2020 has been one rollercoaster of a year, and for Netflix, it’s been nothing short of incredible. The streaming service has seen record growth, and more viewers than ever are tuning in to watch the excellent number of Originals available in the Netflix library. Some Originals, however, have stood head and shoulders above the rest, and we’ve compiled the best Originals of 2020 in the list below.
Here are our picks for the best Netflix Original series of 2020:
Sex Education (Season 2)
Season 1 of Sex Education was a smash hit on Netflix in 2019, and it only left subscribers hungry for more. After waiting patiently for over a year, the second season smashed it out of the park, delivering the best kind of awkward and cringe-inducing humor we love from great British comedies.
The second season did an excellent job of setting itself apart from the first by adding a new level of maturity, while still retaining all of the comedy. It was fantastic to see the heavier themes explored in the second season being given to all of the colorful supporting characters.
Kingdom (Season 2)
Without a doubt, Kingdom has become one of the best non-English language Originals on Netflix, and arguably the best South Korean Original on offer. The series has exemplified the South Korean expansion into the zombie genre, and with an added historical twist, made for an extremely entertaining series.
The production of Kingdom went above and beyond what you would expect from a zombie series. From its flawless cinematography, stunning set pieces, and equally brilliant costume designs, you’d have a hard time to feel disappointed. Overall the series exemplifies why Netflix continues its expansion into foreign markets, bringing stories from every corner of the world to life for your entertainment.
The Queen’s Gambit (Season 1)
If you could visually define the term “sleeper-hit” then The Queen’s Gambit is the perfect fit. Prior to its release on Netflix, The Queen’s Gambit hadn’t generated a large amount of buzz, but upon its release, you would have thought it was one of the most anticipated Netflix Originals of the year. Within 28 days the series amassed over 62 million views, officially becoming the most-watched limited series on Netflix to date.
Viewing statistics aside, the series was a fantastic watch. Not many would have thought there could be such tense drama surrounded chess, but Anya-Taylor-Joy’s portrayal of the flawed chess genius Beth Harmon proved otherwise. Thanks to a magnetic performance from Anya Taylor-Joy, and a fantastic story, it’s not hard to see why so many eyes tuned in to watch The Queen’s Gambit.
The Crown (Season 4)
One of, if not, the most well-produced Original series on Netflix, The Crown released its most controversial season yet with the addition of its fourth installment. Much of the controversy surrounding the fourth season was due to the addition of Princess Diana, one of the most polarising figures in British history. Emma Corrin gave a powerful performance as the late Princess, as too did Gillian Anderson in her portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Corrin’s and Anderson’s respective performances paved the way for the most controversial element of the fourth season, portraying the royals as an out of touch, cold, and distant family.
Olivia Coleman and the respective cast once again smashed it out of the park for their final portrayals of Britain’s most famous family. In season 5 we’ll once again see a brand new cast as we jump forward in time to the 1990s, one of the most controversial decades of the monarchy’s history.
The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)
Other than Stranger Things, we’ve never seen an Original quite as in demand for more seasons than The Umbrella Academy. It took 17 long months, but it was definitely worth the wait to see the Hargreeves family back in action again. There were lots to unpack from the second season of The Umbrella Academy, and in particular, all of the themes explored throughout the story. Racial themes, sexual orientation, war, and faith were explored but handled in a charming way you could only expect from The Umbrella Academy.
With a third season on the way in the near future, we’re expecting to see The Umbrella Academy raise the bar even higher.
Ozark (Season 3)
Every great drama leaves you on the end of your seat, but throughout the third season of Ozark, you’ll spend most of your time on the floor. The proof is in the pudding when you consider the fact that Ozark had a total of three episodes nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series at the Emmy’s, along with two episodes up for Outstanding Directing.
The acting was flawless, and each respective cast member that was nominated for an award arguably deserved to win. It took Julia Garner three seasons, but she finally earned her first Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. One of the biggest highlights of the entire season was Tom Pelphrey’s introduction to the series as Ben Davis, Wendy Byrde’s wayward brother. Despite not being nominated for an award Pelphrey more than gave an Emmy award-winning performance.
Ozark now stands out as one of the best crime-dramas on television, and with the series coming to an end with season 4 we can’t wait to see what explosive finale is in store.
What was your best Original series on Netflix in 2020? Let us know in the comments below!