Enough things this 2020 has taken away from us to also take away this traditional list of the best series of the year. In addition, it is not bad to remember that there has also been something good in these last twelve months, even if it is in the world of fiction.
As always, some prior warnings: it is a personal selection that responds to the author’s evaluations. There will always be great series that are left out due to space, time to see everything or personal criteria. We also remember that we stick to the titles that have been released in Spain and exclusively to fiction productions. These are the 15 best series of 2020.
15 – Queen’s Gambit
The Netflix miniseries most watched so far ( according to data from Netflix itself ) has been one of the television phenomena in the final stretch of the year that has even managed to shoot up the sale of chess boards or the number of women who have signed up for learn to play it.
The story of the young Beth Harmon, an orphan chess genius who defies the conventions within that world of men in the midst of the Cold War while fighting her own demons in the form of various addictions, engages both for history and aesthetics, with a very careful costume design and art. (Netflix).
14 – BoJack Horseman
The last batch of chapters of this animated series arrived when 2020 had just begun, something like a thousand years ago. The drama about an addicted and depressed horse that starred in a successful sitcom in the nineties managed to deconstruct the archetype of the antihero in search of redemption in a world that does not make it easy for him.
Little by little the series established itself as one of the best examples of the wave of adult animation that dares to experiment with deep stories and characters with many edges. The ghosts of BoJack’s past return for the horse to say goodbye in a big way, looking back and closing the circle in a masterful way. (Netflix).
13 – Ramy
The co-created comedy starring Ramy Youssef that follows the religious, family and romantic adventures of a twenty-something Egyptian-American living in a permanent spiritual crisis has maintained its high level in season two.
Through the protagonist’s permanent doubts about how to achieve a balance between the modern world and the religious heritage that he has received, and that he wants to maintain, Ramy launches deep and fun reflections on the faith or identity of immigrants. Uncomfortable, emotional and funny at times, it is possibly one of the best series that nobody (or almost nobody) has seen. (Starzplay).
12 – Normal People
It is easy for the viewer of the television adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel to feel like a voyeur, witnessing something so intimate that they shouldn’t be seeing. This romantic millennial story is full of first world dramas and communication and social class problems that can be desperate, but are also very close.
The diverse approaches and departures that the relationship between Marianne and Connell undergoes are accompanied on screen by brilliant music, photography and performances by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal with excellent direction. (Starzplay).
11 – The Mandalorian
Pure and hard entertainment very well done. That is what the Star Wars series that has dominated the serial conversation in the final stretch of the year and of which in Spain we have had a double ration in 2020 (the first season premiered here in March ) serves that .
The endearing relationship between the Mandalorian and the boy we all call Baby Yoda – and who is actually called Grogu- and the adventures that they live together traveling from one place to another are a fun that satisfies both fans of the Star Wars universe and those of us who do not connect with that world.
Double merit. The soundtrack, the action scenes, the humor and emotion, the final illustrations … And on top of that, that second season finale. It has earned its place on this list without a doubt. (Disney +).
10 – Better Things
Like the protagonist’s daughters, the series created by and starring Pamela Adlon is also getting older, and in its fourth season it has risen even higher. Motherhood, love, identity and family remain at the center of the series, which over time has accentuated the main survivor’s fears of loneliness as she sees how her daughters need her every time less (or so she thinks).
Sam’s fears are shown, sometimes, on a daily basis and, at other times, more poetic, but always from a personal perspective with which it is very easy to identify. (HBO Spain).
9 – Homeland
Brilliant in its beginning and its end and with ups and downs in its central part, the series created by Aitor Gabilondo is an impeccable adaptation of the novel by Fernando Aramburu.
The scenes of Bittori before the tomb of Txato are possibly among the most powerful that this 2020 has left, as well as a final hug that broke the heart. Its two protagonists, Elena Irureta and Ane Gabarain, deserve to collect all the possible prizes for giving life to those Basque mothers so recognizable and who represent so well the wound that terrorism left in an entire society.
The work of setting, hairdressing and makeup, of 10. (HBO Spain).
8 – Look what you’ve done
The creation of Berto Romero is outstanding from start to finish, but his third and final season is possibly the best of all in a series that has matured as it became more comfortable in its metafiction game.
The scripts move intelligently between comedy and emotion to tell stories of parents and children, and what it means to mature and grow older, taking advantage of the viewer’s intelligence and complicity to be able to go one step further in each new turn. It is also an example of knowing how to say goodbye on time. (Movistar +).
7 – The Crown
There have been four seasons in which we repeat compliments to the series created and written by Peter Morgan. Once again, he does not lower the bar and remains in excellence as he delves into the eighties in his narration of the adventures of the British royal family and, incidentally, of the recent history of Britain.
Emma Corrin’s Lady Di (perfect) and Gillian Anderson’s Margaret Thatcher (with detractors and defenders) have overshadowed Queen Olivia Colman herself.
The luxurious production (after all, it is one of the most expensive series in history) and some scripts that have aroused a curious controversyon the limits of fiction based on reality, they have allowed their cast to shine again in anticipation of the changing of the guard in the next season with the relief in the cast. (Netflix).
6 – Ted Lasso
There are still good people in the world. Ted Lasso is one of them, a coach for a football team signed by a Premiere League club in the middle of the season. Things are not looking good: Lasso has no idea of football and culture shock does not make it easy at first. But it comes loaded with a barrel of good intentions and optimism.
The character of Jason Sudeikis and the series he stars in could have been burdensome with so much good roll. And yet they love each other for those little things that make the world a better place. Ted Lasso is a story of losers who fight against their destiny and against cynicism with willpower and a lot of optimism. Just what we pessimists need in 2020 . (Apple TV +).
5 – Poison
Through the life (and death) of Cristina Ortiz, the Javis put the Spanish society of the nineties before the mirror, and the image that it gives us back is not entirely pretty.
The history of La Veneno has returned to the forefront nationally and internationally (with the well-deserved applause that the series is receiving in the United States) to vindicate those women who paved the way for many others, such as the actresses who star in this series.
With very well drawn scripts and a very careful formal style, it is one of those titles that can be added in their own right to the list of “important series” as hackneyed as, in this case, appropriate. (Atresplayer Premium).
4 – Anti – riot
An eviction in the center of Madrid that goes wrong is the starting point of the story created by Rodrigo Sorogoyen and Isabel Peña, the best Spanish series of the year in a huge year for Spanish series.
Through six riot police and a stubborn internal affairs police, the plot moves between thriller and drama to delve into the sewers of the state and the corruption of the system.
Sorogoyen, camera in hand in the harrowing action scenes and with short frames and from peculiar angles, takes the viewer into evictions, demonstrations and hooligans encounters to experience the tension on the street.
The story captures both in the background and in the form (the interpretations are perfect) and reaches its maximum point of tension, curiously, in a sequence shot that shows a dinner with friends. (Movistar +).
3 – What we do in the shadows
The story of these modern-day roommates vampires has been reaffirmed with its second season as one of the great comedies of today. His hilarious new batch of chapters has raised the bar of his absurd level that only seeks something as complicated as the viewer having the best possible time.
The combination of daily life and classic vampire problems, the personality of its protagonists, the emotional vampire Colin or Guillermo’s internal conflict after discovering his true identity gave a small truce in the middle of the confinement. And that is why this year we have loved them even more. For this reason and because they are very good. (HBO Spain).
2 – Better Call Saul
The fifth season was possibly the best of a series that very soon showed its own identity, with a different rhythm and style from its mother series, Breaking Bad . And, in many things, it has managed to surpass the story of Walter White.
The different plots, which until now ran in parallel, begin to relate to Jimmy turned into a “friend of the cartel” through one of the villain Lalo Salamanca. The evolution of Jimmy and Kim, their particular slow-burning breaking bad , is fascinating in this production that takes care of substance and form. The next will be his last season and it will hurt. (Movistar +).
1 – I could destroy you
Arabella does not remember well what happened that night. But you know that those images that you have in your head happened. Someone raped her, although she doesn’t remember who.
That is just the starting point of the series created and starred by Michaela Coel, a story that not only poses point-blank questions to the viewer about sexual consent (because that will not be the only violation that will be raised in its twelve episodes).
It also addresses racism, friendship, or the tyranny of social media. With an honest and very explicit style, Coel exorcises her demons (she was also a victim of rape) and exposes her reflections loud and clear while transferring to the viewer the terrible feelings that her characters experience. Essential. (HBO Spain).