In a year that was hard for everyone universally, many people turned to movies and TV shows as not only a form of entertainment but also as a source of warmth and joy. This year also saw some of the most critically acclaimed shows that kept people hooked to their seats.
As the year comes to an end, let us look at some of the best television shows and web-series to have premiered in 2020:
I May Destroy You
Right off the bat, we want to recommend one of the most revolutionary shows of this year. Chewing Gum fame Michaela Coel created and starred in something that was so unique yet tragically relatable, that people couldn’t stop talking about the show, long after all 12 episodes had aired on TV. Michaela Coel dared to do what many people don’t, she hired a cast consisting mainly of actors of colour, she talked about issues such as sexual assault, stealthing, consent, sexuality, racism, trauma and others that studios usually wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
The Queen’s Gambit
This Netflix series starring Anya Taylor-Joy became one of the most famous shows of 2020. Even though the actress has appeared in quite a lot of critically acclaimed films and shows before, her performance as chess prodigy Beth Harmon has certainly put her on the map. Beth’s journey starts from a tragedy and never strays too far from it, her inner battles mostly outweighing the ones outside, as she sets out to become the greatest chess player in the world. The Queen’s Gambit also led to massive hikes in the sale of chess sets around the world. Hence, it did much more than it set out to do.
Little Fires Everywhere
Everyone loves a good mystery, especially when it is about the scandalous lives of the rich folk. Little Fires Everywhere was that show in 2020 that set out to do what Big Little Lies, Patrick Melrose and Sharp Objects did for the audience in the previous years. With enthralling performances and a story that honestly feels like a dose of adrenaline, Little Fires Everywhere deserves every bit of acclaim it received.
We have no qualms in stating that a female-led movie or show is always superior. On top of that, a show about a group of women fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment really sets the bar high for everything else. Mrs America was exactly the ray of hope people needed in a year that was laced in socio-political turmoil globally. Watching a scary Cate Blanchett face off with Rose Byrne (in probably her career-best performance) was an absolute delight. A political drama always gets people talking, and for Mrs America, the appreciation was well-deserved.
Not a lot of people talked about Unorthodox as it was overshadowed by ‘bigger projects,’ this year. That was probably one of the worst things to happen in an already abysmal year. A young woman forced into a marriage runs away from her orthodox community. However, the world will not let her be free so easily. To say that Unorthodox is powerful is an understatement, and to watch is truly the way to understand it.
A dark horse seems to be a fitting proverb to describe this show, which felt like it dropped out of nowhere, but surely won every heart. This crime thriller premiered before the Coronavirus pandemic showed its true destructive nature, and hence it feels like it dropped ages ago. ZeroZeroZero navigates the big bad world of drugs and bullets and tells us how every life that is a part of it, is disposable. The show was quite intense, but never too much.
Never Have I Ever
A heartwarming show about friendship, loss and coming-of-age, Never Have I Ever has a mass-y appeal. That’s why it became such an instant hit. Never Have I Ever also launched 18-year-old Maitreyee Ramakrishnan, who is funny and charming, and a suitable prodigy to the show’s creator Mindy Kaling. Never Have I Ever made us ugly cry, but also gave us a lot of things to laugh about. And that is exactly what we needed in a year like this.
Devs is an underrated masterpiece that got lost until Barack Obama mentioned it in his list of Best Shows of 2020. A lot of people who had watched and loved the show before there was renewed interest in it, collectively went ‘yeah, we knew already.’ Devs might be set in a sci-fi fantasy world, it still shows a scary mirror to the very real surveillance-state that we live in. Bonus point of the show is a scruffy old Nick Offerman in a performance of a lifetime.
I Know This Much is True
Mark Ruffalo stars in a double role as twin brothers who lead parallel lives in a quaint little town. What the show does best is bring attention to mental health and illnesses. The show talks about issues like paranoid schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, but never uses it as a crutch or an opportunity to exploit these conditions. Mark Ruffalo acting prowess shines through in the show, as he transforms back and forth from these two very different characters.