Netflix’s Most-Watched Titles of 2019 Were Pretty Darn Gay


Netflix, notoriously cagey about its streaming numbers, has released lists of its most popular movies, TV shows, and specials of 2019. In a crowded market, the streaming giant has managed to dominate the conversation by simply having a lot more to say than anyone else. And out of the dozens and dozens and millions of titles it has dumped into our laps, it seems folks really love the queer shit.

Among the top 10 titles across all genres was Stranger Things, ranked second only to the Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston comedy movie Murder Mystery. The third season of the sci-fi series introduced us to America’s favorite lesbian BFF Robin (Maya Hawke) and led us to speculate about whether or not Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) “liked girls.”

The Umbrella Academy, starring real-life lesbian shero Ellen Page, was the ninth most popular Netflix title of 2019 and the third most popular TV series. Though Page plays it straight, Robert Sheehan camps it up as Klaus, a flamboyantly gay drug addict who can talk to the dead.

Dead to Me, a dark comedy from queer creator Liz Feldman, was the fourth most popular series. The show, starring Christina Applegate as a grieving widow and Linda Cardellini as the woman who accidentally killed her husband, follows how the two women develop a weird and codependent friendship.

The eighth and ninth most-watched shows both dealt with closeted high school jocks but in wildly different ways. While Sex Education (#8) offered a nuanced and effective take on that old trope, the third season of 13 Reasons Why (#9)… did not. Timothy Granaderos played the homophobic jock Montgomery de la Cruz, who—shocker!—turned out to be gay. This revelation happens shortly before Monty is—spoiler!—killed in prison.

Meanwhile, though not overtly queer, The Witcher, which just premiered this month on Netflix, features an oft-shirtless Henry Cavill in a great wig, so that has to count for something.

As for Netflix’s specials, Beyoncé’s Homecoming was the fourth most popular documentary, and Wanda Sykes’ Not Normal was the ninth most popular comedy release. Unsurprisingly, Dave Chappelle’s Sticks and Stones was number one in comedy, while Queen Bey was dethroned by a Ted Bundy doc, an eight-episode David Attenborough nature series, and one of the Fyre festival documentaries. Yes, that one.

2019—what a year for Netflix!

Main image: Robert Sheehan as Klaus in The Umbrella Academy.

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is an LA-based writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He’s formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat


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