While the world is still in a fever of the coronavirus pandemic, Netflix is reaping the benefits. People suffer from boredom being locked in their homes and happily subscribe to new content; meanwhile, the giant Netflix joyfully reports a record profit of $ 709 million for the first quarter of 2020 (when the world quarantine had just begun). Now the service has more than 180 million subscribers around the world and this number is only growing. The network load during European quarantine was so powerful that the owners had to lower the quality of the live-streamed video.
To the platform’s credit, it is worth saying that new series are released regularly and without premiere shifting. Unfortunately, the filming of large service projects has been frozen; that is why such blockbusters as, for example, the new season of The Witcher, we will see a little later than the planned date.
The Best Netflix Fantastic Series of 2020
Altered Carbon, season 2, premiered on February 27, 2020
A beautiful (or almost beautiful) future. The humanity brings cosmos under control and has spread over hundreds of planets. This is the time of the Universe exploration and the global scientific breakthroughs one of which allows copying the human mind into the so-called stacks. Now everyone who has money can easily change shells by simply loading his stack into new bodies. Ultra-rich people, who are called Meths in this world (in reference to Methuselah, a long-liver from the Old Testament), have a backup drive for their consciousness and can live for centuries transferring the mind from body to body.
The protagonist of Altered Carbon is Takeshi Kovacs, unsociable mercenary, who is constantly drawn into danger conspiracies. The new season presents us Takeshi in a new combat shell (Anthony Mackie), who confronts his past and tries to save the entire planet called Harlan’s World.
Locke & Key, season 1, premiered on February 7, 2020
A screen version of the popular graphic novel by Joe Hill (the son of the great and terrible Stephen King) has long sought its way to TV screens. The project hopped around the studios for ten years, until it finally settled on Netflix. The new customer significantly reduced the degree of the original source gloominess and made it more teenage.
The film revolves around the Locke family moving to live in a very unusual estate.
Children constantly find strange keys in the house, each one has magical properties. One key releases the soul from the body, the second key turns any door into anywhere portal and the third key generally allows to dig into own head. The teenagers’ games with magic keys become much more dangerous when a young brother Bode frees Lady Echo, a demonic entity obsessed with magical artifacts.
Into the Night, season 1, premiered on May 1, 2020
The series based on the novel titled The Old Axolotl written by Polish author Jacek Dukaj became an unexpected hit by the Netflix service. A short (six episodes of forty minutes each) Belgian TV show is ideal for quarantine binge watching, as it is now called.
Armed NATO officer grabs a plane at Brussels airport and insists on flying west to Iceland, otherwise everyone will die. Only in the sky, the passengers got to know that a flash of deadly radiation has occurred in the sun and the only way to survive is to fly west ahead of dawn, using the planet as a shield. Soon, the drama about the humanity death turns into a human drama, for the passengers on board are of completely different nationalities, religions and outlooks on life.
The Best Netflix Drama Series of 2020
Ozark, season 3, premiered on March 27, 2020
Ozark is one of the flagship series of the Netflix service, annually appearing in the lists of the best TV shows and nominees for the Emmy and Golden Globe awards. It is a crime drama of the highest level. We are watching the fate of the Chicago family whose head, financier Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman), owes a huge sum to the Mexican drug cartel. Marty is moving to Missouri with his family, starting a new dirty money laundering scheme in the resort town. Soon his wife Wendy (Laura Linney) and their children will learn the truth.
Seeming at first glance a simple crime series, Ozark appears to be a great drama with a stunning cast. Besides, it is a rare example of TV show noticeably evolving from year to year. Critics managed to call the third season of Ozark the best TV series and compare it with the extremely popular Breaking Bad.
Unorthodox, season 1, premiered on March 26, 2020
Unorthodox is the joker in the pack of the Netflix platform. This miniseries is a project that saw the light of day without too much advertising, but has become the undisputed favorite of the audience.
The main character Esther Shapiro, a Jewish girl, flees from the Hasidic community of New York to Berlin, where she begins a completely new life without rituals, prayers and inequality. Her husband Yanky with a cunning cousin goes in search of Esther.
It would seem that a series with such a plot should inevitably become a schematic story about a bad community and a good Germany. However, this story is primarily about strength, freedom and the search for own path.
One of the main successes of this series is the leading lady, Israeli actress Shira Haas, who is Natalie Portman’s protege. After the filigree playing, she has already made a splash in the film community and we will soon hear about her again.
Dead to Me, season 2, premiered on May 8, 2020
Dead to Me is a tragicomedy the main reason for watching which is a great acting duet.
Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) is a widow still unable to reel from the death of her husband. Finally, she began to visit a support group where she meets Judy (Linda Cardellini). These women become friends; however, soon we realize that this meeting happened for a reason.
Two great actresses finally got a decent broadcast time for their talent. Inimitably accurate Applegate and emotionally warm Cardellini create an excellent duet, so that sometimes they make us to forget about the plot, although the story deserves attention.
As a result, Dead to Me is sometimes even a funny, but first and foremost touching story about death, grief and forgiveness, definitely worthy of your attention.
The Best Netflix Comedy Series of 2020
AJ and the Queen, season 1, premiered on January 10, 2020
AJ and the Queen is a non-standard comedy about the adventures of an elderly drag queen. The creator of this bright and touching TV show is the legendary RuPaul, a musician, actor, TV host and probably the most famous man in the world dressing up as a woman on a stage. He is the undisputed matriarch of the drag queens movement and the author of the mega-popular reality show named RuPaul Drag Race, which has been successfully broadcast on American TV for twelve years (by the way, it is available on Netflix).
Sure enough, AJ and the Queen is primarily shot for fans of this reality; however, it may also be interested to a simple viewer.
The film revolves around a drag queen Ruby Red (whose role, of course, was played by RuPaul), who travels across America to the competition and finds a stowaway in her trailer. AJ and the Queen is an easy and touching series with great music, self-irony and a lot of decent and off-color jokes.
Sex Education, season 2, premiered on January 17, 2020
This perky comedy for teens and parents is the sequel to Netflix hit of 2019.
Sex Education speaks on what everyone thinks about, i.e. sex. The protagonist is the angular young man Otis (Asa Butterfield) living in a cozy town. He is a son of the famous sexologist Jean Milburn (Gillian Anderson) and also he is the virgin. Otis’ friends persuade him to open an underground sex consultation in an abandoned school toilet, and he agrees.
The new season shows us that Otis grows up, loses his virginity, but still is not comfortable with expressing his feelings.
The advantages of Sex Education are not only great jokes, cozy atmosphere, balancing on the brink and luxurious cast; this story also tells us that everyone speaks about sex, but actually wants love. This is an extremely pleasant series that makes the viewer not only sometimes blush, but also return to youth, that bright time when you could allow yourself to be naive and happy.
After Life, season 2, premiered on April 24, 2020
After Life is an entirely British series from the first title to the dark screen at the end of the last episode, with the accent that we all know (which is especially became aware after American TV shows), cynical humor, gentlemanlike deliberateness and a town too cozy for live in. Ricky Gervais has the upper hand, since he produced and directed the series, wrote the script and played the main role of a widower who cannot recover after the death of his wife. Despite the synopsis, this is primarily a comedy, because Ricky’s hero is a man with a very sharp tongue, besides people surrounding him are sometimes very inadequate.
The series alternately makes us laugh and subsequently feel sad; nevertheless, it remains a very touching and bright feeling after watching.
The Best Netflix Teenage Series of 2020
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, season 3, premiered on January 24, 2020
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the very rare case when a teenage show in its essence and form can be interesting to parents as well. On the one hand, there are school stories with its difficulties in learning, first love and self-awareness; on the other hand, there are bloody rituals, black magic and nothing less than Hell. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina incredibly balance between youthful naivety and excellent mythology.
Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) is a young witch as we all know. She lives with her aunts Zelda and Hilda and studies in two schools at once: an ordinary human school and a magic Academy of the Unseen Arts. Sabrina grows up and practices magic.
This is naive, but sometimes very gloomy series. In the new season (which, by the way, looks much richer than the previous ones), Sabrina goes straight to Hell to save her boyfriend Nicholas, whose body is now belongs to Lucifer, and these adventures will really be chilling.
I Am Not Okay with This, season 1, premiered on February 26, 2020
I Am Not Okay with This is not just a short series based on the similarly-named comic book; it is a kind of schematic scenario of any teenage science fiction work. The plot is very simple: a seventeen-year-old girl Sydney suddenly discovers some supernatural abilities. However, almost every episode is full of references to the old and new classics from Kerry to Stranger Things. The authors of the series reinforce this effect by inviting Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff for the lead roles, which are familiar to us from the latest film adaptation of It. Maybe it is not the strongest series in this genre, but it actually becoming an exhibition of achievements of the fantastic drama of growing up genre. Besides, a great soundtrack also gives rise to pass the evening by the blue screen.
The Letter for the King, season 1, premiered on March 20, 2020
Tiuri is a simple squire only dreaming of becoming a knight. By some quirk of fate, he finds himself in the very center of incredible adventures, which will change the whole magical world at the very least. The dying knight asks Tiuri to hand over the letter to King Favian, and the young man agrees without even knowing where this promise will lead him.
A trip through the amazing New Zealand landscapes, friendship, betrayal and a knight title are awaiting him.
The series is filmed on the basis of the similarly-named classic novel by Tonke Dragt, which is learned at school in the Netherlands; however, Netflix adapts it to modern standards.
It is quite possible that The Letter for the King will not make a big impression on adult viewers, but its target audience is primarily teenagers. This is a story of valor, courage and nobility.
Netflix Series for Esthetes
Kingdom, season 2, premiered on March 13, 2020
It is a secret treasure of the Netflix streaming service. It is a beautiful performance in every way.
The USA adopted the practice of foreign series remakes for a long time: the studio bought the rights to the popular foreign TV show, adapted the script and completely re-shot it. Some of these adaptations turned out to be extremely successful; it’s enough to recall Motherland or Mad Men. Another part (as, for example, a remake of the cult Scandinavian The Bridge) drowned in comparisons with the original.
Netflix acted in its own way: it began to produce foreign series itself. As a result, the whole world speaks of the German Dark and the Belgian In the Dark.
Kingdom is a South Korean series commissioned by Netflix that talks about the outbreak of a zombie epidemic in the medieval state of Joseon, and this is the case when all the puzzles are successfully put together: exciting plot, reconstruction of life of that era, divine Asian landscapes and intrigues as in Game of Thrones.
Kingdom is the case when it is better to watch than read the description.
The Eddy, season 1, premiered on May 8, 2020
The Eddy is a very special series; it is the brainchild of the famous director Damien Chazelle, who excited the audience with the films Whiplash and La La Land several years ago.
The Eddy is a very lyrical and soulful story of the musician Elliot, who moves to Paris after a family tragedy and starts managing a jazz club. The genre of the series is constantly changing from drama to crime detective, but one thing remains unchanged: that is jazz. This is the main character. It flows from stage to stage, floats through the streets (by the way, Paris in The Eddie is not the glossy city of the Tower and the Louvre), and controls the heroes. It is worthy of note that the series was shot on a videotape, which adds it incredible prettiness. The most difficult thing is to get used to this pace, plough through the first and second series, and then you will begin to dip into this indescribable atmosphere.
Hollywood, season 1, premiered on May 1, 2020
Hollywood is a new series of one of the most significant TV figures of our time, Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story, Pose), so you can be sure of the quality of this TV show from the very beginning. Indeed, Hollywood is technically perfect. Scenography, costumes, music, scenery are at the highest level. Besides, most crucially is that Murphy doesn’t do his job in a superficial manner. In a rather simple story about young people who crave fame and recognition during the Golden Age of Hollywood, completely different lines are easily read. Ryan Murphy allows himself to play with this era. As daring as Tarantino, he takes the threads of real stories and begins to weave a completely different story. It’s even surprising that Murphy, against the backdrop of some incredible workload (at least six more of his premieres is expected this year), presents Hollywood, which is quite possibly his best creation.
This concludes our very short list of fresh Netflix premieres. Sure enough, it can hardly be said that all the premieres of this streaming service are worthy of attention. Nevertheless, we tried to choose those that deserve a couple of evening hours.
Even now, when the world has stopped, work on new series is underway. So, be sure that there are a lot of wonderful premieres ahead of us.
Read us and soon we will talk about summer novelties.
Меня зовут Игорь. Я из тех, кто постоянно выискивает себе новые увлечения. Начинал с зоологии и чтения в детстве и докатился до путешествий, кино и истории искусства. Не могу жить без новых книг, новых телешоу и новых стран. Свято верю в науку, доброту и то, что впечатлениями надо делиться. Учу языки, планирую поездки разного километража и пишу про кино и сериалы.