The top South African series on Netflix in 2020

queen sono pearl thusi netflix 1

Streaming giant Netflix has released South African viewing habits for the year, along with the most popular South African content on the platform.

2020 is the year of the screen. With our usual plans of outdoor adventure and bar crawling upended by COVID-19, digital media has become our new champion of escapism. And we have the data to show for it.

Unsurprisingly, our Netflix-viewing habits have more than doubled compared to 2019.

Thrillers, action films, musicals and reality shows were the stand out genres in the colder months of March to July. However, throughout the year kids content, drama and comedy/stand-up took the top three spots.

Our poor parents had to do something to keep the kids busy while homeschooling was still in effect!

Korean dramas, fantasy and anime saw the largest boost in viewing in comparison to 2019.

And, of course, with the loss of our beloved live sporting events, South Africans spent a lot of time in April, May and August watching sports documentaries to get their sports fix.   

Top South African series and movies on Netflix

With most of the world stuck in some form of lockdown throughout the year, South African-made content hit top ten lists across the globe. 

Some of the biggest South-African made content that streamed globally on Netflix included:

  • Queen Sono
  • Blood & Water
  • Santana
  • Seriously Single
  • Bedford Wives
  • Mrs Right Guy
  • Hole in the Wall
  • Baby Mamas
  • Kandasamys: The Wedding
  • Momentum
  • Riding With Sugar
  • The Groom’s Price
  • My Octopus Teacher

Earlier this year, Netflix launched its ‘Made by Africans, Watched by the World’ campaign. South Africa has featured prominently in this initiative.

In December, both Kings of Joburg and How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding land on the platform.

Top international shows and films watched by South Africans on Netflix

While the globe indulged in a fair share of local content, South Africans caught up on a lot of international content while stuck at home.

From reality shows to international dramas, here are some of the most-watched films and shows: 

  • Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness 
  • Blood & Water 
  • Money Heist 
  • Modern Family 
  • Love is Blind 
  • Sex Education 
  • The Queen’s Gambit 
  • Lucifer 
  • Emily in Paris 
  • The Stranger 
  • Ozark
  • Umbrella Academy 
  • Spencer Confidential 
  • Dynasty 
  • Family Feud South Africa

Foreign-language shows and films caught South Africans’ attention

It seems lockdown injected a keen sense of wanderlust in South Africans.

Our interest in foreign media went up by almost 200% compared to 2019, according to Netflix.

Here are some of our favourite foreign-language films and shows in 2020:

  • Lost Bullet (France) 
  • Money Heist: Part 4 (Spain) 
  • Barbarians: Season 1 (Germany) 
  • Rogue City (France) 
  • Dark Desire: Season 1 (Mexico) 
  • The Paramedic (Spain) 
  • DJ Cinderella (Brazil) 
  • The Platform (Spain) 
  • Mosul (Iraq) 

Feature image: Netflix

Read more: SA series Kings of Joburg lands on Netflix in December

Wiehahn Diederichs


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