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Here Are 35 Of The Best TV Shows Of 2020 That Are Worth Watching

From The Queen's Gambit to The Good Place and everything in between.

1. I May Destroy You

Michaela Coel as Arabella in I May Destroy You
Natalie Seery / HBO

Created by Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You follows Arabella, a carefree and up-and-coming author who struggles to remember what happened to her after a night out with friends. After Chewing Gum, Michaela has once again created a breathtaking series that gets better and better with each episode. She manages to weave together humor and drama so perfectly that it's hard not to be mesmerized by both the character of Arabella and Michaela's writing. Every episode is masterfully crafted, and it's a testament to Michaela's ability to place herself and her experiences front and center in this amazing TV series.

Where to watch: HBO Max

2. The Queen's Gambit

Phil Bray / Netflix

This limited series follows Beth Harmon, a young girl in the late 1950s who soon discovers that she has an incredible talent for chess, all while dealing with complications from living in an orphanage. The Queen's Gambit is, dare I say, a perfect limited series. From the writing to the costume design, this series had it all in terms of what makes a show extraordinary. On top of the story, Anya Taylor-Joy's performance as Beth Harmon was one of the best of the year. The emotional range she's able to give Beth is a thing of beauty, and she keeps you mesmerized in every single episode. It's amazing how much talent Anya can showcase with very little dialogue during the chess games. Basically, we all fell in love with chess and Anya in 2020.

Where to watch: Netflix

3. Normal People

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones as Connell and Marianne in Normal People
Enda Bowe / Hulu

Based on Sally Rooney's bestselling novel, Normal People follows Marianne and Connell's complicated relationship from secondary school to college as they discover things about themselves and each other. This show is beautifully written and filmed, and Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal have some of the best chemistry I've ever seen on TV. What's most impressive about Daisy's and Paul's performances is that not only are they incredible together, but separately, they deliver some of the best TV moments of the year. Honestly, I'm still thinking about Connell's time in therapy. Also, Normal People is visually stunning and includes some of my favorite cinematography of 2020.

Where to watch: Hulu

4. Schitt's Creek, Season 6

Annie Murphy and Dan Levy as Alexis and David in Schitt's Creek
Pop TV

Ending a beloved TV show is always challenging, but Schitt's Creek managed to stick the landing. During Season 6, David and Patrick prepare to get married, all while the rest of the Rose family continues to grow and look at life outside the comfortable bubble of Schitt's Creek. Each character blossoms during Season 6, and every single character receives the carefully thought-out ending they deserve. If you really want to appreciate the brilliance of Season 6 of Schitt's Creek, just press play on Season 1, Episode 1 right after you finish; it's then that you will fully appreciate the brilliant character arcs that Dan Levy executed. Basically, the final season sends our favorite characters out into the world with hope, which is something we needed in 2020.

Where to watch: Netflix

5. Never Have I Ever

Lee Rodriguez, Ramon Young, and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Fabiola, Ramon, and Devi in Never Have I Ever
Lara Solanki / Netflix

Inspired by Mindy Kaling's childhood, Never Have I Ever follows Devi, a first-generation Indian American who is dealing with typical high school issues and an unexpected loss, all while trying to make the new school year one to remember. This show is so refreshing and perfectly tells a coming-of-age story that we don't see often on television. Maitreyi Ramakrishnan's breakthrough performance as Devi is one of the many reasons this smart comedy became one of the best new Netflix shows of 2020. I can't wait to follow Maitreyi as Devi in Season 2 (and whatever other projects she does). Also, Never Have I Ever started as a show that made me laugh out loud, and it ended up being one of the few shows to bring me to tears by the end of the season.

Where to watch: Netflix

6. Lovecraft Country

Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett as Tic and Leti in Lovecraft Country
HBO

I don't think I've ever been so entranced by a series as I was with Lovecraft Country in 2020. Adapted from Matt Ruff's novel and created by Misha Green, this series follows Tic, his uncle George, and his friend Leti as they road-trip across 1950s Jim Crow America while searching for Tic's missing dad. Lovecraft Country is smart — it's as simple as that. Misha crafted a complex and compelling narrative from beginning to end, and you literally couldn't look away. On top of the amazing writing, Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors' chemistry as Leti and Tic is off-the-charts amazing. The two of them lead a series filled to the brim with standout talent and performances from Aunjanue Ellis, Wunmi Mosaku, Jamie Chung, and Jada Harris, among many others. I truly wish that every series was as thought-provoking as Lovecraft Country.

Where to watch: HBO Max

7. The Good Place, Season 4

The cast of The Good Place
Colleen Hayes / NBC

Another series that had a pretty-perfect ending this year, The Good Place continued to be one of the best comedy series right up until the end. Season 4 follows Team Cockroach — Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Michael, Jason, and Janet — as they finally learn about the real Good Place but quickly figure out that the system needs to change. What made this final season perfect is that the show continued to lean into what made the early seasons so magical. We get to see more of Jason being Jason, heartfelt moments between Chidi and Eleanor, and just more of these characters growing and becoming better versions of themselves.

Where to watch: Netflix

8. Ted Lasso

Apple TV+

Ted Lasso brought a little joy to 2020, which is why it was one of the best. Starring Jason Sudeikis, the series follows Ted, an American college football coach who is recruited to coach AFC Richmond, an English Premier League team. From beginning to end, Ted Lasso is just optimistic and wholesome, which is why it stood out this year. Jason brings a fun energy to the role, but it's the heartfelt and somewhat serious moments that allow him to shine. Ted Lasso wears its heart on its sleeve, and that's why it flourishes.

Where to watch: Apple TV+

9. Insecure, Season 4

Yvonne Orji and Issa Rae as Issa and Molly in Insecure
HBO

It's rare that a TV show continues to get better and better with each season, but that's exactly what is happening with Insecure. Season 4 continues to lean on the incredible and unique comedy style of Issa Rae, all while giving viewers complex characters and storylines that keep the show fresh and exciting. What makes Season 4 so incredible is that Issa and Molly's complicated friendship is front and center. Both Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji deliver some of their best performances and once again prove that they can easily and flawlessly move between comedy and drama.

Where to watch: HBO Max

10. Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Jane Levy and Peter Gallagher as Zoey and Mitch, dancing, in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
James Dittiger / NBC

This series was one of the biggest surprises of 2020 for me. I'm going to be honest — I thought the show was going to be kind of corny, but it ended up telling a heartbreaking and beautiful story about family and loss, and it easily became one of my favorite shows this year. Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist follows Zoey, who suddenly starts to hear people's innermost thoughts and desires through popular songs. Each musical number is so well done and fits with the show flawlessly. On top of the musical numbers, the story of a family dealing with grief and loss and how they come together and learn to move on is incredible. I cannot recommend this show enough.

Where to watch: Hulu and Peacock

11. The Crown, Season 4

Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin as Prince Charles and Princess Diana in The Crown
Des Willie / Netflix

The Crown's Season 4 is arguably the season everyone has been waiting for. It focuses on Prince Charles and Princess Diana as well as Margaret Thatcher as she becomes prime minister. It's a season filled with some of the most memorable moments in Queen Elizabeth II's reign, and it does not disappoint. While Olivia Colman continues to be perfect as the Queen, this season belongs to Emma Corrin as Diana and Gillian Anderson as Margaret. Their work makes this season the best since Season 1, and they completely embodied the complex figures they portrayed. The Crown is one of Netflix's best series, and this season proves why.

Where to watch: Netflix

12. Julie and the Phantoms

The cast of Julie and the Phantoms performing
Eike Schroter / Netflix

Julie and the Phantoms follows Julie, who lost her passion for music. Just when she's struggling to find her voice again, the ghosts of Sunset Curve — a '90s band whose members mysteriously died before their big break — show up and help get Julie out of her funk. So yes, one of the best TV shows of 2020 involved an adorable ghost band and some of the most talented teenagers I've ever seen on TV. Madison Reyes absolutely knocks it out of the park as Julie, and if you don't believe me, all you have to do is hear her sing a single note. The chemistry between everyone in the cast is one of the many strong aspects of a series filled to the brim with catchy songs, amazing choreography, and up-and-coming actors you'll want to keep an eye on.

Where to watch: Netflix

13. PEN15, Season 2

Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine in PEN15
Lara Solanki / Hulu

Season 1 of PEN15 was strong, but somehow, Season 2 was even better. The new season continues to follow Anna and Maya as they struggle with typical teenage problems. This coming-of-age story continues to be hilariously relatable, and once again, Anna Konkle's and Maya Erskine's comedic timing takes center stage. While the comedy in Season 2 is iconic, the more dramatic moments are actually what elevate this season. With Anna and Maya drifting apart because of new friends, extracurricular activities, and boys, the series thrives when it's not afraid to show the painful and awkward teenage moments we can all relate to.

Where to watch: Hulu

14. Sex Education, Season 2

Aimee and her friends from Sex Education sitting in the back of a bus
Netflix

Picking up where Season 1 left off, Sex Education continues to be one of my favorite shows. This year, it explored so many storylines and characters that are rarely seen on TV, and the show is another example of how important representation on TV is. This season also gave us the incredibly moving bus scene, which was one of the best TV moments of the year. The show's ability to focus on every single character and their important stories makes for an extremely compelling television series that leans on the incredible ensemble we've come to love.

Where to watch: Netflix

15. Better Call Saul, Season 5

Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk as Kim and Jimmy in Better Call Saul
Greg Lewis / AMC

At this point in Better Call Saul's run, I think it's safe to say that it is just as good as Breaking Bad. With Season 5, we got closer to the events that happened in Breaking Bad as Jimmy officially starts doing business as Saul Goodman. Bob Odenkirk gives one of his best performances this season, and Rhea Seehorn continues to be one of the most underrated actors on TV right now. Seriously, what does she have to do to get some awards show love? Basically, this is another series that has only gotten better with age.

Where to watch: AMC

16. High Fidelity

Zoë Kravitz as Rob in her record store in High Fidelity
Phillip Caruso / Hulu

High Fidelity only confirmed for me that Zoë Kravitz was wildly underutilized in Big Little Lies, so I'm so happy that this show got to showcase her talent. Based on the film and book of the same name, High Fidelity follows Rob, a record store owner in Brooklyn who ends up revisiting past relationships through music while trying to get over her true love. The show is a great example of how to inject new life into a remake and make it stand apart from its predecessor. One of the biggest crimes of 2020 will always be that this show got canceled after Season 1. It was smart, funny, and captivating, and I'm still upset that we won't see more of these complex and bold characters.

Where to watch: Hulu

17. The Good Lord Bird

Ethan Hawke and Joshua Caleb Johnson as John Brown and Onion in The Good Lord Bird
William Gray / Showtime

The Good Lord Bird was another pretty-perfect limited series that aired in 2020. The series follows Henry "Onion" Shackleford, who begins to follow John Brown and his group of abolitionist soldiers, leading into the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. The writing and directing on the series is astounding, but what makes The Good Lord Bird one of the best shows of 2020 is the work of Ethan Hawke and Joshua Caleb Johnson. Together, they create a bond between John Brown and Onion that is entrancing. Each episode beautifully builds upon the last until you are left with a heartbreaking ending that, even if you knew what was going to happen, is hard to swallow.

Where to watch: Showtime

18. The Mandalorian, Season 2

Mando and Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian Season 2
Disney+

Every week I find myself screaming, "Wow! That was the best episode of The Mandalorian," because each episode is just that amazing. Structured like mini–Star Wars films, The Mandalorian only gets bigger in Season 2. While we continue to follow Mando and Baby Yoda's journey through the galaxy, what makes Season 2 so great is the incredible new characters we meet. The epic introduction of the beloved Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan is something out of any Star Wars fan's dream journal, and it has been riveting to see their stories folded into The Mandalorian storylines. If this is what Jon Favreau and his team have created in Season 2, this series has found its groove, and it's on track to become one of the best sci-fi series to date.

Where to watch: Disney+

19. Dead to Me, Season 2

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as Jen and Judy crying in a car in Dead to Me
Netflix

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini continue to be magical together in Season 2 of Dead to Me. The new season deals with Jen and Judy trying to literally get away with murder, all while navigating new developments in their personal lives. While the comedic moments continue to be exceptional, the darker and more dramatic moments are what make this show one of the very best. There are a lot of amazing moments in Season 2, but watching Jen console Judy as she weeps in the car not only is heartbreaking but also showcases how amazing Christina and Linda are together. If Season 1 belonged to Christina and her impeccable work as Jen, then Season 2 belongs to Linda as Judy.

Where to watch: Netflix

20. What We Do in the Shadows, Season 2

Harvey Guillen as Guillermo in What We Do In the Shadows
FX

A criminally underrated series, What We Do in the Shadows only got better with Season 2. This new season focuses on Guillermo learning how to handle the news he learned in Season 1 and how it affects his relationship with his undead roommates. This show is absolutely hilarious, and the cast brings it in every single episode. It's hard to believe that no Latinx stars were nominated for any major Emmy acting categories this year because Harvey Guillén is right here. Basically, if you aren't watching What We Do in the Shadows, what are you doing?

Where to watch: Hulu

21. Teenage Bounty Hunters

Anjelica Bette Fellini, Kadeem Hardison, and Maddie Phillips as Blair, Bowser, and Sterling in Teenage Bounty Hunters
Netflix

Teenage Bounty Hunters follows twins Blair and Sterling, who team up with Bowser and become bounty hunters. This series was quick-witted and magical, and I'll forever be heartbroken that it was canceled after one season. Teenage Bounty Hunters was a brilliant comedy with strong female characters that wasn't afraid to be 100% authentic. The comedic timing and chemistry between Angelica Bette Fellini and Maddie Phillips as Blair and Sterling was one of the many reasons this show worked so well. Add in a great LGBTQ storyline, some heartwarming family moments, and an epic cliffhanger — that now won't be resolved — and Teenage Bounty Hunters was a gift of a TV series that was cut way too short.

Where to watch: Netflix

22. The Boys, Season 2

Hughie, Kimiko, Frenchie, and MM from The Boys
Amazon Prime Video

Last year, The Boys burst onto the TV scene and really shook up what it means to be a superhero show. With Season 2, the show continues to be the perfect TV series to break through the superhero fatigue. The Boys is not only incredibly smart but also leans on the amazing ensemble of TV powerhouses that it has assembled. And by adding Aya Cash as Stormfront this season, the show only got bigger and better. What is also incredible about The Boys is that the series continues to perfectly blend together showstopping superhero moments while also telling meaningful stories about the world today. Basically, Season 2 ups the stakes with every single storyline, and I literally spent most of the season watching from the edge of my couch.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

23. The Great

Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult as Catherine and Peter in The Great
Ollie Upton / Hulu

This show effortlessly combines all of the great qualities of comedy and period-drama TV to create a truly remarkable Season 1. The Great explores the rise of Catherine the Great from a total outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia's history. Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult give two of my favorite performances on TV this year as they truly commit to the satirical nature of the series. The Great gave us a much-needed laugh in 2020, and it did it while championing a strong woman at the center of its period-piece stories. If you loved The Favourite, I cannot recommend this show enough.

Where to watch: Hulu

24. Mrs. America

Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs. America
Sabrina Lantos / FX

Mrs. America assembled a pretty remarkable ensemble cast to bring these stories to life. The series tells us about the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment during the 1970s and the backlash led by conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly. Cate Blanchett delivers a memorable performance as Phyllis, and it's only elevated by the extraordinary performances of the people around her, namely Uzo Aduba, Margo Martindale, Tracey Ullman, and Rose Byrne.

Where to watch: Hulu

25. BoJack Horseman, Season 6B

BoJack on the phone
Netflix

One of the saddest things for TV this year was watching BoJack Horseman take its final bow. If you thought BoJack told some incredible stories before this, think again. Some of the series' best episodes are saved for last — in particular, an episode where we dive into BoJack's mind post-overdose. This show remains a Netflix highlight right up to the very last scene. Here's hoping that more people continue to find this series for years to come.

Where to watch: Netflix

26. P-Valley

Jessica Miglio / Starz

P-Valley follows the lives of people working at a strip club called the Pynk in Mississippi. On the surface, the series might just look like Hustlers for TV, but it ends up being so much more. The characters on P-Valley are what make this show a knockout, and their intricate lives make the series enthralling. The performances by Brandee Evans, Elarica Johnson, and Nicco Annan are compelling and allow the show to flourish. P-Valley expertly gives a voice to female characters we often ignore, and it's incredible what this show was able to accomplish with only one season so far.

Where to watch: Starz and Hulu with Starz

27. Harley Quinn

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn holding hands
DC / HBO Max

Honestly, Harley Quinn might include the very best version of Harley Quinn that we've ever seen. This new series is hilarious and uses the wit that Harley is known for in the comics to create a pretty-great TV series. In fact, I think it's safe to say this might be the best DCTV series right now. Kaley Cuoco voices Harley perfectly, and it's fun listening to all of the incredible actors who lend their talents to some iconic DC Comics characters. On top of everything, Harley Quinn gives us a great LGBTQ storyline, and it's simply the best. Basically, everyone should be watching Harley Quinn.

Where to watch: HBO Max

28. Better Things

Pamela Adlon in Better Things
Suzanne Tenner / FX / Everett Collection

This is another TV show that has only gotten better with age. Pamela Adlon continues to be so good, not only starring in but also creating, directing, and writing this underrated comedy series. Better Things has always been great at making the ordinary moments in life extraordinary and comedic, but Season 4 might be its best yet. This show is a beautifully written exploration of family and life, and I encourage everyone to watch it — if you haven't already.

Where to watch: Hulu

29. One Day at a Time, Season 4

Justina Machado, Marcel Ruiz, and Isabella Gomez as Penelope, Alex, and Elena in One Day At A Time
Nicole Wilder / Pop TV

Well, 2020 was a roller coaster, not just for us but also for One Day at a Time. After being canceled by Netflix, the series came roaring back this year thanks to Pop TV before ultimately being canceled again. It's a shame that this show didn't get the love it so clearly deserved, but I'm glad we were able to see most of Season 4. This season continues to do what ODAAT does best: tell fresh and relevant stories that everyone will enjoy. So I just want to say thank you to this show for talking about Latinx and LGBTQ representation, addiction, PTSD, depression, sexual assault, consent, and much more, all while continuing to be a perfect family sitcom. It was refreshing to see this on TV, and I loved every second of it.

Where to watch: Pop TV

30. Ramy, Season 2

Ramy Youssef as Ramy in Ramy
Craig Blankenhorn / Hulu

Season 2 of Ramy picks up with Ramy dealing with everything that happened on his trip to Egypt as he seeks some much-needed guidance and looks to change his ways. The whole season is pretty flawless TV as the show brings in some incredible new supporting characters. While Ramy is still the protagonist you root for, the introduction of Sheikh Malik (Mahershala Ali) and Zainab (MaameYaa Boafo) allows viewers to realize how much Ramy still has to grow, which ultimately keeps you coming back for more. Also, this season allows Ramy's family to shine even more than in Season 1, with some of the strongest episodes focusing on the important people in Ramy's life.

Where to watch: Hulu

31. Feel Good

Mae Martin and Charlotte Ritchie as Mae and George in Feel Good
Netflix

Feel Good follows Mae, a comedian and recovering addict who starts a new relationship with George, who had never been in a relationship with a woman before. Not only is this show absolutely hilarious, but it's also not afraid to showcase vulnerable and quiet moments between Mae and George. And while Mae Martin and Charlotte Ritchie's chemistry is great, their moments separately where Mae and George try to deal with their own issues are just as strong as their moments together. Feel Good is complicated, charming, and intimate, which are honestly all the qualities of great TV.

Where to watch: Netflix

32. Unorthodox

Shira Haas and Amit Rahav as Esty and Yanky in Unorthodox
Anika Molnar / Netflix

This limited series tells the story of Esty, a young woman who ends up fleeing her Orthodox Jewish community after living unhappily in an arranged marriage for a year. Unorthodox is an absolutely perfect limited series that places a strong and complex female character at the center and showcases Shira Haas's incredible talent from start to finish. She's definitely an up-and-coming actor you'll want to keep an eye on. 2020 was a year in which limited series thrived, and Unorthodox is another great example of that.

Where to watch: Netflix

33. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Season 5

Adora, Bow, and the rest of the Princesses getting ready to fight
Netflix

On the surface, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power might look like another children's TV show, but it's so much more than that. The final season follows Adora and the rest of the rebels as they try to stop Horde Prime for good. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power truly came into its own during the final season and is equal parts devastating and hopeful. The LGBTQ storylines that are placed at the center only make this show even more memorable. Coupled with the strong characters who showcase the importance of friendship, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a perfect example of how great stories can be told through animation and "children's TV."

Where to watch: Netflix

34. The Umbrella Academy

Number Five, Diego, Klaus, Allison, Vanya, and Luther in an elevator together
Netflix

Listen, I loved Season 1 of The Umbrella Academy, but I honestly think Season 2 is better. This season is extremely fun from start to finish as we follow the Hargreeves children in the 1960s as they try to get back to their own time. Every single character is fleshed out even more in this season, and the backstories we learn make this show a standout this year. There are a lot of incredible moments in Season 2, and what makes it great is that these characters thrive not only in their own storylines but also together. The Umbrella Academy continues to be a great superhero series.

Where to watch: Netflix

35. And finally, Vida

Kat Marcinowski / Starz

My biggest TV regret is only catching up on this series right before the final season because, wow, it's incredible. Vida had the amazing ability to tell a wide range of stories in such a limited amount of time. The LGBTQ and Latinx storylines on this show were mesmerizing, and it was able to tell stories that are often ignored on TV. While I love short seasons, Vida deserved more episodes and just more time to continue to flesh out the strong women who led this underrated series. Season 3 was Vida at its best, and I just wish that we got to enjoy this show for longer.

Where to watch: Starz and Hulu with Starz

What TV shows from 2020 have YOU absolutely loved? Tell us in the comments below!

2020 is finally (almost) over, and we're looking back on the year. Check out even more from the year here!

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