Streaming services ruled in 2020. Here are our picks for the best shows!
Marcus Orchard – Ted Lasso
When it comes to tv, comedy is always my go-to. This was especially so in 2020 when every dose of laughter is just the medicine that I needed. Ted Lasso is a fantastic comedy series that is as wholesome as it is hilarious. The first few episodes are nothing but raw humor, but as the characters get to know Ted Lasso (Played by Jason Sudeikis), they will fall in love with the character and all of the heart that he brings to the show. Any casual sports fan owes it to themselves to pick up this series.
Alexander Cole – The Masked Singer (British version)
I normally hate talent shows. They’re usually decided by who has the best sob story more than by what talent they have. “The Masked Singer”, based on a Korean show known as “King of Mask Singer” is a rare exception. The concept is a number of anonymous celebrities perform musical numbers wearing outfits that make them look like Power Rangers villains. At least one is eliminated in each episode based on the strength of their performance and forced to unmask. It’s a talent show based on simple fun. I’ve enjoyed it since the British version of the show debuted in January and I’m actually looking forward to the next season. Granted, that’s because the always slappable Ken Jeong isn’t in the next season but still. Definitely a good show if you’re into music and guessing games with your family.
Brandon Carlisle – Better Call Saul Season 5
Better Call Saul is the spinoff of acclaimed TV drama Breaking Bad. With its fifth season airing earlier this year, Better Call Saul has now had as many seasons as its predecessor, with one more season on the way. The show seems to get better every season, and Season 5 is no exception. The stakes are being raised, storylines are merging, and it features one of the tensest scenes out of any Breaking Bad content.
Honorable Mention: Kidding
Kila Panaretou – The Umbrella Academy Season 2
Seconds seasons often don’t manage to keep the spirit and excitement of the first season. The second season of Umbrella Academy isn’t like it’s first – it’s better. Picking up with the group of misfit superheroes all separated in 1960s America, this is actually a wise move to shift the setting so radically. Each character gets a chance for their own time to shine, to develop and the series is better for it. The cast is phenomenal and really seems to find their feet in this season. Ultimately, there’s a lot to love here – from the zany escapades, the charming characters, and the soundtrack. Roll on Season 3!
Honorable Mentions: Queen’s Gambit, Castlevania Season 3
Ryan Easby- Stargirl
I absolutely adored Stargirl. I’m a huge DC fan, more so than Marvel, something which is very obvious to anybody who knows me, and Stargirl is the pure essence of classic golden age comics combined with the weight and the emotional pathos found in later comics. The entire cast is pitch-perfect to a tee, with Brec Bassinger being an amazing choice to play Courtney Whitmore. I could gush about the entire cast, to be honest, and I loved seeing a live action Wildcat, Hourman, and Doctor Midnite. Season 2 honestly can’t come quick enough.
Ethan Maddux – The Mandalorian Season 2
Listen, The Mandalorian is my favorite show. Everything about it seems so specifically tailored to my tastes that I sometimes wonder if what I’m watching is real. It’s episodes are largely self-contained, though this season’s central narrative is a bit more prominent, but even that narrative is essentially a device to transport us around the galaxy to watch cool stuff happen. This season also features more heavy Star Wars-y fan-service which is going to work insanely well for those who have always wanted that, and will work less for those who appreciated the relative disconnectedness of the first season. The actual end goal is almost irrelevant to my enjoyment of the show, and I really just look forward to meeting some weird new character or watch Mando shoot his cool guns. I’m a simple man, and this is a simple show.
Honorable Mentions: Ted Lasso, What We Do In The Shadows
Greg Mysogland- Homeland Season 8
Throughout its almost decade-long run, Showtime’s Homeland wasn’t always able to consistently tell the emotionally complex stories of war that initially made it such a critical darling when it first came out but its last couple seasons returned to a similar level of consistent greatness and the series came to a spectacular end with its eighth and final season early this year. After months of being held captive by the Russian government and even more of recovery, bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) undertakes one last mission with higher stakes than ever. When Carrie returns to Afghanistan to negotiate for the end of America’s war with the Taliban she and her mentor, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) must grapple with their complicated legacies and try to make all their sacrifices and sins mean something, while Carrie’s struggle to overcome past traumas forces her to question her loyalty and sanity. With plenty of bold narrative choices and shocking twists, the final season is must-watch television that effectively questions the morality of various aspects of the War on Terror, with Danes’ masterful performance elevating strong writing to give Carrie the farewell she deserved.
Honorable Mentions: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Lucifer.