The last time we talked television, we discussed the 2020 shows people could not stop raving about.
But I missed most of those shows and cannot rightfully judge their quality. I want to discuss the ones I actually watched. Sitting comfortably near the top of my list is The Outsider. The Stephen King adaptation takes viewers to a sleepy town that has just been rocked by a grisly murder.
What starts as a fairly standard investigation takes a dark turn when supernatural elements emerge. I am all for binging TV shows. I can consume entire seasons in a weekend. But I decided to watch The Outsider over several days because each episode left me completely satisfied.
The miniseries walks that fine line between horror, drama and mystery/thriller. It would have topped my 2020 list were it not for The Good Place. Yes, the final season premiered in 2019 but it ended in 2020. Is The Good Place the best comedy of the 2010s? I don’t know.
But it definitely deserves a spot in the top three. Did the final season stick the landing? No, because ‘stick the landing’ cannot accurately describe the miracle that was the fourth season of The Good Place. Those final episodes were everything television should be: funny, charming, heartwarming, and highly entertaining.
I did not expect a silly show about the afterlife to deliver one of the most devastating finales of the 21st century. Speaking of devastating, is The Boys the best comic book adaptation ever? I would say no, because it has some seriously stiff competition in The Umbrella Academy. Both shows debuted within months of each other and their first seasons stole my heart.
The Boys season 1 was impressive, but it also spent a lot of time laying the groundwork for the payoff in season 2. The Umbrella Academy told a more cohesive and gratifying story.The roles did not exactly reverse with the sequels.
Again, The Umbrella Academy was great. That initial action set piece is probably the closest we have come to an Avengers-style team-up on television. But what The Umbrella Academy did well, The Boys did better. I can’t end this without mentioning What We Do in the Shadows.
If you take The Good Place out of the running, What We Do in the Shadows immediately jumps to the top of my list. I don’t have anything good to say about the movie. I watched it twice and it did nothing for me. But the TV show is a godsend. Every episode left me in stitches.
I can’t stop laughing at the whole ‘Jackie Daytona’ gag. Nandor, Laszlo, and Nadja are my favorite cast of characters on television at the moment. I know, I know. What We Do in the Shadows is not exactly prestige television.
But I watch TV for its entertainment value, not for its heavy messages and educational worth, and What We Do in the Shadows is immensely entertaining.