” — Rolling Stone

8. “Project Power” (2020) – 75 million

Project Power Netflix3

Description: “An ex-soldier, a teen and a cop collide in New Orleans as they hunt for the source behind a dangerous new pill that grants users temporary superpowers.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 61%

What critics said: “A film built on the thrill of the now, the hyper-modernity on show in hip-hop trappings, tricks lifted from gaming and yes, the availability of the whole thing at the push of a button in the palm of your hand.” — Financial Times

7. “Enola Holmes” (2020) – 76 million

enola holmes
Millie Bobby Brown stars in “Enola Holmes.”

Description: “While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and help a runaway lord.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%

What critics said: “‘Enola Homes’ is the kind of movie that the preteen set will surely delight in and watch over and over. I know I would have.” — Associated Press

6. “The Old Guard” (2020) – 78 million

the old guard

Description: “Four undying warriors who’ve secretly protected humanity for centuries become targeted for their mysterious powers just as they discover a new immortal.”

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 80%

What critics said: “The Old Guard asks some existential questions that leave the audience wanting more.” — Vox

5. (tie) “Murder Mystery” (2019) – 83 million

murder mystery

Description: “On a long-awaited trip to Europe, a New York City cop and his hairdresser wife scramble to solve a baffling murder aboard a billionaire’s yacht.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 44%

What critics said: “Every Adam Sandler comedy abides by a trope as hoary as ‘the butler did it.’ At some point in the shenanigans, Sandler’s schlub has gotta get a chance to prove he’s the bravest boy in the world.” — Variety

5. (tie) “6 Underground” (2019) – 83 million

6 underground
Ryan Reynolds in “6 Underground.”

Description: “After faking his death, a tech billionaire recruits a team of international operatives for a bold and bloody mission to take down a brutal dictator.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 36%

What critics said: “This is a terrible action movie that utilizes Michael Bay’s worst instincts and none of his best.” — Newsday

3. “Spenser Confidential” (2020) – 85 million

spenser confidential

Description: “Spenser, an ex-cop and ex-con, teams up with aspiring fighter Hawk to uncover a sinister conspiracy tied to the deaths of two Boston police officers.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 37%

What critics said: “An ending that teases the possibility of sequels, with Wahlberg’s Spenser tackling more cases of police officers and emergency personnel who have been falsely accused of crimes, should elicit nothing but groans.” — AV Club

2. “Bird Box” (2018) – 89 million

Bird Box
Directed by Susanne Bier.

Description: “Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a survivor and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 63%

What critics said: “Bird Box’s pieces feel forcibly screwed together, a movie marionetted by strings of data code. There’s good scenes and smart ideas, but overall, the movie mostly clomps.” — Guardian

1. “Extraction” (2020) – 99 million

extraction

Description: “A hardened mercenary’s mission becomes a soul-searching race to survive when he’s sent into Bangladesh to rescue a drug lord’s kidnapped son.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

What critics said: “The fight scenes are plastic and glossy. Hargrave mistakes gore for cool and technical prowess for choreography, deploying overlong one-take shots that look like ‘Call of Duty’ outtakes.” — New York Times

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‘Rugrats,’ the classic ’90s cartoon franchise, returns in an all-new series on Paramount Plus

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"Rugrats" (2021), an original series on Paramount Plus
A scene from “Rugrats” (2021), an original series on Paramount Plus

  • Rugrats” is back in the form of a brand-new CGI-animated series on Paramount Plus.
  • The original cartoon launched 30 years ago on Nickelodeon.
  • Paramount Plus costs $6/month with ads, or $10/month without commercials.

Plus Monthly Plan (ad-supported) (small)

A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do, even when they’re decades old.

The “Rugrats” are back nearly 30 years after their original show premiered on Nickelodeon. This time around, the babies are animated in CGI and available to watch on Paramount Plus.

Rugrats” (2021) follows Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Susie, Phil, and Lil as they embark on adventures around the home. The series kicked off May 27 with five episodes. All voice actors from the original series’ last season are back for the new show, including E.G. Daily, Nancy Cartwright, and Cree Summer.

Where to watch ‘Rugrats’ (2021)

The first five episodes of “Rugrats” (2021) premiered on May 27 exclusively through the Paramount Plus streaming service. It’s unclear when the remainder of the first season’s 26 episodes will premiere, but Paramount Plus said they’ll release more episodes on a “later date.”

Rugrats” (2021) will also air on the Nickelodeon cable channel after it streams on Paramount Plus, but there’s no release date yet.

You can subscribe to Paramount Plus for $6 a month with an ad-supported plan ($60 a year) or $10 a month with an ad-free plan ($100 a year). These plans typically include a seven-day trial, but you can get a 30-day trial if you sign up before May 30.

Plus Monthly Plan (ad-supported) (small)

Aside from “Rugrats,” Paramount Plus offers a number of ViacomCBS titles including other Nickelodeon shows like “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “iCarly.” More Paramount Plus original shows and movies are on the way in the coming months. You can read our full Paramount Plus review here.

Where to watch old ‘Rugrats’ cartoons

Before “Rugrats” (2021), the franchise included two TV shows, two direct-to-video specials, one mini-series, and three movies.

All nine seasons of the original “Rugrats” series, five seasons of the spinoff “All Grown Up!,” and two direct-to-video specials are available on Paramount Plus. You can also watch the original “Rugrats” on Hulu, with plans starting at $6 a month.

Plus Monthly Plan (ad-supported) (small)Streaming Service (small)

Other video-on-demand (VOD) streaming providers, like Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV, and Google Play, will let you buy individual “Rugrats” episodes or seasons. Episodes typically cost $2 each.

The “Rugrats” series made its way to the big screen as well. Films include “The Rugrats Movie,” “Rugrats in Paris: The Movie,” and “Rugrats Go Wild.” The first two films – “The Rugrats Movie” and “Rugrats in Paris: The Movie” – are available on Netflix.

Rugrats Go Wild” – a crossover flick between the “Rugrats” and “The Wild Thornberrys” franchises – is available through VOD streaming providers with rental fees starting at $3. However, it’s currently unavailable on subscription streaming services.

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