Apart from the fears in 2020, a lot of fictional characters and stories helped us to face the real world, giving us some entertaining, happiness and hope that better days will come soon.

To end the 2020 cycle, check out the top 10 favourite TV shows of 2020, according to my humble opinion:

10 – Sex Education  – second season

The British comedy-drama Netflix series  Sex Education introduced us to awkward teenager Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) and his mother Jean (Gillian Anderson), who is a sex and relationship therapist. The show was rounded out with a cast of three-dimensional and interesting characters, amongst them are misunderstood misfit Maeve (Emma Mackey), theatrical gay best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), and Adam, a bully with some figuring out to do around his own sexuality (Connor Swindells).

In the second season, Otis who, after finally securing a relationship with Ola, is hit with the reality and pressures of a secondary school romance. That romance is further tested by the introduction of new students who challenge the status quo at Moordale High, a distinctly American-feeling high school somehow located in the English countryside, in the midst of a chlamydia outbreak, and resident amateur sex counsellor Otis is in high demand. Between being the school ‘sex kid’, his relationship with Ola, his still-not-quite-gotten-over feelings for Maeve, his newfound addiction to masturbation, and his resistance to his mum’s new boyfriend, Otis has a lot to navigate. And he certainly isn’t the only one.

The second series explores so many diverse storylines and characters, showing how it’s important to have representation on TV is. It’s a compelling television series that leans on the incredible ensemble we’ve come to love. 

9- Stateless

Stateless is an Australian television drama series launched on ABC on 1 March 2020 and released on Netflix on 8 July 2020. The series centres on four strangers in an immigration detention centre in the Australian desert: an airline hostess escaping a suburban cult, an Afghan refugee fleeing persecution, a young Australian father escaping a dead-end job and a bureaucrat caught up in a national scandal. When their lives intersect they are pushed to the brink of sanity, yet unlikely and profound emotional connections are made amongst the group.

The series was created by Cate BlanchettTony Ayres and Elise McCredie, starring Yvonne Strzechowski – well-known for her role as Serena, in “The Handmaid’s Tale” – and it is partly inspired by the real-life story of Cornelia Rau, an Australian woman citizen who was unlawfully detained under the Australian Government‘s mandatory detention program. 

Stateless made me feel shocked by immigration systems and how they disrespect human rights in the name of their love for their countries. Immigrants and refugees are treated like animals in many places worldwide. 

8 – The Queen’s Gambit

The drama miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” from Netflix, was released on 23 October 2020, follows Elizabeth Harmon from her childhood in an orphanage in the mid-1950s to her adult life in the 60s, during her search to become a grandmaster chess player, while struggling with emotional issues and drug and alcohol dependency. The miniseries became one of the most popular TV show this year. After four weeks it had become Netflix’s most-watched scripted miniseries.


It has received critical acclaim for Anya Taylor-Joy‘s performance as Beth Harmon as well as for the cinematography and production values. It has also received a positive response from the chess community and is claimed to have increased public interest in the game.

7 – Normal People

Normal People is an Irish drama television series produced by Element Pictures for BBC Three and Hulu in association with Screen Ireland. The series debuted on BBC Three in the United Kingdom on 26 April 2020, followed by weekly airings on BBC One. It premiered on RTÉ One in Ireland on 28 April 2020. 

Based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Sally Rooney, the series follows the relationship between Marianne Sheridan (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell Waldron (Paul Mescal), as they navigate adulthood from their final days in secondary school to their undergraduate years in Trinity College. The script brings a story full of passion between two highly fragile and complex characters that we have the opportunity to see grow and mature on the screen, going through situations in which we will all identify, to a greater or lesser degree, at some point in the series.

This series would not have the same result if the characters were not Irish and all this represents in terms of social and cultural background, and if the scenery were not for the ancient, magic, grey, wet and cold emerald island. 

This is certainly the best Irish series of all time and it lives up to the success it has achieved around the world. It shows us in a sensitive, realistic, honest and painful way, the complexities and mysteries that surround the psyche of us human beings. 

The series was primarily written by Rooney and Alice Birch, and directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald. The series has received critical acclaim, with praise for the performances, directing, writing, and its portrayal of mature content. At the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, the series was nominated for four awards, including Outstanding Lead Actor for Mescal and Outstanding Directing for Abrahamson.

6 – Kissing Game

“Kissing Game” (Portuguese: Boca a Boca), is a Brazilian drama thriller TV series created by Esmir Filho. It sets in a fictional ranch town called Progresso, and after a party, Bel (Luana Nastas), a girl wakes up the next day with a slightly different hangover. She was infected by a mysterious virus transmitted through her mouth, which hospitalises her and puts her life at risk. Other teenagers and Bel’s classmates such as Fran ( Iza Moreira), Chico (Michel Joelsas) and Alex (Caio Horowicz) who went to the rave and kissed her and other guys, start panicking about the virus spreading, while Bel’s body deteriorates at the hospital. They fear that they’ve got the virus, and their big secrets and conflicts will be discovered by the conservative population. 

The series has many positive things to consider as cast, direction, but the main aspect I highlight is how it presents an original idea and narrative mixing social criticism and reflection about Brazilian contemporary society and its ambivalent behaviour between progress versus conservatism, but also a pandemic caused by a virus which is transmitted through the kiss.

5 – We are who we are

“We Are Who We Are” is a drama television series created by Luca Guadagnino – who created the acclaimed movie “Call me by your name” – for Sky Atlantic and HBO that was released on 14 September 2020 in the United States. Later on, it debuted in Italy, UK and Ireland.  

The series focuses on two 14-year-old American teenagers Fraser Wilson and Caitlin Harper who live on a fictional U.S. military base in Chioggia, Italy in 2016, and it explores friendship, first love, identity, and immerses the audience in all the messy exhilaration and anguish of being a teenager – a story which could happen anywhere in the world, but in this case, happens in this little slice of America in Italy. 

The series is extraordinary and visceral small-screen poetry, focused on the rebelliousness of two young teenagers who have been raised in a conservative environment, but they challenge the old fashioned behaviour introducing modern discussions such as non-binary gender.  

4 – Good morning, Veronica!

The outstanding Brazilian crime thriller series “Good morning, Verônica” (“Bom dia, Verônica”, original title in Portuguese) became very popular since it was released on 1st of October, on Netflix. It’s based on the book with the same name, written by Ilana Casoy, a famous Brazilian criminologist who is an expert in psychological profiles of murderers and also, Raphael Montes, a Brazilian crime novelist.

The plot shows Verônica Torres, a young woman who works as a police clerk at the Homicide Police Station in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she lives a bureaucratic routine within the system. She finds herself facing the abyss when she witnesses a woman who kills herself in front of her, in the police station. That situation causes her a kind of hunger for women’s justice and brings painful past wounds back as well. 

At this point, she goes deep into cases of violence against women in a misogynist society such as Janete, a housewife who lives an abusive relationship with her husband Brandão, a psychotic Military Police Colonel, who has so much influence in the police system, in Sao Paulo. As she goes deeper into these investigations, Verônica will face a wicked world that endangers her family and her lives. She sees herself surrounded by crimes against women and also a secret scheme of corruption.

Good morning, Veronica! is the best Brazilian series produced by Netflix. Over-all, the series production represents for Brazilian audiovisual a big step ahead in terms of opening an international market of producing quality content. It makes me confident as a Brazilian and audiovisual professional, that if Brazil had the same investments in culture and entertainment, like in the US or the UK, the Brazilian Film / TV industry would be bigger and stronger than it is now.

3 – Unorthodox 

The drama miniseries debuted on 23 March 2020 on Netflix and it follows Esty, a young Hasidic Jewish girl who seeks to find herself in the world. She lives under traditional and conservative culture until she realises herself as a prisoner of her culture and inside a dysfunctional and unwished marriage, without any pleasure or liberty. Then, she decides to run away seeking for her real identity and freedom in an exciting adventure. 

Unorthodox is one of the beautiful and sensitive series I’ve watched because of its story that portrays a Jewish character who escapes the “confines of her own life” by returning to Germany ” the source of her community’s trauma”. It was inspired and is loosely based on, the memoir Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman, who left the Satmar movement, a Hasidic community in New York City.

The miniseries was filmed in New York and then relocated to Berlin where the production designer built interior sets that synced with the Brooklyn exteriors. Berlin locations include Potsdamer Platz, which served as the set for the music academy and surroundings, and the Wannsee lake (Großer Wannsee), where, as referenced in the story, the “Final Solution” was planned at a shoreline villa.

“Unorthodox” received widespread critical acclaim. The website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 95%, based on 44 reviews, with an average rating of 8.23/10. The website’s critical consensus reads: “Unorthodox adapts its source material with extreme care, crafting a series that is at once intimate and urgent, all centred around Shira Haas’ captivating performance. 

2 – Pose – second season

The FX drama series Pose – the second season debuted in 2019, but it arrives on Netflix in UK and Ireland in middle of 2020.  The second season jumps ahead in time to 1990, with Blanca Rodríguez, a trans woman, struggling to keep her “house of Evalengista” up and her children (young homosexuals and transsexuals who have nowhere to live) safe, protected and with some dignity, in addition to competitions organised in LGBT ballrooms, coinciding with the release of Madonna’s “Vogue,” which appropriates the ball scene makes some characters like Blanca see their popularity as a way to make the leap into the mainstream, while Pray Tell is more sceptical of how lasting the impact will be. The season finds Blanca starting a nail salon which puts her up against Patti LuPone as Frederica Norman, as a viciously prejudiced landlady who also at one point sings Sondheim. Angel gets modelling jobs. Elektra works as a dominatrix. There’s a horrible tragedy and a trip to the Hamptons. 

Most of the characters are now either HIV-positive or living with AIDS. Some have become AIDS activists with ACT UP, and everyone is now attending frequent fundraisers, funerals and memorial services for their many friends and lovers in the community that has been hard-hit by the AIDS pandemic. 

“Pose” is the most beautiful, cruel portrait of LGBTQ+ community – special for the ones with brown and black skins – fighting against poverty, racism and prejudice, homophobia, transphobia, and other matters that queers are involved (and it still is). Even the whole drama occurred, the series is still positive and optimistic about a better future for the LGBTQ+ community.

1 – I may destroy you

“I may destroy you” was released on 7 June 2020 for BBC one and HBO, and it follows the story of Arabella, a modern, independent, outgoing, millennial icon, talented writer and black woman, from the cosmopolitan London. She is a digital influencer that has become a writer after seeing her posts published as the book “Chronicles of a fed-up Millennial”. After a night hanging out with her friend, she realises that she’d been drugged and raped at some point that night. She sees her life falling apart. 

The series is signed by the talented multi-tasking artist Michaela Coel, who is best known for her performance as Tracey in the ‘Chewing Gum’ Netflix series, that she also created and wrote in 2015-2017. In 2020, Michaela came back with “I may destroy you’” based on her autobiographical rape story.  

“I May Destroy You” is not just about a woman raped and her fight for justice, it’s bigger than that. The premise proposes a reflection of how human beings are violating the boundaries that the planet has pre-established for us to work as a human society, and how victims of this failed system can survive their traumas.

Michaela Coel turned down a $1 million deal with Netflix for the series as she would have lost ownership of the rights. Michaela Coel found the whole process of writing and co-directing the series to be hugely cathartic. But, by the same token, when it was all over and had aired to great acclaim, she found herself in a form of depression as she had nothing left to fill the hole.