Best Shows of 2020

At this point we have seen all the memes about 2020, and thank God for them because they made this year even remotely tolerable.  The one that really struck home for me was the one about how this all could have been so much worse if it happened in 1995 and were at the mercy of that horrible TV guide channel.  I can still feel the pain of turning on the channel and just missing the information I needed, so I had to sit there and watch the entire guide go through again.  

I mean if we are going to be quarantined, this seems to be the time do it.   Imagine being quarantined, beach is closed, restaurants are closed, you’re fighting with your families constantly over what is and what is not safe, people you know are sick, homeschooling your children (when you’re terrible at math), worrying about our businesses, a presidential election- and only had MTV Real World to get us through.  Right? Nightmare.

Thankfully, we had so much more than Real World.  2020 was soul crushing in many many ways, but there was a lot of entertaining shows that came out this year.  Our TV pulled through. These are my top 8 that I feel you must absolutely watch if you haven’t already.  I mean what else are we doing? We have some more couch time ahead.

  1. The Morning Show: (Apple TV) Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell, and an amazing Billy Crudup return.  It’s loosely based on Matt Lauer, but the writing is clever and almost every scene you are moved to re-examine a position or see a different perspective.  The acting is incredible, and did I mention Billy Crudup is back?!
  2. Little Fires Everywhere: (Hulu) Based on the best selling book, starring Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, and Joshua Jackson (yes Pacey).  It’s a mystery over who started a fire, but takes you through difficult family topics and race in such a deep and moving way.  
  3. The Undoing: (HBO) a murder mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end.  Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant (like you have never seen him) star alongside Donald Sutherland and his eyebrows.  Side note, his eyebrows steal the entire show whoever is responsible for styling them deserves a raise! You must see this show just to see Nicole Kidman’s wardrobe if for nothing else.  
  4. Ted Lasso: (Apple TV) I cannot stress this enough, this show is an absolute must.  The writing on this show is enough to move even the grumpiest person to a smile.  It is hard to even really capture in any amount of words how subtle yet magical this show is.  It’s the exact thing we humans needed in a time like this.  Run if you have not watched this one. full review HERE
  5. The Queen’s Gambit: (Netflix) this show wins you over almost as quickly as Beth Harmon (main character) can outsmart someone in a chess match.  It’s smart, and completely outside what you are used to watching.  There is also such a special attention to detail in each scene from the backdrop to the clothes.  It’s just such a great watch. 
  6. Tiger King: (Netflix) It’s an absolute dumpster fire or a documentary, but you have to watch it.  I mean at this point most of us have right? But this is for the one or two of you who think you need to hold off or it isn’t for you.  This should not have been for anyone, but you cannot stop watching.  For the record, Carole Baskin totally killed her husband.  There is no other alternative. 
  7. Never Have I Ever: (Netflix) Mindy Kaling is the mastermind behind this gem of a show.  This show!!! I loved it so much, I watched it twice.  Once alone, and once when I forced my husband and he unanimously agreed that this show is great.  I’m a sucker for a highschool drama, and this one had all of that but so much more.  It was funny and full of heart.  Not to mention it is narrated by John McEnroe which in it of itself should be enough of a hook for you to check it out.    Full review HERE
  8. My Octopus Teacher: (Netflix) This is a documentary that just sneaks up on you.  In a year where we all had so much struggle, this documentary really shows you that we are resilient.  It’s beautiful and profound, and I am convinced more than ever that octopus are aliens and we don’t deserve their majestic presence here.  Great to kill an hour or so and there is so much for you to take from it. 

Honorabe Mentions: Normal People (Hulu), The Fight Attendant (HBO Max), Bridgerton (Netflix and AMAZING)

Ted Lasso, 2020’s Hero

Nutshell: Apple TV, light, unexpected, like a big warm hug, husband loved, Sudeikis, absolute must watch

CB Rating: 9.2

Oh, what to say about Ted Lasso that would correctly sum up your urgent need to watch this show.

On paper, you will hear what this show is about and some of you may be turned off. The show is a classic fish out of water story. Ted Lasso, a classic all American mid-western football coach ends up in London coaching soccer. I need you to stop. Full stop. Hear me out. You must give it a chance. I challenge you to watch two episodes and not see what I see here.

The show starts slow and it never really picks up, at least not in any way that you are expecting or traditionally experience these days.  I can’t fully explain how, but somewhere after the second episode you really start to just love this guy and the entire cast really. This show was able to bring perspective while at the same time making me laugh out loud.

He is a classic Kansas boy down to the college football coaching career, and we find him somewhere in London somehow coaching a soccer team.  How is this even a concept for a show? But it just works.  The underlying story has been told, but the take on it is so fresh.  This is one of the few shows out there that leaves you feeling good when you’re done. 

The cast is eclectic and mostly made up of people you’ve never really seen before, and by the end of the season they become people you cannot live without (i.e. Roy Kent, sigh).  This show slowly brings you out of this rut that 2020 has dragged you into.  It is vulnerable, honest, and funny in the most unexpected of ways. 

In a year where there is so many negative things coming at you all day, this show just brings joy. The underlying story has been told, but the take on it is so fresh.  This is one of the few shows out there that leaves you feeling good when you’re done. It’s the tv equivalent of a big warm hug.

Ted Lasso is the hero this year needs. Click below to watch the trailer.


Nutshell: FX created, but on HULU, Lil  Dicky created and stars, don’t let this stop you, should definitely still watch, great for anyone, hilarious, super smart, music, some romance, 30 minute episdodes

CB Rating: 9.3

Let me tell you how much I wanted to hate this show.  No rational reason. My hate spun strictly out of principle. Not just any principle, marriage principle. Any one who has been married for a while knows- you cannot back down. Ever!

About three years ago my husband, Bobby, came home talking to me about a “rapper” named Lil Dicky.  He played me a song, and while I cannot deny that the beat was catchy (AF even), I just couldn’t get past the absurdity of the dick lyrics and his appearance.  Sorry Dave, I’m sure I am not the first or the last person to hand out that particular criticism.  It is not a knock either, your look just doesn’t scream “rapper”.

Anyway I dug in, and even when Lil Dicky started putting out some bangers, I could not admit defeat.  I could not be wrong.  This guy could not be a rapper.  Then he did that undeniably amazing song and video with Chris Brown, which I showed you guys last year (check it HERE).  So I had to sort of walk it back and admit he may be a talented rapper, but a TV show creator and actor.  Nope.  No way.  I mean look at the title image. I only agreed to watch the pilot to show Bobby how wrong he was about wanting to watch this. 

Guys, I’m going to say this loud so that everyone, especially Bobby, can hear me- I WAS WRONG.  Ugh, I hate saying that but I was so wrong.  Dave Burd, or Lil Dicky, is a seriously seriously talented guy.  This show (just like his music) is extremely well written, a little awkward and gross at times, but always funny.  The first couple of episodes are good but the show comes up a level in the fourth episode and just keeps getting better. 

I cannot tell you what a great surprise this was.  The season takes you through what seems like a biographical retelling of how LIl Dicky came to his success.  Each episode is so well done it’s smart, and has heart.  I am also a sucker for a show about music, so if you are a music fan there are a couple Benny Blanco cameos that will help put this over the top. 

So in conclusion, I was wrong here.  Don’t be like me.  Definitely catch Dave. 

Check out the full trailer for Dave HERE

Never Have I Ever…

Nutshell: Netflix, Teenage Angst, Highschool, Coming of Age, Mindy Kaling, light yet deep,

CB Rating: 9.4

What a breath of fresh air. Maybe it’s the quarantine talking, but I have been having a hard time wanting to watch anything on TV these days. I mean, I did just get off binging Season 2 and 3 of Ozark (my blog/rant on this is coming next), BUT that is more to my point- I don’t want to watch anything too dark right now and it seems like most of the options are a little heavy.

Enter Mindy Kaling and the incredible new show she just developed for Netflix, Never Have I Ever. It centers around Devi, an Indian American sophomore, navigating life almost a year out from a horrible family tragedy, and on a mission to be not just well liked but extremely popular in her LA high school’s bubble.

In my opinion, this is one of Netflix’s best teen comedies. It is sort of like a Book Smart meets Super Bad or Mean Girls but sweetened with a little bit of what makes Mindy Kaling great. It has her honest, colorful, and always hilarious take on growing up as an Indian girl in America.

All ten episodes are ready to stream and are each only 25 minutes. My husband won’t admit this to you, but he liked it. I caught him not reading his book and even laughing at all the right moments. But he will for sure still tell you it was awful if you ask.

I will say it again, I absolutely loved it. The show has heart and guts.

We watched the entire season yesterday. Don’t judge, it’s quarantine but if you really want to judge- my kids were playing nintendo the entire time.

Watch the trailer HERE

Happy watching!

High Fidelity

Nutshell: Hulu, Zoe Kravitz is a god, 10 episodes, 1 season, 26 minutes, music lovers will really love this, remake of a late 90’s movie but modernized and way better than original, I would watch this again and again

CB Rating: 9.6

Not to make this about me, but I just turned 36 years old.  Why is this relevant to an article about Hulu’s High Fidelity? I grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s which makes me the prime of the prime, smack in the center, of John Cusack’s former fame.  If you’re still asking yourself why John Cusack is even coming up in a conversation about a show starring Zoe Kravitz* (everytime we mention her name it must be said with the utmost deference- we will discuss this below), then you my friend should do yourself a favor and catch High Fidelity, the movie starring our former darling.  

But before you do that, watch this show.  The movie is great, but the show managed to take the plot of the movie and just completely make it it’s own.  The movie is irrelevant, about as irrelevant as John Cusack is now (ouch burn, sorry Cusak). This show was pretty close to perfect for me.  

Zoe Kravitz, is a stand out star.  Bear with me, I am going to ramble about Zoe Kravitz for a hot second.  How is there a human being walking around that is this perfect. She manages to be even more beautiful than her mother, Lisa Bonnett, laced with her dad’s sexy cool stare and demeanor.  She’s dripping in style and swag. This girl is wearing baggy jeans, a white tee, a green sweater vest and boots in the promo of the show and she looks OUTRAGEOUS! If I wore that exact outfit and posed for a picture, people would think I was Chandler Bing. RANT OVER 

Side Note Idea: if there is an impending apocalypse the world should agree we save Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonnett and make them responsible for repopulating the earth.

Zoe can also just act.  The whole cast was just really amazing.  The story from start to finish brings you in.  Each character plays a part. The classic story of heartbreak with unexpected twists keeps you invested.  There are 10 episodes that are each around 26 minutes. A quick binge for some, and not an overwhelming amount for newbie bingers. 

I would highly suggest watching this show.  If you don’t have Hulu (it is about that time to commit) but if you don’t want to they are offering a free month trial.  That is enough time to watch this show and The Handmaid’s Tale for all those who have been sleeping on that (inexcusable).

Get to it! I’m planning on watching it again, so maybe we do it together!

HBO’s Succession

Nutshell: HBO, Drama, 2 seasons, 10 episodes each, husband approved, life styles of the rich and famous meets Empire sprinkled with a little awkward The Office humor.

CB Rating: 9.3

Should you watch this show? Let’s put it this way, I have been walking around practicing my Scottish accent just so I could correctly imitate Logan Roy’s poetic “fuck off”. Who is Logan Roy you may be asking? He is the main character, whom you hate while simultaneously really desperately want him to like you. This show is layered and it is excellent.

I started watching a little after the second season began.  I was told by countless serious TV people (yes this is a standard) that it was a must see.  They did not disappoint. Even Bobby [husband] got in on this one. 

It’s a story about a Rupert Murdoch-esque family facing the question of who will take over for dad and run this billion dollar media company when it’s time to step down (Classic!).  

The premise may not sound as sexy as a blonde mother of dragons losing her power hungry-mind and burning down cities only to be stopped by her bastard lover.  BUT I found myself pacing during a board room scene. I am telling you, pacing like I was watching The Battle of the Bastards.   In one scene one of the kids full on raps, and by the end I had my hands in the air like I did not care “L to the OG”.

In case some of these clues I’ve dropped have yet to peak your interest, I will once again insist this show has everything you could want.  It has family drama, a peak into how the insanely wealthy live, weird sex stuff, some pretty stellar awkward humor, and a theme song that is so epic it has spun off multiple samples and internet remixes {check some of those out HERE}.

If you disagree, 

Good Omens

Nutshell: Amazon. 6 Episodes. Michael Sheen, dark satire, hilarious and so smart. If you are easily offended (particularly over religion) don’t watch it, but you would be missing out.

CB Rating: 8.9

Based on the book “The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch”, (written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) the show starts modern day with the demon Crowley (David Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), who have been friends, literally since the beginning of time. You see they met at the beginning of life on Earth and were sent here to be the eyes on the ground for their respective sides. They start to grow accustomed to life on Earth, and therefore want to stop Armageddon instead of pushing it forward as they were assigned to do.

With so many obstacles and characters in their way. This show is brilliant. The premise is genius, and the acting from Michael Sheen, David Tennant and special appearances by John Hamm and others takes it over the top.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime

Starting: Michael Sheen, David Tennant, John Hamm

Trailer: Click HERE

Murder Mystery- Killed Me

Nutshell: Netflix.  Jen Aniston.  Adam Sandler. Rachel Green. Billy Madison.  Murder Mystery.  Dark Comedy.  Light and Hilarious.  Good for everyone.  1 hour and 37 minutes.

CB Rating: 8.2

Murder Mystery killed me, get it (I’m hilarious).  Netflix has taken out the big guns.  They pulled in the late 90’s rom-com dream team, Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler and brought us a ridiculous play on the classic murder mystery.  

I had already seen these two together in Just Go With It, (which for those who haven’t seen it- low key hilarious) so I knew what they were capable of.  The storyline had me feeling a little iffy about it:

“On a long-awaited trip to Europe, a New York City cop and his hairdresser wife scramble to solve a baffling murder aboard a billionaire’s yacht”

Right? It sounds a little cliche, and a little been there done that.  I mean even Saved By the Bell had a murder mystery episode.   What it leaves out is how hard they go into the genre. It’s like they took the game Clue, multiplied it to the point of absurdity- and it really works.  The characters are stereotypical and ludicrous. The story keeps moving and Jen {I can call her that} and Sandler just hit it out of the park.

It’s a great one to put on when you want to unwind and laugh for an hour and a half.  

Watch it on Netflix

Starring: Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler

Written By: James Vanderbilt

Trailer: Click HERE

A Million Little Things

Nutshell: Worth Watching.  1 hour. Cable Drama.  Solid cast. Semi-predictable.  Still enjoyable.  Mystery.

My original prediction from the newsletter when it first aired:

A Million Little Things: The life of a group of friends post one of their friends taking his life.  It’s just as sad as it sounds.  I feel like it’s ABC’s answer to This is Us only with an even more depressing plot if possible.  Look people liked this one, and there is something that happens in the Pilot that kind of traps you into the next one.  This show will either surprise everyone and be incredible or be the absolute biggest piece of shit ever. #tbd #stillgoingtowatch (ABC and Hulu)

I really thought this show was going to be the biggest turd.  How could ABC successfully pull off an almost tit for tat of This Is Us? They did it.  Something about Ron Livingston that I love to hate.  Is it that he broke up with Carrie on a post-it? Definitely.

Here Ron plays a guy named Jonathan Dixon, who has just taken his life.  The show centers around his widow, family and group of friends as they deal with the impossible.   Sounds completely and utterly predictable.  There are moments that are.  However the cast is great, and the stories kind of grab you.  It’s in the same category as The Parenthood and This Is Us.

The show got such good traction and reviews, ABC even gave it a better day and time slot as it will air on Thursdays, 9 PM starting in September.  Catch up on Hulu.

Cast: Ron Livingston (Office Space, Sex and the City [eyeroll]), Romany Malco (40 Year Old Virgin, Weeds), Stephanie Szostack (Devil Wears Prada), and more unfamiliar but lovable faces

Trailer: Click HERE

What If (Netflix) The Plot Twist From Hell

Nutshell: Netlfix.  1 Hour Episodes.  Drama.  Holy Renee Zellweger.  Don’t recommend to all or most.

This show had all the right parts.  A frozen faced Renee Wellger, a hot dude, a likable main actress and a seemingly sexy plot.  For those who didn’t catch the preview that Netflix was literally shoving down your throat, it’s about a rich powerful woman, Anne (Renee), offering an ungodly amount of money for one night with Lisa’s husband, Sean (token hot guy).

If it all sounds familiar, it’s because it does.  We have all seen how this plays out, because we all saw Indecent Proposal.  However there was an unexpected twist- that honestly flopped.  It’s not worth watching the entire season to get to it.  However if you’re like me, you will anyway.  It has that right amount of drama and trashy intrigue that is hard to resist.  You were warned.

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Jane Levy, Blake Jenner

Trailer: Click HERE