These were the best 10 TV shows of 2020

Thank God for TV.

In a year of brutal blockade, when we were deprived of many entertainment options, television became a reliable quarantine companion, helping to distract us and dull the darkness.

At least when we weren’t watching the news.

Yes, production was interrupted, but fortunately there was a lot of great stuff in the pipeline. In fact, we had a hard time deciding on only 10 outstanding shows in the year-end rankings. But anyway, power through (what else did you need to do?) And introduce you to the top script series for 2020.

1. “Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)

Chess drama series? seriously? Sounds like a tranquilizer on TV. Of course, this 1950s-60s story about a rounded orphan (Magnetic Anya Taylor-Joy) struggling with addiction and attacking the path to world chess domination is more than a board game. Adapted from Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel, it explores the cost of attachment, community implications, and the stupidity of sexist assumptions, wrapped in gorgeous outfits and visual glare. And yes, it somehow makes the chess feel absolutely gripping, even a kind of sexy. Checkmate.

“Ordinary People” Daisy Edgar Jones and Paul Mescal. (Hulu)

2. “Ordinary People” (Hulu)

Due to its delicate structure, sparse behavior, and great reliance on internal dialogue, Sally Rooney’s acclaimed novel about romance among Irish alumni is easy on the screen. Could not translate. However, directors Lenny Abrahamson and Hetty McDonald worked with Looney to create a gentle and intimate miniseries about young love and all its annoying complications. Of course, the leading actors Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal helped exude a fascinating kind of chemistry. Even if they hurt our hearts, we couldn’t take our eyes off them.

Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk from “Better Call Saul”. (AMC)

3. “Better Call Saul” (AMC)

In 2015, we were one of those who questioned the need for the first part of “Breaking Bad.” Why run the risk of damaging the legacy of one of the biggest dramas on television? Now, after the sensational fifth season (second to last), some fans and critics claim that “Sole” outperformed its predecessor. We’re not ready to keep up with the times, but we’re still amazed by the show’s nimble plots, unpredictable twists, and the tragic and amazing performances of Bob Odenkirk and Rare Seahorn. All of that further bites the lack of love at this year’s Emmy Awards.

Maya Erskine and Anna Conkle from “Pen 15”. (Hulu)

4. “Pen 15” (Hulu)

In Season 2 of this cleverly observed and fun off-quilter comedy, it’s actually two adult women (Maya Erskine and Anna Conkle) playing as junior high school nerds in the era of blockbuster video. It’s easier to forget. Spice Girls and AOL. It proves how deeply they are digging into their role. The show also made us laugh (and wrinkled) with all the stupid awkwardness of adolescence. But it also caused heartaches like lumps in the throat when dealing with rejections, identity turmoil, divorces, and tensions in girl friendship.

“I may destroy you,” Michaela Coel. (HBO)

5. “I may destroy you” (HBO)

This enchanting London-based drama follows the young writer Arabella (brilliant Michaela Coel). Arabella noticed that she had been sexually assaulted after spiked a drink on a night of delight in the city. It can be difficult to see as Arabella struggles to stitch together exactly what happened, deal with trauma, and rebuild her life. However, Coel’s incredibly powerful performance continues to captivate viewers, along with narrative gymnastics and unexpected playful humor. And the series gets better with each episode.

“Mrs. America.” (FX) as Cate Blanchett and Phyllis Schlafly

6. “Mrs. America” ​​(Hulu FX)

Take a look at important history lessons that don’t feel like homework. Great Cate Blanchett as a conservative fire brand Philis Shrafley is Rose Burn (Gloria Steinem), Uzo Aduba (Shirley Chisholm), Margo Martindale (Bella Abtoug), Tracey Leading a mini-series that skillfully crafted a dream team of actresses such as Ullmann (Betty Friedan) about the fierce battle to ratify the 1970s Equality Constitutional Amendment (ERA). Through the eyes of these activists, we relived the highly polarized cultural wars of their time and once again remembered how much has changed and how much has not changed.

Emma Colin as Princess Diana of “The Crown”. (Netflix)

7. “The Crown” (Netflix)

After experiencing Season 4 of the moody British royal drama, don’t blame Prince Harry and Megan Markle for the high tail from Buckingham Palace. The introduction of Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) and young Diana Spencer (Emma Colin) brought new energy to the series, but showed how nightmares and dysfunctional lives within the monarchy could be. It was. Seeing Diana and Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) in a turbulent marriage sometimes felt like a guilty voyeur, but not as guilty as hitting the remote control.

The Emmy Award-winning cast of “Schitt’s Creek”. (Pop TV)

8. “Schitt’s Creek” (Pop TV)

This cheerful and heartwarming Canadian import is our automatic whenever someone asks us to recommend a refreshing and binge-watching show to captivate all the darkness of 2020. It was a rope of recourse. In its final season, the series featured the formerly wealthy Rose family: dad Johnny (Eugene Levy), mom Moira (Catherine O’Hara), son David (Daniel Levy), and daughter Alexis (Annie Levy). Murphy) has created a satisfying and hopeful farewell arc. .. Then came the highest glory. Following the pitch perfect and foggy eye finale, the historic Emmy Awards were wiped out.

Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning from “The Great”. (Hulu)

9. “The Great” (Hulu)

The facts are terrible. The satire of this burned “hurray” era rarely sticks to historical accuracy, instead with dark humor and heartfelt tales of the arrival of the era of Russian Empress Catherine II. I ask for a big laugh. Elle Fanning excels as a power-hungry young royal family, stripping off the sunny Naivete and realizing that the person in charge is Moron. And Nicholas Hoult pays for the comedy by acting her husband, Peter, as a cold and stimulating fraternity boy who is prone to shocking and intense tantrums.

Chris Rock plays a gangster in “Fargo”. (FX)

10. “Fargo” (FX)

So what if Noah Hawley’s Midwestern Crime Anthology 4th Edition wasn’t fully measured until those stunning early years? What is it? This story about the 1950 fight against a criminal family in Kansas City sometimes feels cluttered, but it still makes it an incredibly fascinating television. After all, it’s a kick to see Chris Rock make dramatic changes like a gangster and Jessie Buckley steals the scene as a dubious nurse. Ultimately, all the respected “Fargo” trademarks-visual vibrancy, quirky rhythms, ominous plots, and stunning twists-remain.

Contact Chuck Barney at cbarney@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him on Twitter.com/chuckbarney and Facebook.com/bayareanewsgroup.chuckbarney.

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