Welcome to our top 40 best TV shows of 2020! This has always been our most controversial and discussed article of the year. Previous winners include 12 Season 4 Monkeys (2018) and Mr. Apen (2018). Robot Season 4 (2019). Who will win the top honours in 2020?
Our team has worked hard to create a varied and unique list that many people should appreciate. Like every year, this list compiles scripts of Korean dramas, anime and TV series from around the world to make the best of it. The only exception are the documentaries, which do not appear in any way in this list.
Like every year there are victims and it turns out that unfortunately we couldn’t see them, so we put them first on the list. Ted Lasso, The Crown season 4, The Schitts and Better Call Saul were three of the most productive entries we unfortunately couldn’t see.
Besides that, a couple of shows just missed the Top 40. Devs, Raised By Wolves, Elite season 3, The Stranger, and Sex Education season 2 are the big names missing, but it underscores how strong a year 2020 has been for television.
Without further ado we present our top 40 television programmes for 2020.
40 – Season of the Paatal lock
Paatal Lok is an interesting and politically motivated crime thriller straight from India. It’s one of those programs you like or dislike, depending on how you feel about the messages that make up the core of the program.
With a conspiracy that relies heavily on prejudice against Muslims and puts the common Indian in a negative light, Paatal Lok is almost certain that he will warm the spirits and reject the people. It’s a pity, because if you can get into the story, Paatal Lok has some pretty good beats and, with some interesting cuts, a very entertaining and adrenaline addicted 9-episode runtime.
39 – Season of the Messiah
Talk about controversial publications: The Messiah introduced an intriguing and exciting starting point in the New Year, but he continued to respect his predilection for religion.
The story begins in Syria and follows the prophet al-Masih proclaims on his way from the Middle East to the United States. Along the way he gets more and more followers as he manipulates and performs miracles to impress the world. Meanwhile, CIA agent Eva Geller is determined to find out the truth, convinced that he is an impostor. Another agent in Israel, Aviram, is also on his case after an emotional run earlier in the season.
It may not be perfect, and some elements are similar to those of Homeland, but the original idea of the Messiah and some solid performances make this series worth watching.
38 – Do you like Brahms?
Do You Like Brahms is based at a music university and follows a group of budding (and experienced) musicians, although ironically it’s not really about music. Although this Korean drama, admittedly, has incredible piano and violin performances, for the most part it unfolds to a melodramatic rhythm.
The story itself essentially revolves around two different characters from different backgrounds. The first is Song-A, who hopes to become a great violinist in a context of fierce competition. Leaving at the beginning of his career because he is the least talented, Chant A struggles to be heard and seen. But it is the talented pianist Joon-jong who realizes this.
Joon-Young has taken part in piano competitions throughout Korea and is now well on his way to fame. He is passionate about these young toys and tries to help him get better. There is a lot of romance, drama and sadness on the road between the two, when the couple is caught in a whirlwind, she/he fails to achieve romance.
Although she does not necessarily do anything exceptional in the field of melodrama, she succeeds in touching most of the right notes and making a decent composition that deserves attention.
37 – Furnace League Season
Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Korea. In the spirit of the Hollywood movie Moneyball, baseball returns to the small screen in the form of the Hot Stove League.
The Furnace League, which ushers in a tumultuous period between baseball seasons, seamlessly interweaves character drama with political and social issues in an expertly written and compelling 16 episode series.
With good actors, a strong story that combines both episodic and serial chapters, and the prospect of a second season on the horizon, it is a really solid and well written Korean drama.
Even if you don’t know anything about baseball, this character-filled series does a great job of getting you into that world and understanding what’s going on.
36 – Outer cans
Outer Banks is one of those series that seems to work. He has the right dose of humour, a firm Famous Five/Goonies touch, and knows how to weave it all into a decent mystery that moves at a good pace.
The story itself revolves around the Outer Banks, an island inhabited by two different tribes. The dolls and dogs live according to the distribution of social classes and the poor dogs play with our four friends John B, JJ, Ciara and Pope who are on a mission to find the missing father of John B and a hidden treasure with 400 million gold bars.
The setting is quite simple and is completed by the mysterious and rich daughter Cook Sarah, who has a great group chemistry and a well-written novel that doesn’t derail the story.
All in all, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a piece of YA’s taste adventure.
35 – Save Me Too Season 2 Episode
Seventeen months after the end of last season, Save Me Too is a serious sequel, and although it did not quite reach the level of the first season, there is still enough to enjoy.
This time, Save Me Too tries to juggle two different stories Nelly has to deal with, and manages to spin these records all the way through, even if they start wobbling in the finals. The crux of the matter is what happened to Nellie’s daughter, Jody, but at the same time, a murder at the beginning of the trial is tormenting the community. It’s not surprising that all eyes are on Nellie, the main culprit.
Determined to find the truth, and immersed in the problems of Grace (the girl who rescued Nelly from the trailer in last season’s final), the series juggles these two plots until the last third, when the truth is revealed and Nelly’s true intentions come to light. It all leads to a somewhat far-fetched and ridiculous finale, but it’s still fun to watch.
34 – Outsiders Season 1
In the style of Stephen King, The Outsider shines with his characters. Each of the protagonists here has really coherent and well-written narrative arches, with Holly and Ralph sticking out between the other actors. Jack Hoskins is in a rather depressing downturn, both physically and mentally, while the other supporting characters have enough material to deepen the whole.
The basic principle revolves around the mourning monster and presents a series of characters who are consumed or chased by the same emotion. It’s a wonderfully twisted sense of irony, and The Outsider does an excellent job of recording that during the performance.
Although sometimes it’s a bit slow and the plot wanders unnecessarily through the middle of the episodes, there’s enough excitement and mystery to make a decent book adaptation.
33 – Chocolate
Chocolate is based on a heavy melodrama and the hard reality of love, which certainly doesn’t apply to everyone. There is not only sunshine and rainbows, and as we see through the eyes of our two leaders in this drama, the world around us is full of death and sorrow.
The basic principle revolves around the two main characters, Cha Young and Lee Kang. After we met her as a child, we saw Kang working as a neurosurgeon and hanging up her chef’s hat, while a dish that Kang had prepared for her as a child pushed her to become a productive cook herself.
As fate would have it, after the death of Min Sung, Kang’s best friend and Cha Young’s lover, the two characters find themselves together in a hospice.
In the course of the episodes, layers of bitterness and regret appear as they cling to their troubled relationship and instead focus on their shared love for food.
What makes chocolate so special is the depiction of this symbiotic relationship between man and food, which is beautifully illustrated by the various hospice residents at the centre of attention. These are easily the highlights of the show, and even if it takes a while to get to the good stuff, when the chocolate arrives, it will be a great recipe for success.
32 – Alien season 2
The Alienist returns with renewed vigour, 8 episodes of pacier, and a really well-written mystery. This year brings new faces and new characters. Alien brings the show to life and mixes things into an exciting drama in 8 episodes.
We go there a year after the events of the first season. Sarah Howard now runs a private detective agency with a strong team of women. Laszlo still works at the Institute, while John Moore works at the New York Times and is currently engaged to Violet Hayward (ironically, dressed in purple, Laszlo meets her for the first time).
This time Focus is really gonna sit down with Sarah Howard. In fact, it works surprisingly well, because the mystery takes place and it takes a woman’s flair to solve this difficult case. The case of the child’s abductor, on the other hand, is very delicate.
This second season will not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially now that Sarah Howard is at the centre of attention and outperforms her colleagues, but it remains well written and very entertaining.
31 – The Good Place Season 4
Whatever you think of the finals, The Good Place offers four seasons of finals that are as bittersweet and gripping as they are entertaining and humorous.
Although the series does not reach the same heights as the first two seasons, The Good Place still has enough gas in the tank to do a satisfactory victory lap.
The end of the season, as if you’ve come to the right place, depends entirely on how you reach the end, but one thing is certain: it’s unlikely that there will be such a sit-company again soon.
30 – Hello! Goodbye, Mommy!
Hi Bye, Mommy is an entertaining Korean drama that deals with very important and emotional topics. However, the series makes a small mistake regarding the number of characters it has to work with.
But what Hi Bye Mama does really well is tackling life’s great challenges with skill and gripping humanism. It shows us how different people deal with grief and also sends strong messages to the public, especially about the ephemerality of life and how we can make the most of our time on earth.
It may not be the best of the k-series, and some subtitles could have been more developed, but it’s an emotional series that will definitely touch you.
29 – Alice at the border
Alice in Borderland looks like a luminous and colourful patchwork of different series and films. There are elements from 28 days later, Sword Art Online, The Purge, Saw, and even a live anime.
On paper it looks like a recipe for disaster, because different influences pull in all directions and threaten to tear the seams. In fact, Alice in the Border Zone is a solid, well written, surprisingly decent piece of science fiction worth its weight in gold.
The principle is simple and revolves around the slogan of a group of children stuck in a strange world of alternative reality. In this dystopian and twisted world, deadly life and death games are played in exchange for playing cards called visas.
The numbers on each card correspond to the number of days you have left to live. The more cards you collect, the more you can live. With a possible game master pulling the strings, children are killed in quick succession, either by crossing their visa or by dying in the games. And the murder rate is extremely high.
It has just been renewed for a second season…. Alice in the Borderland is a delicious dark thriller worth watching.
28 – Hospital reading list
Among the many medical dramas, Hospital Playlist stands out for its natural and moving scenario. The way this Korean drama is interwoven with our five doctors and their colleagues and patients is very well done and partly explains why this Korean drama works so well.
While the first episodes can be a bit confusing because of the large number of secondary characters, you quickly get used to the fact that everyone is like that when they come into contact with our top five doctors.
The alchemy between the best friends is great and very naturally illustrates their warm friendship. There are many fun moments between them and throughout the season, and from their many lunches together to fun rehearsals, their connection is always there.
It may take some time, but once it’s set up, the hospital’s playlist is in place.
27 – Mystic Pop-up Bar
Based on the popular webcam Ssanggabpocha, Mystic Pop-up Bar is the first Wednesday/Thursday show to be aired by JTBC this year. With an original plot and a great alchemy between the actors, this Korean drama reaches all the right notes in terms of humour, tension and construction of the world.
It also deals with many important themes related to life and death and the consequences of our actions, which gives this series a good depth.
The story mainly revolves around Wol-Ju, who runs a mystical pop-up bar at night. Because of her actions in the past, she has been fined 100 000 euros, otherwise she will be sent to hell. She is also supported by her manager Guibanjang who is always by her side.
Over time, Weol-Ju becomes desperate and asks for help from Han Kang-Bae, who can make people reveal their secrets just by touching them. The story follows the trio as they help each other reach their destination while revealing deep secrets and revelations along the way.
Humorous, well written and very relevant, Mystic Pop Up Bar is undoubtedly one of the best dramas of the year.
26 – Quiz season
In 2001 Charles Ingram shocked the world when he won £1 million in ITV’s hitgame show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Given the question marks placed around the validity of his victory, and a plethora of scandals in the months that followed, Quizlet is a faithful adaptation of the cataloguing of what happened during this period, with three parts that play the role of beginning, middle and end of this story.
Was Charles Ingram really innocent here or did he use the coughing technique to his advantage? I think it’s a question of a million pounds and the question is whether we will ever find out the truth. Still, the quiz is worth watching and is one of the best mini-series ITV has published in some time.
25 – Livestock breeding season
Imagine an adult version of Zootopia, with an undercurrent of sex, violence and murder. This is a perfect illustration of the fact that Netflix has the latest anime offer Beastars. Divided into 12 hand-drawn animated episodes, Beasts is a well-written, surprisingly thoughtful series that addresses issues of sexism and racism in a seemingly organic way and uses the animal-dwelling world to represent a clear separation between carnivores and herbivores. However, all this is slowed down by the murder and a thick dose of Odunin intertwined with these social issues.
Much of the action in this first season takes place at Cherryton Academy, a fictional school that is shaken to its foundations when a Shadow Predator kills a llama named Tem. As the fighting intensifies and the battle lines are drawn between the two parties, a soft wolf named Legosi is at the centre of the conflict.
All this leads to several climatic episodes in which Haru’s life is at stake and secrets are revealed.
24 – Major candidate
The Great Pretender is a very, very big anime. The 14 episodes of this self-confident animation combine elements of Carmen Sandiego and Picasso’s rich surrealist style into a beautifully rendered series of flights.
Great Pretender is well written, has a nice rhythm, and is easily one of the most visually stunning anime to come out for some time. The different arches in the story let each character take the lead, and the flashbacks are consistent and mark the material on the screen.
If the second half loses some of the momentum that the first half had in abundance, it is not difficult to look back with such a satisfactory conclusion. It’s probably one of the best anime of the year.
23 – Its dark materials season 2
His Daark stuff was one of last year’s biggest surprises, and this year brings a nice continuation of the fantasy action. The gameplay and storytelling blend perfectly with the world it offers, making it an absolutely captivating and satisfying experience. The series is always in demand, and with only 7 episodes it is short, fast and concise entertainment.
This time the story revolves around the legendary Thin Knife, which could make all the difference in the upcoming war that will inevitably include the third season already lit by the green light.
With a well-written plot, a stunning finale and many memorable moments, his Dark Material is one of the best science fiction series coming out in 2020.
22 – Kairos
Shows that involve delays and time rewrites can either go terribly wrong or go perfectly. There’s really no middle ground. With a simple but effectively catchy plot, a cleverly written storyline and charming, balanced characters, Kairos is the best 2020 series you’ve probably never heard of.
Kairos is one of this year’s smartest science fiction writers, and it’s a pity more people don’t know that. The 16 episodes are always exciting, with moments of excitement and great twists and turns. All this makes this film one of the most satisfying conclusions of a drama released this year.
21 – SF8 Season 1
If there is one thing that Korean drama is incredibly good at, it is telling skilled and motivated stories. Following in the footsteps of Inside No. 9 and Black Mirror, the latest Korean SF8 scientific anthology is a worthy competitor in this field. The MBC series is clearly inspired by the two Western titles mentioned above, but combines them with authentic Korean sounds to create a truly unique experience.
There are 7 well written and challenging stories to choose from, skillfully covering a variety of genres. For example, in one episode the possibility of an AI satellite is investigated. The tone is a bit comical, but there is a more serious message about cars that drive themselves and their possible malfunctions. Elsewhere Prayer (our favourite) is about the dystopian idea of hierarchical robot nurses.
If he’s unlikely to reach King’s height: Eternal Monarch or My Love of the Star, here is an atmospheric and moody anthology worth watching.
20 – Small fires everywhere
Little Fires Everywhere is a show worth pursuing to the end. Hulu’s latest family drama will almost certainly be compared to Big Little Lies, and with Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon starring, it’s easy to see why.
With a gripping mystery, extensive commentary on class and race, and a dynamic power struggle that changes and evolves throughout the season, Little Fires Everywhere is a cleverly written drama and one of the best series of the year.
The story begins with an intriguing mystery. Elena Richardson and her family are watching the burning debris of their family home. Someone set it on fire, and all the fingers are pointing at Helena’s helpless youngest daughter, Izzy. But is it really his fault?
It is a fascinating family melodrama that beautifully stages his social themes in various episodes. It may not be perfect, but those little fires in the show turn into a real inferno in the end, and it’s definitely a show worth seeing.
19 – Season 2 of Mandalorian
Mandalorian is probably the closest thing to perfect video game adaptation on the small screen. The first season of The Mandalorian contains 6 episodes of pure Star Wars action.
This time, combined with new additions that fans will appreciate, it makes Mandalorian Star Wars one of the best Star Wars IPs since the original trilogy.
While the origin of the child has been researched and many good catches have been made, the Mandalorian continues to vibrate and satisfy itself to the same extent. With a third season already confirmed for 2021, this will certainly not be the last we will see of this shallow and refreshing jewel.
18 – London Gangs
Gangs of London is a two-part show. The first five episodes, brilliant, bloody and cruel, pave the way for an atmospheric, melodramatic and mythical plot that paves the way for the four more relaxed episodes that close the series.
It’s still good, but it’s not the tension on the edge of your chair like in the first half. It’s a pity, because the London Gangs are the strongest in the above actions. They are just one of the best on the small screen for some time – and certainly the best since 2020.
In its first five episodes, the series is a hedonistic cocktail of great action scenes set in the Wild West, while families fight for control of London. It is easy to ignore the artificial dialogue or the sometimes sketchy plot, so good is the action and the rhythm. This one’s worth looking at.
17 – Castlevania Season 3
Castlevania Castle is one of this year’s biggest surprises. Starting with the beautiful backgrounds and the slow building ground, the latest Netflix anime reminds us that hand-drawn animation is still popular and effective.
If you want a decent anime and a continuation of the good work done in previous seasons of Castlevania, these 10 episodes will certainly please. While some may regret the end of the cliffhanger and the decline of the mid-episode, the season as a whole is doing a fantastic job by elevating this franchise and standing proud on the podium of video game adaptations.
Castlevania is worth a look just for that, and if you’ve made it this far, you definitely want more blood from this series as the credits roll.
16 – extracurricular activities
Extracurricular is a clever little Korean drama. It is a film that presents itself as a simple high school drama, but quickly evolves into something much deeper and darker than what was originally presented. Extracurricular is a great dramaturgy that tackles incredibly taboo subjects with a dramatic and exciting story that gets crazier and crazier as the series progresses.
The story revolves around Ji Soo, a model student in the eyes of teachers and other students. He keeps quiet, has no friends and spends most of his days doing his acclimatization tests and going unnoticed. Behind this façade, however, lies the dark truth about Ji Soo’s personality, which is revealed in the first episode and which gets even worse when his proximity operation goes terribly wrong.
To pay his school fees, Ji Soo pretends to be his uncle and offers security for the girls performing. Among these girls is a high school student, Min-hee, and the incident she was involved in at a young age was the catalyst for what followed.
Extracurricular activities take all the usual tropes and clichés expected in a K-drama and throw them out the window and replace them with something that combines western and eastern influences. This is definitely one of the best dramas released this year.
15 – Royal season 2
Exciting, exciting and politically intriguing, the Kingdom is just a fantastic show where all the elements are almost perfectly attuned to each other. The first season was very successful in this respect and set very simple conceptual rules for our undead, and this time the series builds on that in the best possible way.
Kingdom drops everything in the second season, including the kitchen counter, and offers a chaotic, well-written and compelling nightmare journey in an attempt to save the kingdom from a cruel queen. With the return of Lee Chang at the helm, the Kingdom manages to do what few western owners have been able to do: make zombies a formidable threat again.
14 – King: Eternal Monarch
Series associated with time travel are always difficult to achieve. From intrigue to complicated legend, to stories full of deception and confusion, King: Eternal Monarch begins with a little confusion before he corrects himself and becomes something completely fascinating and very entertaining. Between the parallel worlds and the love story that unites them, this extremely popular Korean drama is supported by the return of Lee Min Ho, who adds a lot of charisma as leader of this science fiction series.
The story itself revolves around two parallel worlds: The Republic of Korea as we know it and the Kingdom of Korea. In Korea, the king is murdered by his uncle Lee Lim, while his son Lee Gong faces certain death. Fortunately, a mysterious masked figure comes towards him and saves him from his fate by making his way through the guards and forcing the man to flee. All that’s left is a woman’s ID card called Tae Eul.
From that moment on, the story calms down at a methodical pace, in which science fiction admirably blends with romance and mystery, only to culminate in a great dramatic success. These hours are definitely mandatory for 2020.
13 – Midnight Gospel
Midnight Gospel is a very clever, brilliant and challenging television piece that perfectly captures this juxtaposition of beauty and chaos. Something strange is going on, despite the dark tone, and while some will be put off by the format, others will see it as a work of pure genius.
At the centre of this madness is Clancy, an intergalactic traveller who spends his time interrogating various creatures with a defective multidimensional simulator. Although all episodes have a continuous storyline, interspersed with some recurring jokes, the episodes themselves are largely self-contained, each with a different theme or subject.
Finally, Midnight’s Gospel is a beautiful work of art and like some of the best works in the galleries, not everyone will like it – and that’s fine. For those who do, Netflix’s latest animated film can be one of the best series of the year, and it’s one of the few series that makes you think long after you’ve finished watching the film.
12 – Umbrella Academy Season 2
With 10 well-written episodes of Umbrella Academy, where our characters face a whole new apocalypse, we’ve added more spirit, more surprises and more action. However, there is also a constant sense of déjà vu when the Academy moves into familiar territory.
After the events of last year, the Umbrella Academy was resumed shortly after the group’s journey back in time. Fleeing from a meteorite that falls to earth, our six heroes became scattered in the years 1960-1963. At the beginning of the season, each of our heroes gets his own story curve, as the five jammers bring them all together and prevent another apocalypse from ruining the timeline again.
Despite some clichés about Vanya’s character and some slower episodes, the Netflix superhero series is still a winner and almost certainly leaves you desperate for a third season.
11 – What We Do in the Shadows Season 2 Episode.
Faithful to the pattern and playing with everything that made the first season great, What We Do In The Shadows returns for another ten episodes of comedy and a cohesive script that ends perfectly with a beautiful christening-like finale.
This time the story deals with some of the themes explored last season, but focuses on Guillermo’s broken relationship with Nandor as a vampire and well known. When Guillermo desperately wants to become a vampire and Nandor doesn’t want to change him, a fight breaks out between the two, causing problems in the house.
This conflict is exacerbated by the fact that Guillermo returns to his roots as a vampire hunter and tries in vain to break the family ties with Van Helsing. Of course, in the real way of the shadow, things are not as simple as they seem.
What We Do in the Shadows has been given the green light for the third season and has become one of the funniest comedies on television.
10 – The Boys Season 2
When the Boys came out on Amazon Prime last year, it completely changed the superhero game. The satirical tone fits well with the comic strip, and the abundance of violence, bitterness and strong characterisations have made it one of the most memorable representations in recent history. With the cliffhanger at the end the fans were eager to see what Season 2 had in store for us.
In fact, The Boys come back with a hell of an opening, which has all the elements that made the first season so exciting and that build on them as the season progresses. And not just that: The Boys tenfold the tension and drama with new actors.
The plot is well thought out, the characters are beautifully written and this fleeting cocktail seems to have the potential to explode at any moment. In the massacre that followed, one of the best shows of 2020 remained.
9 – Itaewon class
With multiple time leaps and lots of drama over 16 episodes, Itaewon Class is a solid series that maintains a constant level of intrigue and follows the evolution of time, ending with a perfectly written end that makes the journey interesting.
The story revolves around Se Ro-yi, a rebellious high school student, who is involved in a vendetta with a tyrant named Geun-won after the horrific death of his father. Thrown into anger and then imprisoned, Se Ro-yi is hostile to President Yang, but he is still determined to unite even if he has to sacrifice himself for it.
From racism and sexism to highlighting the role of transsexuals in Korean culture, the Itaewon class does not hesitate to address many controversial issues and treats them with respect. There is never a moment when these experiments seem to have been made up or invented out of nowhere; they are a perfect complement to the performance experience.
8 – unorthodox
Intuitive, well written and incredibly moving, Unorthodox is an example of how you can tell a simple story well and at the same time perfect every element of the production to perfection.
Told at three different time levels, the unorthodoxy revolves essentially around a young Jewish girl named Esther Shapiro (or Esty for her friends and family) fleeing an oppressive premarriage and her Manhattan community to start a new life in Berlin and find her estranged mother. On the way, Esti makes new friends, learning about love and passion as she returns to music; her only liberation from an otherwise suffocating life.
Based on the bestseller of the same name, Unorthodox performances combine with an inspiring story about femininity, faith and trust. With four episodes of about 50 minutes each, this tightly woven story is always a welcome change of pace and weaves it beautifully together with different themes in each episode into a coherent mini-series worth watching.
7 – I know it’s true.
Blood is thicker than water, and in the case of the Birdsey twins, this quote is seriously tested. In six episodes I Know It’s a Lot of Truth explores the tumultuous relationship between two brothers and presents major themes such as depression, sorrow and love. There are great juxtapositions throughout the drama, and the flashbacks work well to add more depth and discover what happened in the past to put these two brothers on the path they eventually chose.
The story begins with the introduction of our two main characters, Dominic and Thomas Birdseye. The series begins with a dark and shocking moment in the library where Thomas reads passages from the Bible and cuts off his hand.
This finally sets the tone and mood for what follows when Dominic fights the authorities to prevent his brother from being transferred to a safer and stricter psychiatric hospital.
This lays the foundation for this emotional story, but the underlying themes go further. The 6 episodes dissect the layers to reveal a very raw and emotional core, as evidenced by the luggage Dominic had with him all these years. For some it may be a bit slow, but the writing with the hieroglyphs is fantastic and the light work of Mark Ruffalo.
6 – Queen player
As Aristotle once said: No great spirit has ever existed without a touch of madness. This quote sums up Netflix’s beautiful new miniseries, The Queen’s Gambit. The Queen’s Gambit is a delightful mix of drama and history and combines the two genres in a fascinating story about a brilliant but disturbing young chess wonder.
Like the game of chess itself, each episode advances the story. We have followed the young orphan Elizabeth Harmon over the years as she participates in chess tournaments and tries to prove that she is the best in the world. On paper it is a simple story that is played over and over again in different media. Here Beth seems to have regained fresh legs, thanks to an equal wave of femininity and a tormented and tortured past that she has overcome.
The episodes unfold at a perfect pace, a lot of effort is put into making each character interesting, and the plot ends beautifully for a completely satisfactory conclusion. It is undoubtedly a must and one of the best since 2020.
5 – Evil flower
In a year that has already given us so much Korean content, it is not a bad thing to say that the Fleur du Mal is among the best. It is a romantic, dramatic and action-packed thriller that somehow combines all these genres without getting lost in its own complex plot.
The story itself unfolds as a mixture of procedural thriller and cat-and-mouse thriller. Baek Hee Seong is a man with a very dark past. Hee Seong seems to be happily married to Police Detective Ji Won, and her loving daughter Eun Ha gives her a semblance of normal life.
Only a series of unsolved murders suggest that Hee Seong is behind it. By assuming a false personality and the inability to feel emotions, it soon becomes clear that Hee Sung is not at all what he seems to be. Could he be responsible for these murders? Or is there something else at work here?
Giving much more would be to do the story a disservice, but suffice it to say that this is an essential thriller that you will want to follow to the end.
4 – Inside number 9 Season 5
In a year in which the BBC stumbled and got stuck, with the same mix of duds and hits, Inside No 9 stands out as a spark of hope. Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith deliver six episodes as usual and work together again for yet another great season of brilliant storylines.
Not only are these episodes well written, but they are undoubtedly among the best that this anthology has ever published and once again set the bar high for other fertile anthologies such as Black Mirror to strive for success.
From a multi-layered and twisted story about witches to a judge who is forced to make a terrible decision, there is a lot of variation within the relatively simple framework of each story. Like Inside No 9, the plots are never as simple as one might think, and the various twists and turns at the end are impeccable. This time, however, he is much more self-confident, as the duo plays several times during the season. It’s pure science fiction genius and a top position on that list.
3 – Normal persons
Normal People is a simple drama that revolves around two normal people trying to find love. It is not necessarily the original concept, but the place where normal people excel in execution.
Divided into 12 episodes of about 30 minutes each, Normal follows the trials and tribulations of Irish teenagers Marianne and Connell as they navigate life and try to find romance. It is a beautiful, realistic and sometimes incredibly moving series that makes the most of the limited time to create a breathtaking drama.
2 – Season 3 of darkness
The original German Netflix series Dark is different from all other TV series. With a complex knot of timelines, pedigrees and multilayer calendars, Dark’s first season on the streaming platform in 2017 slipped and only got stronger over time.
Last year’s second season was almost perfect, and the intensity of some of these episodes, coupled with the additional delays, gave Dark a much more complex appearance, and the whole ended with a powerful cliffhanger.
With this cliffhanger comes a third and final season that not only completes things satisfactorily, but does so with enough subtlety and drama to be one of the best time travel series of 2020 and easily one of the best time travel series ever made.
There is a lot of symbolism, depth and discussion that point to a dissection, but suffice it to say that Dark ensures that it ends with a triumphant roar to deliver a phenomenal performance on the small screen that will be difficult to surpass in the future.
1 – The shock hits you
Who would have thought that an innocent paragliding incident would cause such a stir in the world of K-drama? Crash Landing On You has been praised by many as the crown jewel of 2020 – and not for nothing.
It was probably the Gateway Drama that attracted a whole new audience to learn about the Korean drama, thanks in part to Netflix’s new series with international contracts.
Crash Landing On You effortlessly combines romance, action and comedy into a heady cocktail of fun.
The main character is Se Ri, a wealthy South Korean who is in a strange country with strange people. As she learns more about the North Koreans she lives with, she gets caught up in a dangerous game of cat and mouse and tries desperately to return home.
There is a remarkable overlap between North and South Korean values, with the second part of the show messing everything up. This paves the way for one of the smartest comedies and the most heartbreaking sadness to appear on the small screen in 2020.
Crash Landing On You contains all the twists and turns that will leave you speechless, in tears or joy – or even all three at once! Crash Landing is our choice for the best television show of 2020.
So here are our choices for the Top 40 TV shows of 2020. There have been some memorable successes, there have been strong succession seasons and there is a lot of international competition for IP superiority. In the end, Crash Landing On You was a show that stole our hearts and voices. She delivered a sensational piece of Korean drama that, like no other series on this list, managed to break the mainstream and win over the international audience.
With new series on the horizon, we really are in the golden age of television and as always, our team in TheReviewGeek will be there every step of the way to celebrate the best and ruin the worst.
Thank you all for your support and feedback throughout the year. The year 2020 has been an extraordinary year for television; a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise gloomy year for many people.
Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite show of the year? Let us know in the comments below!
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