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10 TV Shows Airing in 2020 That You Need to Watch

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Hulu

We all may be doomed—we’ve seen too much TV in the last decade. 

 

The number of original scripted TV series in the United States more than doubled from 216 at the start of the decade to 495 in 2018. Just the first half of 2019 had 320 original scripted TV series air. The past decade didn’t see a single year produce that much until 2013. Worst of all, a lot of that TV has been really good.

 

The 2010s saw five seasons of a chemistry teacher’s transformation into a meth kingpin, seven seasons inside a women’s prison, four seasons following around a mentally unstable hacker who takes down America’s 1 percent, five-and-a-half seasons of a law professor trying to get away with murder, three seasons of children from the ‘80s battling demons from an interdimensional realm, five seasons of an animated horse suffering from depression and we ended the decade with a season featuring a blue god disguised as a Black man in a world where cops wear masks. That’s only a fraction of what has been dubbed “peak TV.”

 

This new decade will have to do more than any other decade in recent memory in order to wow people. Russians disguised as Americans? Been there, loved that. America’s most wanted man helping the FBI? We can already binge that. A Marvel TV universe? OK...and? 

 

It’ll be difficult—but not impossible—to amaze us in 2020, especially when major players like Netflix, Apple and Amazon are prepared to collectively spend tens of billions of dollars on original video content. So, ONE37pm decided to round up ten of the TV series coming in 2020 that will start the decade off on the right path.

'High Fidelity'

For every person who obsesses over the minute details of past relationships the way they do favorite albums, the 2000 romantic comedy High Fidelity spoke to you deeply. Rob Gordon, played with sardonic charm by John Cusak, is a record store employee who deals with a breakup by trying to understand the futility of past relationships. 

 

The trailer shows Hulu’s serialized version staying true to the roots of the film while also branching out. Rob is still the protagonist who works at a record store and pines over the top five breakups of their relationship. But, Rob is now Zoe Kravitz and the record store is located in the “rapidly gentrified” Crown Heights, Brooklyn, according to the trailer’s YouTube description. Kravitz’s mother plays a small yet indelible part in the original as a singer, and the Hulu series will be more than a full-circle moment. As Kravitz’s first leading role in a TV series, the burgeoning star that has stunned on HBO’s Big Little Lies, Hulu’s High Fidelity could be the launching pad for the decade’s next great TV star.  

 

Season Premiere: Feb. 14

'Homeland'

A TV character’s transcendence from trendy to epochal is wholly dependent on acting prowess convincing enough to make the TV character and the actress inextricable. If Claire Danes walked down the street in a business suit and simply glanced over her shoulder once, I’d fully believe she was escaping and/or hunting a secret terrorist cabal. For seven thrilling seasons, Showtime’s flagship spy drama Homeland did just that in award-winning and convincing fashion as CIA agent Carrie Mathison. She’s given birth to a terrorist’s child, ordered drone strikes on a family celebration and has had more psychotic breaks than this series has seasons, all while etching the “Carrie cry face” into pop culture. Since its 2011 debut, Homeland has been a searingly unflinching look into the fear-mongering and conspiratorial corruption that has shaped the United States post-9/11, and the series looks to end with a few bangs.

 

Season eight, the final season, finds Carrie seeking retribution on her captors who drugged her into a seven-month amnesia spell that has her CIA colleagues unsure if she even remembers if she switched sides to the enemy or not. Mandy Patinkin as a CIA agent and Carrie’s work dad, Saul Berenson, is bringing Carrie full circle by returning her to where her career started—Afghanistan. For a man who has seen the horrors, Saul saying in the trailer where Carrie going is ten times more dangerous than when she last came all but ensures that the final season of Homeland will be its wildest one yet.

 

Season Premiere: Feb. 9 

'The Boys'

Regina King and Watchmen showrunner Damian Lindelof completely subverted the superhero genre in 2019, uncovering the dark and insidious side of people who disguise themselves in order to fight for the truth. Before that, Amazon Studios’ The Boys was a shoo-in for the crown of 2019’s darkest superhero drama. The first season fully fleshes out a world where a consortium of people with superhuman abilities, known as The Seven, are depended on to uphold the law and the drama that comes from their temptation to stand above it. After a superhero kills Hughie’s (Jack Quaid) girlfriend, he and superhero hunter Karl Urban search for a way to take down The Seven.

 

The first season established the world of the insidious nature of commercializing superheroes and hinting the fascinatingly nightmarishly possibility of militarizing superhumans. So, without a single word being uttered in the 90-second teaser trailer, fans of the first season already see a few questions answered. For those new to the series, the trailer gives you a taste of the gory glory of a truly R-rated superhero franchise, a genre of TV that may prove to be staples of the 2020s. If you ever wanted to know what Superman would be like as a corporate asshole or if Aquaman was a pervert, then The Boys is perfect.

 

Season Premiere: Mid-2020

'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

What started as a one-hour HBO mockumentary about the process of getting Seinfeld co-creator Larry David back on stage to do stand-up comedy morphed into a nine-season series about the misanthropic adventures David goes on in his everyday life. When a show can have an entire episode based around pants fabric, creating the illusion of an erection and elicit laughter that rips tears from your eyes, that’s a mark of comedic gold. Each episode is a different slice of David’s neurotic life magnified by TV cameras and the hilarious ways he sucks people into his absurdist takes on normal social discourse.

 

The slow-walking elderly and ineffective attire during confrontations are just a few of the mundane everyday conventions that catch David’s ire in the short trailer for season ten. This season also will introduce new celebrities into Larry’s web of nihilism. Rachel McAdams, Jane Krakowski and Laverne Cox are a few who make appearances in the trailer with visible uneasiness about the way David lives his life. After taking six years in between seasons eight and nine, the latter season showed no signs of comedic atrophy proving Larry David’s humor can adapt to any decade


 Season Premiere: Jan. 19

'Shrill'

For seven years, Aidy Bryant has been one of the most versatile comedians on Saturday Night Live. She could channel a level of unhinged hilarity into making Cardi B look tame in the same scene and confidently tell Eddie Murphy to thank God for her ass. The Hulu comedy Shrill, Bryant’s first TV role as a lead actress, follows Bryant’s character Annie Easton as she fights for respect at her job, her relationship and herself. By the end of the first six-episode season, Annie was emasculating an internet troll and his body-shaming mentality.

 

For the second season, Annie is “shaking my shit up a little,” as she quipped in the trailer seconds after being seen smashing into a piggy bank rummaging for money. In the world of Shrill’s second season, shaking up your life appears to involve oral sex in public and the feeling insane and amazing simultaneously. Shrill’s impressive first season flew under the radar a bit, but Bryant’s penchant for smart comedy is too magnetic to be ignored for much longer. The second season is looking like it’s shaping up to be the sort of modern coming-of-age story that Broad City was for the previous decade. One where turning booty calls into relationships and being comfortable in your chaos are marks of maturation.

 

Season Premiere: Jan. 24

'30 for 30: The Last Dance'

For the last decade, the standard for sports documentaries has been ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. They explored the biblical parallels of Steve Bartman’s interference in game six of the MLB National League Championship game in 2003, how O.J. Simpson created reality TV and drug lord Pablo Escobar’s connection to the Colombian soccer team. Yet in more than ten years of award-winning storytelling, the legacy of arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time has been relegated to his forgetful time playing baseball. That, and the way we view the greatest sports legacy of all time, is about to change.

 

The Last Ride is set to be a ten-hour documentary series about the 1990s Chicago Bulls. After a decade without a definitive retrospective looks into the biggest sports team of the 1990s, fans are getting treated to over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from Michael Jordan and the Bulls’ final championship run in the 1997-1998 season. In just the trailer, we see Jordan dejectedly recounting the times no one would know where his teammate Dennis Rodman was for 48 hours and footage of the team playing cards on the flight. After decades of unauthorized biographies and documentaries that feature everyone but Jordan, His Airness will finally sit down to give us his insights into the decade that perched him on the top of a sports kingdom. 

 

Season Premiere: June 2020

'Westworld'

For two seasons, HBO’s Westworld has bent minds around the idea of rich people living out their most debased fantasies in a man-made wonderland with human-like robots and the carnage that ensues when those robots become sentient. The show has had human consciousnesses uploaded to a cloud, samurai robot showdowns, people injecting USB chords in their arms and pretty much any dystopian nightmare you may have had about robots taking over the world. Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson and Evan Rachel Wood are stellar, and they’ve helped immerse fans so deep into the sci-fi world to the point of being satiated in confusion.

 

The first two seasons of Westworld, while enthralling, were cumbersome and complex at times, and season two’s end left more questions than answers. By the looks of the trailer for season three, it’s going to get weirder and wilder. After two seasons in Westworld, the new season will be the first where the robots have to survive in the real world, and by the sounds of the voiceover by Delores (Wood), a robot revolution of the real world is imminent. Add Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, in his usual disheveled and petrified self, to the mix and you have the makings for one of the most anticipated TV seasons of 2020.

 

Season Premiere: TBD 2020

'Better Call Saul'

Spin-offs have a high failure rate for many reasons, primarily because they remind people of the original show without most of the central figures of the original. Better Call Saul is a beautiful anomaly that hasn’t borrowed from the Breaking Bad universe—it originates as much as it's expanded it. The show follows lawyer Jimmy McGill's (Bob Odenkirk) slow descent into the immorality that turns him into the crooked Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad. Throughout the series, we find out how Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) and Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) became a criminal partnership, the origins of Saul Goodman and the way crime worked in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before Walter White blanketed it in his sky blue meth.

 

The first four seasons take place before the events of Breaking Bad, but the two worlds may soon collide in season five after McGill hints that he’ll be practicing law under the name Saul Goodman at the end of season four. If that wasn’t enough, this short season five teaser trailer seems to have Saul trapped in a car being driven by a few nefarious-looking dudes as he nervously looks around for a way out. It looks like the Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad timelines may soon merge. 

 

Season Premiere: Feb. 23

'For Life'

The only reason Isaac Wright Jr. isn’t a superhero is because superheroes only exist on TV. Wright received a life sentence after being wrongfully convicted in 1991 of being the kingpin of an expansive drug empire in the New York/New Jersey area. No alien gamma rays or genius gadgetry miraculously engineered his freedom. Years of teaching himself law and an unwavering determination helped Wright be his own lawyer, expose corruption at the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office helped free himself and many other inmates he represented while imprisoned. A prisoner who doubles as a lawyer to expose corruption and free people is real-life heroism made for TV.

 

Luckily, ABC and 50 Cent feel similarly. Created by Hank Steinberg, For Life is a new ABC drama inspired by Wright’s story. It follows Aaron (Nicholas Pinnock), a man convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, fighting for his freedom to reunite with his family after his daughter reveals to him that she’s pregnant while visiting him in prison. In a two-minute trailer, Pinnock’s steely resolve when snarling at a prosecutor incredulous of the inmate being a lawyer, as well as his tender but firm love for his daughter and wife Marie (Joy Bryant) are on full, engrossing display.

 

With How to Get Away with Murder ending in 2020 and Shonda Rhimes leaving ABC for Netflix, For Life could be ABC’s next legal drama gem.

 

Season Premiere: Feb. 11

'Kidding'

There’s a level of delusion necessary to be as perpetually positive as children’s television personality Mr. Rogers was for generations of kids, and Showtime’s dark comedy Kidding delves into that delusion to emotionally deep, and at times surreal, effect. With Jim Carrey as the moralistically sound and universally beloved Jeff “Mr. Pickles” Piccirillo, Kidding spent a remarkable first season showing what happens to the Jesus archetype of Mr. Rogers when shattered after Jeff loses one of his twin sons in a car crash he was involved in. The second season appears to dive deeper into those dark topics.

 

Kidding is far more than a dark satire of children’s television—it’s an insightful analysis of the problems that arise when parents willfully neglect their children enough for a man on TV to be a surrogate parent or their children, as well as the mental state of a man who shoulders an almost innate proclivity to do good. By the looks of season two, the depths of Jeff’s mental state after ending the first season running over his estranged wife’s boyfriend were only scratched on the first season, which makes for an even more compelling second season.

 

Season Premiere: Feb. 9

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