Between lockdowns, quarantines and a global pandemic, we all indulged in a noteworthy amount of digital tanning this year in 2020. Fortunately, the year provided us with an exciting variety of shows to indulge in, from the captivating Queen’s Gambit to the chilling Lovecraft Country.
Here are some of our favourite new shows that debuted in 2020…
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
The Queen’s Gambit took the world by storm and has become one of the most popular limited series to ever grace Netflix.
It follows the rise of the fictional chess genius, Beth Harmon, charismatically portrayed by actress, Anna-Taylor Joy.
From her troubled upbringing in an orphanage to her chess battles against the world’s greatest chess grandmasters, this show will keep you on the very edge of your seat.
The show injected so much energy and allure into the art of chess, that it sparked a massive revival in chess interest.
According to research by the NPD group, sales of chess sets in the US went up by 87%, and chess books by 607%.
The Great (Hulu)
The Great is a vibrant, energetic, and delightfully quirky period drama that follows the rise of Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning), one of the most celebrated rulers of the Russian empire.
While the show takes quite a few liberties with historical facts, it will take you on a wild ride as our protagonist navigates this eccentric and dangerous rendition of 18th-century Russian royalty.
Elle Fanning gives an endlessly charming performance, complemented by Nicholas Hoult’s distinct brand of charisma as he plays the often clueless Emperor of Russia.
Currently, the show is only available on Hulu, so you will need to use a VPN to watch it or wait until it makes its way to Showmax or Netflix.
Lovecraft Country (Showmax, HBO)
Lovecraft Country is a harrowing supernatural horror inspired by pulp horror fiction and cosmic horror.
The story follows protagonist Atticus (portrayed by Jonathan Majors) as he travels across a heavily racially divided 1950’s America in search of his missing father.
This journey leads him to the town of Ardham, where he faces off both the horror of monsters and the deep-seated racism of the region.
The show creatively blends the terrifying awe of the supernatural with the unsettling and all-too-real horror of racism, converging into a thrilling and surprisingly emotive viewing experience.
With Game of Thrones slowly fading into history and Vikings about the give its last breath, where are we supposed to get our fix of power plays, badass characters, and brutal battles?
Cue, Barbarians – a riveting foreign-language series that explores the growing tension between the barbarian tribes of Germania and the invading Roman Empire.
Set in 9AD, we follow a fictional series of events driven by an underdog group of heroes that have had enough of the encroaching grip of the elitist Romans.
Filled with a fair dose of narrative twists and turns, Barbarians is set to become the next binge-worthy clash of sword and shield.
Loosely inspired by the infamous Nurse Ratched in One Who Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, this show follows the often devious exploits of our eponymous protagonist (portrayed by Sarah Paulson) as she navigates the strange world of Lucia State Hospital.
Directed by Ryan Murphy, known for his work on American Horror Story, this show boasts the same distinct offbeat brand of horror.
Filled to the brim with “what will happen next” moments, Ratched is just one of those addictive pieces of television that sucks you in, spits you out, and leaves you in a pleasant state of confusion.
Feature image: CHARLIE GRAY/NETFLIX © 2020