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These are the shows that utterly crushed it on Netflix in September

Published Oct 4th, 2020 1:46PM EDT
Most watched shows on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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  • Atop our list of the most-watched shows on Netflix for the month of September is a show that’s been crushing it for weeks now on the streaming service — Cobra Kai.
  • It’s a show built around nostalgia for the Karate Kid movie franchise which this Netflix show is a spinoff of, and it’s set three decades after the events of the first Karate Kid movie.
  • Netflix has just renewed Cobra Kai for a fourth season.

The trajectory that a hit streaming TV show follows is not always a straight or a predictable line. A good case in point is the success of Cobra Kai, a spin-off series connected to the Karate Kid movie franchise. The series, set three decades after the events in the original Karate Kid movie, was originally part of YouTube’s abortive attempt at hosting original premium content a la Netflix via what’s now known as YouTube Premium. Then Netflix acquired the series this summer, it eventually blew up on the streamer, and as this week drew to a close we got word that Netflix has just renewed the series for a fourth season. Not only that, but in our regular recap of the most-watched shows on Netflix (which we here at BGR take a look at both on a weekly and monthly basis), Cobra Kai was among the most streamed shows last month — and even the most-watched for the entire month, by one reckoning. Who’d have thought?

Based on data shared regularly with BGR by Reelgood, a streaming search engine service with a few million monthly users, Cobra Kai was the most-watched series on Netflix for all of September (you can get a look at the list of Top 10 Netflix titles for the month below). As noted, it’s just been renewed for a fourth season, per Deadline, ahead of the premiere of the show’s third season which will come on January 8, 2021.

What you need to know about the series: It’s set a few decades after the events of 1984’s All Valley Karate Tournament that was depicted in the first Karate Kid movie. The “kid” from that movie, Daniel LaRusso (portrayed by Ralph Macchio) is trying to balance all the competing demands in his life without help from Mr. Miyagi, while the opponent who LaRusso faced in the tournament (Johnny Lawrence, portrayed by William Zabka), has reopened the Cobra Kai karate dojo.

The show is utterly crushing it on Netflix and has proven to be a hit with critics and viewers, alike. As of the time of this writing, Cobra Kai has a strong 94% critics score on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a 93% audience score.

There’s certainly a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in the idea of The Karate Kid, which is no doubt powering the success of this new series to a significant degree. Nostalgia is certainly a powerful force right now — it’s tempting to be a bit wistful about the state of the world when we were kids, enjoying that movie for the first time back in the 80s — the movie whose central image is still the site of Macchio’s character performing that seminal crane kick in the tournament.

Meantime, if you need some suggestions for what else to check out on Netflix right now, here’s a look at some of the other most-watched shows on the streamer during September, according to Reelgood:

  1. Cobra Kai
  2. Away
  3. Schitt’s Creek
  4. The Umbrella Academy
  5. Dark
  6. Ratched
  7. Breaking Bad
  8. The 100
  9. The Office
  10. Stranger Things
Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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