December 25th, 2020 | Updated on February 16th, 2021
From ‘Never Have I Ever’ to ‘Family Reunion’, scroll below as we share the most loved TV shows of 2020, and that actually helped us helped us get through one of the most difficult years of recent times.
1. The Good Place
The Good Place is a town where those who have been good throughout their lives go once they have passed away. Michael (Danson) is the architect who oversees the town–and this is the first one he has been in charge of creating. Eleanor (Bell) arrives at the Good Place and realizes they have her name right, but everything else is wrong. She isn’t meant to be there at all. With the help of Chidi, her soul mate (Harper), Eleanor tries to right her wrongs, seeking to finally earn her spot in the Good Place.
Review: The Guardian
If there’s one thing that hit Netflix show The Good Place is absolutely, definitely not about, it’s The State of the World Today. Intentionally, anyway. For one thing, this feelgood sitcom isn’t even set in our world, but in a non-denominational afterlife you might call “Heaven”. This is the Good Place of the title, where Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) finds herself in the show’s opening episode and soon concludes she’s been sent in error.
2. The Leftovers
Three years after the disappearance of two percent of the global population, a group of people in a small New York community try to continue their lives while coping with the tragedy of the unexplained nature of the event.
Not just a career change actually. A whole life change. I thought about moving to the middle of nowhere and becoming a farmer or something. I couldn’t imagine a way forward for television, the medium I love so much, after watching that finale. It was so good, so note-perfect, so everything I want in a show. TV was done! Something else would have to fill the gap.
3. Never Have I Ever
The complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl, inspired by Mindy Kaling’s own childhood.
Review: New Yorker
As the new Netflix coming-of-age series “Never Have I Ever” begins, its fifteen-year-old heroine, Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), before heading off to her first day of sophomore year in high school, kneels in front of her household’s shrine. “Hey, gods,” she says, hands folded in prayer. “It’s Devi V., your favorite Hindu girl in the San Fernando Valley. What’s poppin’?” She’s wearing a cute, casual outfit and is in a tidy middle-class bedroom.
4. Phineas and Ferb
Phineas Flynn (Vincent Martella) and Ferb Fletcher’s (Thomas Brodie-Sangster’s) backyard is the neighborhood hotspot for all of their cool inventions. Meanwhile, their elder sister Candace (Ashley Tisdale) is obsessed with busting her brothers for all the inventions to her mom once and for all. Simultaneously, their secret-agent pet, Perry the Platypus (Dee Bradley Baker) fouls the “evil” schemes and plans of Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (Dan Povenmire).
Review: The New York Times
The series, created by veterans of “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons,” includes a couple of parents (voices provided by a superb Caroline Rhea and Richard O’Brien), three children and a pet platypus that disappears frequently to fight Dr. Doofenshmirtz, a mad-scientist caricature, and save the world.
5. The Sopranos
An innovative look at the life of fictional Mafia Capo Tony Soprano, this serial is presented largely first person, but additional perspective is conveyed by the intimate conversations Tony has with his psychotherapist. We see Tony at work, at home, and in therapy. Moments of black comedy intersperse this aggressive, adult drama, with adult language, and extreme violence.
The Sopranos is universally thought of as one of the best tv shows of all-time and is at the top of every “best ever” list ever created for a reason…because it is! There’s nothing I can say about this incredible tv show that hasn’t already been said. All you have to do is read through the reviews to see how loved this show really is. It’s absolutely perfect!
6. Julie and the Phantoms
Julie is a teenage girl who finds her passion for music and life with the help of a high -concept band of teen boys (The Phantoms) who have been dead for 25 years. Julie, in turn, helps them become the band they were never able to be.
Review: The Guardian
show for young teenagers that all the family can – genuinely – enjoy together. It must be the trickiest proposition in television. An overly sanitised depiction of this troubled time of life will fool no one, but lean too heavily on the sex, drugs ’n’ social media and you will fall foul of parental veto and probably be too cringe-making to comfortably watch together on the sofa, anyway (see HBO’s Euphoria).
7. Gilmore Girls
Thirty-two year old single mom, Lorelai, lives with her teenage daughter Rory in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, with crazy neighbors and many ups and downs.
Review: The Guardian
It’s hard to think of a less transgressive TV show than Gilmore Girls, the gentle comedy-drama about garrulous single mum and inn-keeper Lorelai, her bookworm daughter Rory and their lives in sleepy Stars Hollow. But during its original run, between 2000 and 2007, it felt refreshing, even daring: in an era of moody prestige dramas dominated by dark, difficult male leads, it centred around two witty, well-adjusted women who actually liked each other.
8. New Girl
After a bad break-up, Jess, an offbeat young woman, moves into an apartment loft with three single men. Although they find her behavior very unusual, the men support her – most of the time.
From the first episode, I found New Girl to be my favourite new series. The premise of the show, a girl living with 3 guys and hilarity ensues, is not the most original, nor the most realistic. But I find the characters to be intriguing, so that I keep wanting to return to see what happens next.
Dre Johnson (Anthony Anderson) has it all – a great job, beautiful wife Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids and a big home in a classy neighbourhood – but as a black man, he begins to question whether all his success has brought too much cultural assimilation for his family. With the help of his father (special guest star Laurence Fishburne), Dre begins to try to create a sense of ethnic identity for the members of his family that will allow them to honour their background while preparing them to embrace the future.
I am writing this review because I find it utterly unbelievable that people take Black-ish literally. The show is obviously satirical. It’s making fun of the idea that society believes that there is a certain connotation to blackness or, put simply, certain behaviors and beliefs are considered “black”. As an upper class black individual who lives in a white neighborhood, I get it. Because of the color of my skin, I’m supposed to “act black” and black friends find it weird that I “talk white”.
10. The Good Lord Bird
Ethan Hawke stars as abolitionist John Brown in this limited series based on the National Book Award-winning novel. The story is told from the point of view of “Onion,” a fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of Brown’s motley family of abolitionist soldiers battling slavery in Kansas, and eventually finds himself in the famous 1859 Army depot raid at Harpers Ferry, an inciting incident of the Civil War. It’s a humorous and dramatic tale of Antebellum America and the ever-changing roles of race, religion and gender in American society.
Review: The Guardian
Considering the subject matter, viewers who aren’t familiar with the 2013 James McBride novel The Good Lord Bird could be forgiven for expecting a sombre tone from this adaptation, airing on Sky Atlantic. The story follows the last years of the American abolitionist John Brown, whose raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859 – an attempt to initiate a slave revolt – is widely believed to have been the prelude to the American civil war.
11. Cable Girls
Four young women living in Madrid work for the only telephone company that exists in the Iberian peninsula in 1920 and learn to navigate through such a progressive workplace, as well as their love lives.
To those complaining about the English voice overs, you can change the settings. Netflix allows you to watch dubbed versions and/or captions in multiple languages, so you change it to Spanish with English subtitles if it bothers you so much. The options are already provided.
A group of ambitious misfits try to escape the harsh realities of high school by joining a glee club headed by a passionate Spanish teacher.
Review: Rolling Stone
Glee was never a show about a campus choir. It was a never a teen melodrama where the competitions mattered in spite of how specifically folks explained or agonized over the rules. It was never about high school, really.
American boy Rob gets Irish girl Sharon pregnant while they hook up for a week while on a business trip to London.
This is the funniest sitcom I have seen in years! Growing up around the New York area and being a huge fan Seinfeld, is maybe why I love this, but I love this even more! I couldn’t stop laughing watching this on a British Airways flight coming back to the US from London.
14. Family Reunion
When the McKellan family moves from Seattle to Georgia to be closer to extended family, the transition is like being a catfish out of water. From three-hour church services and huge humidity hair to M’Dear’s home cooking and family bonding, the everyday ups and downs of Family Reunion are real, memorable, toe tapping, heart stopping, laugh out loud authentic moments.
Review: Daily Dot
In recent months, Netflix has made it clear that its commitment to pushing social and political boundaries only extends as far as its profit margins. This indifference and even outright distaste for political art is evident in the streaming service’s new multi-cam sitcom Family Reunion.
15. Love Island
Ten singles come to stay in a villa for a few weeks and have to couple up with one another. Over the course of those weeks, they face the public vote and might be eliminated from the show. Other islanders join and try to break up the couples. Sometimes love blossoms, but sometimes all the couples do is fight. Will it be love, friendship or hate?
Reality TV is trash but this show is the worst of them all. Seriously cringey to watch, whose dumb idea was it to broadcast excrement like this?! I’ll be frank, you might as well get tied up to a chair and be forced to watch a pile of food scraps slowing rotting away because that’s exactly what it feels like watching this show
16. The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula
The Boulet Brothers host a competition of drag performers who don’t just push the envelope – they chew it up and spit it out. With themes like Zombie and challenges like being buried alive, this ain’t your momma’s drag competition.
This show, which has its roots in the Boulet Brothers’ live club circuit horror drag shows, is a refreshing binge. I don’t actually like horror, and slash movies freak me out. I’m a huge fan of (the now mainstream) Rupaul’s Drag Race – I can literally quote every line, but after 9 seasons of over production I was very ready for something new. Especially because in my hometown drag is way more creative. Where are the bearded queens?
17. The Real Housewives of Potomac
We follow the lives of 6 women residents of Potomac, Maryland, each in various stages of life and affluence, shaping their community and their lives.
Review: Hollywood Reporter
I’m by no means an expert on the Real Housewives franchise. But I have to believe that an argument about where someone sits at a birthday dinner is scraping the bottom of the wineglass as far as plot points go.
18. Fuller House
Fuller House is a spin-off series based on the hit ABC family sitcom Full House (1987-95) created and executive produced by Jeff Franklin for Netflix. D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron-Bure) is a recently widowed mom to a 13-year-old named Jackson (Michael Campion), 7-year-old named Max (Elias Harger), and a newborn son named Tommy.
This may sound silly but the lameness and nostalgia of this show make my laugh and smile. I genuinely feel happy when i watch it and it helps me relax. The new kids also do a great job. Great after a bad day this show. Credit to everyone, as this is a hard task to brighten peoples days.
19. Parks and Recreation
Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in an Indiana Parks and Recreation Department, hopes to beautify her town (and boost her own career) by helping local nurse Ann Perkins turn an abandoned construction site into a community park. However, what should be a fairly simple project is stymied at every turn by oafish bureaucrats, selfish neighbors, governmental red tape, and a myriad of other challenges.
Once you get into this one you can’t stop. So be aware of what you are doing. 125 episodes are ahead. I am at number 27 and still laughing every episode. Although this series is set in a local government scenario, many things are painfully recognizable from other office environments. For lovers of mockumentary-style entertainment this is a must see.
20. Queer Eye
More than a decade after the original series went off the air, Netflix reboots the “Queer Eye” franchise with a new Fab Five and a new setting, trading in the concrete jungle of New York City for communities in and around Atlanta. The style experts forge relationships with men and women who often have different beliefs from them, leading to moments of social commentary interspersed with style advice.
Review: The Guardian
Can it really be that Queer Eye (Netflix) is on to its fifth season already? After a brief trip to Japan, the Fab Five have gone back to basics, although any notion that the whole-life-makeover experience they bring to deserving strangers is something basic really does their work a disservice. This is a deep dive into finding out who people are and what they need, and it is always as moving as it is entertaining.