Denouement 2020: TV Shows

denouement Apr 2, 2021

Last year, I watched a whole list of TV shows. Film might be dying, but the golden age of long-form storytelling continues.


I Was Impressed By

Better Call: Season 5

I firmly believe that this is better than Breaking Bad. The journey into Saul Goodman we all came to love reached its penultimate chapter in 2020, and man did it impress. I am constantly disappointed at how gems like Rhea Seehorn don't sweep award shows.

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Seasons 1 to 10

One of my closest friends regularly mentioned Larry David, and for the most part I paid him no mind. I couldn’t possibly tell you what triggered me to finally watch a show he waxed lyrical about. But I can tell you that I now hold it near and dear to my heart, and that Larry is my spirit animal.

Mythic Quest: Season 1

I approached this show very skeptically. Anything that usually covers gaming or gaming development usually has terrible writing and production values. But not here! Apple has a gem on its hands that admittedly does take a bit to warm up. Episode 5 is flat out amazing.

O.J. Made in America (Mini-Series)

We all know O.J. Simpson committed those murders. C’mon. This is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen because it examines O.J.’s life and the wider social issues that America faced during his primetime years and surrounding the trial. I learned a lot about how the Black community engages the rest of the country, and how there were many battles that hinged on this dramatic court case.

Ramy: Seasons 1 & 2

You really have to look hard to find shows that are set in America and helmed by a person of color. Especially a Muslim one. Ramy was yet another surprise of the year, with a look inside a modern Muslim family without any filters, and a copious amount of self-deprecation.

The Morning Show: Season 1

The first big hit of Apple TV+ brought us a star-studded cast that delivers us a gut-wrenching story - a story that might hit too close to home for women worldwide. As you can tell from the name, it is focus on a daily news show as well as the machinations from its players and the network it is hosted on. A must watch, with Billy Crudup shining bright in his role.

Ted Lasso: Season 1

A lot of Apple TV+ shows here, but this one is my favorite by far. It's the feel-good story that 2020 needed, but it doesn't shy away from delivering moments of sadness or frustration when it needs to.

The premise of the show is that an American Football coach is picked to lead a Football (Soccer) team in the UK. Hijinks follow. This was originally based on a series of ads by NBC years ago. You can see one here. It's so good, that it got 2 more seasons in the works.


I Was Disappointed By

Devs

This show tried to be smart, and fell flat on its face. Exposition galore via long-winded monologues delivered VERY SLOWLY. Fuck me. Didn't get past episode 4.

Homecoming: Season 2

A case of a completely unneeded sophomore season.  It's competent, but it should have been more. Sorry Janelle Monae. At least it wasn’t the trainwreck that was True Detective’s second one.

Raised by Wolves: Season 1

Great first two episodes. Ultimately shallow and sterile. Episode 4 and I was done.

Star Trek: Picard

Did the writers watch Star Trek: The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine? Do they know who Jean-Luc Picard is? Episode 5 and I decided it was 🚮🚮🚮

The Expanse: Season 4

I enjoyed this show because of its focus on hard sci-fi and believable politics, with well constructed societies. This season jumped the shark completely and introduced elements I was not comfortable with at all. People say Season 5 is better, but I’ll take my time to get to that.


Honorable Mentions

Doom Patrol - It's as if someone took all the off-kilter ideas in my head and made something cohesive out of it. I've only seen the first season, but I quite enjoyed it. I am glad Brendan Fraser is getting some work, even if it is behind a mask.

For All Mankind - Another Apple TV+ show? Whodathunk? It's well-written (with great female characters) and paced well. It just lacks that something extra for me.

The Boys: Season 2 - It nearly went on the best-of part. But, really, it was just aight.

The Great Martian War 1913-1917 - A faux documentary that is a fun romp.

The Last Dance - I know Lakers fans might disagree, but the Chicago Bulls are probably the first team people think of when basketball comes up in the discussion. And this documentary cemented why that is the case.

Wild Wild Country - A riveting documentary that loses steam in the last half. Still worth a watch.

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