(In my opinion…)
Throughout the course of 2020 I have watched way too many TV series than I can count, and I have so much to say about all of them. Not only were some of the best series created in 2020 but many old series resurfaced the internet this year. These are some of my favourite TV shows I’ve watched this year!! From mystery, to thriller, to family, to romance and comedy, if you are looking for your next binge watch this list will definitely help find the right show for you!
Hands down one of my favourite series I’ve watched this year (and it’s not just because Joshua Jackson is in this). The Affair follows two characters Noah Solloway (Dominic West) and Alison Bailey (Ruth Wilson) and shows the aftermath of an extramarital relationship between the two characters. Alison is a young waitress trying to fix her marriage with her husband Cole Lockhart (Joshua Jackson) after tragedy broke out between the two of them and Noah is a New York City teacher and novelist, who is married with 4 kids. The two characters meet at a small-town diner in the city of Montauk where Noah and his family go away for the summer. The show unfolds after the two characters meet and they automatically have a strange connection and are drawn to each other. I think the most interesting part of this series is that the episodes are shown in different parts, which also means they are shown in different perspectives of each character. “There are two sides to every story but only one truth”. When I tell people about the show this is the first thing I say. Each character sees things and events differently down to clothes, hair and the way the situation is perceived, it’s crazy. The different point of views starts right from the first episode. My theory is that you don’t know the exact truth until you watch the recaps at the beginning of each episode to help you clarify who to believe. I am not sure if this is entirely true, but I did notice a pattern. The episodes are usually divided between Noah’s POV and Alison’s POV and later broadens to Cole’s POV and Helen, Noah’s wife’s POV. The show always finds a way to keep you on your toes. The show has 5 seasons. Season 1, 2, 4 and the second half of 5 are the best. Season 3 gets good halfway through but hold on till season 4 because the writers take a HUGE turn in the show and it is so shocking. I accidentally spoiled season 4 for myself and I hated myself for it because I did not expect what had happened to happen. Forewarning, there is a lot of sex…I mean it is called The Affair so careful if you watch around your parents. Honestly such a good series, I had never been so happy about an ending for a show in a long time, this one had a heartwarming one.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
The Assassination of Gianni Versace was produced and directed by Ryan Murphy. The show focuses on the story of Gianni Versace’s murder and does such an amazing job telling the story. Ryan Murphy does his best to recreate storylines with evidence and profound research to tell the story as accurately as possible. One of the things I love the most about Ryan Murphy’s work is that he carefully picks out his cast and spends a lot of time making sure the cast and roles are perfect, whether that is using the same actors or actresses from previous shows he has worked on or spending days finding someone new, his casting is always on point. Specifically, for this show, the cast is what brought the storyline to life even more. Edgar Ramirez plays Gianni Versace, Penelope Cruz plays his sister Donatella Versace and Ricky Martin plays Versace’s boyfriend, Antonio D’Amico. Lastly the very talented Darren Criss plays the compelling character of Andrew Cunanan, the one who murdered Versace. At the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards the show had received the most nominations and won awards including “Outstanding Limited Series”, “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series” for actor Darren Criss. The interesting this about this show was that instead of telling the story in chronological order they opened the series with the murder of Versace and tells the story backwards. Every new show of the series happens chronologically before the previous, that goes deeper into the storyline of each of Cunanan’s victims and how Andrew Cunanan childhood and experiences led him to being a pathological liar and spree killer. Not to mention, the soundtrack of this movie is AMAZING! The best 90s songs played throughout the show!! If you are a 90s fan that will definitely make the watch even better for you!
Alright if you know me, you know that I became OBSESSED with this show a couple months back and I am currently re-watching it for the third time. Thank you, Nat! This show is amazing everyone needs to watch it. I would categorize this show as the “pre-One Tree Hill” era and it’s a good 90s comfort show. The show ran from 1988-2003. Dawson’s Creek is about a close-knit group of teenagers who experience high school and university together and the struggles that both bring on. Dawson’s Creek is known for its ground-breaking storylines that covered everything from mental health, to sexuality and even the most talked about famous TV love triangle of all time. The show focuses on characters Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek), Joey Potter (Katie Holmes), Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson), Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams) and later also joins Jack (Kerr Smith) and Andie McPhee (Mandy Munroe). You grow up with all these characters throughout 6 different seasons and watch how one situation can alter their entire lives. This show makes me want to time travel back to the 90s. Just the fashion and simplicity of how life seemed to be back then, with no phones and social media, everything seemed “real” and down to earth. The main reason I am telling every girl to watch this show is because of Pacey Witter played by Joshua Jackson. Even though the show is called Dawson’s Creek everyone subtly hates Dawson, and everyone watches it for Pacey. He is hands down the best character in that show. Besides Pacey, this show is an amazing comfort show and brings on laughter, tears and has an ending nobody will expect at all. As you watch the show on Netflix you will realize that the original theme song that was featured with the show when it premiered (in the video above), is not the same theme song that is played in the episodes on Netflix. Netflix did not have the streaming rights to include the original song, apparently the song was never licensed for streaming rights so they had to make that change.
My best friend and I finished The Undoing, and that show was hands down amazing. This was the first show I had not searched up any spoilers about plot or characters (I know I ruin every show for myself) and I was going crazy trying not to search up the BIG question of who the murderer was. I did a pretty good job of staying away from Twitter, Instagram and any social media platforms after the season finale of this show premiered because almost everyone was talking about it and I had heard so many good things about the show and couldn’t wait to watch it. This show consists of 6 episodes ranging from 50 minutes to one hour. The cast features Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and Edgar Ramirez. The storyline follows Grace Fraiser (Nicole Kidman) a psychologist whose world turns upside down when her husband Jonathan (Hugh Grant) is a suspect for the murder of Elena Alvarez (Matilda De Angelis) a parent in the private school community. It amazed me to see how they can fit all of the show’s drama, lies and secrets into only 6 episodes but they succeeded. Even though from the beginning it was fairly obvious who the killer was, this show had you believing every single character was a suspect based on lies and secrets that would be unfolding after every episode and had you second guess as the viewer who you thought the murderer was. Not only does the show play with your mind but it also takes place in the best place of all time…New York City. Watching the show was making me miss my NYC travels. The show is jam-packed right from the beginning and keeps you on your toes. This show was based off the book You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz. I am usually the type of person to read the book before watching the show or movie, but I had found out afterwards it was based off a book. If the show was this good, I already know the book will be even better. Even though, a season 2 is probably on everyone’s minds, I do believe that the show should end after season 1. There is no way the producers could beat the suspense, the tension that the first season brought along. It would only feel like the writers would be dragging the storyline on and on. Lastly, shoutout to Nicole Kidman and her AMAZING and elegant fashion sense, from the trench coats to her classy dresses…the fashion makes her character even more intriguing. Anyone interested in this series could definitely finish it in one day. If you ever have a lazy day and nothing to do, take 6 hours out of your day and binge this. It will be the best decision of your life.
If you are looking for a Canadian comedy, this sitcom is PERFECT for you!!! Schitt’s Creek is about the filthy-rich Rose family that goes bankrupt. They are forced to leave their home and riches to stay in the one asset they are left with…a small town named Schitt’s Creek, which the father bought as a joke year’s back. The family is forced to live in a motel until they can rebuild their funds and move away from this small-town life that they are definitely not used to. This show follows the four family members, Moira Rose played by Catherine Ohara, Johnny Rose played by Eugene Levy, David Rose played by Dan Levy and Alexis Rose played by Annie Frances. The 6 seasons this show has to offer demonstrates the true meaning of family coming together and learning to make the most out of a situation that changed their lives forever. The phrase “Money can’t buy happiness” is one of the main things not only the Rose family learns but also what you as a viewer learn while watching the show. The dry and subtle humour in this show is one of my favourite things about it. This sitcom is produced and written by the Canadian father-son duo Dan Levy and Eugene Levy. In my opinion it is the Canadian version of Modern Family. This show has won 9 Emmy awards this year and they deserved them all!!
Normal People is about two characters Marianne and Connell, their secret friendship and their on and off again relationship. They are two young individuals who tend to drift apart many times throughout their lives only to always find their way back to each other. All they have in common, is that they grew up in the same town, Dublin, Ireland. The story starts when Marianne played by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Connell played by Paul Mescal, are in high school and each chapter demonstrates a certain amount of time that has passed throughout their lives and friendship. This show is based off the book Normal People by Sally Rooney. The writers and producers did an amazing job bringing the story to life. From storylines to even words the characters would say…it was so good. The casting was perfect as well!!! Reading the novel, I had certain visions of what the characters would look, act like and when I saw the show, they chose characters exactly like the description. From looks, to hand gestures and body language it was perfect. This show was refreshing in the way that you got to see realistic views and scenarios of an awkward, real and normal relationship and not something you would only see in movies or tv shows that would set the bar so high making it unrealistic. This is a cute and again real demonstration of a romance. The show is 12 episodes and like the book ends in a cliff-hanger, but it is the kind of cliff-hanger where you get to choose for yourself what happens with the characters. Everyone wanted a season 2 however because of the way the show and book had ended it was up to you to decide whether they are together, whether they aren’t, it’s up to you to determine that. If they were to come out with a second season, I would be so happy, but this is an example of a show, like The Undoing, where I don’t think you can beat the original season.
American Horror Story: 1984
The American Horror Story franchise is probably one of my favourite horror, thriller TV series. If you know me, you know I am a huge horror fanatic and will watch any horror movie any time of day. This series is directed and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck. I am a huge fan of Ryan Murphy’s work; he has a fascinating way of bringing different concepts to life. It also fascinates me that he can create a show like Glee and then go in the completely opposite direction with a show like American Horror Story. Each season of the show focuses on an entirely different storyline relating to various horror concepts and old horror stories bringing them to life. Murphy also selects his actors and actresses very carefully and you’ll notice throughout the series that he uses many of the same actors throughout the different seasons. The season I watched for the first time this year was the newest season of the series called 1984. This show takes place in 1984, where five friends leave Los Angeles for the summer and head over to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. This camp is filled with ghosts, killers and a complicated history. The main killer that started this whole fiasco is named “Mr. Jingles”. Many years back Mr. Jingles slaughtered all the kids at the camp and one of the counselors decided to reopen the camp to place revenge on Mr. Jingles who had recently escaped. Anyone who ever dies at this camp still walks the grounds and are stuck at the camp in afterlife, to interact with humans that cross the camp. Not only was the storyline funny and different the soundtrack was amazing. All the 80s hits would play at the beginning of the show and appear throughout the episodes and the wardrobe choices were iconic! Definitely one of Ryan Murphy’s best seasons of American Horror Story!! I cannot wait more seasons to come!
Little Fires Everywhere
The show, Little Fires Everywhere, is based off the book Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Overall, the show followed pretty close to the book except for the ending…which I promise I will not spoil. The cast includes Reese Witherspoon who plays Elena Richardson, Kerry Washington who plays Mia Warren and my favourite Joshua Jackson who plays Bill Richardson (which was another bonus watching this show). The show premiered back in March. The plotline follows a mother-daughter duo who move every so often and upend their lives and the picture-perfect Richardson family. Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl Warren played by Lexi Underwood, move to Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1977 and become tenants of Elena Richardson. The Richardson family is sought out to be this perfect family with no flaws however when a huge legal battle tears the town apart, both families uncover disturbing and real truths about themselves and the past that disrupt everything. The show also emphasizes the topic of motherhood and displays the true power of what they would do to not only protect themselves but would go to any lengths to protect their kids. The acting in this show is amazing, from the adults to the kids, it was really well done. I always comment on the soundtrack and a lot of the time music can make a scene much more powerful and meaningful and that’s exactly what the show did. The soundtrack all had similar vibes and was carefully picked for each scene.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
The Haunting of Bly Manor is the sequel to the 2018 hit horror show, The Haunting of Hill House. If you are a bookworm then you’d be happy to know that this series is based off the 1898 novella by Henry James, The Turn of the Screw. The series focuses on a young woman who moves to England and takes a job at an English manor as an au pair for two young orphans who have experienced a tremendous amount of loss in their short lives. This season takes place in the 80s, so the soundtrack is amazing, you’ll hear hits from Cyndi Lauper and get a taste of the 80s fashion. The new season features some old faces from the previous including Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Victoria Pedretti. The cast members remain the same although the storyline is completely different, which means you can start the second season without having watched the first. Both seasons focus on grief and how the characters pass through it with hauntings from their past coming after them. Victoria Pedretti does an amazing job in this series and really puts emphasis on the storyline and her character with her amazing acting. The Haunting of Bly Manor focuses on “the lady in the lake” who has haunted Bly manor for centuries who takes the lives of those who cross her path. This show is haunting and gives you all the right jump scares so be prepared for that. The way, director Mike Flanagan plays out these storylines and roles is so carefully curated; each episode is a continuous story of the character’s background story which intrigues you to binge the whole series in one night. As a viewer you are shocked and surprised from the revelation of each episode, which leads to a bittersweet ending. If you are a fan of horror and thriller, this show is perfect for you. This show does give you the creeps for those of you who aren’t horror fanatics although, the story behind the jump scares is remarkable.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is set in the fictional town of Greendale. It is about a young teenage girl named Sabrina Spellman played by Kiernan Shipka, who is half-witch and half-mortal, who fights off evil forces that not only threaten herself, but her family, friends and the town of Greendale. Sabrina’s mortal friends are Harvey Kinkle played by Ross Lynch, Theo Putnam played by Lachlan Watson and Rosalind Walker played by Jaz Sinclair. The show focuses on both Sabrina’s relationships with the mortal world and the dark world of hell, where she tries to choose between staying mortal or becoming a full-time witch. Besides the dark magic the show also focuses on aspects of teen life including romance, change and emotional teenage issues. There are 3 parts to this show and the 4th and final part is premiering December 31st, 2020. Netflix decided to cancel the show after the fourth season, which fans were not too happy about. This series is an adaptation of the 90s sitcom, Sabrina The Teenage Witch. Although the reimagined series is a coming-of-age story which takes a dark turn with witchcraft and horror. As descriptions of the show state this show as “horror”, it is not so much of a horror, in my opinion, as it just is a dark reboot of the original popular 90s sitcom and is also based on the Archie Comic series of the show.
Here are some of my other favourite TV series and ones I found interesting:
- Grey’s Anatomy
- Dead to Me
- A Teacher
- Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
- Big Mouth
- Modern Family
- The Vampire Diaries
- Gossip Girl
- SO MANY MORE…
Shows I cannot wait to start watching:
- Queen’s Gambit
- Gilmore Girls (I know…I’m crazy I have not watched it yet…)
- Flight Attendant (I am currently reading the book..it is so good! Cannot wait to watch the series.)
What show are you most excited to watch?!