Film Scoop: My Favorite TV shows of 2020

Watchmen

In a world of vapid remakes, adaptations, and remixes, Watchmen is a godsend. It builds on the original material by Alan Moore in unexpected ways. It’s refreshing in the way it approaches storytelling, meticulous in its exploration of various themes, and just visually stunning. Not only are the characters amazing, but so much work is also put into exploring the history of racism in America, the inherited trauma of racism, the police state, the moral complexities of vigilantism, and institutionalized violence. It’s action-packed, thought-provoking, and deserving of all the awards it has received so far. 


Available on HBO Max



True Detective


It’s always good to have a solid crime drama to fall back on and True Detective is one of the best. The show’s grimy atmosphere, intriguing mysteries, and captivating characters are unrivaled in many ways. Plus, each season is different so there isn’t much commitment on the viewer’s part. Season 1 is still the best season though.





Available on HBO Max



Avatar the Last Airbender


This is by far one of the greatest animated TV shows ever. Rewatching it this year, I was surprised at the more adult elements. Things like the consequences of war, genocide, imperialism, colonialism, and questions about fate and free will are explored throughout the show in a nuanced and thoughtful way. The series still has its fun moments and the narrative itself is well put together. 


Available on Netflix



Harley Quinn

This is an adult animated TV series that pokes fun of the DC universe and Superhero stories in general. But in many ways, it is also a character study about Harley Quinn trying to reclaim her agency after suffering an abusive relationship with the Joker. That duality of humor and heartfelt character moments is what makes this show so special. While the jokes don’t always land, when serious issues are touched on, it manages to surprise every time. 



Available on HBO Max



I May Destroy You


I went into this show not knowing what to expect. Much of it explores the trauma of sexual assault and what life is like being a survivor. It does this in such a thoughtful way while adding a bit of dark humor. It’s difficult to convey the nuanced conversations this show has about sexual assault, consent and even rape in a few words. While this is a constant focal point of the show, it manages to also be about so many other things. It’s a coming of age story set in London, it’s about endearing friendships, and what life is like for creatives in the modern world. I May Destroy You is hard to categorize in one box and that is what makes it so brilliant. 


Available on HBO Max


Dark

A time travel story done right. Dark is a German Sci-fi family drama about a missing boy that leads to some crazy truths being uncovered. The show has a lot of twists and turns that are sure to confuse you but putting together the pieces is part of the appeal. You will definitely have to bust out a family tree for this one. Overall, the show does a good job of expanding the scope of the story, giving you clues, and delivering a conclusion that is satisfying for a concept that can get dicey really quickly. 


Available on Netflix



P-Valley

Strip clubs are a familiar setting in entertainment at this point but rarely is it ever the focus. P-Valley tells the story of a young woman who escapes from tragedy, working in the Pynk under the moniker Autumn Fall. A lot happens within the first 8 episodes and it’s interesting throughout.





Available on Hulu



Ramy

In search of a new comedy-drama? Look no further than Ramy. The series focuses on the trials and tribulations of Ramy Hassan and his quest to live a more spiritual life. Where the show really shines is during entire episodes that are devoted to one of Ramy’s family members, showing the idiosyncrasies of a Muslim family living in New Jersey. I definitely laughed a lot watching this show but there were also plenty of dark somber moments that got me thinking.


Available on Hulu




The Mandalorian

Good Star Wars always creates that sense of wonder and scale that immerses you in a galaxy that never loses its charm. Mando knows what it wants to be and executes that to perfection. I can’t wait for the rest of season 2.


Available on Disney Plus





The Great British Baking Show


Competitive baking, a dash of witty humor and gorgeously decorated baked goods, what more could you ask for? 

Available on Netflix






Honorable Mentions: The Boys, Chappelle's Show, Lovecraft Country, and Babylon Berlin


By Alpha Bah

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