If there has been one constant in the ever-changing world of 2020, it has certainly been the array of television shows that have been released this year.
Whether you streamed it on a laptop, your phone or (shock horror) your actual television, TV consumption has been at an all-time high.
But with so many choices, new and old, what has everyone been raving about this year?
The Latch— team is made up of some very different and distinct personalities, so I put it to them and asked, what was your favourite show you watched in 2020?
(Miraculously, everyone really did choose something different. No joke.)
Anita, entertainment editor
“Reese Witherspoon at her WASPY best and Joshua Jackson as a father of teens? Say no more. This show had everything including the team behind Big Little Lies.”
SYNOPSIS: Single mother, Mia Warren (Kerry Washington), moves to the suburbs in Ohio with her teenage daughter, where they become involved with Elena Richardson (Witherspoon) and her picture-perfect family. While Mia is a free-spirited artist with a mysterious past, Elena is a stickler for the rules and status quo.
The two families find themselves on opposing sides when a custody battle erupts over the adoption of a Chinese-American baby and the plot unfolds to explore the weight of secrets, the struggles of motherhood and the danger of always following the rules no matter the cost.
“Honestly, after being obsessed with Bring it On since my early teens, the fact that there are real cheer schools was groundbreaking and let’s face it, somewhat mesmerising!”
SYNOPSIS: The six-part series follows the nationally ranked forty-member Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team from Corsicana, Texas, under the direction of coach Monica Aldama, as they prepare to compete in the National Cheerleading Championship held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Amanda, managing editor
“I loved being transported to another era. It made me realise I have zero hobbies and need to pick something up in 2021.”
SYNOPSIS: An inspiring story starring rising actor Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma), the mini-series focuses on Beth Harmon, an orphaned chess prodigy, who struggles with addiction from the age of nine.
The seven-part series follows Harmon for nearly a decade and a half, beginning just after her mother dies in a car accident. Leading the young girl to an orphanage, it is here her addiction to tranquiliser drugs begins.
“It introduced me to a culture I previously knew little about.”
SYNOPSIS: Based on Deborah Feldman’s 2012 memoir, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, the four-part show follows Esther “Esty” Shaprio (Shira Haas), a 19-year-old Satmar Jew living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and trapped in an arranged marriage.
Valentina, managing editor
“I found myself Googling storylines to separate fact from fiction and kept thinking about what happened in each episode long after watching.”
SYNOPSIS: The story picked up as the 1970s are drawing to a close. Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) is prime minister — and her divisive policies ruffle more than a few feathers in Britain. We also saw the turbulent early years of Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Diana’s (Emma Corrin) relationship and the births of Princes William and Harry.
Gangs of London
Lyndsey, entertainment and news producer
“The cinematography consistently blew my mind and I found myself wondering how on earth they were able to shoot the (very gruesome) fight scenes the way they did. It was so artistic and weirdly beautiful…even if I had to watch most of it from behind my hands!”
SYNOPSIS: Set in the heart of London, Gangs of London tells the story of the city being torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of the international gangs that control it and the sudden power vacuum that’s created when the head of London’s most powerful crime family is assassinated.
“Your Honor is already a close second (although only three eps in), Cranston is impeccable as always and I love that they are using the timely topics of white privilege, abuse of power, racial inequality and government/police corruption to create a compelling story that always has you on the edge of your seat!”
SYNOPSIS: The 10-episode legal thriller stars Cranston as Michael Desiato, a respected New Orleans judge whose teenage son, Adam (Hunter Doohan), is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices.
Alex, beauty and wellness editor
“The final season came out this year, and having never watched it, I went back and started from the beginning. It was the best thing to watch during iso and brought me so much comfort. Moira Rose forever.”
SYNOPSIS: The series stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara as Johnny and Moira Rose, a wealthy couple who are forced, after losing all their money, to rebuild their lives in their only remaining asset: the small town of Schitt’s Creek, which they once purchased as a joke, where they are living with their two adult children in two adjacent rooms of a rundown motel.
Kate, wellness producer
“I cried like an absolute baby! I thought it would just be a good jump scare show and something I hadn’t watched before, but it was more of a love story than a ghost story.”
After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) hires a young American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) to care for his orphaned niece and nephew who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef Owen, groundskeeper Jamie and housekeeper Mrs Grose.
But, all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets of love and loss are waiting to be unearthed in this chilling gothic romance. At Bly Manor, dead doesn’t mean gone.
The Baby-Sitters Club
“I had 150+ BSC books when I was a kid, and the new series felt nostalgic but fresh all at once. It was a gooey marshmallow of a show.”
SYNOPSIS: The Baby-Sitters Club is an American kids-drama series, based on the best-selling book series, that follows the friendship and adventures of Kristy Thomas, Mary-Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, Stacey McGill, and Dawn Schafer as the middle-schoolers start their babysitting business in the fictional town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut.
Katie, lifestyle editor
“I’m not saying that it was particularly good or anything and I’m aware admitting my affection for the show does little for my street credibility, but the show’s ridiculousness and unbelievability was a welcome distraction and I’m already pumped for season two.”
SYNOPSIS: The series stars Lily Collins (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile) as Emily, an ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago who unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris.
When her company acquires a French luxury marketing company, she is tasked with revamping its social media strategy. Emily’s new life in Paris is filled with intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges as she juggles winning over her work colleagues, making friends, and navigating new romances.
Adam Densten, former Goggleboxer and contributor
“I had never seen it and watched it from start to finish in Melbourne lockdown. It’s my favourite because not only does it celebrate flip phones, it makes me feel like I accomplished something this year.”
SYNOPSIS: The story revolves around Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his family life with his role as the leader of a criminal organisation.
“Despite all the TV I’ve seen, I didn’t see the ending coming. It hit me in the face like one of those old comedy movies where someone walks around a corner and get smacked in the face by a frying pan. That and I’ve binged so much TV this year that it’s the most recent good show I remember!”
SYNOPSIS: The story centres around Grace Fraser (Nicole Kidman), a psychologist whose world falls apart when her husband, Jonathan (Hugh Grant), is linked to the death of Elena Alves (Matilda De Angelis), a fellow parent at Reardon, their children’s fictional private school in Manhattan. Throughout the first five episodes, audiences were been left with the question — who killed Elena Alves?
Matty Fahd, Goggleboxer and contributor
“Go on and watch it. You will know why it’s my favourite.”
SYNOPSIS: Also known by its original title La Casa De Papel, the Spanish-language drama/thriller is the most-watched non-English shows on Netflix. It follows a group of strangely lovable criminals, who stage a huge heist to rob Spain’s national Mint.
“It has to be Normal People because my heart’s still aching. Probably not the most masculine of answers but it’s damn true!”
SYNOPSIS: Normal People tracks the tender but complicated relationship of Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) from the end of their school days in small-town West of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College, Dublin.
At school, he’s well-liked and popular, while she’s lonely, proud and intimidating. A strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers — one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying in Dublin and Marianne has found her feet in a new social world, but Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain.
“I had no idea about the whole exotic cat trade in the US. But the characters made it. Almost impossible to write characters like that.”
For nearly 20 years, Joe Exotic ran the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma that was home to over 1200 lions, tigers, bears, wolves and snakes.
And while his reign as King of the Jungle lasted just under two decades, the former zookeeper has now been sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder-for-hire plot to kill animal rights activist, Carole Baskin, and for killing five tiger cubs.
In the new Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which is hailed as “the most disturbing documentary ever” — the story follows the downright crazy drama between Exotic and Baskin.
Alyce, team member
“It’s a mystery thriller that goes beyond anywhere your mind could imagine! It’s like a creepier version of Stranger Things!”
SYNOPSIS: In the aftermath of a child’s disappearance, Dark follows characters from the fictional German town of Winden as they pursue the truth. They follow connections between four estranged families to unravel a sinister time travel conspiracy which spans several generations. The series explores the existential implications of time and its effect on human nature.