The best and worst TV shows of 2020: 'The Flight Attendant,' 'The Mandalorian' and 'The Queen's Gambit'
I can destroy you, Queen's Gambit, The Mandalorian and The Flight Attendant. (Photos: HBO Max / Everett Collection)
The line between film and television blurred in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic shut down large-screen multiplexes and made the small screen our only screen. But even when high profile films like The King of Staten Island and Wonder Woman turned our living rooms into cinemas in 1984, viewers were still thrilled on episodic TV shows from Tiger King and The Mandalorian to The Flight Attendant and The Queen's Gambit. Here are Yahoo Entertainment's tips for the 20 best shows we streamed in 2020 ... and the five we'll never go back to.
20. Some good news (YouTube)
The beginnings of the coronavirus lockdown were challenging as the first COVID-19 victims died, jobs were lost and toilet paper was scarce. Step into Office alum John Krasinski with some good news ... in the truest sense of the word. The actor's DIY talk show delivered fun and heartwarming crowd-sourced videos, made memorable tribute to the frontline staff, patched astronauts from space ... and even brought the Hamilton cast back together. The actor later started selling what felt like an act of viral kindness to Viacom, but if you know Krasinski you know his heart is in the right place. We trust that the decision will be honored. - Kevin Polowy
19. We want our Trek TV: Picard, Lower Decks & Discovery (CBS All Access)
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2020 marked the first time since the 1990s that Trekkers could explore the final frontier in multiple Star Trek shows. The year began with the long-awaited return of Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, who embarked on a grand adventure that saw some familiar faces return and promise the character a fresh start. Over the summer, the hooligan cartoon Lower Decks went hilarious with Trek conventions while also creating a cast of characters that viewers loved. And Discovery made an exciting return recently, sending its crew into the distant future and finding a new narrative drive in the process. The future of the Star Trek franchise is now and we love it. - Ethan dude
18. Saved by the bell (peacock)
Back to Bayside: How Saved by the Bell's restart blends the old and the new
"Saved by the Bell" will restart. Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley), A. C. Slater (Mario Lopez), and the rest of the gang are getting back together - to varying degrees. NBC's Peacock streaming service is introducing the new show, which will be directed by "30 Rock" vet Tracey Wigfield. Berkley and Lopez spoke to Yahoo Entertainment about how the show feels contemporary while also filling it with nostalgia. "I feel like part of the reason the show may have resonated because it was an easier and more innocent time," said Lopez. "It was really important to keep all the things that mean so much to people and put them in the DNA of this show," said Berkley. "But [also] really represent something fresh, progressive and new."
Not only is the restart of Peacock's Saved by the Bell better than the many previous attempts to restart the iconic 90s teen series - The College Years? - It can even be superior to the original show. As cared for by Tracey Wigfield, a 30 rock veteran, the 2020 version tickles the nostalgia buttons with regular appearances by the O.G. Bayside Crew, but also invests viewers in the lives of a new class of students, including breakout stars Josie Totah and Alycia Pascual-Peña. Due to the good handling of the SBTB, we are all the more excited about the revival of the streaming service's Punky Brewster. - E.A.
17. Survivor: Winner in War (CBS)
Historic "survivor" final hit by the coronavirus
It was a historic Wednesday night finale for an epic season of Survivor: Winners at War. Due to the coronavirus, there was no reunion show in season 40 and Jeff Probst hosted the show from a makeshift set that he had put together in his garage. Which meant there was three hours of intense competition, and it all started with the players from the endangered island battling to get back into the game. Thanks to the three advantages (more than any other player), Natalie Anderson was able to win the winner of Survivor: San Juan del Sur on Extinction Island and join the other five remaining participants in the game. Fans were thrilled to see Natalie back in the game after she was first voted out, but she still had a long way to go. Michele Fitzgerald won the next immunity challenge that resulted in an interesting tribal council. After Natalie played her immunity idol, Tony Vlochos and Ben Driebergen played her idols. After all of the votes went to Ben and Natalie, they had to vote again and this time they could only vote for Sarah Lacina or Denise Stapley, and Denise finally got her torch sniffed. Tony won the next immunity challenge while Natalie found another hidden immunity idol. So at the next tribal council it was between Ben, Sarah and Michele, and Sarah decided to turn her alliance around and send Ben to the jury. The final immunity challenge was a well-known game Michele won in a previous season. But her experience wasn't enough to beat Natalie, who had built a good résumé in the few days she was back at camp. At Tribal, Natalie decided to take Michele to the finals, which meant Tony and Sarah's "Cops-R-Us" duo would take on a fire challenge. It was a very close fight that went back and forth, but it was Tony who prevailed in the end. It was an extremely emotional moment for Sarah and Tony, who have been friends since playing together on Survivor: Cagayan in 2013. Https://twitter.com/roundhoward/status/1260757198260580352 It came about between Tony, Natalie and Michele during a rain-soaked final tribe as each of them put their case to the jury. The three participants each had a very different path to the last three, which made it difficult for the jury members. But in the end they decided in a 12-4 vote that Tony outlived, outwitted, and outdone everyone else, and the fans largely agreed. Although Michele and Natalie also got a lot of love. Tony is only the second player in survivor history to win twice and is taking home the $ 2 million check that Tony admitted would be very useful in these uncertain times. "It's definitely life changing, especially now that the world is where you really see the importance of financial security," Tony told Probst. "I have morning categories for buildings, people can't pay their rent." With this money I will make sure that I financially secure my family and the rest of my life. "Congratulations Tony!
Thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, Survivor's 40th All-Star Season is likely to be the last we'll see of CBS 'signature reality series for a while. But what a way out. Winners at War brought together some of the greatest survivors from the show's two-decade run - from Amber and Boston Rob to Sandra and Tony - for an epic reunion that delivered surprise after surprise. In a way, this edition felt like the perfect series finale for the show's first 20 years. When Survivor finally comes back, we hope they find a way to make the game better. - E.A.
16. Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Lovecraft Country: Official Trailer
Lovecraft Country is an upcoming drama horror television series based on Matt Ruff's novel of the same name. It's slated to premiere on HBO. The series is sponsored by Monkeypaw Productions, Bad Robot Productions, and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers including Jordan Peele, Misha Green, J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson produced.
Misha Green's road trip through 1950s America, freely adapted from Matt Ruff's bestseller, found horror in both the real world and in the horrific areas inspired by the title author. More importantly, Lovecraft Country H.P. Lovecraft's tales for a new generation, which they rob of their hardly hidden racism and misogyny. Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett, who had already risen to the big screen, put on phenomenal performances that always captured the dramatic center of the show, even when the stories went in wild directions. - E.A.
15.Little Ax (Amazon Prime Video)
Letitia Wright and John Boyega on how Small Ax is linked to social injustice
Letitia Wright and John Boyega, the stars of Amazon Small Ax, talk about how it relates to social injustices blacks face today.
Oscar-nominated director Steve McQueen tells five stories from England's relatively recent past, each one about the West Indian immigrant community in London in the 1970s and 1980s. The collection's crown jewel is Lovers Rock, a delightful portrait of an after-hours house party that vibrates with emotion and incredible music. But every film has its own joys and sorrows as it portrays the systemic injustice in British society at the time, from the courtroom in Mangrove to the classroom in Education. The parallels to America today cannot and should not be ignored. - E.A.
14.Kaley Cuoco to the Max: The Flight Attendant and Harley Quinn (HBO Max)
Talking about an R-rated Harley Quinn, Kaley Cuoco says, "It's totally crazy and totally inappropriate - that's why I love it."
Kaley Cuoco is now warning you - while her new TV series Harley Quinn is animated, it's definitely not for kids. "I loved the entire R rating with Harley Quinn," Cuoco, who provides Quinn's voice on the new DC Universe show, told Yahoo Entertainment. "I loved the swearing. I loved the screaming. I loved the aggressiveness. It's totally insane and totally inappropriate - that's why I love it. She's an asshole." Cuoco says that there is a marked difference between her character and the one actress Margot Robbie played on the suicide squad, although she says she enjoyed Robbie's performance. Just like the alum of the Big Bang Theory plays and produces in Harley Quinn, she also plays a double role in the upcoming HBO Max thriller The Flight Attendant, which is about an airline employee who wakes up next to a corpse in a hotel room but can't remember how she got there. She describes her role as producer on this show as "eye opening". "The most surprising thing I've found on Flight Attendant, not just as an actor, but also as a producer, is just like behind the scenes and how things just don't look magical as they look when they are on the air." Cuoco says. "Now I want to say," Oh my God, there are so many people that I have to thank all the time. "Cuoco says the job takes long hours. She credits a cup of joe for helping her wake up in the morning." As soon as I open my eyes ... it's coffee time, "she says." I can't do anything without coffee . I like the smell. I choose my mug. I'm very specific about my mugs. "
With apologies to Gal Gadot, HBO Max's biggest star isn't Wonder Woman - it's Kaley Cuoco. The veteran of the Big Bang Theory has emerged as the main attraction of the emerging streaming service via The Flight Attendant, a fresh and fun mix of The Hangover and Airport Fiction that Cuoco Executive produced and starred in. And when you get to HBO Max The Flight Attendant, spend some time checking out DC's hilariously insane Harley Quinn cartoon, in which Cuoco played the R-rated Cupid of Crime, plus a rich vocal line-up with Lake Bell, Andy Daly, and Sanaa Lathan as some of the best seen in Gotham City are - beloved villains. - E.A.
13. The Big One (Hulu)
Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult in The Great Trailer (Hulu)
Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult star in The Great, Hulu's 10-part satirical series loosely based on the rise of Catherine the Great, Russia's longest ruling ruler.
The title says it all. Tony McNamara's hilarious piece from the time offers a broken fairytale account of the life of the Russian monarch Catherine the Great, played by Elle Fanning in comical perfection. Catherine appears at the Russian court and expects a great love affair with her new husband Peter III. (Nicolas Hoult makes a great impression of Hugh Laurie). Instead, she is planning a coup to free her adoptive nation from its over-sex, under-educated ruler. And unlike many streaming shows, The Great just keeps getting bigger and bigger over time, reaching a season finale that masterfully combines Voltaire, Revolution ... and a delicious lemon and hazelnut cake. - E.A.
12. The Last Dance (ESPN)
The last Dance
The Last Dance is a compelling and comprehensive portrait of one of the great basketball teams. The mix of archive footage and candid interviews confirms that there is no one like Mike or the team he led to victory.
Michael Jordan was the biggest star in the world in the 90s. From his mesmerizing dunks to iconic Nike Airs to his beloved Bugs Bunny team in Space Jam, M.J. pop culture, just like its Chicago Bulls owned the NBA. Its airiness rises again in The Last Dance, which offers unprecedented access to Jordan's last game with the Bulls team in 1997 - the B-Ball Beatles with M.J. and pals Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and Zen master trainer Phil Jackson. The 10-part ESPN documentaries document the high level of drama that took place both on and off the pitch and filled a necessary void when live sports had a long break in the early months of the pandemic. - Marcus Errico
11. The Great British Baking Show (Netflix)
While the Great British Baking Show is always a welcome tonic - thanks to its sugary theme and the spirit of bonhomie where apron-clad strangers merrily compete for an essentially large plate - the 2020 edition was still badly needed ... you know. It's a huge relief that producers were able to pull off a series amid the pandemic, with contestants and crew members - including new co-host Matt Lucas, who replaced the much-missed Sandi Toksvig - leaving their kitchens and creating a big baker's bubble. There were a few shortcomings, like a controversial Japanese Week topic and Hermione's premature fall, but overall it was just the emotional hot water bottle that we needed so badly this year. If you weren't happy to cry tears into your Betty Crocker brownie mix, did you even watch? - Erin Donnelly
10. Tiger King: Murder, Chaos, and Madness (Netflix)
Your typical soap opera doesn't have as many twists as the documentaries that grabbed audiences back in March when the pandemic hit us at home. The idea of recording someone keeping big cats was interesting enough, but Joe Exotic (real name Joe Maldonado-Passage) also had a singing career (or dreams about it), a colorful love life, and of course a nemesis in a companion Carole Baskin, the Owner of a big cat whose husband mysteriously disappeared in 1997. The Doctor was almost too dramatic to believe, except that at the time it aired, the title character was in jail for trying to hire someone to murder Baskin. No wonder there is already more than one dramatic adaptation of Tiger King in the works, including one with Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic. - Raechal Shewfelt
9. Ted Lasso (Apple TV +)
Jason Sudeikis is Ted Lasso, an American football coach who moves to England when he heads a football team - although he has no experience. With cynical gamblers and a dubious city, will he get them to see the Ted Lasso Way?
Probably not a day goes by without someone we know tweeted, "Finally watching Ted Lasso. You were fine. It's lovely." The wonderfully funny Apple TV + series about American football -Trainer, who has been recruited to coach a UK soccer team despite having no previous experience in the sport, is proving to be the latest little comedy it could. It even makes comparisons to Friday Night Lights, which means it might look like it's sport, but even your sport-loving spouse / boyfriend / cousin will love it. The word of mouth is also reminiscent of another underdog comedy, Schitt's Creek. So look for Ted who says lasso to all Emmys around him ... 2025. - K.P.
8.Normal people (Hulu)
Yes there is a lot of sexy time and yes there are some shades of S&M. But the comparisons to Fifty Shades of Gray, which this tearful Hulu series seemed to be drawing at an unfair rate, start and end there. Based on the novel by Sally Rooney and directed by Lenny Abramson and Hettie Macdonald, the 12-episode arc follows the intricate relationship between Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal), Irish teenagers from rural County Sligo Von secret social outcast / popular high school novels to even more tortured territory at a Dublin college and beyond. It's cute, sexy, and affectionate, and the fact that they're both so normal - as opposed to one particular flawed, depressed, non-billionaire playboy - gives the story a deep resonance. - K.P.
7.Cult Series Alert: The Vow and the Seduced (HBO and Starz)
The Vow: Official Trailer
From Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer (The Great Hack, The Square, Control Room) is The Vow, a documentary series that accompanies a number of people who dig deep into the self-improvement group during the course NXIVM have been involved for several years. The series takes a deep, nuanced look at the organization facing various charges, including sex trafficking and conspiracy against its top members - notably founder Keith Raniere, who c
The terrifying story behind the terrible headlines provided the fodder for two of the most important documentaries of the year. With incredible inside video footage, The Vow unfolds as a terrifying real-life thriller in which subjects slowly understand the dark secrets of NXIVM - the potential support group was a front for a predatory sex cult led by founder Keith actress Allison Mack Raniere and Smallville - and then go on a mission to overthrow the organization at a high personal cost. In the meantime, she is seduced by the efforts of Catherine Oxenberg, also featured in The Vow, to free her daughter India from Raniere and Mack's clutches. Both shows are convincing for themselves, but together they paint an even more complex portrait. - ME.
6. The Boys (Amazon Prime Video)
The Boys: Season 2 Teaser Trailer
If you thought Amazonas The Boys' inaugural season was a wild ride, season two took things to a whole new level. The second year of the darkly hilarious, wildly violent superhero series featured social media savvy newcomer Stormfront (Aya Cash), who made the Trumpian, almost all-powerful Homelander (Anthony Starr) hot and nervous. But the series has a lot more on its mind than capes and hoods - it's a nifty satire that explores big issues like systemic racism, fascism, sexism, sexuality, xenophobia, and homophobia, and even finds time to grapple with the breakup of culture and To deal with Scientology. Profane, graphical and extremely disrespectful, The Boys has become the best original drama on Amazon Prime. - ME.
5. The Crown (Netflix)
Leave it to the People's Princess and the Iron Lady to sizzle something as Peter Morgan's luscious drama goes into season four. Gillian Anderson's Margaret Thatcher gave Olivia Colman's Queen Elizabeth a formidable slide, but it's alluring newcomer Emma Corrin who stole every scene as Princess Di. Corrin cleverly gives us a young, carefree Diana Spencer, who zooms past Buckingham Palace with her friends in a car, clubbing, rolling to Duran Duran - and a painfully vulnerable, often neglected Di who fights against bulimia and the disdain of a sulky. Camilla-possessed Prince Charles. Some feathers are said to be disheveled in London. UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has called on Netflix to issue a disclaimer warning viewers not to mistake it for fact. In season 5, Tenet's Elizabeth Debicki will take on the role, but it will be difficult to shake off Corrin's award-winning performance. - E.D.
4. The Mandalorian (Disney +)
The Mandalorian: Season 2
After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior appears in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian takes place after the fall of the empire and before the formation of the First Order. We follow the troubles of a lonely gunslinger on the galaxy outskirts, far from the authority of the New Republic ...
Baby Yoda, we barely knew you. Yes, viewers finally learned the child's real name - and the discovery that the junior Jedi's nickname is Grogu is one of the least surprising twists and turns of Disney + season two. From the live action debut of Clone Wars alumna Ahsoka Tano (in the form of Rosario Dawson) to Boba Fett's butt-kicking showcase in episode 6 to the showdown between our hero Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and the insidious Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito)) - plus the return of everyone's favorite Jedi! - In the season finale, The Mandalorian not only avoided a second year slump, but also improved its formula for success. The Mandalorian skillfully combines profound Star Wars lore with fan-friendly recalls, while creating its own mythology. It quickly created a successful template for Lucasfilm and Disney to keep Star Wars going for years. That's the way ... and it's great. - ME.
3. I can destroy you (HBO)
I can destroy you: Season 1
In London, where satisfaction is just an app away, the story revolves around Arabella (Michaela Coel), a carefree, confident Londoner with a group of great friends, a friend in Italy and an emerging career as a writer. But when her drink is displaced, she has to question and rebuild every element of her life.
At its core, I May Destroy You - in which the carefree life of the London-based writer and influencer Arabella through a sudden sexual assault that she can only half remember - is off course - about a very black and white concept: consent. But the dedication of the author, co-director and star Michaela Coel to thwart nuances, changing perspectives and blurred morals and, fittingly, culminating in an unresolved adventure finale made this finale one of the most nuanced, provocative and visionary things that came of the Year 2020 will come out. Coel drew on her own experience of assault in creating the plot, and if she doesn't get away with Emmy's arm at the ceremony next year, it will be an unforgivable oversight. - E.D.
2. Schitt's Creek (Pop)
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Schitt's Creek crept in like a lamb when it premiered in 2015 on the little-regarded pop network. But the Canadian comedy that Dan and Eugene Levy co-created went out like a lion in its sixth and final season, which reaches its massive following to reduced tears ... and Emmy story to boot. The show made a clean impression in the comedy category, and all four of the main characters - Levy Boys, Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy - took statues home with them. Even if it hadn't won a single Emmy, Schitt's Creek would still be a modern day TV classic for creating a loving, tolerant community that we consider a home away from home. As Moira Rose would say, "Good people always win." - E.A.
1. The Queen's Gambit (Netflix)
The Queen's Game: Season 1
At a Kentucky orphanage in the 1950s, a young girl discovers an amazing talent for chess while battling addiction.
Netflix checkmated the streaming competition with Scott Frank's addicting miniseries, successfully combining the melodrama of Douglas Sirk and world-class chess. The Queen's Gambit is also the best showcase so far for breakout star Anya Taylor-Joy, who has dug herself deep into the troubled psyche of child prodigy Beth Harmon and, because of her flaws, creates a character that is all the more convincing. This is how successful Frank was in getting the viewers excited again for one of the oldest board games in the world: Sales of chess games rose in the weeks after the series' Netflix premiere. - E.A.
5. The Undo (HBO)
The Undoing is an upcoming American drama miniseries based on Jean Hanff Korelitz's novel You Should Have Known that will premiere on HBO. The series plays Nicole Kidman, who will work as an executive producer alongside David E. Kelley, Susanne Bier, Per Saari and Bruna Papandrea. Kelley will also write and show the series, and Bier will direct.
In the first few episodes, HBO's latest Tony crime thriller ran past on its combination of New York real estate fantasy, Nicole Kidman's brisk walks, and Hugh Grant's dingy charm. But as the series progressed, it became harder to ignore the unpleasant smell wafting from the red pegs that writer David E. Kelly kept throwing in our way. What finally broke up The Undoing was the ridiculously mundane series finale that combined a random helicopter chase with a solution that kept staring us in the face the entire time. To say we enjoyed the ride would be a big (small) lie.
4. Hollywood (Netflix)
It may have garnered multiple Emmy nominations, but Ryan Murphy's evocation of Tinseltown's Golden Age is more Razzie-worthy in the way it takes to rewrite Hollywood history through a 21st century lens. Mixing real movie stars - like Rock Hudson and Anna May Wong - with fictional characters is a promising premise, as is the idea of incorporating the melodramatic plot instruments of the 1940s films into the narrative. Unfortunately, maintaining this delicate balancing act all too often leads to the series falling on its head.
3. Snowpiercer (TNT)
Turning Bong Joon-ho's 2013 cult favorite into an ongoing TV series has always been a huge task. But the main sin of TNT's Snowpiercer is that it's like this ... in the middle of the track. Without the movie's wild creative swings and the multilayered backstory of the original comic, the show just seems to chug with memorable characters and boring storylines. Somebody stops this train and lets go of Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs.
2. The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow (Netflix)
Gwyneth Paltrow's controversial lifestyle brand spawned a controversial Netflix series that doubles as an expanded commercial for Goop and a veritable library of crazy Paltrow stories. When she doesn't confess to taking MDMA or forgetting how old she is, the Oscar-winning entrepreneur sits down with various health and wellness trendsetters who offer a mix of dubious advice and even more dubious products. The Goop Lab is classic car wreck TV that you know should look the other way ... but the sheer horror keeps pulling your gaze back.
Quibi Shuts Down: Why the $ 1.75 Billion Streaming App Failed
Yahoo Finance's Alexis Christoforous, Brian Sozzi, and Dan Roberts discuss how Quibi shut down.
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman's short-lived mobile streaming service was the biggest flop of 2020, shutting down just six months after launch, burning billions of dollars in the process. Obwohl Quibi Top-Talente wie Sophie Turner, Chrissy Teigen und Steven Soderbergh anzog, bemühte er sich, seine Existenz zu rechtfertigen - und Breakout-Shows zu produzieren -, bis schließlich der Stecker gezogen wurde. Nicht zuletzt haben wir jetzt eine neue Maßeinheit für TV-Sendungen. i.e. "Es war vorbei in einem Quibi."
- Ethan Alter, Erin Donnelly, Marcus Errico, Kevin Polowy und Raechal Shewfelt
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