The year 2020 likely kept many of us inside for most of it. It looks like that situation may last at least into part of 2021. On the positive flip side, many great movies and series were released on Netflix in 2020. The streaming service has made available a plethora of movies and series, some original to Netflix.
Want to watch a great collection of series? Well, we present you a list of the best series on Netflix for 2020 to consider.
Big Mouth is so successful for Netflix that it’s renewed the gross-out animated comedy up until season 6. Season 4, meanwhile, just dropped in December 2020. It’s about a group of 7th-grade kids. Who are toughing it out through the trials of puberty while living in New York City.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 99%
Each of the kids are haunted by hormone monsters, influencing their decisions. It’s pretty disgusting at times, but very funny. Helped by a fantastic ensemble of voice actors including John Mulaney, Jordan Peele, Jenny Slate and Nick Kroll. Worth watching if you’re a fan of adult animated comedy generally.
The Queen’s Gambit
This seven-episode miniseries is the latest great Netflix show. While the subject of chess might not sound exciting, The Queen’s Gambit manages to weave it together. With a tale of self-actualization, romance and drug abuse. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon, an orphan trained to play chess by a talented janitor. Before she challenges the very male-dominated chess scene with her skills. Essentially, her talents land her a slightly better life, but not without a price.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 100%
Even if you don’t really know how to play chess, these competitive scenes are exciting to watch in The Queen’s Job. Taylor-Joy does a great job of bringing to life a character whose exceptional talents hide the fact that she’s constantly grappling with addiction. Based on the novel of the same name, this adaptation counts Scott Frank as one of its co-creators. Who previously made another of the best Netflix shows – the Western drama Godless.
This is a great Netflix binge watch: seven episodes is just the right number. Well worth watching.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
If you’re looking for the best Netflix horror TV show, The Haunting of Hill House is it. Followed by this year’s successor series in what’s becoming an anthology, The Haunting of Bly Manor. Hill House is about a family returning to their old home to reckon with the events that drove them away from it. A story with many genuinely terrifying moments. Brought to life by a terrific ensemble cast (including Carla Gugino and Henry Thomas).
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 87%
Bly Manor, meanwhile, doesn’t entirely reach the same scary heights. It’s about an American au pair who looks after some widowed children in another giant old house. Which itself has plenty of spooky going on. But it’s a gothic romance at its heart, and admirably different to Hill House. Both are worth binge-watching on Netflix.
Related: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: An August Wilson Classic on Netflix
Away is a science fiction television series created by Andrew Hinderaker. The series follows an international crew’s journey to Mars. Plus the struggle she faces leaving the life — and family — she knows behind.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 58%
As she embarks on a treacherous mission to Mars commanding an international crew, Emma Green must leave her husband and teen daughter behind.
Ratched can firmly and fairly be called a ‘guilty pleasure’. The latest show from American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy is his best Netflix effort yet by far. Essentially a prequel to One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Ratched (Sarah Paulson) blackmails her way into working at an experimental psychiatric facility. Which houses killers and other colorful characters.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 61%
It’s extremely violent at times, but also campy – not dissimilar to American Horror Story, really. Featuring the likes of Vincent D’Onofrio, Sharon Stone and Cynthia Nixon in its supporting cast. Ratched is such a huge hit on Netflix. In fact, Ratched season 2 is underway.
Once a YouTube original, Netflix recently snapped up the rights to Karate Kid continuation TV show Cobra Kai. Set 34 years after Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) was defeated by Danny LaRusso (Ralph Macchio.) The former opens the Cobra Kai dojo once more to teach a new generation of kids how to fight. This sparks Johnny and Danny’s old rivalry.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%
If you love Karate Kid, this show is a lot of fun. Both its leads are in surprisingly great condition considering they’re each performing fight stunts in their fifties. Season 3 just dropped on Netflix, and Cobra Kai season 4 is in the works, too.
The Umbrella Academy
Netflix showed it didn’t need to collaborate with Marvel to make a great superhero show. As this quirky adaptation of the Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá-created series of comics proves. The superpowered siblings – the Hargreeves. Reunite to face a possible apocalypse after their adopted father is murdered.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90%
With an excellent ensemble cast that includes the likes of Elliot Page and Robert Sheehan, this breezy and fun show almost makes up for the lack of new Marvel content coming to Netflix. The Umbrella Academy season 2 is available now. Too, taking the Hargreeves somewhere else entirely, and it’s even better than the first season. Also, The Umbrella Academy season 3 is underway
Unsolved Mysteries’ explores more unexplained disappearances, tragic events, and bizarre occurrences.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 77%
True-crime fans will enjoy Netflix’s reboot of “Unsolved Mysteries,” a documentary series that explores a different open-ended case with each episode. Whether it’s alleged alien sightings or gruesome, unexplained deaths, the cases are bound to leave you with more questions than answers.
If you enjoyed the original series, the Netflix revival offers a hint of nostalgia and an abundance of true-crime intrigue.
Anne With an E
Anne with an E is as a coming-of-age story. One about an outsider who fights for acceptance, for her place in the world and for love. The drama revolves around a young orphaned girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers. She is mistakenly sent to live with an elderly spinster and her aging brother.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 60%
Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform their lives and eventually the small town in which they live, with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination. While the new series will follow a similar storyline to the book that millions of readers around the world know and love, it will also chart new territory. Anne and the rest of the characters in and around Green Gables will experience new adventures reflecting timeless issues, including themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice and trusting oneself.
Blood & Water
After crossing paths at a party, a Cape Town teen sets out to prove whether a private-school swimming star is her sister who was abducted at birth.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 80%
Blood and Water contains similar tropes as other well-known teen series. The series takes place within a school for the very rich kids. There is a big mystery at the center of the series while the usual teenage melodramas unfold. Interestingly, there is a lot of text messaging involved. Blood and Water,however, differs from other shows in the very mystery of the story. It is tackling a big issue in South Africa, human trafficking.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness
Netflix’s biggest documentary to make you ask, “how is this real?”, Tiger King takes you behind the scenes of a big cat tourism attraction, and it’s eye-opening. What starts as a documentary about an eccentric with a lot of big cats in cages and a hunger for fame quickly escalates into darker and more serious territory.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 86%
You won’t see where this is going over its seven episodes, and you’ll never forget the range of characters you’ll get to meet in this series. It’s the most talked about documentary show in years, making Tiger King a must-see, even if its final follow-up episode with Joel McHale is worth skipping.
This limited series, based on a memoir by Deborah Feldman. It was one of the biggest surprises unveiled by Netflix this year. In four lovely episodes, it tells the story of Esty, a young woman who was raised in the Satmar community of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 95%
The narrative jumps back and forth in time to chart her path to an unhappy marriage and subsequent escape from her restricted world to Berlin. In Germany, she falls in with a crowd of musicians and charts a life for herself independent of her past. Anchored by an incredible performance from Shira Haas, Unorthodox is one of the most spiritually fulfilling programs the streaming service has to offer.
Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez
This is a three-part documentary series featuring exclusive courtroom footage, Hernandez’s phone calls from prison, and interviews with those who knew Hernandez and Lloyd, ‘Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez’ meticulously examines the perfect storm of factors leading to the trial, conviction, and death of an athlete who seemingly had it all.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 77%
‘Killer Inside’ is the most comprehensive account of Aaron Hernandez yet, and a fascinating portrait of an impossible person.
Starring Gillian Anderson and Asa Butterfield alongside a slew of previously unknown actors, this British comedy is a treat. It’s about the students, parents and teachers of Moordale Secondary School, where Butterfield plays Otis, the son of sex therapist Dr Jean Milburn (Anderson). He teams up with Maeve (Emma Mackey) to open their own in-school sex education clinic, and help fellow students out with their various issues.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%
It’s a very empathetic and heartwarming show that expertly explores topical issues around sexual identity and gender, and it’s really funny to boot. Sex Education season 3 is filming now, and we’re expecting it in 2021.
You’ve seen period dramas before – but not like this. From super-producer Shonda Rhimes comes Bridgerton, a flirty, feisty Netflix series that centres on the Bridgerton family. One of the daughters, Daphne, is of age to find a husband and ends up ‘pretending’ to fall in love with one of England’s most eligible bachelors, just so everyone will get off her back. Of course, things do not go to plan.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92%
Yes, it’s a scandalous yet heartfelt love story; one that features colourblind casting, taught relationships, and lots of bonking – and we mean lots. No wonder, then, that it’s quickly become one of Netflix most-watched shows.
Locke & Key
After their father is murdered under mysterious circumstances, the three Locke siblings and their mother move into their ancestral home, Keyhouse, which they discover is full of magical keys that may be connected to their father’s death.”
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 66%
“Locke and Key” is a family-friendly adaptation of a best-selling graphic novel series, and it’s already been renewed for a second season.
The world-building in ‘Locke and Key’ is impeccable, mixing the mundanities of school and family life seamlessly with colorful fantasy set pieces.
Babarian is the first German historical series from Netflix, and the first Netflix project from Gaumont GmbH, a subsidiary of the French company Gaumont SA. The French Gaumont has worked with Netflix before, on such productions as Narcos and Hannibal, but Babarians is the first German project to have been launched.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 100%
It is an excellent series that reveals a pivotal historical event in Europe through a gripping story of love, friendship, betrayals and revenge. With just six episodes, ending on a cliffhanger of sorts, you’ll be itching for the next season to find out what happens next.
Blood of Zeus
A commoner living in ancient Greece, Heron discovers his true heritage as a son of Zeus, and his purpose: to save the world from a demonic army.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 100%
“Blood of Zeus” is a Netflix animated original series that retells classic Greek myths. Any fan of mythology and fantasy stories will find something to love in this show, according to critics.
Just like a soap opera, or even ‘Game of Thrones,’ these gods are constantly scheming and using each other as chess pieces, which only means trouble for the poor mortals on the ground that suffer the consequences.
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