We’re now halfway through 2020 and many of us are looking for inspiration. This difficult year is one that will reverberate for many more years to come. We can not truly understand the lasting impact our society and world is teetering towards. I don’t have any answers or witty lines of optimism. Instead I’ve spent my quarantined time engulfing everything creative in the entertainment world. I hope in sharing my favorites in this tumultuous year it may help you find a gem of hope. Over the next three days I’ll be posting my top picks in TV, Film and the arts. Each section will have a specific category. For today we will dive into the “TV” realm. Hope you gain some enjoyment or at least find a new show to checkout.
In the TV world I leaned heavily on the recent updates for the Emmy nomination process. With certain shows having to halt production I thought it best to stick with how the Emmy’s will try to sort out the CoVid 19 impact on award’s season. Also like the Emmy’s I’ve split my picks into DRAMA and COMEDY. Here are my favorites for the fall of 2019 and first half of 2020.
Gadi Elkon’s Midyear Television Favorites:
TV DRAMA –
Honorable Mention: KINGDOM (season 2 on Netflix) – The Joseon dynasty in Korea was the latest and longest lasting. In this retelling of one of the kingships we are given the dramatic horror of a ZOMBIE like plague that forever impacts the dynasty. Season 2 picks up directly after season 1.
10. HOMECOMING (season 2 on Amazon) – Janelle Monae puts in an awards worthy performance in the second season. Props to Kyle Patrick Alvarez for taking over directing duties for this season and giving us another fun look into the antics of the Geist Group.
9. THE HANDMAID’S TALE (season 3 on Hulu) – Oh how our current administration is not to far off the horrors of Gilead…just saying! This season we learn a lot more about Aunt Lydia! Season 3 ended with an impactful moment that puts season 4 in a whole new world.
8. GIRI / HAJI (season 1 on Netflix) – Cultures collide in this dramatic look into a cross-the-world murder mystery. Actor Will Sharpe shines as tormented Rodney.
7. STRANGER THINGS 3 (season 3 on Netflix) – David Harbour‘s journey as Jim Hopper is worth this latest season. The kids are still adorable and easily give us one of last year’s best TV moments with their rendition of the NeverEnding Story theme song!
6. MINDHUNTER (season 2 on Netflix) – Agents Ford and Tench tackle the Atlanta child murders of the 70s. The suspense is so creepy good! Hope Fincher finds away to make season 3 and beyond happen.
5. KILLING EVE (season 3 on AMC) – Jodie Comer is all I need to complete my year! Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s sick sense of humor is on full display in this violent third chapter of this AMC hit.
4. HUNTERS (season 1 on Amazon) – Nazi hunters = sold! Logan Lerman and Al Pacino are amazing but it’s the rest of the team that really makes this show mesh so well. Oh and those darn NAZIS are just disturbingly haunting.
3. UNDONE (season 1 on Amazon) – Animated drama that mixes in the absurd with the heartwarming realities that are universal in nature. Rosa Salazar is lovable as Alma.
2. THE MANDALORIAN (season 1 on Disney +) – Has anything become more beloved than the child? Honestly though I’m giddy bout season 2 and beyond because of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). Best live action Star Wars addition since the original trilogy…yeah I fucking said that!
1. TALES FROM THE LOOP (season 1 on Amazon) – Visually stunning and accompanied by incredible musical scores by some of the best composers around. Most thought-provoking story in a long time.
TV COMEDY –
HM. NEVER HAVE I EVER (season 1 on Netflix) – Inspired by Mindy Kaling’s own childhood. Quirky and thoughtful comedy. Lee Rodriguez is a scene stealer!!
10. UPLOAD (season 1 on Amazon) – From the mind of Greg Daniels comes this humorous take on where technology is leading us. Andy Allo is about to BLOW UP!
9. LOS ESPOOKYS (season 1 on HBO) – Witty and wild look at some really eccentric folks. Ana Fabrega is the most unique scene stealer ever!!
8. AVENUE 5 (season 1 on HBO) – From the mind of VEEP’s Armando Iannucci comes this space odyssey. Josh Gad’s hair choice is worth you watching this adventure.
7. SPACE FORCE (season 1 on Netflix) – A joke that turned into a star-studded cast who makes this farce a funny delight. Good year for Greg Daniels and Ben Schwartz.
6. WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (season 3 on FX) – If you ain’t hip to Jackie Daytona you just ain’t hip enough.
5. THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL (season 3 on Amazon) – Honestly this is the best comedy show of the last three years.
4. THE GOOD PLACE (season 4 on NBC) – Incredible cast gets to say farewell to this surprisingly moving comedy. Network TV should have figured how to keep this show going!
3. THE RIGHTEOUS GENTLEMEN (season 1 on HBO)- Danny McBride and David Gordon Green keep making gold. Can we all just admit that as far as character actors go Walter Goggins is a GOD amongst humans.
2. SEX EDUCATION (season 2 on Netflix)- I can’t explain how adorable each character is to me and easily one of the most enjoyable TV watching experiences in a long time. Ncuti Gatwa is flawless in every scene he is in!!
1. RAMY (season 2 on Hulu)- A much needed slice of life we don’t get to see normally. Ramy’s stand up is worth your time, this show is worth our respect and love.
And for a last element I will share 5 shows I hope you’ll keep an eye on for the remainder of 2020.
TV Future Shows –
5. neXt – Mad Men’s John Slattery trying to outsmart A.I.
4. MR. INBETWEEN – People person Ray Shoesmith (Scott Ryan) is back again for a 3rd season of Aussie mayhem!
3. RESIDENT ALIEN – Alan Tudyk is all I need to be interested.
2. PERRY MASON – Premiered in June but not fully released on HBO. Matthew Rhys adds his subtle talents to the iconic character in HBO’s dark take on the famous lawyer.
1. DARK – Already released but haven’t finished binging it!! Series ends with this third chapter in our little German tale of time-travel.