In 2020, Netflix’s subscriber count hit 195 million after receiving a boost from people looking for much-needed comfort, entertainment, and distraction from everyday life during the pandemic.
The streaming service hosts a huge number of original television shows and movies that fans love to watch again and again — many of which are now several seasons in length. But just how much time will you need to invest if you want to watch all of The Umbrella Academy, Cobra Kai, or even Unsolved Mysteries, in a single sitting?
To find out, we calculated how long it would take to binge-watch some of the most-watched Netflix originals* by adding the duration of each episode together to get the total time in days, hours and minutes. We then ranked the shows from longest to shortest to complete, to discover how much time of ours was spent watching them last year. How long does it take to binge-watch these 20 Netflix originals?
In this lengthy series, Lucifer abandons his role in Hell as a devil to run a nightclub in Los Angeles and consult the Los Angeles Police Department, bringing a whole host of drama and laughs to the homes of viewers.
Of the shows we looked at, Lucifer takes the longest to watch in its entirety, with all 75 episodes taking 3,776 minutes to finish, or more simply, 2 days, 14 hours and 56 minutes. If, like Lucifer, you are keen to spend your time tackling mysterious cases instead of binging TV, you could complete 62 virtual escape rooms in the same time it would take to complete the series from start to finish.
The second most time-consuming series to binge-watch from our research is 13 Reasons Why. The dramatic adaptation of Jay Asher’s best-selling novel follows high school students as they navigate sensitive issues like sexual abuse, suicide, racism, bullying, and addiction.
All 49 episodes across all four series will take 3,694 minutes to complete, which is equivalent to 2 days, 13 hours and 34 minutes. In the same time it takes to watch 13 Reasons Why, you could enroll in a peer mentoring online course for young people and receive a qualification for it to help others experiencing similar issues to those in the show.
The series, which stars Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, is a comedy telling the story of a dysfunctional family that sees a professional athlete help to keep his family ranch afloat. With eight series and 80 episodes overall, it’s no surprise that The Ranch takes 2,460 minutes to finish, or 1 day and 17 hours to binge-watch. This is equivalent to the time taken to participate in 45 horse riding lessons that are 45 minutes long.
In a tale of two unlikely friends united over the shock revelation that their partners have been having an affair with one another, the main characters Grace and Frankie share not only a home but also many misadventures and journeys, leading them to form an unbreakable bond. It takes Grace and Frankie 2,290 minutes, or 1 day, 14 hours and 10 minutes, to finish all 78 episodes across all six series. In the same amount of time as this, you could take an online art course and channel your inner Frankie Bergstein, a quirky art teacher in the show.
A spin-off of “Full House” (1987), this series follows the story of the main character D.J. Tanner, her sister Stephanie Tanner, and her lifelong friend Kimmy Gibbler, tackling everything from dating disasters to parenting debates and secrecy - all crammed under the same roof! This jam-packed series, consisting of 75 episodes across five series, takes a total of 2,094 minutes to complete, which is equivalent to 1 day, 10 hours and 54 minutes. In the same time, you could complete an online interior design course to mimic the interior style of the Tanner-Fuller house.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a supernatural adaptation of ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’, is made up of four series comprising of 36 episodes. During this time, you will see Sabrina attempt to manage her dual nature as semi-witch, semi-mortal all while protecting herself, her family, and the planet from the evil forces that threaten them!
In the time it takes to complete this series (2,078 minutes, or 1 day, 10 hours and 38 minutes), you could learn to ward off evil forces and become a real-life Sabrina by taking part in a crystal healing course and achieving a level-three qualification.
BoJack Horseman follows the journey of a 50-year-old anthropomorphic horse that previously starred in a ‘90s sitcom as he tries to retrieve his celebrity relevance through a memoir written by a ghostwriter. Although it’s not that simple since BoJack’s journey involves booze, drugs, an unstable relationship, and some reckless behaviour along the way. It takes 1,997 minutes, or 1 day, 9 hours and 17 minutes, to finish all six series in this popular TV show. However, in the same amount of time as this, you could sign up to complete a ghostwriting course yourself!
The highly raved-about US crime drama Ozark delves into the aftermath of a money-laundering scheme gone wrong. Even after relocating to escape substantial debt, the family of four continue to find themselves caught up in local crime and even the Mafia.
According to our analysis, Ozark takes 1,818 minutes, or 1 day, 6 hours and 18 minutes to complete from start to finish. Within this time, you could complete 36 laundry loads based on an average wash time of 50 minutes, not that you would want to with this action-packed drama.
This series follows the story of a criminal mastermind who plans to pull off the biggest money heist in history. The Spanish-based crime drama traces two major heists that involve hostages, gangs, romances and an island escape, so viewers certainly will be hooked from the get-go.
With 38 episodes in total, Money Heist takes viewers 1,793 minutes to complete, or 1 day, 5 hours and 53 minutes. However, in this time you could finish your tax return twice over based on estimates that it takes roughly 13 hours for the average person to complete.
With disappearances, disturbing revelations and mysteries that have lasted generations all to be unveiled within Dark, it’s no surprise that this gripping thriller is among the most-watched shows.
This 26-episode show takes 1,449 minutes to complete, or 1 day and 9 minutes in total. In this same time period, you could get in the sci-fi spirit and embark on a science masterclass of your own!
Based on the popular comic book series of the same name, The Umbrella Academy dives into the world of seven adopted superhero siblings who are looking to solve the mysterious circumstances revolving around their father’s death.
Like the size of the family itself, this light-hearted action series is a large project to take on, as the total runtime of the two seasons is 16 hours and 58 minutes. So long, in fact, you could learn to design your own superhero through taking a graphic design class.
Centering around a story of redemption and rivalry between two karate masters, Cobra Kai is a fun action series - anyone with an interest in this martial art is sure to love the stunt-filled scenes. Precise moves and carefully practice fights fill up most of the running time, but how long exactly is that?
Made up of three seasons consisting of 10 episodes each, Cobra Kai lasts a lengthy 15 hours and 39 minutes. In the same time, you could watch the original and classic Karate Kid film seven times.
Set in the future where death is no longer permanent and bodies are interchangeable, Altered Carbon deals with uprisings and technological advances.
The technicalities of science and immortality are explained throughout so it’s not a surprise that it would take you 15 hours and 32 minutes to watch all 18 episodes. If you decided to spend these minutes in the real world, you could already be five weeks into studying an introduction to forensic science.
The series that everyone talks about and has you double checking the locks on your doors. ‘You' shows the danger in obsession and follows the main character (and antagonist), Joe, as he becomes increasingly violent to get to the woman he believes to be the one.
With two seasons already out and another in the works, You lasts for 15 hours and 28 minutes. In the same time it takes to complete this lengthy series, you could learn ethical hacking from scratch through an online course.
Set in a high school, Sex Education takes the awkwardness of navigating puberty and embraces it. Otis becomes his school’s reluctant sex therapist and starts to learn more about his classmates than he ever wished for.
A show that’s made up of 90% cringe and 10% uncomfortable sex scenes, it may be surprising to some that it lasts for 13 hours and 33 minutes. You could take these minutes and spend them watching the world’s sexiest film, Basic Instinct, six times.
A dating show with the twist being you don’t see your partner that looks to answer the question whether you can truly fall in love without meeting face-to-face. With as much drama as you’d expect, this show is great for those looking for a light-hearted and entertaining watch. There’s only one season out at the moment, but it packs in 10 hours and 18 minutes of dating, arguments and love confessions. In this time, you could do some dating yourself, even going on as many as 20 first dates (assuming they’re 30 minutes long).
This series tells the story of two friends who are exact opposites – an optimistic craft-lover and a grieving, spiky widow. A secret between them makes for some tense yet playful viewing, perfect for those who love a dark comedy.
With two seasons and 20 episodes, Dead to Me takes a lengthy 10 hours and 15 minutes to complete. You could use this time in other ways, such as attending 12 therapy sessions (assuming they’re 50-minutes long), but why not do both?
A reboot of the popular series originally airing in 1987, Netflix brings some of the world’s most bewildering mysteries to life. It has the essence of a documentary and focuses on one mystery per episode – chances are, you’ll be quickly hooked.
The Netflix original consists of 12 episodes so far, each one nearing 45 minutes long. In total, it would take you 8 hours and 59 minutes to complete the two seasons from start-to-finish. If you used this time and started an audiobook, you would only be 2 hours and 25 minutes away from finishing ‘The Man on the Street’ by Trevor Wood, one of The Guardian’s top 20 crime books.
A teenager asks his friends to come along for the adventure of finding treasure that links to his father’s disappearance. Buried secrets, romance and danger swirl together in this original and is fantastic for people wanting to lose themselves in a series.
Despite just being one season long, it manages to pack in 497 minutes of escapades. In the 8 hours and 17 minutes it takes for you to finish Outer Banks, you could walk up the most famous lighthouse in the world, Jeddah Light, 45 times — a prominent feature in the series.
The spooky sequel to The Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor takes a look at the history of the ghosts trapped in the gothic house. There’s enough scares and intrigue to keep you watching, but how long for?
There are only nine episodes, but the series manages to last for 8 hours and 14 minutes, just a few minutes short of Outer Banks. Instead, you could use this time to take a paranormal investigation course as well as complete 12 exams and assignments.
To discover the most-watched original Netflix shows, BroadbandDeals.com collated and analysed data based on America’s viewership figures, which were sourced from TV Time data and ‘Netflix Most Watched TV Shows 2020’.
We then calculated how long it would take to watch each TV show by adding the duration of each episode together to get the total time in days, hours and minutes, before ranking the top 20 shows from longest to shortest to complete.
We then compared what you could have been doing using the time taken, relating each hobby or activity to the theme of the series.