Most Popular on Netflix: A Look at Today's Top 10

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Most Popular on Netflix: A Look at Today's Top 10

Netflix has been notoriously stingy with its data. Even directors and showrunners have had a hard time gauging if what they’d put out into the world was reaching its intended audience. With the recent advent of the Netflix Top 10, though, we can now get at least one little peek behind the curtain. The list of Netflix’s daily Top 10 Most Popular indicates an omnivorous appetite among the Netflix faithful, from low-budget thrillers to blockbusters, animated kids movies to docu-series of every stripe. Here are the entries for October 14 of the most popular TV shows and movies on Netflix.

Mike Flanagan’s latest ghost story remains atop the most-watched on Netflix list today, and the blockbuster Trial of the Chicago 7 debuts at #3.

1. The Haunting of Bly Manor

haunting-bly.jpg Year: 2020
Creator: Mike Flanagan
Stars: Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Henry Thomas, Amelia Eve, T’Nia Miller, Rahul Kohli, Tahirah Sharif, Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth
Genre: Horror, Drama
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
Rating: TV-MA

Watch on Netflix

When is a horror story not a horror story? When is a ghost not a ghost? If a ghost lives, breathes and walks among the living, can that really be called anything other than life? If a ghost feels every bit as much love, fear and regret as a living person, then isn’t life just as fraught with peril as death? These are a few of the roughly 10,000 questions that Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor would like you to roll around in your head during its nine-hour runtime, in which it adapts Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw but simultaneously finds time to go down every narrative rabbit hole you might find on a sprawling English manor’s property. The follow-up to Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House is more unfocused than its predecessor, attempting to build an operatic narrative with detailed backstories for seemingly every character, but it possesses the same sort of devastating emotional intensity seen in the previous Netflix series. What it doesn’t have, though, is likely to disappoint a certain chunk of the audience: The scares. “Horror,” as it turns out, was never really the focus here—the events of the series are described in its opening moments as a “ghost story,” but to conflate that with a “horror story” is an inaccurate framing. There’s a smattering of jump scares, sure, but the goal here was seemingly not to suffuse every episode of The Haunting of Bly Manor with the persistent dread that was present in Hill House, but to tell a richly emotional melodrama on love, jealousy, selflessness, responsibility and trauma. Suffice to say: Netflix is marketing a horror story because we’re approaching Halloween, but you might be better off expecting a supernatural romance with overtones of Greek tragedy. —Jim Vorel

2. Hubie Halloween

hubie-halloween.jpg Year: 2020
Director: Steven Brill
Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi, Maya Rudolph, Tim Meadows
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 103 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The beast hath returned: After his recent Netflix behemoth Murder Mystery acquired 30.9 million viewers in its first three days, Adam Sandler is back with Hubie Halloween, which follows a resident of Salem, Mass., whose undying love for his hometown and “legendary Halloween celebration” makes him a figure of mockery in the community. Jokes on them, though: Looks like something goes awry and it’s up to the man himself to save Halloween. Directed by Steve Brill, and penned by Sandler and Tim Herlihy, the film is set to star Kevin James, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Michael Chiklis, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, and, to no one’s surprise, a lengthy roster of other Sandlerian players: Ray Liotta, Tim Meadows, Noah Schnapp, SNL’s Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day and Melissa Villasenor, China Anne McClaine, George Wallace and Shaq. Yes, Shaq! —Scott Russell

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7

chicago-7.jpg Year: 2020
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, John Carroll Lynch
Genre: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
Rating: R
Runtime: 129 minutes

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Aaron Sorkin is back in the director’s chair for Trial of the Chicago 7, a legal drama penned and shot by Sorkin, revolving around the heavily publicized trials surrounding protesters arrested during riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The Chicago Seven is a name given to a group of eight, and then seven men who were charged with conspiracy and “inciting riots” during the emotional turbulence of protests during the 1968 Democratic Convention, which had capped off a year of violence that saw the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Men like Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) were more or lionized as American protesters who encapsulated the spirit of the countercultural movement of the late 1960s. Paramount had been set to release the film, and it was already attracting rumors of awards buzz, when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, wreaking havoc on the release calendar. That major studio eventually decided to punt, selling The Trial of the Chicago 7 to Netflix in a blockbuster deal back in July for $56 million. It seems safe to say that the world’s largest streamer is probably hoping this could be an awards juggernaut for them, especially in the current climate of protest. Fittingly, The Trial of the Chicago 7 will screen in a limited theatrical release in September, fully qualifying it for major award shows. —Jim Vorel

4. Emily in Paris

emily-in-paris-210.jpg Year: 2020
Creator: Darren Star
Stars: Lily Collins, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Lucas Bravo, Samuel Arnold, Bruno Gouery
Genre: Romance, Drama
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%
Rating: TV-MA

Watch on Netflix

If Sex and the City and Younger had a mistress it would be Emily in Paris. This little bon mot from executive producer Darren Star leans in hard to stereotypes we have about the French. They are very open with sex. They have very open marriages. They have utter disdain for Americans. They smoke a lot. But this 10-episode series has such a joie de vivre it’s easy to ignore its faults and savor its deliciousness. It’s the TV equivalent of a buttery, flakey croissant that you devour. Each episode leaves you wanting more—even if its airy plots are quickly forgettable. Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) is a young marketing executive who gets the dream gig of going to Paris for a year when her firm buys Savior, a Paris-based boutique marketing firm for luxury brands. This opportunity arrives when Emily’s boss (Kate Walsh in an inspired cameo) throws up and discovers she’s pregnant. Emily lands in Paris and much to the consternation of her boss Sylvie (Philippine Leroy Beaulieu) she doesn’t speak a word of French. Oh mon dieu! She quickly befriends office mates Luc (Samuel Arnold ) and Julien (Bruno Gouery) and gorgeous neighbor Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), who just happens to be a chef at the café across the street. Never have omelets seemed so sexy.
Perhaps the best part of the series is that it was filmed on location in Paris, allowing the City of Light to become a central character on the show. The series gives us a wistful glimpse to one of the world’s most romantic places. If for that reason alone, one should say “oui oui” to Emily in Paris. —Amy Amatangelo

5. Moneyball

moneyball.jpg Year: 2020
Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Christ Pratt
Genre: Sports Drama
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 133 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Based on the gripping 2003 book of the same name, Moneyball centers on Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and his impact on baseball, and specifically on the implementation of a mathematical approach to the game. But despite the stellar cast—Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Phillip Seymour Hoffman—the story never pulls us in and makes us care. Early on, it’s fascinating to hear Hill’s Peter Brand, assistant to Beane, introduce the new baseball system and consider its effect on the game, but that’s nothing ESPN couldn’t do better on television. And it’s only a very small part of the film anyway. Bennett Miller, working with a script from Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, seems most interested in using baseball as a backdrop for the study of Beane. But even after spending two hours with him, we still don’t know or care about the guy. We really only learn that Beane failed as a player in the big leagues and that he wants to make up for it by winning a World Series as a GM. This is as far as we see into Beane, but it nevertheless sets up what many continue to call an underdog story, in which one man supposedly goes against the odds and changes the game. But Beane doesn’t have the same sort of incentives of a real underdog. And in all of this struggle, he has nothing to lose, except for perhaps his pride. So even if he is technically an underdog, he’s certainly not the most sympathetic one. —David Roark

6. A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting

monster-hunting.jpg Year: 2020
Director: Rachel Talalay
Stars: Tom Felton, Indya Moore, Oona Laurence
Genre: Kids, Fantasy, Adventure
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%
Rating: TV-PG
Runtime: 98 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Monsters are real. Only the 1,000-year-old secret society of babysitters can save the kids that have been terrorized. The new Netflix original is the latest in the tradition of PG-scary Halloween movies.

7. Schitt’s Creek

schitts-creek-210.jpg Year: 2020
Creators: Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy
Stars: Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, Emily Hampshire, Noah Reid, Jenn Robertson, Chris Elliott
Genre: Sitcom
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
Rating: TV-MA

Watch on Netflix

The narcissistic matriarch of her spoiled clan, stripped of their fortune and plopped down in the rural burg of Schitt’s Creek, former soap star Moira Rose—as played by Catherine O’Hara, dressed by costume designer Debra Hanson, and written by Schitt’s Creek co-created by Dan Levy and his team—was, for the series’ first two seasons, the main reason to tune in: She’s high camp catnip (“What is your favorite season?” “Awards.”) with a wig collection that qualifies as the best drama on television. And then something happened. Her husband, Johnny (Eugene Levy), once the owner of a successful chain of video stores, rediscovered his purpose running a motel. Moira won a seat on the town council. Their son, David (Dan Levy), opened a store and met the love of his life. Their daughter, Alexis (Annie Murphy), finally finished high school (it’s a long story) and decided to enroll in community college. In Seasons Three, Four, and Five, the Roses put down roots, and as they have, the people of Schitt’s Creek—once treated primarily as rubes, innocently getting in the way of the family’s plans to flee back to their former lives—have learned to wrangle them, in some cases by developing sharper edges of their own. Though it hasn’t lost its absurdist inflection, what began as a fish-out-of-water comedy about a bunch of snobs reduced to eating mozzarella sticks at the Café Tropical has become a gentler, warmer, more complicated tale of what happens when the fish sprout legs, and one of the best comedies on television: Call it the sweetening of Schitt’s Creek. —Matt Brennan

8. Evil

evil-210.jpg Year: 2020
Creators: Robert King, Michelle King
Stars: Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, Aasif Mandvi, Michael Emerson
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%
Rating: TV-MA

Watch on Netflix

I’m not quite sure CBS knows Evil is on its network because Oh. My. God. I can’t believe the same network that airs like 50 different versions of NCIS is airing this meditation on evil from the same people who brought you The Good Wife. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) is a forensic psychologist who becomes something of a believer when she meets priest-in-training David Acosta (Colter) and tech expert Ben (Aasif Mandvi) and they begin to investigate whether or not certain crimes have a demonic or psychological basis (or both). The always creepy (in the best way) Michael Emerson is also on hand as Leland Townsend, a mysterious character who epitomize the title of the series. Truly my only complaint about this drama, which gets better with each passing episode, is that may be too creepy for me. The show produces the kind of scares that stay with you long after the lights go out. —Amy Amatangelo

9. Dream Home Makeover

dream-home-makeover.jpg Year: 2020
Creators: Robert King, Michelle King
Stars: Shea McGee, Syd McGee
Genre: Design, Reality
Rating: TV-G

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I’m pretty sure the name tells you everything you need to know, but in case you want more: Shea and Syd McGee have a big interior design/furniture studio, and they work for clients who have more money than some small municipalities, as well as “real families looking for he perfect home tailored to their own unique styles.”

10. Cocomelon

cocomelon.jpg Years: 2020
Genre: Kids, Animation
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%
Rating: TV-Y

Watch on Netflix

The massively popular YouTube channel is now a Netflix show, sure to worm its way into the brains of kids and parents everywhere. The 3D animated nursery and kids songs have already been streamed billions of times online.

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