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!
Yesterday I gave you my thoughts on the 10 best books I read in 2020, but we all know that the topic I really can’t stop talking about are TV shows. So, not only am I giving you a list of my top 20 shows, I actually split it up in two categories – new and ongoing shows. (The post for the new shows will be up in a couple days, but tomorrow is movie ranking day!) I simply could not contain myself.
I am aware that the phrasing “ongoing shows” might be a bit misleading, which is why I want to clarify what I mean. I included all shows that released before 2020 in this list! That means, they may only have one season that aired previous to that year, but they also might have had their series finale in 2020. Ongoing here doesn’t necessarily mean it is still airing now or that they released follow-up seasons during the last year. Hope that made sense!
On we go with more lists. As most of you know, I am a TV person. I definitely watch more shows than movies per year, so narrowing it down was very hard. That is why I split my TV rankings into two separate posts! This post is about shows that had their first season in 2019 (or were released in my territory for the first time in 2019) and tomorrow I will talk some more about the shows that had continued seasons this past year. More on that later though, here are my 2019 faves:
10. The Umbrella Academy
I know we are all a little tired of the comic book/superhero adaptations, but I celebrate all the things that aren’t traditionally DC or Marvel and still manage to create a compelling world. I completely fell in love with this show and the characters and the found family trope on it. As per usual, it also helps when a character is called Klaus, which was probably part of the reason he was my favourite.
9. The Boys
I don’t get why people complained about this show not being for kids. Nowhere, literally at no place I saw ads on, did they advertise it as anything kid or teen friendly. So, The Boys is a really great adult comic book adaptation, as long as you are okay with violence. Some of the twists at the end were brilliant and I cannot wait for the next season.
This one flew a little bit under the radar from what I saw, but celebrated female connections in the best and most beautiful of ways. I think we’ve all neglected our friendships for one reason or another at some point in our lives and I adored how this show portrayed that in such a surreal way.
7. The Rook
I talked about this show non stop and I probably will keep thinking about it until I get a definite confirmation of a second season. Based on a book that I did not enjoy at all (read more about that here), this show brought to me one of my now all time favourite new characters – Gestalt. A hive-mind being that shares thoughts and emotions across the bodies of three siblings and who is coincidentally the love interest of the main character.
6. The Society
Teens having to figure out how to live on their own and establish rules that will assure their survival is kind of my jam … for some weird reason? Most of the characters on it were beautifully morally gray and therefore complex and sometimes annoying, but that’s what makes for a great three dimensional persona. I want to say that I didn’t just hype this show for Grizz, but if anyone hurts a hair on his head, I will find them and I will hurt them.
5. The Witcher
Pretty last minute addition to this list, The Witcher was a great fantasy show. Now that Game of Thrones is over, I truly need something epic, but please stop comparing it at that. Except for maybe a lot of gore and nudity, there really is nothing that strikes me as similar between those two. I had a ton of fun watching the show, my only quarrel was the underdeveloped love story, because that just felt way too rushed.
4. Russian Doll
I think we all know those groundhog-day-inspired stories, but never ever did I expect such an original concept to come from that basic idea of repeating the same day over and over. This show was truly a thing of beauty and whenever that particular song comes on (which it does regularly, because it’s on my phone), I feel right back in it. I love that they didn’t just play with a time loop but gave it so many more layers. Now I only have to worry if they will mess it all up by giving it another season (which I usually never say).
3. The Politician
I was full on expecting this to be a trick and turn into a musical show, but despite the fact that there are a couple really nicely integrated songs, it’s just a satire-esque politics show that starts in high school but by no means confines itself to that setting. This show had me feel all the weirdest things, with one of my favourite characters being a dead person and giving me one of TV history’s favourite intros/theme songs. Sufjan Stevens is just really all that for me, I suppose …
2. Four Weddings and a Funeral
I don’t know if you’d expect this to be so high up on my list, but let’s be real. I have been denied good and reasonably cheesy romcom content (here with the added plus of representation in the shape of a POC cast and different religious beliefs featured) for way too long. Usually, I like my romcoms short and in movie-form, but they really did it with this show. By no means should you expect this to be like the movie, but you will laugh and you will cry if you just give it a chance. Which you obviously should, if you haven’t yet!
I am so in love with this show, words are failing me. It turns out you can really get me with smart editing and cinematography choices. Last year’s top of the list show was A Discovery of Witches, not just because it was about witches, but because it was stunningly beautiful to watch. Reprisal is very similar in that way. Of course, it’s a show about gangs, revenge with quite a bit of violence (but more tastefully done than in some other things I have watched), but still with a very clear aesthetic that is just so much fun to indulge in. Add to that the great cast, storyline and absolutely incredible world-building (imagine an era that is a mix of all sorts of different eras in one. Sixties style clothing, oldtimer cars, Sons of Anarchy-vibes gangs but with the added comfort of some people using cell phones. My forever favourites were the three River Phoenixes, but I can’t spoil you on what that means. You should really check it out for yourselves!
You know me, I watch too much to confine myself to 10 shows. Here are some that I thought were great, but that just didn’t quite make the cut:
Roswell, New Mexico
Dead to Me
That’s all the new shows I loved! Did you watch some of them? Were there surprises or did you expect to find these shows on here? Let’s chat!
As some of you so lovingly dubbed me, I am the Queen of TV. I watch way more shows than a human should be able to, which was probably the reason this post was like a hundred times harder to write than the ranking of the books and movies of 2018. To clarify, this ranking is pretty random. You could probably switch a couple of them around without me getting too fussed about it. However, it was super hard for me to decide which series to include or exclude. Ultimately I came to the decision to not take certain seasons into account (although the latest season of something might have affected my judgement) but rather rate the show as a whole. Also, I did not only include shows that came out in 2018, but rather just whatever I watched (although no panel shows or competitions). Now that that’s sorted, let’s get started!
18. Midnight, Texas
I used to be really into True Blood, but it fizzled out eventually. Still, I was excited to watch Midnight, Texas and see where it was going. It’s a weird one … because the set definitely always looks like a set rather than a place people live in. But nonetheless, I fell for the characters and the supernatural drama. They turned it UP for Season 2, but unfortunately they got cancelled. Here’s to hoping they’ll find another home!
17. Altered Carbon
I am pretty sure I watched Altered Carbon while is some kind of feverish craze. I was super sick with a temperature and it all felt like a dream at times, but I enjoyed the heck out of it! If you want to read more about the show from my previous #CurrentlyWatching post, click here!
16. The Royals
Those of you who know me, know that I have been obsessed with The Royals from the get go! It was and will probably be forever one of my favourite shows. I even rooted for the bad guy, relentlessly so. Their 4th season was their best one yet. It had an almost cinematic quality to it and I will FOREVER hold a grudge against the E! because they cancelled the show at its height and no one else picked it up. FOREVER!!! (Click here for more info on the show)
15. Schitt’s Creek
I still can’t believe most of you are sleeping on this show! I don’t even watch all that many sitcoms, but I would never ever miss an episode of Schitt’s Creek. Also, they have an openly pan character with the most romantic on screen relationship. I CRIED they were so freaking adorable! (You can find out more about the show here)
I know that a lot of people think this show is trash, and … I get it. But I loved it regardless. Maybe it was the sirens, because lets be real, sirens are just super cool. But I also have a thing for Australian shows for some reason (still patiently waiting for another season of The Wrong Girl and hoping people will discover Please Like Me eventually). It’s glossy and dramatic and predictable, but I liked it. I like shows like that.
13. Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders has some of the freaking best writing and most intense walking scenes ever. All jokes aside, it is a formidable show with amazing characters that will steal your heart and corrupt it! (Read more about it here)
12. Plan Coeur/The Hook Up Plan
Plan Coeur was one of those super nice distractions. It was fun and quick and sweet. It leaves you wanting more without that incessant need to have the next season right that moment. Sometimes those kind of shows are just exactly what you need. It’s also really great if you want to brush up on your French to be honest.
11. The Good Place
Who is not absolutely in love with The Good Place. It’s like they reinvent the story completely anew with every season. To come up with some of the ridiculous things the writers thought about, is just … completely beyond me sometimes. It’s a show where I can never wait to find out what happens next! (Read more about it here)
I did not expect to like this show and I get everyone who has their quarrels with it. However, I’ve never seen mental health issues portrayed in such a complex, layered and insightful way. Yes, sometimes the show felt all over the place and heavy and sad, but by the end of it, my heart was light and I was happy?
I know that the whole “fertility doctor messes up life of many by using his own sperm”-story has been done quite a lot in some way or another, but I loved this interpretation of it. They did well in not focusing on the father, but rather on a specific set of the siblings or in this case sisters. But it’s like so freaking hidden on Netflix that I can’t even find a regular trailer for it anymore and that makes me so smad (sad and mad).
8. The End of the F***ing World
This show was so freaking weird and I was living for it. I wasn’t actually sure it would get another season but it will and I have NO idea what’s going to happen or where they are going to continue with it. I just think it’s cool it got an audience not despite but because of its weirdness. (You can click here for more on the show)
7. Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger
This show was really, really, really good! It introduced some fresh new talent, was set in the not-so-typical New Orleans you usually see on the screen and called out privilege and social issues while they were at it. Morally grey like a lot of the Marvel content, it immediately drew me in! Freeform better not mess this up.
I feel like Travelers is a show you either like or you don’t want to watch at all. It’s a show I would not judge by its first ten minutes (like I do so very often), because they are not representative of the amazing character work and development over several seasons. (Read more about Travelers here)
5. Marvel’s Runaways
You all already know that I liked this show a lot and season 2 did not disappoint at all. In fact, I believe it made me fall in love with certain characters even more than before and I wasn’t sure that was even possible! (I did a full post on this show as well, which you can read here)
It was creepy. It was wonderful. What can I say? Stalker stories scare me as I have made some rather unpleasant experiences in the past. However, I am still intrigued by it when the casting is right? And Penn Badgley does the psycho creep like no one else.
3. Anne with an E
This is one of the most beautiful and wholesome and amazing shows to exist on Netflix! Anne is legit such a smart show, with amazing characters and a world that spans beyond what was written in the books (which I still haven’t read). I understand that the differences to the literary and even earlier adaptations on screen made some people hesitant. It’s not as bubbly and colorful, but it is a work of art nonetheless and a worthy one to watch. (Also, read more about here)
2. The Handmaid’s Tale
Sooo … I crumbled and watched it (Max Minghella is to blame). Everyone warned me and said how heavy it was. I have colleagues at work who couldn’t stomach more than one episode per day. What did I do? I binged both available season over the course of a weekend. It messed me up in all the best ways! The acting of all those people … I just cannot even!
1. A Discovery of Witches
I wanna remind everyone that this is a 100% subjective list. A Discovery of Witches had plotholes and left a lot of viewers in confusion because they didn’t manage to explain something vital to the magic system, but that didn’t stop me from falling head over heels for this show. Everything was just so freaking beautiful and I couldn’t get enough of it. I am beyond happy that there’s a season 2 and 3, which should cover all the books, already confirmed!
UnREAL, Humans, Lost in Space, Our Girl, The Gifted, Free Rein, Younger, Wynonna Earp, 3%, Timeless, Daredevil, BoJack Horseman
I just couldn’t do it! I can’t narrow it down to 18 … so there were some more shows I really liked this year. I am pretty sure I’ve forgotten something. If you can try and think of anything else, feel free to tell me in the comments and I’ll let you know if I watched it!
Yesterday, I shared my favourite reads of 2018 and today I will continue with this theme of “best of”-posts by talking a little bit about my favourite movies. I think it is pretty well known that I am more of a TV person than a movie-goer, but last year was filled with a lot of both. It also included quite a lot of German movies and I debated for while whether I should include them now or not. Ultimately, I figured it won’t hurt to add them, even if only very few of you will understand the trailers. I’ll try my best to explain what they were about.
This list is completely 100% subjective! Not all movies I mention were released in 2018 and I completely understand if you disagree with me on one or more occasions. Having said that, I just want to point out that a film can have a different impact depending on when it finds you in your life. A lot of those films just had really great timing!
(my memory actually failed me big time on this topic, so I puzzled this list together from my diary on letterboxd. Feel free to check out my profile here)
18. Woman in Gold
I watched this movie when I was already living in Berlin and I felt a little nostalgic for home. I wouldn’t call it homesickness exactly, because then that movie wouldn’t have helped much. But it was nice to see something that represented my home (even if it is in a rather unflattering light) with such a star-studded cast. It may not be for everyone, but it meant a lot to me.
17. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
I usually don’t even like any of the Mission: Impossible sequels (I was quite into the first one), but I went to the movies with my dad – and believe me, this hasn’t happened in years – and I came out of the movie really entertained! That’s what you go to the cinema for, right?
There are not many films that can claim to really have surprised me, but this movie sure did! There were twists I definitely did not see coming and I was rather impressed with the turn the story took. I could definitely see this being the start of a series even, but I don’t want to get ahead of anything.
15. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
I cried for a CGI dinosaur – enough said! (Also, I adore Dallas Bryce Howard beyond anything and am always happy to see her as a lead)
14. Das schönste Mädchen der Welt
As you can see, we have our first German movie candidate. The translation of the title means “The most beautiful girl in the world” and I don’t think the trailer does the movie any justice (it’s far less dumb in real life). Where Sierra Burgess masterfully failed to do the whole Cyrano tale in a new fashion, this one was really fun. I neither like rap very much nor some of the crass humour German movies often include, but this movie surprised me in all the best ways. It was sweet and fun!
13. Whatever Happens
This was a beautiful deconstruction of what went wrong in a relationship. It tells the whole story in reverse and Fahri Yardim is definitely one of my actor crushes … so, there’s that.
12. Nappily Ever After
A lot of Netflix movies got so much buzz this past year and I feel like Nappily Ever After deserved way more attention. The story goes so deep and really touched me. I also low-key loved how the movie was divided in chapters based on her hair.
11. 100 Dinge
This is one of those movies that came to me at a certain time in my life and although I don’t want to go into detail, it just felt right (barring some stupid small stuff I have decided to just ignore and overlook). 100 Things (which would be the translation) is a movie about two friends who developed an app together and are about to come into some serious money. They are quite competitive and getting drunk, they go into a bet, going 100 days without any of their stuff and only being able to retrieve one thing at midnight every day. It’s about consumerism but also different relationships and I liked it a lot more in the end than I thought I would, because this is the most mainstream German movie stuff you could imagine. (then again, I am super mainstream in general)
10. Ocean’s Eight
These badass ladies were just a feast to watch! Also, I love me a good heist movie.
9. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
I loved the book, I also loved the movie. The casting was serious perfection!
8. Love, Simon
It felt like a small eternity waiting for this movie to be released in most parts of Europe! But believe me when I say, once I was in the movie theater I just loved it beyond anything in that very moment. There was a giddiness inside me and I cried and laughed and felt like it connected everyone in the room a little bit. I adore when movies can do something like that!
7. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
I feel like the content of the movie could have been better, but I was beyond impressed with the visuals. Granted, I watched it in IMAX 3D, which is something I usually never treat myself to. There were frame-break-effects and I felt like I was about to die with the characters more than once just because the images were so overwhelming. For that alone, I had to put it this high on the list.
6. I Kill Giants
This movie destroyed me in the same way the A Monster Call book destroyed me. I didn’t know what to expect at all and this was a movie filled with tears.
5. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
No lie, I have watched this movie more times in 2018 than anything else. It was just so cute and sweet and pretty and a really great adaptation. What it lacked to include from the book, it made up in improving in other aspects. I was so happy with this movie!
4. Black Panther
When I saw Wakanda for the first time on the screen, I got chills! This movie is a phenomenon and rightly so!
3. Avengers: Infinity War
I went into this not knowing what was about to happen. I wasn’t spoilered by countless memes on the internet yet. I just wanted to see some action, all my faves colliding and a bit of good fun but I did not sign up for my heart to get ripped out and jumped on like a million times. This movie was 10 years in the making and the result hurt! It hurt in all the right ways.
2. Set It Up
Yes, I am going to be so extra and put a Netflix romcom on the 2nd place. I HAVE MISSED (GOOD!!!!!!) ROMCOMS SO MUCH! And I know To All the Boys is even cuter, but Set It Up hit all the right marks with me. There is even a writer main character. I am forever going to love this movie and you cannot tell me otherwise. I even ended up in a Twitter moment with my live tweets about the movie. It’s one of my biggest accomplishments of 2018.
1. A Star Is Born
I went into this film thinking that I would know exactly what was going to happen, but I was not prepared for the emotional duress I went through. Watching this alone was hard and I was simply heartbroken in the end. Bradley Cooper did a banging job for his directorial debut and the songs were beautiful and the acting was really deep and … yeah, that’s it! A Star is Born was amazing.
Have you watched some of the movies I mentioned? Which ones? Are you disappointed not to see a certain film on my list? Let’s chat!
Happy New Year everyone! What better way to start 2019 by looking back at some of the best books/shows/movies of the previous year. This is also my 1000th post, so it’s somewhat of a double celebration. Anyway, today I want to talk about my top 18 reads of 2018. Since I “only” read 36 books, that list might include some reads I did not love to the moon and back, but that were still enjoyable. And so I hope you will now enjoy this list (All books were rated between 3.5-5 stars):
18. Final Fall (Lock & Mori #3) by Heather W. Petty
The entire Lock and Mori trilogy is a really interesting villain origin story of Moriarty in a contemporary setting. I’ve heard complaints that the drama is too teenager-esque, but the characters are literally teens and it is a YA book, so I had no quarrels with that. It still goes quite dark at times and the end was satisfying to me. Definitely a recommendation for Sherlock fans!
While I laughed a lot during my read of Genie Lo, I also read it pretty early on in the year and have forgotten quite a bit by now, which is probably the reason it’s not higher up on the list. It was fun for sure! I am also really happy that a lot of people saw themselves and their culture represented in the book because that is always a beautiful thing!
This series is going to show up a couple times over the course of this list, because … well, I love it. I had so much fun getting to know the characters and I hope I will finish the fourth book before leaving for Berlin again. Anyway, this book was great, but in terms of the series my least favourite so far. Maybe it’s the second book syndrome or something?
To be honest, there’s a lot I’ve forgotten about the Shatter Me series. I remember loving the style of writing and the characters that Tahereh created, but the details? Blurry at best. At lot of it came back to me while reading Restore Me, but a lot of it also felt very different to the original trilogy. I love Kenji though and am way too curious not to continue with the books, but I am not afire for it the same way I used to be.
Everyone loved this book when they read it and I totally understand why. Personally, it was a bit too slow for me at time and I struggled to really get involved, but by the end I was as emotionally distraught as the rest of TSOA’s readership. One day, when I am less confused about my TBR, I will read Circe too.
So far, there hasn’t been a Morgan Matson book I haven’t enjoyed! The family-focus of this one was especially endearing. I just like reading about siblings and parents and all of them together with only a tinsy bit of romance sprinkled in. Romantic love isn’t all, you know? And somehow Matson managed to balance the two perfectly in this one.
As promised, here it is again! Jackaby is quirky and has a main character that feels a lot like the Doctor (from Doctor Who) paired with supernatural elements such as nixies and vampires and whatnot. Totally loved it! Also, who can resist those beautiful covers?
I am honestly a little surprised that there aren’t more graphic novels on the list, but at least the one that made it is absolutely worthy of it’s place in the ranking. Heart of Gold is one of the most beautiful art out there. It talks about crisis of faith, has LGBT+ representation and is just generally fascinating to divulge.
This series as a whole was really intense. I think they did great in how they tied all the loose ends together, made the books something special with the way they told it and kept the tension going throughout book #1 to #3. I was almost sad that it was over. (And to think I wasn’t even 100% on board when I first read Illuminae.)
8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
If this book isn’t on everyone’s top list, then I don’t even know! I am sad that the movie wasn’t released yet where I live, because I really wanted to watch it (it’s the whole Love, Simon debacle again), but I will patiently wait anyway. THUG was some really powerful and necessary story telling. I am glad it got such a wide readership!
I have said it before and I will say it again, I am 100% in favour of books like Dear Martin being mandatory reading exercises in schools. Just like THUG, it’s tackling the hard topics in a great way. I am so here for more of Nic Stone’s writing!
You all know me, I was CRAZY into the Red Rising trilogy, which is now a saga. I am always fascinated by the world Pierce Brown has built, by the cruelty and darkness it inhabits, while it also creates some of the most amazing heroes I can imagine. I am worried where everything will go, because it will get worse before it all can get better again, but I still love every minute of it.
I have absolutely no clue whatsoever why it took me so long to read this book! I will eventually also read the sequels (especially now that Netflix confirmed they will do another movie), but this is about To All the Boys. It was so much fun, I stayed up reading all night and I haven’t pulled an all-nighter for a book in a long time.
SIRENS! Super badass sirens! And wannabe pirates that are really princes and a complex Fantasy world, but packed in a standalone book. This was such a refreshing change of pace, because I don’t know if I can invest in more series at the moment. (And again, sirens!!!)
If you would have told me that a horror-sci-fi book would end up in the top 3 of my favourite books of 2018, I would have laughed at you … loud! But, what can you do? Annihilation was beyond amazing and scientific and creepy. I want to watch the movie but I also want to read the other books. It’s a struggle.
Looking at this entire list, I am happy to see so many different genres and styles of books represented. Born a Crime, a non-fiction autobiography by Trevor Noah, was enlightening and funny and educational and intimate and so very smart. Trevor is an amazing guy and I am glad the world gets to find out more about him and his home through this book.
Sometimes love doesn’t have to make sense. It’s the same with me and this book! Guernsey was neither the perfect read nor the most complex one. I am sure there were books on this list with a much more eloquent style of writing even, but this book touched me and I had a blast reading it. I put a gazillion sticky notes in, because there were so many quotes I wanted to remember and I absolutely fell in love with some of the characters. That’s most important, right?
Did any of my favourites make it onto your Top 2018 Reads list as well? Were there some surprises with the books I mentioned? Let’s chat!