It is being a rare year for everything and everyone, and also for the series. Titles that should have already been released are still waiting to be auctioned. The plans for some seasons have been blown up by the suspension of filming due to the pandemic. In any case, despite these forced alterations, the amount of production in recent years has ensured the supply of television fiction during these months. We, to follow the tradition, and at the middle of the year, we look back to review the health of the 2020 series harvest.
As we always remember in these cases, these lists are subjective and inevitably unfair. This is based on what its author has been able to see, it only includes series released in Spain before its publication and is made according to personal criteria. So many who might deserve to be here have been left out. Some of them have not been seen enough to include them (Poison, It could destroy you …). If they deserve it, they will enter future lists. In any case, this compilation serves to remember some of the great series seen in these first months and as a recommendation for the summer that has just started. At the moment, these are the best series of what we have from 2020.
Better Call Saul
What was possibly the best season in the series, the fifth, has laid a firm foundation for the final run, which should shelve the Breaking Bad universe. In many ways, this spinoff has surpassed the mother series, and it has done so from its own identity and with characters, such as Kim (what a wonderful evolution), who deserve a place on the serial altar. This has been the season in which Jimmy has become a « friend of the cartel » through a disturbingly murky villain, Lalo Salamanca, and in which the different parallel paths through which history passed have begun to converge. A very careful series in the background and shape. The episode with Jimmy and Mike in the desert is, without a doubt, one of the best television hours of the year. (In Movistar +).
What we do in the shadows
The hilarious comedy about a group of vampires sharing a flat was one of last year’s big revelations. In their second season they have even raised the bar a bit with their absurd humor without any pretensions other than to have a great time whoever is on the other side of the screen. That he arrived in full confinement may have been an extra for a series that is always a breath of fresh air with its great mix of everyday things and vampire cliches. Brilliant Guillermo in his newfound new identity and Colin and his various ways of venting his emotional vampirism. And also great Jackie Daytona and her toothpick. (On HBO Spain).
look what you have done
It is an example of very well done metafiction. And how to curl the curl over and over again with intelligence, taking advantage of the complicity of the viewer and always going one step beyond what could be expected. Berto Romero’s comedy (or dramedia, or whatever) about things as universal as being a father and being a son has brilliantly closed his journey doing what he had already shown he knew how to do and doing it, again, very well. The pity is that what is possibly the best Movistar + series has already ended. The best thing is that he has done it in top form and with a season to frame. (In Movistar +).
The series created and starring Pamela Adlon has taken height in its fourth season. From the beginning, the plot (sometimes as loose daily scenes; other times with greater continuity) has revolved around motherhood, the passage of time, love, social pressure, identity or family. As the daughters of the protagonist have grown, the fears of the passage of time and loneliness have been intensifying in Sam (name of the character played by Adlon). The series shows those fears at times in a careful and poetic way and at others in a more mundane way. But always with an interesting and powerful very personal look. (On HBO Spain).
The combination of action, adrenaline-charged moments and the consequences of a job at the limit in personal lives works very well in this very powerful production about the Spanish policemen who work in the fight against jihadist terrorism. The result, compacted in six tense hours, lives up to the best international series on terrorism and engages quickly, especially on the action side. In addition, it has the most shocking scene in years in the Spanish series. (In Movistar +).
Entertaining and intelligent, this creation by Robert and Michelle King (those responsible for The Good Wife and The Good Fight and present twice in this list) uses the procedural format of the case by chapter to unravel long-running plots on which the screenwriters leave tracks throughout the season without the viewer being aware. A forensic psychologist helps a seminarian who works as an advisor to the Catholic Church and a contractor to investigate cases of alleged demonic possessions. The combination of suspense and humor works perfectly in a series that analyzes the current world from irony and the supernatural. (In Syfy).
Mythic Quest: Feast of Crows
Sitcoms set in the workplace is a television classic that occasionally pays off. In this case, the workplace is the creative, development and commercial team of an online video game. Among its characters are an egotistical creative director, a technical engineer who feels undervalued, the testators of the game or the person in charge of the narrative, a writer who won the Nebula award in the 1970s and who now does not understand anything about modern life. The result, a kind of mix between Silicon Valley irreverence and Community freak, flies high almost from the start to the cool special episode they released during confinement. (On Apple TV +).
The adaptation of the Stephen King novel manages to create a very haunting and dark atmosphere that is accompanied by a slow pace. The plot starts with the murder of a child and the subsequent investigation of the crime, but things quickly get complicated when strange things are discovered, such as the main suspect in the case seems to have been in two places at the same time or the possible relationship between this murder with others in similar circumstances. If you have patience with its slow pace (and with the small fall from the final stretch), the viewer is rewarded with a story that reflects very well how evil can sneak through any gap. (On HBO Spain).
The Ministry of Time
The TVE series returned two and a half years later with a fourth season that came just in full confinement, when it was most needed, and recovering that spirit of the weekly adventure that suited him so well in the beginning. In its eight chapters there has been time to recover its characteristic winks to reality and its gags, reclaim forgotten historical figures and put scientists, filmmakers or painters at the center of the plot, because history is not only made by kings and politicians . There’s even been time to take a look at our future, and it’s pretty scary. (On RTVE.es à la carte and on HBO Spain).
Time travel here has a very different approach, more philosophical than as a channel for adventure. Dark has not made things easy for viewers in its three seasons, with a plot that was increasingly twisted with a number of characters at different times in their lives and relationship crosses almost impossible to follow. The third season (which has just premiered but some of us had already been able to see it in its entirety) further curls the curl, goes further and, at the same time, returns to the story already seen. However, they manage to make the ending easy to understand (possibly the simplest of the entire series), emotional and satisfying after eight chapters that exploit the possibilities of the story and those twists of the script very well. Despite the fact that the viewer knows that they can be canceled a minute later, they did not lose effectiveness for that reason. (On Netflix).
The Good Fight
This season has been cut short by the health crisis and we have run out of three planned episodes and an ending that was not as planned. Even so, it has been a joy, again, from that first chapter in which Diane Lockhart lived in a parallel world in which Hillary Clinton was the president of the United States and the Me Too had not taken place, until a last focused episode in Jeffrey Epstein (just when Netflix had just released a documentary series on the character) and with a surprising ending. We could repeat ourselves talking about his scripts, his intelligence, his style … But at this point it is not necessary. (In Movistar +).
There may be many stories about feminism, but few told from this point of view, that of the woman who opposed the intellectuals who led the second feminist wave. And even less that they have done so with a cast as spectacular as Mrs. America. Although the series, which puts the focus in each chapter on a different character, is too cold at times and difficult to connect with the story (which sometimes is difficult to follow because it takes many things for granted), it manages to go further as it progresses. What is undoubted is that it has a great interpretive work and that actresses from other series are going to have a difficult time sneaking into the category of supporting actresses in miniseries. (On HBO Spain).