Better Call Saul
Getting better and better with each new season, Better Call Saul once again knocked it out of the park with a penultimate showing that gave us Jimmy at his most desperate and conniving, Kim standing at the crossroads of some very dark decisions, Mike pushing away all of his friends and family, and Lalo Salamanca proving himself to be one of the best antagonists of the entire Breaking Bad-verse. This year, big online discussions were had about whether or not Better Call Saul was a superior series to Breaking Bad. No verdict was actually rendered, but Saul’s Season 5 still stands tall as the run that made it an actual debate.
For more, check out our Better Call Saul: Season 5 finale review!
In what is easily the juiciest season of The Crown, Season 4 delves deeper into the personal psyches of the Windsor family as they struggle with two very different, yet very status-shaking women in the British zeitgeist: the iron-willed Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the sweet, yet troubled Diana Spencer. Many first-time viewers of the series only watching because of these two iconic women will certainly get their satisfaction in one season, but Season 4’s strength lies in the culmination of multi-season development of its royal characters and stellar performances from an outgoing cast setting the stage for the next and older iterations.
For more, check out our The Crown Season 4 review!
The first TV series from sci-fi maestro Alex Garland (Sunshine, Ex Machina), Devs was the ambitious, out-there opening shot for “FX on Hulu,” a new slate of original programming that FX would produce solely for Hulu. And what a magnificent mind-bender it was. Devs, the story of a software engineer who stumbles onto a secret project to create a machine that, using advanced analytics and mechanics, can both see into the past and predict the future, was a malicious, melancholic trip into the age-old debate between free will and determinism. Groovy, unsettling, and thought-provoking.
For more, check out our Devs series premiere review!
HBO’s terrific, terrifying, and topical adaptation of Matt Ruff’s novel, from Underground’s Misha Green, told the tumultuous tale of army vet Atticus “Tic” Freeman who, when returning back home to 1950s Jim Crow America, discovers that his family lineage connects to forbidden magic and sorcery previously denied to African Americans. From there, Lovecraft Country rocketed us into a raucous adventure that touched on everything from time travel to body horror to the infinite possibilities of the multiverse. As Tic, Leti, and their family waged war against societal demons like racism they also fought back against insurmountable odds in a fight for supernatural supremacy.
For more, check out our Lovecraft Country season finale review!
The Queen’s Gambit
Centered on a troubled, orphaned chess prodigy, The Queen’s Gambit was a smash hit for Netflix and a testament to star Anya Taylor-Joy’s magnetic presence as a performer. With emotionally intelligent writing, this exploration of competitive chess in the 1960s sparked a renewed real-world interest in the game, as Google search queries for chess doubled from October to November. With powerful themes of substance abuse and discrimination, a compelling style, and world-class acting, The Queen’s Gambit is an absolute checkmate.
For more, check out our The Queen’s Gambit review!
Those are our picks for the best drama 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!