The Series That Got Me Through 2020

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

Hey guys!

Happy New Year! Aren’t you so glad that 2020 is FINALLY over?! It was such a quick year, yet it seemed never-ending at the same time! Today I’ll be sharing the series that got me through 2020!

Thanks to Covid-19, I was stuck at home for a lot of 2020, and what’s better to do when you can’t go out than binge-watch TV shows?! In 2020 I managed to watch a grand total of 40 different shows, which is the most I’ve ever seen and will ever see in a year! Obviously, I didn’t watch every single episode of 40 shows, and most of them were only a handful of episodes because they were either limited/new/cancelled series, or I only had one season to catch up on. I discovered some really incredible shows in 2020 that made such an awful year somewhat less unbearable, and they mostly fall into either the historical, musical, fantasy, mystery, sitcom and drama genres. If you watch any of the shows from this list, the ones you absolutely cannot miss are Little Fires Everywhere, Spinning Out, Big Little Lies, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Looking For Alaska, His Dark Materials, Sex Education, Orange Is the New Black, One Day at a Time and The Queen’s Gambit!

Without further ado, here are the TV series that got me through 2020:

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. Belgravia

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 6 episodes

For fans of: Historical dramas like Dickinson and Bridgerton

Belgravia is a historical drama based on the novel by Julian Fellowes, who also wrote Downton Abbey. It takes place in 1840s London and focuses on two wealthy families in the neighbourhood of Belgravia as secrets from the past begin to emerge. Look out for familiar faces like Ella Purnell, Tamsin Greig and Paul Ritter.

 

  1. Little Fires Everywhere

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 8 episodes

For fans of: Small town dramas / family dramas such as Big Little Lies and Sweet Magnolias 

It’s always risky adapting a fantastic book into a TV series or film, but Little Fires Everywhere was one of the best shows I watched in 2020, and it managed to stay very faithful to the book. The cast is flawless and it has engaging plotlines that kept me hooked the entire time. I have the feeling that Little Fires Everywhere is just a limited series, but I really hope that there’s a second season!

 

  1. The Miniaturist

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 2 episodes

For fans of: The Queen’s Gambit, since it also stars the wonderful Anya Taylor-Joy. Oh, and anyone who enjoys historical dramas too!

A BBC miniseries that follows a young woman called Nella as she embarks on a new chapter as the wife of one of Amsterdam’s leading merchants, Johannes Brandt. Most of the characters and plot are almost exactly the same as the book. You can easily watch The Miniaturist in an afternoon/evening as it’s only a few hours long.

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. Little Voice

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 9 episodes

For fans of: Sara Bareilles, Sweetbitter, Katy Keene, music dramas like Glee and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

I was drawn to Little Voice due to the fact that it is set in New York and features songs written by Sara Bareilles. It centres on an aspiring singer who deals with rejection, family troubles, and trying to find her “true voice”, and is available to watch on Apple TV. I’m highly anticipating a second season!

 

  1. Noughts + Crosses

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 6 episodes

For fans of: the book series, dystopian shows

I’d been waiting for a screen adaptation of Noughts + Crosses since forever as I absolutely ADORE the books, so you can imagine how excited I was when I heard about the TV series! Although some details are changed (e.g. the ages of Sephy & Callum), Noughts + Crosses is still a good show. I particularly liked the 2 leads and the cultural aspect. Noughts + Crosses is available on BBC iPlayer.

 

  1. American Horror Story: Coven

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 3, 13 episodes

For fans of: Scream Queens and Emma Roberts

American Horror Story: Coven is not for the squeamish, as there are several scenes that’ll make you cover your eyes! It’s absolutely ridiculous like all Ryan Murphy productions, but it’s an enjoyable watch nonetheless.

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. Red Oaks

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 3, 6 episodes

For fans of: The Goldbergs

Set in 1985, Red Oaks is an Amazon Prime Original series that stars Craig Roberts (The Story of Tracy Beaker, The Fundamentals of Caring) as a college student who is enjoying his last summer of “freedom” before he enters the next chapter of his life. It’s a funny, feel-good show that you can easily binge over a weekend.

 

  1. Spinning Out

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 10 episodes

For fans of: Ice skating, Skins and Kaya Scodelario

I fell in love with Spinning Out during the very first episode, and I was heartbroken when I found out that it was cancelled. Everything about Spinning Out is fantastic: from the brilliant acting, to the gorgeous costumes, to the amazing skating choreography. The ideal show to watch if you’re stuck at home and fancy watching something new.

 

  1. Sweet Magnolias

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 10 episodes

For fans of: Good Witch and Gilmore Girls

Netflix was certainly on a roll with their original series in 2020. As with a lot of the titles on this list, Sweet Magnolias is based on a book (by Sherryl Woods). It’s set in the fictional town of Serenity in South Carolina and follows a group of three women who have been friends with each other since childhood and help each other with problems in the romance and career departments. Sweet Magnolias stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Privileged, Once Upon a Time) and Jamie Lynn Spears, in her first role since Zoey 101.

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. 13 Reasons Why

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 4, 10 episodes

For fans of: Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale (due to the mystery element and sometimes ridiculous plotlines!). Also Looking For Alaska, Skins, Degrassi, Euphoria, Trinkets and t@gged

Okay, so 13 Reasons Why is problematic, and some of the characters deserved better storylines/endings (namely Justin, Jessica, Zach and Alex), but there’s something about 13 Reasons Why that makes me rate it as one of my favourite shows. I love the cast and characters (yes, Justin, Jessica, Zach and Alex are my faves) and the soundtrack has so many bops (especially in the first two seasons).

 

  1. Fuller House

Episodes/seasons watched: part 2 of Season 5, 9 episodes

For fans of: Friends, One Day at a Time and Full House

An upbeat comedy that I’m sad is over. Obviously not as good as the original series, but still got plenty of humorous and heart-warming moments. If you’re ever feeling down, you can count on the Tanner family to put a smile on your face!

 

  1. Emily in Paris

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 10 episodes

For fans of: Gossip Girl, Lily Collins and Paris!

What could be better than a series set in Paris, a.k.a the city of romance?! Emily in Paris is a bit like Marmite – you’ll either love it or hate it, but I personally loved it! I’ll for sure be sticking around for season 2!

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. Big Little Lies

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 2, 7 episodes

For fans of: Little Fires Everywhere and Pretty Little Liars

Sometime in the summer I FINALLY watched the second season of Big Little Lies! It picks up where the first season left off, as they deal with the aftermath of the murder investigation. Along with the main cast, which includes Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Jane (Shailene Woodley), there’s also new addition Mary Louise (Meryl Steep), Celeste’s mother-in-law, who is completely unlikeable and is convinced that her son could do no harm. Madeline and Jane were my favourite characters in season one, and that still applied in season two.

 

  1. Cursed

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 10 episodes

For fans of: Katherine Langford and Once Upon a Time

After Katherine Langford left 13 Reasons Why, I was eager to see her in another series, and I was in luck when she was chosen to play the lead in the new Netflix show Cursed, which premiered last July. Based on the Arthurian legend, Cursed follows the teenage sorceress Nimue as she joins forces with Arthur in attempt to deliver an enchanted sword to the great magician Merlin, whilst trying to hide from the evil Red Paladins. Cursed left on a BIG cliffhanger, so I’m really hoping there’s another season!

 

  1. The Haunting of Bly Manor

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 2, 9 episodes

For fans of: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Gothic tales

The Haunting of Bly Manor is one show I watched in 2020 that definitely lived up to the hype. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not overly keen on horror, but when I heard everyone raving about The Haunting of Bly Manor I had to see what all the fuss was about. The Haunting of Bly Manor is a beautiful ghost story set in a creepy country house in the English countryside and centres on a young governess (played by Victoria Pedretti) who is hired to look after the two children who live in the house. Don’t be put off by the slow pace at the start of The Haunting of Bly Manor – it gets so much better towards the end and you’ll need tissues when you watch the last couple of episodes!

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. Looking For Alaska

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 8 episodes

For fans of: 13 Reasons Why, Riverdale, any teen show, and John Green

Looking For Alaska is AMAZING, would 100% recommend. It’s been a while since I read the book, but certain details came flooding back while I was watching the show, and I’m glad not much was changed. Kristine Froseth is superb as Alaska, and Charlie Plummer is perfect as Miles. I also loved the characters of Lara and The Colonel, and I wasn’t expecting Jordon Connor (Riverdale), Henry Zaga (Trinkets, 13 Reasons Why) and Landry Bender (Fuller House) to make appearances.

 

  1. His Dark Materials

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 8 episodes

For fans of: Once Upon a Time and Cursed

His Dark Materials has been on my radar for a while, and I finally got round to watching it in November. It centres on an orphan who ventures on a journey to the Arctic to find her missing friend, and is drawn into an ongoing battle involving the Magisterium (church) and the Gobblers (child snatchers). Having watched the first season of His Dark Materials, I’m surprised that there was ever a film – there is SO much that happens and there were scenes I remember from the books but not the film. I’ll be watching the second season in late January or February.

 

  1. Merry Happy Whatever

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 8 episodes

For fans of: Ashley Tisdale, Dennis Quaid, Brigit Mendler and Full(er) House

A laugh-out-loud comedy about a group of young adults who return back home to their father for the Christmas hols. There’s Emmy (Bridgit Mendler), who is experiencing relationship issues; Kayla (Ashley Tisdale), who breaks up with her boyfriend literally as soon as she arrives home and is figuring out her sexuality; Patsy (Siobhan Murphy), who is tired of acting like her siblings’ mother and not getting the praise she deserves; and Sean (Hayes MacArthur), who is trying to pluck up the courage to tell his father that he’s unemployed.

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. The Queen’s Gambit

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 7 episodes

For fans of: The Miniaturist and Anya Taylor-Joy

The Queen’s Gambit was considered one of the best shows of 2020, and for good reason. I wouldn’t usually watch a series about chess, and admittedly The Queen’s Gambit is a bit slow at times, but it’s worth persevering and Anya Taylor-Joy’s brilliant acting made it well worth the watch. It hasn’t been confirmed whether there will be a second season yet, but as The Queen’s Gambit is so popular, I’m sure it’s highly likely.

 

  1. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 12 episodes

For fans of: Sweetbitter, Katy Keene and Glee

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist was a pleasant surprise. It has quite an odd concept – a young woman discovers that she can hear other people’s thoughts as musical numbers after an operation – but it’s a fun, heart-warming and often humorous series. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist features hits such as ‘I’m Yours’ (Jason Mraz), ‘The Boy Is Mine’ (Brandy & Monica) and ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ (Whitney Houston), and the cast includes Jane Levy (Suburgatory, Fun Size), Skylar Austin (Pitch Perfect), Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) and Alex Newell (Glee).

 

  1. Dash & Lily

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 8 episodes

For fans of: teen shows (especially Looking For Alaska) and John Green

I loved this series just as much as I loved the book! It’s such a charming show, and even though it’s set at Christmas time, you can enjoy it at any time of year! The only downside of Dash & Lily is that the episodes are really short and the series ended far too quickly. I hope there’s a second season as I was left wanting more!

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 24 episodes

For fans of: Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I FINALLY watched the originally series of Sabrina in 2020 – but only the first season! As expected, I much prefer Sabrina the Teenage Witch to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and there’s no denying that I’ll be watching more episodes in the future!

 

  1. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Episodes/seasons watched: Part 3, 8 episodes

For fans of: Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why, American Horror Story, Katy Keene and Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sabrina is up to no good again. This time she’s somehow agreed to be the Queen of Hell. To make matters worse, Greendale is being overrun by a group of pagans. And you thought being a normal human was hard!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is utterly ridiculous, with characters being killed and then suddenly resurrected left, right and centre. I still love it thought!

 

  1. Lizzie McGuire

Episodes/seasons watched: Seasons 1 & 2, 65 episodes

For fans of: Disney and Hilary Duff!

I watched several episodes of Lizzie McGuire as a kid, but when I signed up for Disney Plus, I had to watch the entire series! It’s just as funny as I remember!

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. Sex Education

Episodes/seasons watched: Seasons 1 & 2, 16 episodes

For fans of: Skins, Euphoria, 13 Reasons Why and Awkward

Anyone who loved Skins as a teenager is bound to enjoy Sex Education too. It focuses on a group of kids at a sixth form college in England, including the socially awkward Otis (Asa Butterfield), who is inspired by his therapist mother to start up a sex clinic for his classmates. Sex Education is funny, realistic and deals with complex issues. The third season will be released at some point in 2021, so you’ve got time to binge the first two seasons before!

 

  1. Orange Is the New Black

Episodes/seasons watched: Seasons 4 –7, 52 episodes

For fans of: Gritty dramas or female-led shows like Gilmore Girls and Jane the Virgin

Orange Is the New Black focuses on the day to day lives of a group of women in an American prison. It’s based on the memoirs of a real-life female prisoner called Piper Kerman who was imprisoned at FCI Danbury, a minimum-security federal prison in Connecticut. Orange Is the New Black has one of the most diverse casts, and tackles often uncomfortable issues, such as race, gender and (TW) rape.

 

  1. One Day at a Time

Episodes/seasons watched: Seasons 1 – 3, 39 episodes

For fans of: Full(er) House, Jane the Virgin and Friends

A timely and uplifting sitcom that tackles issues such as feminism, addiction and LGBTQ rights. Full of likeable characters and plenty of comedic lines. I love how headstrong Elena is, and Penelope is an amazing mum. Lydia makes me laugh so much! If you haven’t seen One Day at a Time yet, you need to get on it ASAP!

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. Degrassi: The Next Generation

Episodes/seasons watched: 5 seasons, 100 episodes

For fans of: 13 Reasons Why, Skins, Euphoria, Glee, Trinkets and Awkward. Basically any teen show.

An engaging series about the lives of teenagers at a high school in Canada. It delves into real-life issues faced by teenagers in the 21st century, such as cyberbullying, (TW) school shootings, abortion, eating disorders and abusive parents. Degrassi: The Next Generation may have been released in 2001, but it was ahead of its time. Unfortunately, Degrassi: The Next Generation isn’t available on any streaming services in the UK, so it’s quite difficult to watch it!

 

  1. Good Witch

Episodes/seasons watched: Seasons 1 & 2, 20 episodes

For fans of: Once Upon a Time, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Gilmore Girls and Sweet Magnolias

Good Witch is perfect for the ultimate comfort viewing. It centres on a mother and daughter who live in a small town and have magical intuitive powers that enable them to help other people. As with shows like Gilmore Girls, Once Upon a Time and Sweet Magnolias, Good Witch is an uplifting show that highlights the sense of community. You’ll love it now matter how old you are.

 

  1. Trinkets

Episdes/seasons watched: Seasons 1 & 2, 20 episodes

For fans of: 13 Reasons Why, Skins, Euphoria, t@gged, Skins, Looking For Alaska

Trinkets wasn’t actually on my watchlist, but I’ve been keen to see the cast of 13 Reasons Why in other roles, and when I saw that Brandon Butler (who plays Scott Reed) was in a Netflix series, I had to see it. I didn’t know what to expect before I watched Trinkets – I thought it would just be another teen drama – but it ended up being one of my favourite shows of the year: I watched it during my lunchbreaks and I always looked forward to seeing it! Brandon’s character Brady actually was the most unlikeable character! I love the way in which the show explores (TW) addiction, as well as racism and (TW) domestic abuse. Unfortunately, Trinkets was cancelled after only 2 seasons, and there are only 20 half-hour episodes, but if you’re looking for something quick to binge watch, I’d recommend it!

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

  1. Sweetbitter

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 2, 8 episodes

For fans of: New York, Belgravia and food!

Sweetbitter is another series I binge watched during the first lockdown. Like Trinkets, Sweetbitter was cancelled after two seasons, which is such a shame. The lead is played by British actress Ella Purnell, who also stars in Belgravia. You’ll need a Starzplay subscription to watch Sweetbitter.

 

  1. Katy Keene

Episodes/seasons watched: Season 1, 13 episodes

For fans of: New York, Pretty Little Liars (or anything Lucy Hale has starred in), Glee, Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I’m really disappointed that Katy Keene was cancelled after just one season as it had so much potential. If I’m being honest, I actually preferred it to Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I loved the cast (Lucy Hale will forever be a fave!), the setting (New York!) and songs (especially the cover of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Diirty’)! It’s also great that characters from Riverdale such as Josie McCoy, Sierra McCoy, Kevin Keller and Hiram Lodge show up in Katy Keene – I only wish that Katy Keene hadn’t been discontinued so that I could see more of Josie: she was barely onscreen in Riverdale too.

 

The Series That Got Me Through 2020

 

I also watched a few episodes of RiverdaleThe GoldbergsFriday Night DinnerBridgertonWill & Grace and Cheer, and finished FriendsGlee and Switched at Birth in 2020!

Next on my list: The GreatDickinson (Season 2), Riverdale (Season 5), Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 4), His Dark Materials (Season 2) and The Fosters.

 

So those are the series that got me through 2020! What series have you watched recently? Do you tend to watch older shows (from before 2015), or do you prefer new shows? And if you’re not really into TV, what did you do to pass the time during lockdown/time off work?

 

Serena

 

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The TV Series That Got Me Through 2020

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7 Comment

  1. I loved Belgravia, Sex Education and Emily in Paris. I’ve started Dash and Lily but I haven’t finished it yet but I’m enjoying it so far!

    Tash – A Girl with a View

    1. Serena says: Reply

      Glad you enjoyed Belgravia, Sex Education, Dash and Lily and Emily in Paris too! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Wow so many good tv shows in this post – loads of which I’ll be adding to my watch list. TV was a huge part of my year in 2020 because we were at home so much. I am now fully addicted to Grey’s Anatomy!

    Rosie

  3. I started His Dark Materials as I loved the books and so far I am enjoying it. Everything else I haven’t seen yet so it’s great to have some viewing inspiration — thanks!

  4. This is a great list! I’ve enjoyed several of these and will check out some of the others. Thanks for sharing!

  5. So many amazing shows here! I love Sex Education and The Queen’s Gambit absolutely blew me away. I didn’t read The Miniaturist but I’d be keen to watch the show!

    1. Serena says: Reply

      The Miniaturist is so good! Thanks for commenting!

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