One of the many side effects to staying at home during this pandemic is the sheer amount of content we’ve all consumed. Thank the TV gods for streaming and for continuing to put out new shows and movies we could watch from our own couches, but with that being said, not all of it has been good. Some have been binge-able but forgettable (looking at you, Emily in Paris), some we wish we could forget (ugh, Tiger King), and some have managed to slip past our radar. Since we’ve all been eating up TV show recommendations as we tear through series, we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss the buzziest—and best—of what 2020 had to offer. Yes, 2020 had some bright spots! (Well, on the TV.) It’s not too late to get into these, even if you didn’t watch them when everyone was Slacking about them instead of working.
Here are the 10 2020 shows you should be watching right now:
- I May Destroy You.
Micaela Coel’s transcendent drama about consent, sexuality, and creativity was buzzy for a big reason: she’s majorly talented and the series is provocative, and at times, a hard watch. Don’t let that deter you—it’s also funny and warm and one of the best series of the year (and of many years).
- Never Have I Ever.
Co-creator Mindy Kaling brought us this Netflix teen romantic comedy, which, though light, is also an exploration of grief and budding sexuality. Leading star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a gifted comedic actress and just getting started.
- The Great.
Elle Fanning showed off her comedy chops in this reimagining of the life of Catherine the Great. It’s wicked fun, silly, and sharp, and deserves a spot on your watch schedule.
- Little Fires Everywhere.
The star power of this Hulu miniseries is off the charts: Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, and Joshua Jackson star in this adaptation of the Celeste Ng novel. Set in the ’90s, the themes of racial tension and societal power are unfortunately timely.
- Ted Lasso.
Apple TV+ trotted out an unassuming Jason Sudeikis vehicle—he plays an American football coach recruited to coach a British soccer team—which turned out to be a big old glass of goofy sweetness. Watch it when you need a lift.
This Amazon comedy-drama about a man (Robbie Amell) who uploads himself to a digital afterlife wasn’t as buzzy as other shows on this list, but it deserved to be. The series is underrated, absurd, and sharp.
- High Fidelity.
The 2000 romantic drama is a classic, so it didn’t seem like there was much to improve upon with a modern gender-flipped version. We’re happy to have been wrong because Zoe Kravitz’s Rob is the cynical romantic lead we didn’t know we needed.
- Normal People.
Some might say you need to read Sally Rooney’s excellent book first, but whatever you do, don’t sleep on Normal People. It’s sexy, sad, and romantic, and it may prompt a crush on lead Paul Mescal.
- Love Life.
There are a lot of romantic shows on TV with female leads, but HBO Max’s Love Life skirts many clichés. Anna Kendrick’s Darby doesn’t chase the same guy, keep overlooking her best friend, or have empty, hijinks-filled flings. She learns from each relationship and grows as a person in a way that complements her romantic destiny— and her finding The One is not the most important part of her journey.
- Emily in Paris.
I know, I trolled this show in the intro, but you know how sometimes you’re like, “I just need to turn my brain off right now”? Well, this is the show you put on when you get that feeling. You won’t care who Emily ends up with, you won’t care if there’s a season two or not, but you will pretend you are in Paris eating croissants.
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