We can’t help but admire as this year comes to a close is how a plethora of shows was released amid the pandemic and its collateral damage. In 2020, both India and the rest of the world saw some absolutely superlative performances grace our screens. Here are some of the remarkable television shows this year.
The Queen’s Gambit
An immediate sensation became this drama miniseries about a young chess prodigy reforming social expectations while fighting her own drug issues. It coincided with the resurgence due to a chess curiosity lockdown, which also happens to be an impressive display with excellent results.
Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet
This office comedy about a video game company hits the right balance between niche humor and relatable experience, straight from the minds of comic geniuses Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney (It’s Still Sunshine in Philadelphia). Jokes still strike, and actually, this is one of the few decent sitcoms in the last couple of years.
Never Have I Ever
This coming-of-age series, created by Mindy Kaling, tells the story of a first-gen Indian American adolescent attempting to reconcile two distinct communities while trying to cope with the sorrow of her father’s unexpected death.
This show tells Harshad Mehta’s story, who scammed the Indian stock market for a bizarre sum of cash, in finely rendered detail. Pratik Gandhi, who’s now known as a talent par excellence, plays the titular character. This was really one of the year’s best displays.
A misguided but inherently well-meaning policeman is charged with a high-profile case that brings him to the depths of human greed and evil. As well as a storyline that didn’t shy away from the upsetting, the show was lauded for its performances.
Panchayat is one of this year’s most endearing, heart-warming, and outright funny series, keeping a special spot in many hearts for being a breath of fresh air in the entertainment room. This film featuring a continuously angry Jitendra Kumar and a charmingly rustic Raghubir Yadav really made 2020 better.
This crime drama featured excellent acting and a strong storyline by Ram Madhvani and Sandeep Modi. As an influential, autonomous female leader, Sushmita Sen genuinely shone through. Criminal instincts are damned.
This show tells the original story of Perry Mason, the successful defense lawyer. It is set in Los Angeles in the 1930s. The hard-drinking but committed titular character is played by Matthew Rhys. The show also has stellar appearances by the incredibly talented John Lithgow and Tatiana Maslany.
May I Destroy You
As a Twitter star-turned-author who is in a battle against time to finish her second book, this show stars the celebrated acting talents of Michaela Coel. This comedy drama’s overarching storyline centers on Cole’s character attempting to restore her life after becoming the victim of sexual abuse.
In this political drama about the campaign to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the USA and conservatives’ outcry, Cate Blanchette plays Phylis Schlafly. Blanchette has proven her talent before, and with the success of a lifetime, she does it again in this film.
This show, for a cause, has a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This drama revolves around a strip club in Mississippi with predominantly Black women who have to co-exist with the homophobia and racism prevalent in the deep south, as an adaptation of a play by Katori Hall.
Nicole Kidman appears as a psychiatrist and a woman whose husband is convicted of a horrific murder in this psychological suspense miniseries. In recent years, Hugh Grant has shed his babyface persona to adopt a deliciously dark side that is in full force in this compelling film, plays the husband.
This genre-defying comedy-drama is half parody, half historical fiction, and tells the Empress of All Russia’s Empress, Catherine the Great. As the Empress and Emperor, the series stars Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult.
This show, produced by Greg Daniels (The Office), is a sci-fi satire set in a future where people will upload their consciousness into a VR after they die. The kind of money you have defines the sort of afterlife you enjoy. This show is another winner of the year with a creative premise and a good script.
This science-fiction mystery miniseries, starring the inimitable Nick Offerman and Sonoya Mizuno, follows a computer engineer played by Chan investigating her boyfriend’s disappearance. It’s a pretty intense presentation, covering everything from corporate surveillance to philosophical issues. However, if you stick with it, it’s still highly satisfying.