We are nearing the end of the tumultuous year that has been 2020, and with everyone in quarantine at home, television has been more important than ever.
Luckily this year we got some amazing TV shows, and no we’re not talking about King tiger Where Emilie in Paris. From the perfectly devastating Michaela Coel I can destroy you in search of Luca Guadagnino’s identity We are who we are, we’ve rounded up some of the best shows of this year.
Check out the best TV shows of 2020 below.
Michaela Coel is an absolute genius. I can destroy you is a brilliant ten-part journey that sees Coel transform his own trauma and difficult relationship with fame into a critical commentary on modern life. The series sees Arabella (Coel) trying to piece together hazy memories of a night that occurs in episode one where she was drugged and sexually assaulted in a bar, while trying to write a book. Throughout the series, the dark and devastating moments are interspersed with lovable and perfectly flawed characters and there’s not much more to say about this show other than this: you absolutely have to watch it.
Call me by your name and Suspiria Director Luca Guadagnino is back with his new HBO series We are who we are This year. The must-see series takes place at a US military base in Veneto, Italy, and explores “friendship, first love, identity and immerses audiences in all the chaotic exhilaration and angst of being. a teenager”. From lush clips of Italy to difficult times between lead characters Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Caitlin (Jordan Kristine Seamón), at the heart of the breathtaking and heartwarming series follows a multitude of outcasts exploring questions of identity.
Grab the tissues and dive straight into the heartbreaking series that is Normal people. Sally Rooney’s adaptation of her own 2018 novel is perfectly intimate, following a popular working-class boy named Connell (Paul Mescal) as he falls in love with a wealthy social outcast named Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones). The limited series examines gender, class, and toxic behavior through the lens of the couple’s relationship, jumping in time throughout an entire decade. This epic love story showcases the flaws and intricacies of these two people from very different worlds who are linked by their intellectual connection.
Who knew that a chess show could sit you on the edge of your seat? The Queen’s Gambit, Netflix’s adaptation of Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel, really made waves with its jaw-dropping cinematography and gripping storyline. The miniseries follows the incredible career trajectory of orphan Beth Harmon on her rapid rise to fame as she becomes the world’s best chess player in just 14 years. The story is so well fleshed out and three-dimensional that it’s hard to believe it’s not based on a true story.
Five huge seasons in this series, You better call Saul has established such a strong identity that it’s easy to forget that this is a breaking Bad prequel. The new season ranges from the initial ethical decadence to bursting laughing hilarity for a perfectly balanced show. From the breathtaking score to the creative soundtrack, You better call Saul better and better with each season.
The second season of the television adaptation of Taika Waititi’s vampire comedy What we do in the shadows was released this year, and he sees the show develop even more heart and hilarity among the bevy of incompetent vampires living on Staten Island. The mock documentary, which is essentially a gothic horror makeover from Office, really lets its inherent silliness run its course in season two, settling into a sort of absurd groove.
Pen15 made a comeback with the release of Season 2 of “Back to School” in September. While the show was unable to film its second full season before being forced to stop production due to COVID-19, the 7-episode version of the show that was scrapped this year has locked down production. series as a perfectly hilarious and equally appalling story of heartbreak and embarrassment that is the eighth grade. 30-year-old co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle do a particularly amazing job playing 13-year-old teenagers, physically embodying their characters so perfectly that it’s easy to forget that they’re not actually teenagers.
The sixth season of Netflix BoJack Cavalier was split into two parts, and after ending in a depressing and upsetting midseason finale, 2020 kicked off with the second half of the season. Over the past six years, the animated series has been filled with deadly jokes, devastating twists and witty remarks. The final episodes of the series explore what recovering BoJack looks like through the series’ classic dark comedy. “I made a lot of mistakes,” says BoJack. “But I look back at that other BoJack and I’m like, ‘Who is this?’ Had a lot of what I thought was rocky bottoms only to discover another more rocky bottom below.
Season two of The Mandalorian came out this year. The Star wars spin off is worth more than Twitter memes (Thanks, Baby Yoda), offering a compelling balance of sakes for the show’s key players as well as gripping action scenes. With the way the show has developed, it seems like The Mandalorian has created a name as an out of the ordinary action drama, regardless of its connection to the Star wars franchise.
The third and final season of Netflix’s first German-language series, Dark, discontinued this year. The sci-fi thriller follows characters from the fictional German town called Winden as they embark on a tumultuous hunt for the truth after a child goes missing. As the series progresses, it reveals a sinister time travel plot, ultimately exploring the implications of time and its effects on humanity.
The comedy-drama of Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore Unsafe released its fourth season this year. The gorgeous and convoluted series is an astonishing examination of American darkness and tackles everything from relationship issues and class divisions to mental health. This season specifically explores the relationship between Molly and Issa. It beautifully portrays how relationships sometimes don’t have explosive conflict, and instead, you can take the people you love most for granted, allowing a friendship to quietly fade into the background.
Dan and Eugene Levy’s Canadian sitcom Schitt Creek broke records with its fun but heartbreaking final season, setting a new record for the most Emmys ever won by a comedy series in a single season. The show ended perfectly with its sixth season, revealing throughout its fourteen-episode arc that they could be the same lovable (and vain) Rose family who started the show, everything was about to change.
Hulu’s TV reboot with genre swapping High fidelity made waves this year, but was ultimately called off after just one season. Zoë Kravitz stars in the series as the owner of the record store Rob, and just like the other versions of High fidelity, the musical snob Rob remembers his past relationships and his sorrows. This gripping remake is definitely a must-read for music lovers because not only does it have an amazing story, but it also has an amazing soundtrack to boot.
Heartwarming and intelligent new comedy from Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher I have never sees Mississauga’s Maitreyi Ramakrishnan really shine in her first role as Devi. Taking the tropes of teenage comedies and reworking the familiar format into something new and magnetic was no easy task. This refreshing energy comes from Ramakrishnan, who plays a perfectly balanced character, refining the perfect balance between confidence and self-awareness, humor and melancholy, vulnerability and selfishness, ultimately creating a well-nuanced track.
The fourth season of Fargo premiered in September on FX. The 11-episode season marked the final installment of the American anthology comedy-crime television series Black. The ambitious new season may not live up to the expectations of its previous seasons, but it still serves as a gripping exploration of race-based power and crime in 1950 in Kansas City.
Autobiographical comedy Ramy sees Ramy Youssef playing a fictional version of himself as he struggles to find a balance between his New Jersey friends and his Egyptian family. The new season really made waves after Youssef didn’t even appear in a third of the episodes, and Mahershala Ali was amazing in his role as the new sheikh.
Adapted from Crystal Moselle Skateboarding Kitchen, HBO Betty follows a group of female skaters as they challenge New York City. Original film stars Nina Moran, Dede Lovelace, Ajani Russell, Rachelle Vinberg, and Kabrina Adams all return as slightly different characters, while maintaining their perfectly relatable teenage angst. This nostalgic bittersweet series will stay with you, as it weaves its way through fun scenes of lust and chaos for a memorable TV experience.