• Jessica Taylor Yates

Top 10 Shows of 2020, Part II

Cos you can never watch too much TV, ever!

I wish I was as cool as this. Let me in, I'll be your Ben! Source: Horror Fuel


So, I know I could have done one end of year Top 20 list of the best shows of 2020, but better in two parts, gives you time to watch them all, no? (In case you missed it, The Top Shows of 2019 and Top Shows of 2020 Part I are here, in case you think I missed one, they're totally there). I really loved iso guys. Like, no disrespect, but the plethora of content I've been able to smash while shoving challah with Vegemite and (vegan) butter down should truly inspire. Side note- I used to buy a loaf of challah a week when I lived with my mum and sister. It would obviously disappear straight away, and I had to come to the sad conclusion that considering they are both gluten-free, it was all me - there's no denying that weekly, there was a loaf inside me.

Moving on. May I present, to save your mental anguish of the dreaded Netflix scroll, in no particular order, the Top 10 Shows of 2020, Part II.


*Note: All recommendations are opinion based, and are listed where they are available to watch in Australia.


Everyone else: Normal People (yawn, #sorrynotsorry), Big Brother, AFL, Junior Masterchef. Moi:


1. The Stranger (Netflix)

Would froth someone walking around spilling everyone's tea. Source: @TVresidence


Omg, you guys. This is addictive AF! This mystery drama was recommended by a Brit (apparently it's all the rage over there) and I was instantly hooked. Is it a little trashy? Yes. But did I stay up 'til 2 am two nights in a row to finish because I HAD TO HAVE ANSWERS? Also yes. The premise is that a stranger arrives in a rich British town, coming up to people, revealing secrets about the people around them, which generally fucks shit up. Secrets are revealed, people go missing, and there's a murder gone awry. BUT HOW IS IT ALL CONNECTED? I swear you won't sleep until you know. It's honestly great.


Watch if you like: SAFE, Desperate Housewives, murder-mysteries in general


2. Love Life (Stan)

It me! Says every woman watching. Source: @TVresidence


Oh, my favourite! I fell in love with this and everyone I know did too! It is totally one of the best shows of 2020! Everyone's best friend Anna Kendrick stars as Darby, as we follow her life from first love to last love over the course of 10 (I think?) years. I thought this was gonna be a cute background show, but by halfway I was balling and HOOKED (even if I was slightly deflated with the ending). It's so real, and bittersweet, funny and cute, and shows how all the people in our life we meet along the way make us into the person we become. (Side note: Was gonna potentially write a book about this so I feel my IP was stolen even though I never showed anyone or talked about it ever).


Watch if you like: Modern Love, Younger, To All The Boys I've Loved Before, Sliding Doors



3. SAFE (Netflix)

Never trust a man in a gold chain. Source: Netflix


Ooh, juicy! Just as trashy as The Stranger (same author), but no less gripping! I thought it was gonna be a Jess-show, but Will is right in there with me - NOTE he even stopped scrolling the AFL app to pay attention, so you know it can be a potensh couple show. Despite the shit title (let's be real), SAFE follows the people in a rich gated community in the UK who become inextricably linked when the body of a 19-year-old is found in a swimming pool after a teenage party gone wrong. Cue suspects, missing teens, dodgy adults and lotsa ca$h and you have a fine mystery on your hands, my friends!


Watch if you like: The Stranger, Broadchurch, British accents


4. Veep (Foxtel)

Me neither. Source: HBO


Yes, it's old, but we needed good comedies in iso, k? Now, full disclosure: while this isn't my favourite of the modern sitcom (Brooklyn 99, The Good Place, and 30 Rock are all better IMHO), it still deserves a nom in the Top 10 once you've smashed the others. The first few seasons to me are a bit...'busy'. Like...she's frantic, so it makes you frantic, kinda thing? But there's no denying the script is full of gut-punching lols that are so incredibly politically incorrect, it makes you want to cover your mouth as you laugh with adoration with a strong side of shame. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, aka the iconic ELAINE, stars as Selina Meyer, the VP, or VEEP, of the USA. What I do love about this show is that the main female protagonist is not twee, boring, or too nice ("I bake when I'm stressed!" - fuck off, Liza Miller from Younger, you're still a lying moll), but is...how shall I put this eloquently? A total c***. That's what makes it totally, laugh-out-loud amazing. Follow her journey as Veep to...well, you'll just have to watch to find out.


Watch if you like: The Office, Brooklyn 99, Parks and Recreation

5. Queer Eye: Philadelphia (Netflix)

Come hang out with me!!! Source: GIPHY


K, Ima be honest. Not my favourite season. Not sure how deserving I felt every single contestant was this season. No disrespect, but felt like some just wanted a free wardrobe and like, $250k house makeover (note: me). That said, I will smash anything the Fab 5 do, as it's with heart, humour, and great fash. I mean, just look at my gay bf Karamo twerk in that plum suit. Mm-hmm. This season takes us to Philly, delivering great one-liners from Jonathan asking a contestant if he "wants to be my step-dad?!" and the boys finally calling Tan out on his now-famous French Tuck. But really, I'd watch them watch paint dry. Love you all!


Watch if you like: all other Queer Eyes, Revenge Body, How Do I Look?


6. Upload (Amazon Prime)

Finger guns are a hard no, but you're hot so I will allow it. Source: GIPHY


This show has a fairly weird concept, but I give it praise for its originality. Created by Greg Daniels (The Office), Upload is a comedy-drama set in the not-too-distant future. Think remote control cars, VR for days - and the ability to 'upload' when you die into a sort of VR digital life extension, akin to 'heaven' - but at a price. It focuses on Nathan Brown, who is a bit of a self-interested dick who dies in a car crash (don't worry, it's a funny show). His rich girlfriend decides to 'preserve' him by 'uploading' him into exxy Heaven, Lakewood - kinda like you can go to Hilton Heaven or Roadhouse heaven, and her fam was into the former. While there, Nathan starts to learn about himself, his hot and cool 'angel', a digital exec named Norah who exists in the real world - and why he is actually at Lakewood, after all...


Watch if you like: The Good Place, After Life, Living With Yourself


7. Say Yes To The Dress America (Foxtel)

Love you Randy!! Source: GIPHY


Guys, we love Randy and weddings and dresses and happiness so much, we've given this its own special review here.


Watch if you like: Say Yes To The Dress, Fashion Police, Queer Eye


8. The Politician Season 2 (Netflix)

It's Bette. Why haven't you watched it yet? Source: GIPHY


Man, I ate this up faster than a Jew breaking the fast after Yom Kippur. Continuing on from the delicious Season 1 that saw Peyton and his gang of loyal misfit followers aim to become school president, this time, he has his eye on the local council in good old New York City. But this is no regular boring politics show (#sorrynotsorry). Think polyamorous councillors, treacherous love triangles, Gwyneth Paltrow running for Californian governor, a look at the divide between the "woke" left and "extreme" right, green activism, a crisis of conscience, songs, and of course - Bette Midler. I really just should have opened with that. Truly brilliant.


Watch if you like: Glee, Desperate Housewives, Election


9. The Loudest Voice

Russell Crowe makes me feel okay about my weight gain during iso. Source: GIPHY


Gosh, this was intense. I would call this must-see television. Based on the book The Loudest Voice in the Room by Gabriel Sherman (2014), The Loudest Voice is the true story of Roger Ailes, and his rise to becoming the chairman of Fox News amidst allegations of sexual harassment, right-wing agendas, and setting 'how America feels' about news in one of the most powerful jobs in America. It is truly scary to see just how much of a role the media has in shaping our thoughts and feelings, and arguably how one man has set such an agenda of controversy, hate and one-sided politics depicted as fact for generations to come. With a star turn by Russell Crowe as Ailes, you'll be truly shocked at how much of this show is actually true - and it will make you double-think everything you watch.


Watch if you like: Morning Wars, Bombshell, City on a Hill


10. AP Bio

Why weren't my teachers like this? Source: GiPHY


This was a recommendation given to me when I thought I had clocked streaming. I went in thinking I could happily scroll my phone to it, but quickly realised the witty one-liners were such quick gems it was more fun to pay attention. Featuring Glenn Howerton, who some may know from Always Sunny... (don't let that put you off, I don't like that show either) as a washed-up Philosophy Professor who is now making ends meet as a substitute teacher in his home town "teaching" A.P. Bio. Basically, he's the Jeff in Community, there's even a Dean who is in love with him. Instead of teaching, he uses the classes to get his students to help him get revenge on people who have wronged him, with either failing or highly amusing results. Along the way, of course, there's funny student plotlines, romances, teacher politics and family drama - but it makes for very funny viewing. Recommended.


Watch if you like: Community, Scrubs, Brooklyn 99


11. Upper Middle Bogan

"Don't wear hoop earrings and sweat pants, you'll look like you're from Underbelly!" Source: Overland Literary Journal


Okay so yeah this is old, but I just watched it, so it counts. Guys, this is HILARIOUS! Originally thinking it was Aussie so it may just be okay (I know, soz) this show ended up as a right gem! Just give it a few eps. The show centres around a rich female doctor, Bess, who finds out she was adopted out by a bogan family. Cue culture clash as her upper-class snobby family (her mum is who I want to be when I grow up) begins to integrate with her biological family, the drag racing Wheelers. Featuring Glenn Robbins as her bio dad and Michaela Banas as her hilarious biological sister, with such eloquent lines as, "Did you just change it to fucking Fox? You know we're a fucking Nova family!" It's great fun no matter what side of the posh vs. bogan side you think you may lie.


Watch if you like: Kath and Kim, We Can Be Heroes, Housos

12. The Umbrella Academy

Oh, so beautiful, must re-watch ASAP! Source: GiPHY


Watch if you like: Tarantino movies, The End of the Fucking World, X-Men

___


Guys. How. Cool. Was. THIS? 10/10 for mine. It's not often a show comes along with so much originality, gripping storytelling, wonderous effects and a plot that keeps you on your toes. Now I'll be honest - the premise of superheroes didn't exactly thrill me. I usually get bored in these movies - so many fight scenes, nexxttt. I would also advise people to give it at least three eps - the first two I legit was scrolling Wikipedia after to find out what the fuck I just watched. But THEN it's fun. So, what is it? The show starts in 1989, where mysteriously, 43 babies are born to mothers who weren't even pregnant. An eccentric billionaire, Reginald Hargreaves, tracks down and adopts seven of them, and turns them into 'The Umbrella Academy' - a crime-fighting team prepared to save the world due to their genetic superpowers. But now as adults, five of them have reunited due to Hargreaves' death, and this is where I like it, because it becomes about their relationships. The seven have become estranged - drugs, romances, banishings, disappearances - but they must learn to work together to save the world! With kick-ass Tarantino-style effects and cinematography, time-travelling assassins, a trip to the 60s, a winning soundtrack, laughs aplenty and sick appearances by actors like Kate Walsh (love a woman getting the role of her career in her second act!), this is one not be missed in 2020. Bring on Season 3!


Honourable mentions: The Undoing (Binge/Apple TV), The Flight Attendant (Binge), The Boys (Amazon).


Want more? Find more TV recs below:

The Top Shows of 2019 and Top Shows of 2020 Part I


Everything you need for the conversations you have at brunch.

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