It looks like 2021 has started out much the same as how 2020 ended – with me sat on the sofa, drinking tea, and binge watching TV series. If this is to be my future, well, I’m not going to complain too much – as long as great TV keeps getting thrown my way.
Don’t get me wrong, not being able to travel much this past year has been an absolute ball ache, but finding escapism elsewhere hasn’t been all that difficult – and with movies dropping like flies as the months progressed – that’s generally come in the form of Netflix.
Streaming services were one of the only constants throughout 2020 – which I took full advantage of. It’s meant that I’ve seen a lot more on the small screen than I usually would, and whilst some of that has been utter dribble, I’ve also watched some absolute gems too.
A few have had me in stitches, and some on the edge of my seat, but ultimately, all have given me a well needed respite from what’s been a pretty crappy year, and I’m super grateful for that, so here are my favourites.
10 BEST NEW TV SERIES OF 2020
Two Weeks to Live
This comedy-thriller wasn’t really on my radar when it got released by Sky – it stars Maisie Williams who played Arya in Game of Thrones, and I think the sour taste of Season 8 still lingered in my mouth a bit. We gave it a go on a whim expecting little, and it became one of my stand outs in 2020. The show has some serious ‘End of the F**king world’ vibes, but with slightly more likable characters, and since it’s set in Northern England, some bloody gorgeous scenery too. It was also surprisingly funny, and a little dark, making it a rather refreshing watch.
It feels like a lifetime ago since I watched this show back in January. Based on the 2015 novel by Harlan Cohen – the author who also created Safe, which premiered on Netflix in 2018 – The Stranger is about a blackmailer who threatens to reveal your darkest secrets to the one’s you love. As the series progresses you find out that nearly ever single person harbours some dark, life altering secret, and as unbelieveable as it can be at times, it doesn’t half keep you hooked. Richard Armitage’s portrayal of Adam Price was also a bonus.
Upload was a lighthearted, easy watch to break up the year – written by the guy who created Parks and Rec, if that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. The show is set in 2033, which looks surprisingly like now, only with this crazy way to upload your consciousness to a virtual afterlife once you die. Nathan, played by Robbie Amell, was lots of fun to watch, and his chemistry with ‘angel’ – Nora – had me rooting for them instantly. It reminded me of a slightly more realistic, but ultimately less magical, Good Place – minus Ted Danson.
I Am Not Okay With This
Jess and I put off watching this series for quite some time because I just couldn’t get my head around the concept – is it a sci-fi, is it a rom-com? Ultimately, I’m still not entirely sure, but that doesn’t actually matter because it takes the best parts of every genre and balls it up into one show. Wyatt Oleff made this for me. I didn’t really care about him in IT, but I couldn’t take my eyes off him this time around. He was awkward but charming, and everyone else was just along for the ride. He ended up overshadowing Sophia Lillis’ lead role.
Gangs of London
With another Game of Thrones allum, Michelle Fairley, taking the reigns of this show, along side Joe Cole who appeared as John Shelby in Peaky Blinders, I knew Gangs of London was not something I wanted to miss. And whilst I am not fully versed on gang culture, it was a really fascinating watch – never a dull moment. It was also very easy to relate to the characters even though you’d probably never find yourself in their situation. Very good casting there.
When I first saw this series advertised, I presumed it was going to be a serious tale about Catherine the Great – one I would probably not be all that interested in if truth be told – but it’s a comedy through and through, that has had me in stitches more then any other show I’ve watched this year. And what would you expect from Tony McNamara – the mind behind The Favourite. He’s taken his passion for satirical history, and moulded it with the charm of Nicholas Hoult and wit of Elle Fanning, to create a hilarious watch I’m not ashamed to say I’m addicted to.
I heard very mixed reviews of this series when it was first released at the back end of 2020, some almost saying it was too diverse to be historicaly accurate. And to you I say this; pish posh. Bridgerton is a fictional drama based on Julia Quinn’s novel about two well-to-do families who’s daughters are in search of husbands. It is not fact. If I could compare it to anything it would be Pride and Prejudice meets Reign, with just enough historical accuracy to make it somewhat believable, but who’s real charm lies in the relationships that form between characters.
Never Have I Ever
As soon as I found out this series was created by Mindy Kaling, I knew I would love it – and was not wrong. It’s loseley based on Kaling’s childhood in Boston, and whilst it heavily focuses on her Indian upbringing, it rather surprisingly filled me with many flashbacks from my own childhood that I’d rather eagerly forgotten. But that wasn’t a bad thing. It’s nice to be reminded of where you started and how far you’ve come as a person – ocasionaly. It was a refreshingly funny watch and I’m looking forward to seeing the next season.
The Queen’s Gambit
The Queens Gambit is a coming of age story following the life of Beth Harmon, who goes from orphan, to chess prodigy, to stone cold fox – and she is addictive. Anya Taylor-Joy had me searching IMDB for everything she’s ever been in after watching the very first episode. She was made for the role, and the way she portrays such a complex character is mesmerising. I never imagined I’d have so much fun watching a TV series about chess. And don’t get me started on how visually stunning the show is. If someone could buy me Beth’s entire wardrobe, I would be eternally grateful.
Dash and Lily
Christmas movies can be very hit and miss, and I actually expected Dash and Lily to be a miss, especially since it follows the lives of two young teenagers – which I am far from a being myself. But it became the perfect escape I needed when the thought of not being able to do anything special over Christmas became a reality. The story was original and heartwarming, and both lead characters were well developed and lovable. What I enjoyed most was getting to explore New York over the festive period, as the show followed the duos around the entire city.
Did you watch many new TV series in 2020? Which were your favourites – should I add any to my list? Have you seen any of my picks at all? Let me know below..
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