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Best Action TV Series of 2020


If you ever wanted to see Robert Rodriguez direct an extended sequence where stormtrooper after stormtrooper is made to endure bone-crunching assaults on their poorly armored persons, then 2020 was your year. The Umbrella Academy revisited the JFK assassination with a super-powered twist, Westworld finally left Westworld for even more intense action, and in general the past year served up a ton of explosive TV.These are our best action TV series of 2020 nominations.

Best Action TV Series of 2020

Click through the gallery above or scroll down for the full list!

The Boys

Best Action TV Series of 2020 2From exploding a boat into a beached whale to a giant head-exploding party to – well – all forms of glop and splatter, The Boys proved to be one of the most jaw-droppingly violent shows of 2020. Billy Butcher’s crew not only battled back against the might of The Seven, but also the newest member of the super-group – a lightning-wielding genocidal maniac named Stormfront, who seemed to be operating under her own ugly agenda. Maintaining a perfect balance between comedy, intrigue, and over-the-top-action, The Boys gave us amazing character development in the form of Antony Starr’s Homelander, Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher, and Erin Moriarty’s Starlight. All while landing shocking surprises and emotional brilliance.

For more, check out our The Boys Season 2 review!

Doom Patrol

Best Action TV Series of 2020 3Doom Patrol, which recently shifted from DC Universe to HBO Max (along with the rest of DC Universe’s super-slate), blends deep, introspective character drama with absurd hero humor in a way that’s unlike anything else on TV. Filled with whacky and surreal action, this series, about a misfit squad – comprised of Robotman, Negative Man, Crazy Jane, Elasti-Woman, and Cyborg – is one of the most awesome, off-kilter shows around.

For more, check out our Doom Patrol: Season 2 premiere review!

The Mandalorian

Best Action TV Series of 2020 4Exciting shootouts on board Imperial transport ships. Lethal lightsaber takedowns. Narrow escapes from rampaging alien spiders. The Mandalorian’s second season proved to be even better than the first, as it more fully embraced its space western qualities, brought in stellar guest stars (some of whom played the first-ever live-action versions of fan-favorite animated characters), and became even more of a beautiful bridge between the three saga trilogies, the animated shows, and even things that were previously non-canon. Plus, giant krayt dragons, frog ladies, dark troopers, Baby Yoda’s real name, a big Grand Admiral Thrawn tease, and so much more. It’s the perfect storm of Star Wars, made by fans for fans, taking the franchise into new, creative directions that make us all excited for the next step.

For more, check out our The Mandalorian Season 2 premiere review!

The Umbrella Academy

Best Action TV Series of 2020 5If you’ve never seen a knock-down, drag-out brawl set to The Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” then you haven’t been keeping up with one of Netflix’s wildest rides, The Umbrella Academy. Time hopping, mind controlling, and spirit possessing are all par for the course when it comes to this show’s penchant for crazy action and chaos. This year, the Hargreeves siblings, trapped in 1960s Dallas, had to once again find each other and unite against another calamitous, reality-threatening danger. With rapid-fire banter, kinetic action sequences, a killer soundtrack, and complicated family dynamics at its heart, The Umbrella Academy’s second season was a tighter, more confident version of the series.

For more, check out our The Umbrella Academy Season 2 review!


Best Action TV Series of 2020 6Westworld managed to totally reivent itself in Season 3, shifting focus away from theme parks run amok and showing what happens when Dolores Abernathy takes her fight for android liberation to the outside world. With several compelling new characters added to the mix in Season 3, the series remains one of the most binge-worthy and mind-bending shows in the HBO lineup.

For more, check out our Westworld: Season 3 finale review!

Those are our picks for the best action TV series of 2020 – let us know in the comments what’s on your list that didn’t make ours, and be sure to cast your vote for our TV Series of the Year 2020 People’s Choice Award here!

There are plenty of other awards! Check out all our movies, TV, and comics nominees below!

Best Movies of 2020

Best TV of 2020

Best Comics of 2020

Be sure to check out all of our other movies, TV and comics of the Year award nominees as well as our picks for the best games of 2020!

IGN’s Best of 2020 was designed by:
Lead Design + Art Direction: Justin Vachon
Branding + Art Direction: Angela Nguyen
Branding + Social Design: Julia Rago
Editorial Design: Amanda Flagg
Editorial Design: Eric Sapp
Motion Graphics: Will Batchelor

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