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Netflix’s Asian-led projects are taking the world by storm

A number of the streaming giant’s shows that have been doing very well are Asian, like the recently released Beef. We take a look at some of Netflix’s Asian-led shows and the success they’ve been enjoying as of late.

Asian TV programmes are currently enjoying a surge of popularity on Netflix. The streaming giant’s subscribers are showing a penchant for Korean, Japanese and Thai content, both movies and series. And for once, it’s not just manga that has caught the eye of subscribers, but thrillers and dramas.

Recently, Netflix has struck gold again with its new series Beef, created by Korean director Lee Sung Jin, and starring the brilliant Ali Wong and the talented Steven Yeun, available on the streaming platform since April 6. The comedy-drama even reached the third place of the top 10 most watched series in the week of April 3 to 9 on Netflix with 34.08 million hours watched in just three days.

Critically acclaimed, collecting a score of 99% on the website Rotten Tomatoes with the highly prized “certified fresh” label, Beef seduced viewers who praised its Asian-led cast and its theme, rarely seen previously in this kind of programme, anger among people of Asian descent, most often portrayed in a rather caricatural way associated with calm and wisdom. The series tells the story of two strangers whose lives take a dramatic turn following a car incident in a parking lot.

Asian series making waves on Netflix

Netflix asian series
Steven Yeun and Ali Wong star in the Asian-led Netflix series Beef. (Image: Netflix)

Beef isn’t the only unique, Asian-led series to find success on Netflix. Among the most popular programs of the moment, the South Korean drama series The Glory retained the top spot in the top 10 non-English-language series from April 3 to 9 with 18.57 million hours viewed in one week. Topping the chart for 10 weeks, the programme stands as the fifth most-watched non-English-language series in Netflix history, Variety said. The Glory, which stars Song Hye-Kyo, tells the story of a woman seeking revenge on the people responsible for the horrific abuse she endured in high school.

In second place, the first season of Copycat Killer managed the feat of being the first Taiwanese series to reach the streaming giant’s top 10. Adapted from the Japanese novel “Mohōhan” by Miyuki Miyabe, the show follows the investigation of a psychopathic killer who doesn’t hesitate to brag about his murders to the media.

Korean drama Divorce Attorney Shin and Korean comedy-drama Crash Course in Romance take the fifth and sixth place respectively.

Also noteworthy is the success of From Me to You: Kimi Ni Todoke, ninth in the top 10. This Japanese romantic series which follows the life of Sawako, a student who has difficulty integrating, is adapted from a manga.

“We’ve seen more shows and films from APAC reaching our Global Top 10 lists over the past year, and it’s particularly encouraging to see this variety of content from across the region,” Minyoung Kim, VP of Content, Netflix APAC, told Variety. “This week’s list includes APAC titles that span genres from lifestyle comedy to serial killers, and the languages ranging from Thai to Chinese to Korean. We know authentic local stories have the power to transcend borders and cultures, and it’s great to see this happening with global audiences embracing titles across our slate.”

Action films in the lead

While Asian-led series have found a global audience, movies from the region have also managed to win over Netflix subscribers. At the top of the list of non-English films is Kill Boksoon by Byun Sung-hyun. The South Korean thriller, a sort of Korean version of Kill Bill, tells the story of a single mother and renowned hitwoman. The film has totalled 25.71 million hours of viewing and has held the top spot for the second week in a row.

Thai film Hunger, second in the top 10, focuses on the story of a young chef who is willing to push her limits to be trained by a great chef who is talented but difficult to work with.

Meanwhile the Indian thriller Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga, directed by Ajay Singh, was able to break through on Netflix by coming in fourth on the chart with 4.2 million hours of viewing logged in three weeks.

This story was published via AFP Relaxnews.

(Main and featured image: Beef/ Netflix)

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