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 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 June 8 of the most popular TV shows and movies on Netflix.

Today, a post-apocalyptic fantasy series adapted from a comic book tops the list.

1. Sweet Tooth

sweet-tooth.jpg Year: 2021
Creators: Jim Mickle, Jeff Lemire
Stars: Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen, Dania Ramirez, Aliza Vellani, James Brolin, Will Forte
Genre: Fantasy
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%
Rating: TV-14

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In the wrong hands, a live-action Sweet Tooth is the definition of a nightmare waiting to happen. Happily, Netflix’s adaptation retains the lyrical qualities, rich character exploration, and compelling world-building of Jeff Lemire’s comic series, while expanding and fleshing out narrative elements that only add to its depth and resonance. There is a warm, folksy charm to Sweet Tooth, where the core plot is told from the perspective of 10-year-old Gus (Christian Convery), a “hybrid” boy who is clearly part deer, as noted via his ears and antlers. Raised in solitude for a decade by his father, Pubba (Will Forte), inside a deep forest because of the pandemic, Gus is socially immature (to say the least) but rich in compassion. He’s inquisitive and stubborn, but deeply attached to his dad and the idyllic little cabin bubble they live within. Unfortunately, he’s incredibly unprepared for reality in the outside world. Without every being annoying or cloying, there’s a natural wit to Convery’s entire performance that adds subtle layers to the new friendships and alliances he makes with adults and kids once he’s forced out of his bubble. In particular, his connection with Tommy Jepperd (Nonso Anozie), a loner/survivor who grudgingly saves Gus’ life and gets stuck shepherding the kid to Colorado, is a masterful evolution from mutual irritation to an earned bond that becomes one of the most important emotional arcs of the whole series. Ultimately, there’s not a clunker amongst the eight episodes of the first season, which all manage to build up three concurrent storylines that coalesce into a deeply affecting season finale that earns its gasps and tears. —Tara Bennett

2. Awake

awake.jpg Year: 2021
Director: Mark Raso
Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Barry Pepper, Finn Jones, Shamier Anderson, Ariana Greenblatt, Frances Fisher, Elias Edraki, Lucius Hoyos, Gil Bellows
Genre: Science-Fiction, Thriller
Rotten Tomatoes Score: NA
Rating: TV-MA

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The feeling of intense insomnia—of being increasingly desperate for unconsciousness—is what writer/director Mark Raso’s film Awake attempts to capture, on a melodramatically large scale. All at once, all electronics on Earth shut off and no matter how exhausted any humans become, they can’t sleep. This leads to pandemonium, societal collapse and the threat of humanity’s extinction as they become progressively zombified due to sleeplessness. This two-problems-at-once special is seen through the eyes of drug dealer, widow, veteran and struggling mother Jill (Gina Rodriguez), whose only goal is to protect her kids, including young Matilda (Ariana Greenblatt), who is one of very few still able to fall asleep. This makes her a prime target for just about everyone, some wanting to sacrifice her, others wanting to crack her head open and find out what’s different about her. Although there are a few jokes and humorous moments, Awake’s general tone is deadly serious, often to its detriment. It’s an inherently silly premise, and no matter how much awful stuff happens, it’s hard not to find a world of people drunkenly stumbling about a little funny. There’s also very little in Awake that was gripping or terrifying, because seeking a realistic experience isn’t what it’s really about. It’s about shoot-outs and car chases and occasionally family. There are a few tense moments, good performances and a fair variety of settings to make it feel like a complete journey. But by having some stupid science-fiction cause for why nobody sleeps, it’s not about actual insomnia in any way that’s impactful or relatable to anyone. —Joseph Stanichar

3. Lucifer

lucifer.jpg Years: 2016-2021
Creator: Tom Kapinos
Stars: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D. B. Woodside
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%
Rating: TV-14

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In making the move from FOX to Netflix, Lucifer seems to have found its way back to its Season One groove—and I’m ready to reclaim my faith. Fast, tense, and dramatically dense seems to be the show’s new guiding principle. Gone are the airy filler episodes of overlong seasons; gone are any nonsensical backslides in character development meant to keep the story from burning itself out ahead of broadcast schedule. What does that leave behind? Well, just about everything that made Lucifer so fun and innovative from the beginning: Amenadiel’s (D. B. Woodside) back-footed angelic earnestness; Mazikeen’s (Lesley-Anne Brandt) stone cold demonic awkwardness; Linda’s (Rachael Harris) human steadiness; Dan’s (Kevin Alejandro) counterbalancing ambivalence; Ella’s (Aimee Garcia) boppy cheerfulness; Little Trixie’s (Scarlett Estevez) wry self-possession; Chloe’s shining moral compass; Lucifer’s (Tom Ellis) hidden, self-hating brokenness. Plus the killer soundtrack. Tom Ellis’s abs. Add Inbar Lavi as Lucifer’s effervescently naïve old flame, Eve—yes, that Eve—plus Maze singing the sexiest cover of “Wonderwall” that’s ever been sung, and a big dance finale too sublime to put into words, and you’re cooking with some real (dramatic) Hellfire. —Alexis Gunderson

4. Cocomelon

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

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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.

5. Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story

dirty-john-betty.jpg Years: 2018-2021
Creator: Alexandra Cunningham
Stars: Amanda Peet, Christian Slater, Rachel Keller
Genre: Drama, True Crime
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%
Rating: TV-MA

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Nothing excuses a double homicide. But the eight-part second season of Dirty John (now an anthology) begins to unravel what drove its lead to a violent act, and sheds light on the long-term effects of clinging to your anger and rage. Based on a true story, Betty Broderick (Amanda Peet) married Daniel Broderick (Christian Slater) when she was 19 years old. She had four children, suffered a still birth and a miscarriage, and worked multiple jobs to put him through medical school and law school. When Dan finally found success as a medical malpractice lawyer, he left Betty for Linda Kolkena (Rachel Keller), his much younger receptionist. He did this cruelly by denying for years that anything was going on between him and Linda, then by moving Betty into a new house under the ruse that they were all going to live their together. Dan was president of the San Diego Bar Association and used his legal connections to make it hard for Betty to find a lawyer. He also sent her to jail and put her in a psychiatric hold. When Linda moved in with him, before they were married, it was her voice Betty had to hear on the answering machine. But this isn’t what people remember about the story. They may remember the 1992 made-for-TV movie staring Meredith Baxter. They may have listened to the L.A. Times podcast. They may recall the incessant vulgar messages Betty left on his answering machine and that she drove her car into his house. And they definitely remember that in November of 1989 Betty broke into Dan’s new home and killed Dan and Linda in their sleep. Showrunner Alexandra Cunningham never forgets whose story she is telling, and Dirty John is the TV equivalent of a compelling page turner. From the Dynasty-esque outfits and hair to the fabulous 80s laden soundtrack, Cunningham peppers the series with wonderful ’80s touches. There’s a certain camp to the series, but it never distracts from the central theme: That far too often our society casts a woman aside in favor of the man. And that’s the dirty truth. —Amy Amatangelo

6. 2 Hearts

Year: 2020
Director: Lance Hool
Stars: Radha Mitchell, Jacob Elordi, Tiera Skovbye, Kari Matchett
Genre: Romance
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 17%
Rating: PG-13

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If you’re in the mood for a heavy-handed tearjerker, it looks like Netflix has you covered with this 2020 drama based on an inspirational true story. If you’ve run out of Hallmark movies with higher than 17% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, this one’s for you.

7. Home

home-movie-poster.jpg Year: 2015
Director: Tim Johnson
Stars: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin
Genre: Animation, Sci-fi
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%
Rating: TV-MA

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Home is a hammy, intro-to-colonialism flick for kids, the precursor to Disney’s 2016 intro-to-racism film, Zootopia. But Home’s goofy, hyperbolic melodrama works in its favor, in large part because said goofy, hyperbolic melodrama is couched within the parameters of animated children’s fare, and is more palatable as a result. If you’re the parent of young kids, and if you want to introduce them to the joys of science-fiction, Home is a fine place to start, where Oh (Jim Parsons), an endearingly loquacious member of the alien race known as the Boovs, befriends Tip (Rihanna), a teenager searching for her mother in Australia. (On paper you’d think Parsons and Rihanna’d go together like peanut butter and pickles, but they’re utterly charming as a team.) Why Australia? Because that’s where the Boovs relocate all of humanity following a “friendly” invasion of Earth, which they deem a suitable planet to call their new home after escaping their enemies, the Gorg. It’s a bit basic, but basic works in Home’s favor, allowing its darker subtext to shine without feeling overwhelming for kids or dishonest for adults. —Andy Crump

8. Dog Gone Trouble

dog-gone-trouble.jpg Year: 2019
Director: Kevin Johnson
Stars: Big Sean, Pamela Adlon, Lucy Hale, Snoop Dogg, Kevin Chamberlin, Joel McHale
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Rotten Tomatoes Score: NA
Rating: TV-Y7

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Netflix purchased the rights to the 2019 computer animated film Trouble and just rereleased it under the name Dog Gone Trouble. It’s the tale of a dog voiced by rapper “Big Sean” Anderson, who is the key to a fortune of the late Mrs. Sarah Vanderwhoozie (Betty White), whose greedy niece (Marissa Winokur) and nephew (Joel McHale) need to find in order to secure their inheritance. Also, Snoop Dogg voices a Doberman named Snoop, and Jason Mraz plays himself.

9. Monsters vs. Aliens

monsters-aliens.jpg Year: 2019
Directors: Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Hugh Laurie, Rainn Wilson
Genre: Animation, Sci-fi
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%
Rating: PG

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The Japanese taught us long ago that the only thing better than a car chase is when two giant freakish creatures do battle. DreamWorks’ Monsters vs. Aliens seems to have been created as a specific response to that premise. The monsters in this case are a giant blue blob named B.O.B. (Seth Rogen) who has gained sentience if not necessarily intelligence; The Missing Link (Will Arnett), a lady-loving swamp thing who was thawed after spending a few millennia on ice; Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), a mad scientist who transformed himself into a cockroach so that he’d be able to survive any impending holocausts; and Insectosaurus, a grub that got trapped inside a nuclear reactor and grew to be the size of a tall building. The latter gets the most Mothra vs. Godzilla-like screen time, battling an alien robot with the Golden Gate Bridge caught in the middle. They’re joined by the sweet Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) when she’s struck by a meteorite on her wedding day and transformed into the super-tall, super-strong Ginormica. The U.S. military takes her down Lilliput-style and transports her to the secret government facility where the other monsters are held. It’s a story with post-911 overtones as she’s preemptively detained for the damage she’s capable of doing instead of anything she’s actually done. All she can think about is how to reunite with her fiancé, weatherman Derek Dietl (Paul Rudd), and the opportunity presents itself when evil alien Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) announces his plans to destroy the earth with his clone army, and General W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland) promises the monsters freedom in exchange for their help in fighting off the invaders. The security vs. freedom themes are jettisoned half-way through the film in favor of women’s liberation, as Susan realizes that Derek saw her more as a mascot for his career rather than a partner capable of her own greatness. But mostly the film is just lightweight amusement, giving kids exactly what they might ask for and not much more. —Josh Jackson

10. Bo Burnham Inside

bo-burnham-inside.jpg Year: 2021
Director: Bo Burnham
Stars: Bo Burnham
Genre: Stand-up Comedy
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
Rating: TV-MA

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In Bo Burnham’s new Netflix special Inside, there’s a song called “White Woman’s Instagram” that will, I think, become the most iconic segment when the video finds its way to YouTube. Like a few of Burnham’s songs, the lyrics are mostly a list of objects—”an open window,” it begins, “a novel…a couple holding hands…an avocado…a poem, written in the sand”—that give way to the rising chorus: “Is this heaven? Or is it just a white woman’s Instagram?” As he sings, Burnham unleashes visual set pieces that have become so familiar to the genre: a bowl of cereal with blueberries neatly forming a peace sign, his artificially blue eyes peeking out from the fur-trimmed collar of a hooded coat, a sepia-toned autumnal scene where he sips from a mug that reads “Beyonce is my spirit animal.” It’s instantly hilarious, and it combines a lot of things Burnham is very good at, from his facility with the English language to his keen eye for superficiality to the superlative directorial skills he displayed in the film Eighth Grade. By the time he sings “some random quote from Lord of the Rings / incorrectly attributed to Martin Luther King”—which is only about 45 seconds into the song—even the most offended influencer would have trouble denying the brilliance of the satire. But if this is his treatise on the stifling narcissism of our time and our generation, he wants you to know that he’s complicit, that he can’t escape it either. This is, after all, someone who made his name with YouTube videos. If he can see the prison a little more clearly, and if he can manipulate the atmosphere inside more deftly, it doesn’t mean he’s any better at escaping it. The special is so rich with this kind of commentary that it’s impossible to recap it all. —Shane Ryan

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