Hey Everyone! I know many of my articles of the last few months were on the, let’s just say “I’m Sad A Lot Now” side. So thank you to anyone who took the time to read what this gal had to say. Also, my many thanks to those who have been tuning into my weekly column series about all things in pop culture on my blog. As you can tell by the title, I will be talking about TV today. More specifically, my favorite TV shows of the year.
For a moment, I thought maybe this year I would skip writing about my favorite TV shows of the year. But I thought more about it and decided I must. For the last two years I’ve written about my favorite TV shows of the year, and so I decided I couldn’t let this bizarre year that was 2020 put me off track from a TV tradition on my blog.
I love TV, but this year I didn’t watch as much TV as in past years. Some might say that’s a good thing, but for me I tend to want to watch TV when I’m in a good mood vs a depressed mood. So, in that sense, watching less TV was actually not a great thing for me. But anyways, despite not watching as much television this year, I still did watch more television than most. So, without any further ado, the best TV Shows of 2020!
#10. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)
Imagine living in a world where instead of someone speaking to you they sing. Well, that’s the world Zoey currently finds herself living in. Zoey likes to live her life in a somewhat predictable manner. She prefers a quiet life vs one with surprises. Then one random day as she is walking outside her life takes an unexpected turn. As she is walking outside those around her all start to sing. What gets weirder is that this odd occurrence of others randomly breaking out into song instead of speaking to her continues time and time again. Days, weeks, and months go by, and Zoey continues to live in a world where a musical number is just one conversation away. Zoey is confused, frustrated, and puzzled by this. But after some time, she finds herself letting go and no longer caring why this is happening. Instead of wondering why, Zoey begins to think that maybe living in a world with singing instead of speaking on occasion isn’t so bad after all.
This new NBC series was one of the best new series to premiere on network television this year. The series has a very Eli Stone (now cancelled ABC series from 2008) feel to it. Both series deal with health issues along with the lead character being the only one to see others around them sing out of nowhere. Despite the two series having some similarities, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist still feels new.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a great new show about family, friends, and how life can be unpredictable. Zoey doesn’t understand or know why this odd occurrence of hearing others around her break out into song is happening to her, but after some time she realizes what they are singing to her is how they are feeling inside. Despite her confusion for why she is experiencing this, Zoey tries to see it as a gift. Maybe she can help those around her who are singing to her. Sometimes when someone needs someone to talk to they don’t always seek that help. Around Zoey though, what someone is thinking and feeling comes out in song without the person even realizing it. Zoey sees that maybe there is a reason for all of this happening to her. Maybe her purpose in all of this is to recognize when someone is in need of help and to help them.
#9. Katy Keene (CW)
Katy Keene premiered on the CW this year as a spin-off of Riverdale. Although, besides a few character crossovers, the two shows don’t have much in common other than both shows come from the world of Archie comics. So, let’s say you don’t care much for the show Riverdale (although, Riverdale is very much a TV favorite for this TV Nerd) that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t like the show Katy Keene.
The show follows Katy and her friends as they all try to make their dreams come true in NYC. All the characters in this series are very ambitious, and all have dreams of having a career in the fashion or entertainment industry.
What I loved so much about this series was the fashion, the friendships, the Broadway actors who made appearances on the show, and the musical numbers. I really liked this show, but at times, I must say, the show did feel a bit uneven. The show may not have had a perfect first season, but there was definitely potential in the series. Despite the show feeling unbalanced at times throughout its first season, this was still a really great new series on television this year. Unfortunately though, the CW decided not to renew the series for another season.
Despite its cancellation, Katy Keene is still a show worth watching. Because it’s a show about never giving up on yourself. It’s a show about how life can be incredibly difficult at times, but how there can still be happiness and hope in your life again after those hard times. It’s a show about how wonderful friendship is. It’s a show about being true to yourself. And it’s a show that proves singing Broadway show tunes will never go out of style.
#8. The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
After its premiere on Netflix in the Fall of 2020, The Queen’s Gambit quickly went on to become one of the most popular shows of the year. The show centers around the character of Elizabeth Harmon, who prefers to be called Beth, and her journey to becoming one of the greatest chess players in the world. During the years that she is learning, studying, and competing in games, Beth becomes dependent on alcohol and pills to get her through the day. She feels as though she needs alcohol and pills to be the chess player that she is. It’s only once she gives up alcohol and pills where she can see that her talent for the game of chess was always there in her all along.
Every now and then there’ll be a show on TV that has a performance on it that is just remarkable, a performance that really stands out. Well, this was the year of that breakout performance on TV. Anya Taylor- Joy, who plays Beth, gave a performance on The Queen’s Gambit that had many layers. Taylor- Joy gave a performance that was quiet but thought provoking. The character of Beth is someone who is always thinking. She’s always one step ahead of her opponent when playing the game of chess. Beth is someone who is constantly thinking of her next move and at the same time keeps all of what she is thinking quietly to herself. Taylor- Joy captures this perfectly with just a single glance.
Beth breathed, ate, and lived the game of chess. To some the game of chess might just be a hobby, but to Beth chess is everything. Beth couldn’t initially see how her talent for the game was something that was always there. It wasn’t the alcohol or the pills, but her dedication to wanting to learn everything about the game.
The Queen’s Gambit is about the time and dedication it takes to be the best, as well as learning to find oneself again. This limited series was one of the strongest and best shows of the year thanks in part to a well written story, a breakout performance, and making chess the game of the year.
#7. The Mandalorian (Disney +)
The Mandalorian has become one of my favorite shows. What may be surprising to some is how I am such a fan of this show, and yet I have only seen a few of the films in the Star Wars franchise. I saw two of the Star Wars films that Natalie Portman was in years ago. I probably saw the original film at some point, but truly I can not remember. What I am trying to get at here is that one doesn’t need to be familiar with the world of Star Wars to appreciate this show. I mean sure, it helps to know who is who, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the show.
Because this show takes place in the world of Star Wars there’s a ton of action packed moments throughout the series. Besides the action though, what makes the show so special is the bond between Mandalorian and Baby Yoda, whose real name we learned this season and it’s Grogu.
You remember how I said before how I’m not all that familiar with the world of Star Wars? Okay, so when watching this season, as with season one, there was a lot that happened throughout the season that just went over my head and I had no idea what was happening. This doesn’t mean this isn’t a good show or Season 2 wasn’t a good season, I’m just not familiar enough with this franchise to always pick up on what is happening. And despite being confused a decent amount of the time when watching this season, I still really like this show anyways.
What I can say about this season is that Grogu would get into these situations accidentally, and all madness would break loose and you’d think how is Mandalorian going to fix this? But Mandalorian was always there to save the day, and all was well. Remember the second episode of season two? That was crazy! All in all, this is a great show, and by this show being one of my favorites of the year just proves that you don’t need to be familiar with the Star Wars franchise to like this series.
#6. Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Schitt’s Creek was that TV gem that made it. In its final season, the show received many Emmy Award nominations. And not just did the show and the actors on it receive many nominations, but the show and those nominated won in the categories they were nominated for. As a fan of the series since Season 1, I was so happy for the show and the amazing cast and crew who made this show.
Regardless of all the critical acclaim and awards, the show continued to still have the same feel to it since its first season on Pop. The show had a very small town feel to it with characters that all had larger than life personalities to them. Characters that stood out for their heart, uniqueness, and charm.
Schitt’s Creek was a show about family, community, and starting over when it feels like you have nothing left in you to start over. It was a show about how life can be difficult at times, but how life can also be surprisingly wonderful at times as well. I’ll miss seeing new episodes and more seasons of the Rose family and the town of Schitt’s Creek on my TV every year. But the best thing you can say about a show that was on television when it’s over is that you’re going to miss it. When you miss a show and seeing the characters on it is when you know it was a show worth watching, and a show that did its job well. And Schitt’s Creek, you were a great show and this TV Nerd is for sure going to miss you.
Be sure to tune into my next article where I will be talking about the rest of my favorite shows of the year!