If you're anything like me, 2020 was supposed to be the year that you fell in love. After last year's hot girl summer (word to Megan thee Stallion), "getting into a relationship" might even have been at the top of your new year's resolutions. But the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting strict social distancing protocol that is absolutely necessary — stay at home! — threw a wrench in those plans, and dating became that much harder. So instead of experiencing romance for ourselves, most of us lived vicariously through the fictional characters finding true love on Netflix.
In a thorough new report, the streaming giant looks back at the shows and films that kept us going throughout this apocalyptic year. Data collected by Netflix reveals that the most watched content of 2020 fell into a few categories; documentaries, reality TV, and international titles were among some of the most frequently streamed projects on the streamer. People were especially tuned into Netflix's romance offerings for obvious reasons. If we couldn't go out and have our own meet-cutes with strangers, we'd just have to settle with getting lost in the love stories we saw on screen.
As a result, films like To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You and The Kissing Booth 2 raked in millions of streams for Netflix. Even though Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Elle (Joey King) were much younger than many of us — and their boyfriends were low-key wack and didn't hold a candle to their rivals — we were deeply invested in the "will they, won't they" of their relationships. Whether we agreed with their final choices or not, there's a reason why both movies already have third installments in the pipeline already. The world was simply obsessed. However, when the teen rom-coms got a little too fluffy for our liking, we turned our attention to Love is Blind and Indian Matchmaking, shows that were extreme yet still spoke to the real struggles of modern dating as an adult. In a perfect, non-COVID world, we'd all find the Lauren to our Cameron, but we're realistically more like Jessica drinking wine with our dogs thanks to the pandemic.
Netflix also had a little something-something for the people with sex on the brain. Horny content was readily available on the platform, and we happily leaned into it while minding our business at home. Too Hot To Handle tested the bounds of celibacy by stranding a group of singles on an island and literally taxing skinship, teaching us that money truly isn't everything (especially when you haven't kissed someone in months!). And Netflix's acquisition of 365 DNI upped the ante for erotic thrillers, introducing us to the disturbingly intriguing love story between a man and his captive-turned-girlfriend. Yeah, it was dark and totally ridiculous, but it worked. I mean, have you seen Massimo?
As 2020 comes to an end, and the government considers a rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, our cautious optimism might be allowing us to finally imagine a post-coronavirus society where we can meet our Tinder matches in person instead of over FaceTime. But in the event that outside is still cancelled next year, we can rest easy knowing that Netflix has our back. Even if you're not falling in love in 2021, rest assured that someone on the streamer will be.