Our ranking of the top 10 Netflix trailers of 2020
In preparation for this post, I compiled a list of all the Netflix trailers of 2020 on the Netflix YouTube channel that had the word “trailer” in the thumbnail, and I watched most of them back-to-back. I would not advise the average viewer to do the same—you can probably imagine how their clichés only become underlined and italicized when played consecutively.
The melodramatic piano lick, the Netflix logo in the corner of the screen (no other studio does this in their trailers!), the indie-pop soundtrack curated for easy listening (the band that popped up more than once this year, weirdly enough, was alt-J), and the reverse cymbal crash sound effect. SO MUCH reverse cymbal crash.
Chalk it up to me watching them how I did, but I found a majority of this year’s Netflix trailers to be super repetitive in terms of genres and their respective iconographies on which they were trying to sell me. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some trailers that stand out—that do a really solid job of promoting a new show or movie, don’t give too much of it away, and stay true to the best parts of its essence.
In the Peak TV landscape, trailers have to do a lot of legwork on behalf of their content, and this list ranks the absolute best of this year’s batch.
A couple of guidelines before the list begins. There are no stand-up comedy special Netflix trailers on here because ranking those would risk yielding yours truly’s personal taste in comedy as opposed to trailer effectiveness. There are no “teasers” or other pre-trailer promotional materials (sorry, you incredible Space Force teaser, you).
And we’re only featuring Netflix trailers for new TV shows and movies, since trailers for sequels and subsequent seasons of TV specifically cater to audiences familiar with past movies and previous seasons.
Finally, the ranking of these trailers, as determined by us, runs semi-parallel to both the quality of the content (was the trailer notable because the product was good?) as well as the visibility of the content (was the trailer notable because of how many people saw the product?). If your favorite trailer wasn’t on here, feel free to voice your opinions in the comments!
Let’s get into it!