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Netflix needs to make more shows like these instead of trashy reality crap

Updated Oct 27th, 2022 5:54PM EDT
Bill Hader Barry HBO Max
Image: Merrick Morton/HBO

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One after another, new shows — or new seasons of existing shows — have been wowing critics in recent weeks, enough to earn perfect or near-percent scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Not Netflix shows, mind you. Shows like Season 6, Part 1, of AMC’s Better Call Saul. NBC’s Abbott Elementary. Season 3 of Barry on HBO Max. A flurry of new titles, one title after another, wowing critics. Notice anything missing from that list?

Put a bookmark right there for now. Let’s move on to something different, but related.

In 2022, it does feel a little odd that with as much money as Netflix spends on content (a reported $19 billion this year) Stranger Things is still going to be one of the biggest Netflix original titles in the coming months. Even more remarkable is that the upcoming fourth season has a per-episode cost of $30 million.

Why is Netflix failing?

So what’s all this got to do with Netflix today? Well, you might have seen that the streamer reported just a brutal quarterly earnings picture earlier this week. Acknowledging, among other things, that it actually lost subscribers during the quarter — for the first time in more than a decade.

It gets worse. Netflix in its guidance for the next quarter said it expects to lose as many as 2 million subscribers next time. What’s going on?

There are a couple of clues from Netflix itself that these trends are not aberrations, and that the company is taking the problems seriously. First, the streamer has said it’s going to crack down going forward on people who share Netflix passwords. Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings also acknowledged this week that the streamer is dropping its longtime stance against advertising, and will roll out ad-supported Netflix subscription tiers.

There are a few reasons for all of this:

  • Netflix’s ratio of hits-to-misses is probably not as high as you’d expect it to be right now, given how much it spends on content. That could lead subscribers to depart.
  • As we noted right at the top, other services like HBO Max are at the same time stepping up on the quality front. Barry is excellent. Better Call Saul is one of the best TV shows of all time. A ton of people watch Bridgerton on Netflix, sure, but is it great?
  • Also complicating the picture for Netflix are price increases, cancellations of favorite shows, and the password crackdown. This might lead some people to nix their subscription on account of being asked to pay more for less, essentially.

Netflix shows: Top 10 right now

After releasing something on the order of 500+ original series in 2021, the chatter is that Netflix is going to recalibrate itself this year by making less and perfecting more.

For now, here’s a look at what’s most popular on the platform in the US. Take a look below, and you’ll see what Netflix says are the Top 10 English-language shows on the platform this week. Some of which are forgettable reality junk, some of which are third-party titles, and one edge title (Bridgerton) that’s so big it occupies two spots on the list.

Netflix Top 10
The Top 10 shows on Netflix this week. Image source: Netflix

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out our coverage of the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

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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