This year has been filled with unforeseen challenges and heartache for millions of people around the globe. With the world completely shut down during quarantine, many found comfort in watching attention-grabbing television shows and movies to quickly escape the tremulous state of this pandemic, even if just for an hour. Here is a review of some of the top streaming television shows and movies of 2020: 

  • Soul (Film-Disney+): Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz — and he’s good. But when he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul.
  • Schitt’s Creek (TV Series-Netflix): When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup and rebuild their empire from within the rural city limits of their only remaining asset – Schitt’s Creek, an armpit of a town they once bought as a joke.
  • The Queen’s Gambit (TV Miniseries-Netflix): Nine-year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life, she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she’s competing for the U.S. Open championship. But as Beth hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting.
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor (TV Mini Series-Netflix): A young governess is hired by a man to look after his niece and nephew at their family country house after they fall into his care. Soon after arriving at the Bly estate, she begins to experience strange occurrences and a grim history starts to unravel.
  • Girlfriends (TV Series-Netflix): A look at the lives, loves, and losses of four different Black women. From dating to divorce and friends to family to relationships, Joan, Maya, Lynn, and Toni support each other despite their differing backgrounds, learning about true friendship in the process.
  • Extraction (Film-Netflix): In an underworld of weapons dealers and traffickers, a young boy becomes the pawn in a war between notorious drug lords. Trapped by kidnappers inside one of the world’s most impenetrable cities, his rescue beckons the unparalleled skill of a mercenary named Tyler Rake, but Rake is a broken man with nothing to lose, harboring a death wish that makes an already deadly mission near impossible.
  • Uncut Gems (Film-Netflix): Howard Ratner is a once-successful New York gems dealer whose gambling addiction has left his family and career in shambles, and him with hundreds of thousands in debt. Always looking for the next big bet, Howard thinks he finally hit it big when he discovers a rare uncut rock of Ethiopian gems, with a very interested high-profile buyer. But the closer Howard gets to finally winning big, the more he is forced to realize he can’t keep running from the consequences of his actions.
  • YOU (TV Series-Netflix): YOU is a 21st-century love story that asks, “What would you do for love?” When a brilliant bookstore manager crosses paths with an aspiring writer, his answer becomes clear: anything. Using the internet and social media as his tools to gather the most intimate of details and get close to her, a charming and awkward crush quickly becomes obsession as he quietly and strategically removes every obstacle-and person-in his way.
  • Lovecraft County (TV Series-Hulu): Lovecraft Country follows Atticus Freeman as he joins up with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback. 
  • Tiger King (TV Miniseries-Netflix): Among the eccentrics and cult personalities in the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, few stand out more than Joe Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and a country-western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo. Charismatic but misguided, Joe and an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen, and cult leaders all share a passion for big cats and the status and attention their dangerous menageries garner.
  • Euphoria (TV Series-HBO Max): A look at life for a group of high school students as they grapple with issues of drugs, sex and violence. The series focuses on the relationship between two young girls trying to find their place in the world: recovering addict Rue and new-in-town Jules.
  • Insecure (TV Series-HBO Max): Unpacked stories of the black female experience from the perspective of two female protagonists, Issa and Molly who have been best friends with each other since their college days at Stanford. Both in their late 20s, they navigate career and relationship experiences while living in their hometown Los Angeles, California.
  • 13 Reasons Why (TV Series-Netflix): Follows teenager Clay Jensen as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers a group of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker-his classmate and crush-who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. 
  • Ratched (TV Series-Netflix): Ratched is a suspenseful drama series that tells the origin story of asylum nurse Mildred Ratched. In 1947, Mildred arrives in Northern California to seek employment at a leading psychiatric hospital where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind.
  • Love is Blind (TV Series-Netflix): Singles who want to be loved for who they are, rather than what they look like, have signed up for a less conventional approach to modern dating.
  • Canvas (Film-Netflix): After a heartbreaking loss, a grandfather struggling to reclaim his passion for painting finds the inspiration to create again.
  • American Murder-The Family Next Door (Documentary-Netflix): In 2018, 34-year-old Shanann Watts and her two young daughters disappear in Colorado. With the heartbreaking details emerging, the family’s story made headlines around the world. 

 

(Photo: Pixar)

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