By John Iwodi
Somehow 2020 has been the worst year for everybody in one way or the other. If anything good came out of this weird year, it would be television shows. They have been like a warm blanket keeping us warm during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown/quarantine.
Below are the 13 best TV shows of 2020. These were chosen based on their incredible storytelling, intriguing characters and exhilarating themes.
13. Sex Education, Season 2
Sex education continues to intrigue, touch on sensitive and serious issues and still finds a way to make it hilarious.
Season 2 brought out more important issues like assault, sexuality and the complicity in finding love.
Netflix continues to show they are dominating the young adult genre with so much ease. The first season of this show would have been higher on this list if it was on this list. There is no reason this season is on number 13 maybe because Meave didn’t end up with Otis again and I think that’s just unforgivable …oooops spoiler alert. (Rated 18)
12. High Fidelity
High fidelity is a television adaptation of the 2000 film which was also adapted from a novel.
I know that’s a lot of adaptation but somehow this still came out so well. The show tells the story of Rob, an owner of a vinyl record who struggles to come to terms with her lifetime of failed relationships. Throughout the series we follow her and her other two friends through complicated relationships and issues.
What I love about this show is how natural it is, the show doesn’t try to prove anything or cover anything up which brings a kind of charm and uniqueness to it.
The plot has such an original structure with no set of goals, it is just a woman trying to understand her past relationships in a hilarious and funny way that will leave you cracking up all through.
The main characters have such infectious chemistry, that you get so engaged in them you’ll wish to be in their friend circle.(Rated 18).
11. Defending Jacob
This show is also an adaptation of a book.
The worst thing for anybody when watching a movie or show adapted from a book they’ve read is criticizing how every part of show is different from the book or how the book is better. That was the problem I had while watching this.
NEVERTHELESS…the show tells an engaging story of a family dealing with the accusation that their 14-year-old son may be a murderer. The show’s strength is the performance of the three main characters, with Jaden Martell giving gut wrenching performance as the accused and Chris Evans finally leaving his Captain America suit and taking on a more dramatic role to show his role as an actor. The best performance was from Michelle Dockery as the accused mother. There were just so many layers to her performance that was so heartbreaking and interesting to watch. (Rated 16)
10. Never Have I Ever
If you want quirky, cheesy but like in a cool way, this show has a simple story. It tells the coming of age story of Devi Vishwakumar, a 15-year-old in high school.
I really don’t know why this is higher than the other three but I just think it has something refreshing and relaxing. Some of the characters are easily relatable. It has so much escapism, it is the kind of series you finish and you get sad for getting back to reality. (Rated 16)
9. Umbrella Academy, Season 2
Much like the first season, the show continues to be engaging. The first season had a lot of issues with its pace but season two came back stronger with refreshing new characters, challenges and setting.
The chemistry between the characters continues to intrigue which was fun to watch. The romances and friendship felt honest and made the series wholesome. The series had interesting twist towards the end that increases the anticipation of the next season (Rated 13)
8. Perry Mason
Perry Mason follows the origin story of defence lawyer Perry Mason in the era of great depression. The story follows Perry as he struggles to solve the biggest case of his career.
The series is a compelling mystery thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The aesthetic is dripping in style; it has such outstanding visuals that you can’t do anything but just admire. The story is messy but keeps you entertained throughout. (Rated 18)
Industry follows four graduate students trying to make it in a toxic stock brokers company in London. Each of the main characters are shown struggling in this toxic and brutal surrounding they find themselves in. The lead characters were written in such a way they always end up crashing into each other creating a strong dramatic atmosphere throughout the series. One of the most interesting characters is Harper, a character that is stuck in her difficult decisions placed on her by the environment she is in. Her tragic decision making reminds me so much of Annalise from How to get away with murder.
The show tries so much not to be a show. It didn’t care much about suspense and cliffhangers which was bold and refreshing . The writing and production quality of this series is insanely great. The series is set in such a complicated atmosphere that is dramatic and engaging. (Rated 18)
6. The Boys, Season 2
When you think nothing can beat a first season, the Boys come with their banger of a season two.
The first season was so good, it made it look impossible for the second season to live up to the hype but the second season didn’t disappoint, it was more thrilling. The characters were full of more depth and a lot of complications whether for them either the good or evil characters. I normally like villains in movies or whatever but this series gave me a villain which sent shivers down my bone, and that is because of the terrifying performance from Anthony Star(Homelander). He wasn’t a villain with charm, he was just wicked, making it impossible for the audience to predict his inhumane actions.
The show was filled with amazing twists and surprises. There were new characters which brought some kind of refreshing attribute to the series… P.S if you haven’t seen the first season go and watch it now!!!! (Rated 18)
5. The Crown, Season 4
The Crown is the dramatization of the story of Queen Elizabeth, the second. This season introduces Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales and Magret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of England. The show continues to surprise in its dramatization of real life characters. The performance of Emma Corrin as Princess Diana And Gillian Anderson as Magret Thatcher is the best performance of the year in my opinion. They were playing popular real life characters and didn’t get too dramatic or take up space from other characters in the show.
One of the main plot of the series is the heartbreaking story of Prince Charles, the heir to the throne and his wife Princess Diana. The writing of this plot sequence alone is enough to get them an Emmy nomination. The crown is highly recommended for any one who is interested in a dramatic or monarchical series. (Rated 18)
4: Lovecraft Country
This series offers everything, drama, horror, fantasy, Sci-fiction and Adventure. I know you are like how the hell did that happen. Well it did, the ability to combine all these features is what made it breathtaking.
The series opens issues like racism and connects a lot of dots, leading to a messy plot that leaves you hooked for some weird reason. The show is absolutely nuts however if you embrace, its crazy you will receive entertainment that fulfills many thrills and emotions. It has such a bizarre narrative structure that needs you to pay extra attention to every detail. Each episode pays tribute to its own type of genre. The performances from the two leads are perfect for what the atmosphere required, the visuals were top notch. (Rated 18)
3: Normal People
Normal People is a character driven story. The series follows Connell and Marriane through their complicated relationship, a relationship that was fault to wrong timing, miss communication and life’s unavoidable events.
The show handles serious and difficult topics like depression and abuse in a very raw manner, the love scenes were realistic, graphic and relatable. It depicts relationships in a raw and sensitive nature that leaves you mesmerised by the honesty of it. The performance of the two leads on screen was electrifying, complementing each other in every way possible, becoming so intertwined with the characters and their storylines. The show leaves you wanting more and more. (Rated 18)
2. The Queen’s Gambit
The Queen’s Gambit was surprising in many ways imaginable. It follows a chess prodigy as she struggles through fame and all the obstacles attached to it. With a limited amount of exposure the show makes you understand chess not up to the point of a pro player but you’re able to understand the rules of the game and its strategies.
Anya Taylor Joy gives incredibly strong performances, showing intense emotions through mere up close facial expressions throughout the series, you become immenced in the character’s journey which was emotionally powerful and remarkably satisfying. The series throughout is very cinematic, showing dramatic, yet genuine connections between characters. (Rated 16)
1. The Great
Huzzzzzz Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. The Great is a wonderfully unique periodic piece, not because it takes faithfulness to the history but rather to the time period. The show is loosely based on Catherine the great and her struggle to becoming the Queen of Russia. For a series set in the 17th century it had a lot of modern flares making it enjoyable by anyone possible. Elle Faning gave one of her best performances in her career. The series is a dark comedy with subject matters that were very heavy at times but were still handled with delicacy while still maintaining its comedic style.
The level of production design and cinematography was one of the best of the year. The show has an enjoyable arc that keeps you engaged towards the common goal which is met with interesting challenge after challenge.