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TheTVDB’s Best Shows of 2020

With this very strange year finally drawing to a close, we wanted to look back and highlight the television shows that helped make a difficult time slightly more bearable. It’s not surprising that a year where many people were quarantined in their homes and faced with challenges and uncertainty was television’s time to shine — a medium that provides an escape from reality when one was so desperately needed. There are 42 shows on this list from nine different countries, chosen by TheTVDB’s administrators and moderators. They are sorted by their premiere dates in ascending order. Some of them ended their runs this year (“The Good Place”), some returned after a long hiatus (“Fargo,” “Search Party,” “Westworld”), some are limited series (“Unorthodox” and “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark”), and one show (“The Queen’s Gambit”) shattered Netflix viewership records. Here’s to a great 2021 and to many more hours of moving television!

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  • Created By Equinox
  • List Type Official
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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

As The Clone Wars sweep through the galaxy, the heroic Jedi Knights struggle to maintain order and restore peace. More and more systems are falling prey to the forces of the dark side as the Galactic Republic slips further and further under the sway of the Separatists and their never-ending droid army.

Fargo

Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.

Better Call Saul

See the rise of Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny, but hustling to make ends meet. Working alongside, and often against Jimmy, is ‘fixer’ Mike Erhmantraut. The series tracks Jimmy's evolution into Saul Goodman, the man who puts the word ‘criminal’ in ‘criminal lawyer’.

Bosch

An L.A.P.D. homicide detective works to solve the murder of a thirteen-year-old boy while standing trial in federal court for the murder of a serial killer.

Le bureau des légendes

Au sein de la DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), un département appelé le bureau des légendes (BDL) pilote à distance les agents les plus importants des services de renseignements français, les clandestins. En immersion dans des pays hostiles, leur mission consiste à repérer les personnes susceptibles d'être recrutées comme source de renseignements. Opérant dans l'ombre "sous légende", c'est-à-dire sous une identité fabriquée de toutes pièces, ils vivent durant de longues années dans une duplicité permanente. De retour d'une mission clandestine de six années à Damas, notre héros, plus connu sous le nom de code Malotru, est promu au sein du BDL et reprend peu à peu pied dans sa vraie vie. Mais contrairement à toute procédure de sécurité, il semble ne pas abandonner sa légende et l'identité sous laquelle il vivait en Syrie...

Taskmaster

Greg Davies is the Taskmaster, and with the help of his ever-loyal assistant Alex Horne, he will set out to test the wiles, wit, wisdom and skills of five celebrity contestants. At the end of the series, who will be crowned the Taskmaster champion?

The Good Place

Eleanor Shellstrop is an ordinary woman who, through an extraordinary string of events, enters the afterlife where she comes to realize that she hasn't been a very good person. With the help of her wise afterlife mentor, she's determined to shed her old way of living and discover the awesome (or at least the pretty good) person within.

This Is Us

A heartwarming and emotional story about a unique set of triplets, their struggles and their wonderful parents.

Westworld

Westworld is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin. Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, it explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.

Insecure

Follows the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American woman. Issa and Molly, these best friends must deal with their own real-life flaws as they attempt to navigate different worlds and cope with an endless series of uncomfortable everyday experiences.

Search Party (2016)

When former college acquaintance Chantal goes missing, five self-absorbed 20-somethings get entangled in the ominous mystery of her disappearance. Leading the search party is Dory, a lifelong doormat who works as a rich housewife's assistant. Dory makes it her personal mission to find Chantal and she's bringing her friends into the investigation with her. Self-diagnosed narcissist Elliott, who puts his ego aside to help Dory, is particularly good at detective work. Bubbly actress Portia excels at chatting up suspects for information because of her desperate need to be in the spotlight. Sheltered Drew has to grow a spine to help solve the mystery and save his deteriorating relationship with Dory. Dory's ex-boyfriend Julian seeks the truth because of his background as a journalist.

La casa de papel

Un golpe maestro ideado y perfeccionado durante años, planificado durante meses y ejecutado en pocos minutos para que el elegido grupo de ladrones que se adentra en la Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre a punta de pistola haga creer a la Policía que su plan ha fallado… y que los tienen asediados dentro del edificio sin otra salida que su rendición. Once días de encierro con los 67 rehenes (entre empleados de la FNMT y alumnos de un colegio que se encontraban de visita) y un operativo policial sin precedentes que mantendrá en jaque a todo el Gobierno. Un atraco de minuciosa planificación, cuyos ejecutores necesitan un mínimo de días para poder llevarlo a cabo. Por esta razón es por lo que en el propio transcurso del tiempo está la clave de su éxito. ¿Quién puede estar detrás de esta descabellada idea?

Manhunt

Inspired by actual events, this true crime anthology series takes a deep dive into the dark, twisted minds of terrorists and follows the brave souls who hunt them down.

Dark

In einer durchschnittlichen deutschen Kleinstadt verschwinden plötzlich zwei Kinder. Die betroffenen Familien werden aus ihrer kleinbürgerlichen Idylle gerissen, und müssen im Laufe der Zeit erkennen, daß sich hinter den Fassaden im Ort ungeahnte Abgründe auftun…

Killing Eve

When a top international assassin murders an influential politician, she comes up against an equally relentless MI5 intelligence analyst who is determined to bring her to justice.

Manifest

When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. But in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years - and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they're all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds and some of the returned passengers soon realize they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible.

Sex Education

Insecure Otis has all the answers when it comes to sex advice, thanks to his therapist mom. So rebel Maeve proposes a school sex-therapy clinic.

The Boys

In a world where superheroes embrace the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame, a group of vigilantes known informally as "The Boys" set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than blue collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty.

Prodigal Son

Malcolm Bright has a gift that gives him the ability to know how killers think, how their minds work. Why? Back in the ‘90s, Malcolm Bright's father was one of the worst—a notorious serial killer called 'The Surgeon'. With the ability to know how killers' minds work, Malcolm is now the best criminal psychologist around. Malcolm uses his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes and stop killers, all while dealing with a manipulative mother, annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son, and his own constantly-evolving neuroses.

The Mandalorian

The travels of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

A whip-smart computer coder begins to hear the innermost wants and desires of the people around her through songs. At first, she questions her own sanity but soon realizes this unwanted curse may just be an incredibly wonderful gift.

Mythic Quest

Meet the team behind the biggest multiplayer video game of all time. But in a workplace focused on building worlds, molding heroes, and creating legends, the most hard-fought battles don’t occur in the game—they happen in the office.

Locke & Key

After their father's death, three siblings move into a house filled with reality-bending keys that may in fact be connected to their father's murder.

For Life

A prisoner becomes a lawyer litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn't commit.

Stateless

Inspired by true events; a woman escaping a cult, a refugee fleeing with his family, a father trapped in a dead-end job, and a bureaucrat on the verge of a national scandal find their lives intertwined in an immigration detention centre.

Unorthodox

A young woman flees to Berlin from an arranged marriage in Brooklyn. Then her past catches up to her.

Tales from the Loop

Inspired by the wondrous paintings of Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop explores the mind-bending adventures of the people who live above the Loop, a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe - making things previously relegated to science fiction, possible.

Home Before Dark

When a young girl and her family move back to the small town her father left behind, her pursuit of the truth leads to the unearthing of a long-buried cold case.

Devils

After being implicated in a deadly scandal, a trader at a leading London bank fights to clear his name, but instead uncovers an intercontinental conspiracy masterminded by powerful forces operating in the shadows.

더 킹 : 영원의 군주

악마에 맞서 차원의 문(門)을 닫으려는 이과(理科) 형 대한 제국 황제와 누군가의 삶·사람·사랑을 지키려는 문과(文科) 형 대한민국 형사의 공조를 통해 차원이 다른 로맨스를 그린 드라마.

We’re Here

Renowned drag queens Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela Laquifa Wadley recruit small-town residents across America to participate in a one-night-only drag show. In each episode, the queens will inspire and teach their own “drag daughters” to step outside their comfort zone for a night of no-holds-barred, full-on drag.

Normal People

Adapted from Sally Rooney's best-selling novel, the series follows Marianne and Connell, from different backgrounds but the same small town in Ireland, as they weave in and out of each other's romantic lives, exploring just how complicated intimacy and young love can be.

Upload

In 2033, people near death can be “uploaded” into virtual reality afterlife hotels run by 6 tech firms. Cash-strapped Nora lives in Brooklyn and works customer service for the luxurious “Lakeview” digital afterlife. When L.A. party-boy/coder Nathan’s self-driving car crashes, his high-maintenance girlfriend uploads him permanently into Nora’s VR world.

Into the Night

Lorsque le soleil commence soudain à tout tuer sur son chemin, les passagers d'un vol de nuit en partance de Bruxelles tentent de survivre par tous les moyens.

Snowpiercer

Earth has frozen over and the last surviving humans live on a giant train circling the globe, struggling to coexist amid the delicate balance onboard.

I May Destroy You

After being sexually assaulted in a nightclub, her life changes irreversibly and Arabella is forced to reassess everything: her career, her friends, even her family. As Arabella struggles to come to terms with what has happened, she begins a journey of self-discovery.

Staged

David Tennant and Michael Sheen (playing themselves) were due to star in a production of Six Characters in Search of an Author in the West End. The pandemic has put paid to that, but their director (Simon Evans – also playing himself) is determined not to let the opportunity pass him by. He knows how big a chance this is for him and turns his attention to cajoling his stars into rehearsing over the internet. All they need to do is read the first scene, but throughout the series they come up against a multitude of oppositional forces: distraction, boredom, home-schooling and their own egos.

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

A comprehensive exploration of the case of an elusive, violent predator dubbed 'The Golden State Killer', as well as a haunting personal memoir and self-examination of McNamara’s obsessive quest for justice on behalf of the victims and survivors of the crimes.

Teenage Bounty Hunters

Twin sisters Sterling and Blair balance teen life at an elite Southern high school with an unlikely new career as butt-kicking bounty hunters.

Lovecraft Country

A young African-American travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing father.

Laëtitia

Laetitia, 18 ans, a disparu. Son scooter a été retrouvé au petit matin renversé juste devant la maison. Très vite l'enquête de la gendarmerie va reconstituer les dernières heures de la jeune fille et mener à l'arrestation de Tony Meilhon. Mais s'ils ont la certitude d'avoir identifié le responsable, les enquêteurs ne retrouvent toujours pas le corps. Ce sont les répercussions sur la famille de Laetitia, et avant tout sa sœur jumelle Jessica, le fonctionnement de la police, des services sociaux, de la justice et même du gouvernement que va suivre cette histoire. Inspirée de faits réels et réalisée par Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, cette mini-série est adaptée du roman “Laëtitia ou la fin des hommes” d’Ivan Jablonka (prix Médicis en 2016).

The Queen's Gambit

In a 1950s orphanage, a young girl reveals an astonishing talent for chess and begins an unlikely journey to stardom while grappling with addiction.