My Top 20 New TV Shows of 2020

This is the final post in my rankings and lists of 2020! If you have missed the previous part on ongoing TV shows, click here to check it out. Today will be all about TV shows (both limited series and shows that might still continue) that first released in 2020. There’s been a lot of good content, which was helpful considering how much time most of us spent at home. Let’s dive into my faves!

20. The Hardy Boys

I discovered the CW Nancy Drew for myself this past year and then I discovered this version of the Hardy Boys, which is darker in tone and less focused on the action/mystery as it is on relationships. I really had a good time and hope they will continue with it.

19. Love, Victor

From the Love, Simon universe, Love, Victor obviously isn’t all perfect either but operates on a lot of heart. In that final scene when Victor got to take that breath of relief – that touched me. That tied in with the Simon universe. It was lovely.

18. Grand Army

Have said it before and will say it again, it’s a kind of take on Euphoria from Netflix, following the lives of several teens in New York City. I don’t know why, but I felt this was a bit more authentic to actual teen life, but I could obviously be wrong. Please don’t watch this show lightly though, there’s a lot of heavy subject matter such as sexual assault, adultification, terrorism, racial profiling, racial injustice.

17. Upload

After the Good Place was over, this was my replacement in terms of “shows about a possible afterlife”, just that this one was more tech based. It was a lot of fun.

16. Never Have I Ever

To me, this was equally funny and emotional, which is always a nice combo to have. I can see Devi’s experience not being entirely universal and her possibly getting on people’s nerves sometimes, but she grows on you. And so do the other characters.

15. Dash & Lily

SUCH a lovely holiday show! It was sweet, short, heartwarming. I know it already got renewed and I hope it will improve on the sequel books as much as it did for the first book.

14. 9-1-1 Lone Star

Me and my firefighter shows – a match made in heaven. I just love them, sometimes without reason, but Lone Star really stepped up and proved to be a worthy spin-off from it’s LA predecessor. I cannot wait for their crossover this year.

13. The Wilds

Lost meets Maze Runner meets the I-Land with an entirely female lead cast in this twisted and maddening show. While I don’t think every twist was as unpredictable as the one before, I did think it opened up a good-sized can of worms to theorize over until the next season comes around.

12. Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet

I sought out shows that made me feel good this past year and Mythic Quest was 100% one of them. More fun than anything, it also had a couple hard hitting episodes here and there, especially the quarantine one had me in tears though. That was too close to home.

11. Stargirl

Look, I am fully aware that this show does not exactly have award-worthy writing, but it was well paced, focused on the teens AND the adults on the show and had a whole lot of heart. I am still not over some of the episodes and I so very much hope that the CW won’t ruin it going forward.
Stargirl has been one of my saving anchors in 2020 and I cannot stress enough how much it means to me. Just think about all the art I did for it alone and all the amazing people it introduced me to.

10. Ragnarok

I think this show went under the radar, because it’s an international Netflix show, but I was SO here for it. Putting Norse mythology in a modern setting, with an excellent cast and a beautiful setting just checked all the boxes for me. Please, if you haven’t yet, consider watching it!

9. The Queen’s Gambit

I think the Queen’s Gambit was a surprise for a lot of us, considering that most of us didn’t believe chess could be so captivating. Oh, what fools we have been and how grateful I am for the show proving us wrong.

8. Bridgerton

Bridgerton was so saucy. I know it has problematic elements but a regency Gossip Girl was just too tempting for me and I had fun. I think as long as you can acknowledge mistakes, you can still enjoy things.

7. Outer Banks

I fell into a deep deep Outer Banks hole sometime this summer and I also know that this isn’t necessarily any less problematic than Bridgerton. It’s also not very realistic, but yeah. I had so much fun. It just has a lot of elements that work so well together and I am here to adopt JJ, thank you, bye. (In all fairness, this probably really shouldn’t be so high up)

6. Normal People

This show wrecked me, but I loved it with all my heart. Marianne’s and Connell’s struggles sometimes seem self-imposed (I am not talking about the depression here, obviously, I am more talking about the obstacles they put in front of themselves in getting together), but you feel for them regardless.

5. Julie and the Phantoms

This show is so good. I don’t know what Netflix is waiting for in terms of renewing it, because I literally see people talk about it on social media every single day still, but JATP deserves more. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and the songs are such bops.

4. The Haunting of Bly Manor

I liked Bly Manor even better than Hill House and the way this wasn’t even really a ghost story, but a love story instead. Each season deals with such human issues, I truly never believed I’d fall so head over heels for the Haunting series.

3. Little Voice

People did not appreciate the whimsy and softness of this show enough. It wasn’t about the love triangle, but about Bess inner voice and that’s a beautiful journey to watch. Also, yes, I always was Team Sam.

2. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

There’s not enough words in the world to describe how much I love this show and how much it means to me. I am not even usually into things where people sing for no reason (fully aware this is the third music-themed show in the top 10 of this list), but this hit all the right marks. Bring tissues, you’ll need them!

1. Ted Lasso

This. Is. My. Ultimate. Comfort. Show.

Ted Lasso is just there to make us all happy and it deserves the prime spot for that alone.

Honorable Mentions

As I mentioned above, there really were so many new shows! Hence, here are some more that I enjoyed and that were freshly released in 2020:

  • October Faction (unfortunately already cancelled)
  • Locke & Key
  • Gentefied
  • I Am Not Okay with This (unfortunately already cancelled)
  • Council of Dads (unfortunately already cancelled)
  • Sweet Magnolias
  • Love Life (mini-series)
  • Blood & Water
  • Home Before Dark
  • Mortel
  • Helstrom (unfortunately already cancelled)
  • Saved by the Bell (Reboot)
  • Tiny Pretty Things
  • Vampires

That’s it! Do you concur with my picks? Do they feel on brand with what I usually talk about on here? What is a new show you absolutely adored in 2020?Β 

13 thoughts on “My Top 20 New TV Shows of 2020

  1. Ugh, “Love, Victor,” my heart. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it felt SO cozy and comforting, just like the rest of the Simonverse. I’m so excited for the next season. And “Never Have I Ever” was a big surprise for me; I didn’t think I’d like it at first, but it does grow on you, like you said!

    Happy new year! I hope 2021 treats you well. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really was such a cozy show! I had a lot of picks for this ranking that just made me feel warm inside. I think that’s what I appreciated most in content in 2020.
      I ALSO didn’t initially expect to enjoy Never Have I Ever as much as I did in the end.

      Happy new year to you as well! Here’s to a better 2021 ❀


  2. So I ended up showing Episode 1 of the Hardy Boys to my kid after all — remember, she’s named after one of the characters. She didn’t like it at all. I’m not sure I’d go back to watch the rest without her. I do like the casting updates (Biff is now female, Chet is Black, the mom has (had) a career), but unfortunately my 10-year-old was less than enthused!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Back when I first talked about the Hardy Boys, I had another parent comment on it, whose 11-year-old son also did not enjoy the show one bit. The thing is, I know the books are for children, but as I said to her as well, I don’t think the show is suitable for a younger audience. It always depends on the child and everyone knows theirs better than me, a stranger from the interwebs, but it didn’t look like it was targeted at them. First, it’s quite dark (visually and in story sometimes too, because although not very explicit, it involved a lot of death) and then the pacing is on the slower side which I loved, but which could bore children.


      • The books were initially aimed at ages 10-14 (my heyday with them was ages 7-11, as it turned out). Not even sure who’s reading the Hardy Boys these days. The show would be missing out if they weren’t trying to reach tweens as well as young adults. But it wasn’t grabbing me as a grownup, either…


      • I’m pretty sure tweens and young adults are the target audience. Basically your slightly above average CW viewership. I’d start around 14-15 with the age and not limit it above.


  3. I literary only watched Locke & Key from your list (and it’s not even on your main one) BUT I plan on watching many of them. I’m even more exited to get around to them now, seeing how much you loved them πŸ˜€


  4. Ah I loved Dash & Lily so much, it warmed my heart! Never Have I Ever was such a great show as well and ah Sweet Magnolias, still NOT OVER that ending help πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I liked Bridgeton, but I felt more invested in the first couple episodes than the last, for some reason?
    Love your lists! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s fair about Bridgerton. I am excited for S2 and Anthony meeting his Kate. I am curious how she’s gonna enchant him and if they’ll stick to the super ridiculous storyline of the book (which I haven’t read, but I DID read the summary of book 2 haha)

      Liked by 1 person

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