2020 was a different year in a lot of respects and one of the things it did do was provide a bit of extra time for accomplishing various life goals, the ability to concentrate on family and personal growth or watching television like most would end up doing it would seem. There were a lot of shows and a lot of channels and networks to choose from this year and it seemed like everyone stepped up their game in providing some real quality viewing for those that would find themselves couch-bound.
Sweet Home Season 1 (Netflix) – While some might tire of shows set in post-apocalyptic settings, they never cease to entertain or amaze and Sweet Home which is based on a webtoon of the same name is a program that immediately captures the attention of its audience through strong dramatization and the monsters and gore that soon come to permeate their lives. The struggle to survive this new world is real but trying to survive each other is even harder.
The Crown Season 4 (Netflix) – People love The Crown and this season it continued to fascinate viewers with the introduction of Lady Diana and Margaret Thatcher to the cast. With it being a television show and not a documentary, it will of course take some artistic liberties and yet some people were taking it for the gospel truth which created a bit of discord at the time of its release. That being said, while some of it was exaggerated, it managed to keep its audience glued to the screen as it breezed through the 1980s, through trials and travails and terrible, terrible fashion.
The Mess You Leave Behind (Netflix) – This Spanish thriller will do just that as it weaves through two time periods, neither very far apart, as a new substitute teacher arrives and immediately gets embroiled in the mysterious death of her predecessor while trying to navigate her tumultuous personal life. Short and sweet, never overstaying its welcome with Inma Cuesta putting in a great performance as its lead.
The Walking Dead Season 10, Fear the Walking Dead Season 6, The Walking Dead: The World Beyond Season 1 (AMC) – Zombies are still the name of the game in this post-apocalyptic drama which continues to motor on with a second spin-off. The original series has finally wrapped up its latest arc with The Whisperers, a show that has rebounded in the last couple of years to be a must-watch once again, the writing and the stories being as compelling as ever while Fear the Walking Dead Season has gone from strength to strength, its sixth season finding the main group of companions scattered with Morgan looking to reunite them and his character finding a newfound strength within himself. The weakest of the bunch but by no means a bad show is The World Beyond which presents something a little different when it starts before it moves into familiar territory and yet, ties into the other two shows as it focuses on the mysterious black helicopters and all they entail.
Hellstrom (Hulu) – Out of all the shows Marvel has put on the air amid the myriad networks to choose from, Hulu’s Hellstrom is by far one of the best shows it has ever made. While it deviates from the source material, it still features much of what made it great and does so with some real horror on the screen as well as some great performances from its cast and great special effects. Though it does conclude at a spot where it could naturally end, it leaves on a cliff-hanger as well as having more than one plot thread needing to be wrapped up making those who watch this both happy and somewhat disappointed that it has been cancelled by Disney.
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix) – For those in the know, chess is a fun game of wit and skill and yet it took this show to introduce the classic to an entirely new generation and it did so with a phenomenal performance from Anya Taylor‑Joy at the lead. Some have claimed this to be the best show about sports this year and it really cannot be disputed though it stretches the definition of the word. Viewers will watch as it captures the highs and lows of Joy’s character as she manoeuvres through life as much as she does so upon the board and turning off the television is not something that will factor into anyone’s thinking should they begin this miniseries.
Dark Side of the Ring Season 2 (Vice) – This is a show about the stories behind what one sees on the screen, the true, unfettered tragedies that have struck down many a wrestler in many a way to the craziest antics one will ever see. The show digs deep as it looks at Owen Hart and Chris Benoit, Jimmy Snuka and Dino Bravo, The Brawl For All, New Jack and more. It saddens, it enrages, it mystifies and it is absorbing, to say the least. A great series that keeps getting better with each hidden tale.
Yellowstone Season 3 (Paramount) – Kevin Costner and company continue to craft the finest drama on television, a show about family and feuding, horses and cattle, landgrabbers and greed and everything in-between. With a few new additions to the cast, Yellowstone gets better with every episode, the production values, the cinematography, the writing and the acting better than nearly every show on the airwaves at the moment. It would end on a cliff-hanger like many shows would this year and more than any other, it guarantees that you will be back for more.
Ragnarok (Netflix) – Teens trying to find their way in life coupled with an environmental disaster and the return of Norse Gods makes Ragnarok compelling viewing. The performances are strong, the story more so and the music selection is perfect for each and every episode. By the end of this first series, Magne has all but become Thor while the leader of the Frost Giants has been defeated but that does not mean it is the end of the story as there seems to be so much more to tell. A great show from start to finish.
The Stranger (Netflix) – A show all about secrets and what happens when they are revealed.
Young Wallander Season 1 (Netflix) – Crime shows just how terrible it can be to the young detective who is just starting out.
The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix) – More ghosts and more great performances make this a must-see.
The Duchess (Netflix) – Katherine Ryan continues to bring her style of humour in this half-hour comedy.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 (Netflix) – The world never ended but it might do so again.
White Lines (Netflix) – The mystery of a dead brother in Ibiza draws his sister into a web of lies and deceit.
Money Heist Part 4 (Netflix) – The show that will not quit and the show that nobody wants to see conclude as it might be the most thrilling thing on TV at the moment.
Ozark Season 3 (Netflix) – Jason Batemen continues to launder money while his family falls apart.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness (Netflix) – It has to be seen to be believed.
Elite Season 3 (Netflix) – The continuing adventures of some dysfunctional teens makes for compelling viewing.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 (CBS) – They boldly went into the future despite not knowing what they would encounter.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) – The end of an era for a show that continued to get better season after season.
NOS4A2 Season 2 (AMC) – A worthy adaptation of Joe Hill’s book of which this is the finale.
Perry Mason Season 1 (HBO) – This is Perry Mason before he was a lawyer and it turns out to be really quite good.
Prodigal Son Season 1 (FOX) – Michael Sheen is a serial killer and he is fantastic.
Evil Season 1 (CBS) – Nothing like a good exorcism while Michael Emerson plays the Devil.
Raised By Wolves Season 1 (HBO) – Humanity tries to begin anew but it is much harder than expected.
Strike Back: Vendetta (Season 8, Sky One-Cinemax) – All-out action in the best of ways.
The Mandalorian Season 2 (Disney) – The best that Star Wars has to offer.
The Outsider (HBO) – Stephen King’s book comes to life with a couple of liberties yet makes for great viewing.
Supernatural Season 15 (CW) – The end of an era as the boys take one last ride and when it is all said and done, bring more than a few tears to the eye.
Brave New World (Peacock) – The Aldous Huxley novel come to life albeit with a different ending which may or may not mean more to come.