What They Are Watching

The ultimate guide to the hottest streaming series in countries far from yours

Surely you are so immersed and saturated with the content of all the streaming platforms that you have not had the time or desire to ask yourself, for example, what’s the most watched series in countries like El Salvador or Egypt or Nigeria. And I don’t blame you, because I haven’t been interested either. But in the midst of the daily boredom of seeing more of the same, I began to investigate what they see in places as exotic as Croatia? And I accumulated a list, a guide to the most watched series in countries that you have probably never visited. My research method was simple: measure the series with the most weeks in the top ten on Netflix. So let’s forget about One Piece for a sec.

But where to start? Well, the logical thing, at least for me, was to start with the country that has the highest IQ on this planet (no, it is not my beloved/hated Venezuela): I am talking about Japan. No surprise there, the Japanese are not idiots. On the contrary, they are the most intelligent people in the world, so I assumed I would find incredibly out-of-the-ordinary stories… but the result was:


There are two series that have been in Netflix’s top ten for nine weeks:

Jujutsu Kaisen (season 2) and Watashi no Shiawase na Kekkon or My Happy Marriage. They are both anime. Which is also not a surprise. These two series couldn’t be more different from each other; Jujutsu Kaisen focuses on a world where all beings possess something called Cursed Energy…well, this is just the beginning of curses. Some type of curse affects everyone, and the protagonist, a student named Yūji Itadori, will try to save them from a series of monsters while he himself carries within himself the maximum of all curses. Seriously, if you ever feel like your life needs a couple of curses, Jujutsu Kaisen will be the nefarious paradise in which you’ll want to live.

On the other hand, Shiawase na Kekkon or My Happy Marriage, is… Yes, a remake of Cinderella. You know the girl who is oppressed at home, humiliated. Poor her, more suffering is impossible. She then must marry a guy who is apparently bad, but turns out to be not. It is a beautiful story taking place in the 19th century, in the midst of the Japanese socio-cultural opening and honestly, the setting of this anime is splendid. Sure, we will encounter magic, powers and some other supernatural things, but the only thing that the viewer hopes, longs for and even prays for is that poor Miyo Samori is happy and love helps her overcome all her problems.


Good God, Croatia is a really beautiful country, there is a very special place, The Plitvice Lakes. declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It’s something… Well, it’s something that neither you nor I have visited. But what matters to us about Croatia is these people have been glued to the screen for ten weeks watching the strange adventures of Peppa Pig: Season 6. Seriously, this is the show with the most weeks in the top ten. I don’t know any Croatians, but I imagine some strange psychological phenomenon afflicts them, so their latest and most pleasurable escape is… Peppa. And I can only ask all the gods that the great Peppa helps them overcome all their psychological, sexual, family and even economic problems.


El Salvador is a small country in Central America, full of natural beauties where the love for soap operas is enormous. That’s why it doesn’t surprise me that for nine weeks the South Korean melodrama King the Land, about Goo Won, young heir to a super-luxury hotel conglomerate, called The King Group, whose mother mysteriously disappeared. Goo is a very serious young man, who almost never smiles. But guess what happens? Returning to the hotel in search of clues about his mother’s disappearance, Goo meets one of the employees, Cheon Sa-rang, and the rest boils down to: Goo will finally smile.


The Vietnamese have taken the path of terror to spend their leisure time and another South Korean series, The Uncanny Counter, has them glued to the screen for 13 weeks. Look, this is good terror, there are really bad demons who kidnap the bodies of either murderers or people who for some reason are violent and want to kill whoever passes in front of them. It is a combination of thriller, violence and terror that tells the story of the four brave heroes who will dare to hunt these demons while eating a bowl of noodles (in Vietnam it is impossible not to enjoy the cuisine, even if the demons are trying to kill you).


If Belgium has something, it is historical places that I have not visited either, plus I noticed something peculiar in this research… Belgians are out of date with what the whole world sees on Netflix. For five weeks they have been obsessed with the first season of Young Sheldon. Seriously, the Belgians just discovered that at one time the annoying know-it-all Sheldon was almost as annoying a kid as he was when he grew up, you know when he was part of The Big Bang Theory team, won a Nobel Prize and had sex. But without a doubt the series has become a late success… but a success nonetheless.


In Egypt, apart from the pyramids and mummies, the key word is: Cocomelon. What is this? Here the story gets very strange, because Cocomelon is a 3D animated series about children’s songs, whose eighth season has been in the top ten for 13 weeks. I repeat: 13 weeks of little characters singing classic nursery rhymes and original songs. However, there is a controversy with the series, since it is classified as causing addiction in children. Which brings me to an obvious question: Isn’t that supposed to be the goal of all children’s shows? Well, the Egyptians don’t care and leave the children for hours to enjoy Cocomelon and its horrible songs (they’re so pretty they’re kind of scary).


One of the most intense series, although it has a nothing-new premise, is Fatal Seduction (South Africa), which for ten weeks has filled Nigerian screens with morbidity, suspense, adultery, deaths, lies, and all the problems that arise when a married woman has much more than a simple affair with a man much younger than her. Here we are talking about a lot of gruesomeness, hot scenes and themes that although we have seen many times, apparently they are new to Nigerians.

This concludes our guide, and if something has become clear to me throughout the research process, it is that somewhere in the world, in a Croatian home, one or more children are watching Peppa Pig, thinking that the world is full of small talking animals, and that…Well, the truth is that that scares me much more than the plans that Artificial Intelligence has to erase humanity from the map.


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Dr. Carlos Flores

Dr. Carlos Flores is a Venezuelan reporter and author of cult classics La moda del suicidio, Temporada Caníbal and Unisex. He's been editor-in-chief of several Venezuelan newspapers and magazines, a former Newsweek En Espanol correspondent, and contributor writer for HuffPost's Voces. Now that he's sick of being a broke reporter hunted by the Chavista regime, he's turned into a screenwriter and is developing a couple of series that will make him rich and even more famous.

One thought on “What They Are Watching

  • September 14, 2023 at 7:44 pm

    Love it!!! Excellent article!


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