Netflix's most popular shows and movies list is a land of strange bedfellows, now more than ever. I didn't think former U.S. President Barack Obama, Bridgerton and trashy reality TV show would sit side-by-side, but here we are.
Today (April 14), Obama's new nature docuseries Our Great National Parks (which is extremely new on Netflix, having arrived yesterday, April 13) titles sits at the No. 3 spot on Netflix's top in the U.S. list. It's seated it right behind the massively popular Bridgerton season 2 (in the No. 2 spot), which finds more gossip and prospective marriages for people to binge-watch.
Neither, though, is in the lead. That slot is taken by the reality series The Ultimatum, where people on the verge of getting engaged — where one partner is sure and the other has cold feet — test their commitments to each other with "trial marriages" with fellow cast members.
So, the presence of Barack Obama's Our Great National Parks — which he narrates and appears on-camera in —right behind those two almost suggests that Netflix's audience (as a whole) has a properly balanced streaming diet. Because this show fits into one of our favorite Netflix categories: relaxing stuff to unwind with. Oh, and sidebar: in odd streaming news, the No.1 movie on Netflix isn't on U.S. Netflix.
Here's everything you need to know about Our Great National Parks:
Should you watch Our Great National Parks?
Our Great National Parks is the perfect show to watch if you need to relax, need an escape from the same city or town that you've been stuck in during the pandemic or if you just like the sound of Barack Obama's voice. It's the kind of show you may not know you needed, and then wonder how you lived without it. I'm a city kid through and through, and never been the type to watch nature shows like Planet Earth, but even I found myself engaged. It reminds me a lot of Old Enough, the hilarious Japanese kids show that Netflix just added. Both are prime contenders for our best shows on Netflix list.
Just turn on the first episode, and you get a relaxed version of the former president talking about how much he loves Hanauma Bay, which is in the island of Oʻahu in the Hawaiian Islands. And while this bay is highly popular location for tourists? Obama's show presents it completely empty.
But he quickly moves onto the Loango National Park in Gabon, in Africa, where we see giant elephants noshing on ferns, and birds flock above the beach. Merely hearing Obama talk about how this beach is where the Congo meets the Atlantic Ocean has melted my stress by a bit.
It's not entirely calm, though, as Obama touches upon how these habitats are in danger if we keep doing all the destructive things we're doing to the world.
That said? Our Great National Parks is shot so exquisitely that even salt-water crocodiles — the world's largest reptiles — look amazing as they hunt prey and get into scraps have a beauty to them. Oh, and if you're going to watch Our Great National Parks on a 4K TV? This is as good a time as any to make sure you're upgraded to Netflix Premium to stream it in 4K.
And, yes, in four minutes, the series has made it clear that it's not just focused on the national parks of the United States, but locales around the world. The first episode also goes to Japan. Consider the first episode to be a grab bag, a setup for more-focused editions. The next four episodes go to Chilean Patagonia, Kenya, Monterey Bay in California and Indonesia.
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Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.