The Best TV of 2020 (So Far)
Updated April 13, 2020
TV and streaming series and movies have performed an enormous service so far this year in providing some much-needed escapism in a world crippled by a health crisis. That so many viewers have latched on to Netflix docuseries Tiger King for that escapism is one of the most startling developments in this extraordinary time.
To help viewers still confined to their homes navigate the latest offerings, we collected all of the Certified Fresh TV and streaming titles of 2020 — the season premieres that occurred January through present that are Fresh with at least 20 critics reviews (five of those being from Top Critics). Below is a list of the best 2020 TV shows you should be watching, according to critics. They are ranked from those that were Certified Fresh at 75% or above, but subsequently fell below that threshold for CF designation, to the newest members of Rotten Tomatoes’ 100% Club, an enviable group whose members have gotten a positive review from every critic who’s seen them.
The year’s surprises so far among the best TV of 2020:
• That a docuseries about a gun-toting, guitar-slinging, gay polygamist, Oklahoma roadside-zoo owner would make such a splash with an audience literally trapped in front of their TVs is undoubtedly the biggest surprise of the year.
• That an intimate tale of love, humor, and addiction has taken the lead.
• That a single Rotten score on the fourth episode of Better Call Saul denied the series the top spot on this list.
• That a hairsbreadth separates season 1 of Feel Good and the just-added final season of Schitt’s Creek at the top of this list — both at 100% with 31 reviews. This is where the audience score really counts, folks.
We will be updating this list as more shows are added, so make sure to bookmark the page or check in regularly for more recommendations.
Did your favorite 2020 show so far make the list of the best TV of 2020? Have a look at our ranking and see which 2020 TV series are Certified Fresh.
Just added: The Last Dance, Tigertail, Selah and the Spades, Giri/Haji: Season 1, Killing Eve: Season 3.
Adjusted Score: 76.653%
Critics Consensus: Though it hits the occasional sour note, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist manages to carry a pretty enjoyable tune, thanks in large part to the always charming Jane Levy.
A whip-smart computer coder suddenly hears people's innermost thoughts through popular songs. After an unusual event, Zoey Clarke discovers that... [More]
Adjusted Score: 77.61%
Critics Consensus: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You may feel like little more than an amiable postscript to its predecessor, but fans of the original should still find this a swoonworthy sequel.
It's a new year and Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) are no longer pretending to be a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.72%
Critics Consensus: Though Little Fires Everywhere at times plays it too safe, sparks fly when it lets well-matched leads Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon dig into the difficult questions it does dare to ask.
Based on Celeste Ng's 2017 bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an... [More]
Adjusted Score: 78.156%
Critics Consensus: Briarpatch's ambiance is at times more intriguing than the simmering mystery at its center, but a captivating Rosario Dawson and surreal setting ensure it's never less than watchable.
Briarpatch follows Allegra Dill (Rosario Dawson), a dogged investigator returning to her border-town Texas home after her sister is murdered.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 51.732%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Who's twelfth outing adds welcome nuances to Jodie Whittaker's Doctor and some scary new layers of horror to some of the series' most terrifying villains.
Kicking off 2020, the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) returns, resuming her time-and-space travels with friends Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yasmin (Mandip... [More]
Adjusted Score: 79.238%
Critics Consensus: Though The Pale Horse bristles with brutal thrills, it's convoluted mystery at times sedates the suspenseful proceedings.
When a murder investigation is launched into the death of a young woman, a mysterious list of names is discovered... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.145%
Critics Consensus: Hillary faces the impossible task of consolidating a full life into four hours -- still, it serves as an insightful, often powerful exploration of Hillary Clinton's life and legacy.
A documentary series about the life and 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.487%
Critics Consensus: Nora From Queens showcases Awkwafina's charming brashness and surrounds her with an equally delightful cast -- especially scene stealer Lori Tan Chinn -- but it could stand to walk a less familiar comedic beat.
Creator and writer Awkwafina (The Farewell, Crazy Rich Asians) stars in the half-hour scripted comedy inspired by her real-life growing... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.964%
Critics Consensus: A hauntingly beautiful meditation on humanity, Devs' slow unfurling may test some viewers patience, but fans of Alex Garland's singular talents will find much to chew on.
A young computer engineer investigates the secretive development division of her employer, a cutting-edge tech company based in San Francisco,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84.404%
Critics Consensus: Home Before Dark's central mystery is more intriguing than its mawkish writing lets on, but Brooklyn Prince's fiercely dedicated performance more than makes up for any narrative shortcomings.
A dramatic mystery series inspired by the reporting of young investigative journalist Hilde Lysiak, and directed and executive produced by... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.477%
Critics Consensus: Westworld successfully reboots itself by broadening its scope while tightening its storytelling clarity -- although some may feel that the soul has been stripped from this machine in the process.
A sci-fi drama set in an Old West theme park where guests interact with automatons in scenarios that are developed,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.77%
Critics Consensus: Uneven yet revealing, Tigertail offers a well-acted -- and ultimately valuable -- look at the immigrant experience in America.
In this poignant multi-generational drama, Pin-Jui (Hong-Chi Lee) is a free-spirited yet impoverished young Taiwanese factory worker, who makes the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.897%
Critics Consensus: If Killing Eve's third season doesn't cut quite as deep, it's still a fiendishly delightful showcase for Jodi Comer and Sandra Oh's killer chemistry.
Starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, Killing Eve centers on two women: Eve (Oh) is a bored, whip-smart, pay-grade MI5... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84.803%
Critics Consensus: While it may feel muddled at times, The Platform is an inventive and captivating dystopian thriller.
One day Goreng wakes up with his future colleague Trimagasi in the 33rd level of a prison style place, crossed... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.99%
Critics Consensus: If not quite as addicting as its source material, The Stranger has a strong cast and enough tension to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
Adam Price is a happily married father of two whose life is turned upside-down after a stranger tells him a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.819%
Critics Consensus: A provocative addition to the growing slate of shows about parents behaving badly, Breeders' take on the realities of child-rearing are as hilarious as they are cringe-inducing.
Breeders, a new comedy series starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard, explores the paradox that every parent knows but never... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.985%
Critics Consensus: A weird and whimsical journey into the unknown, Dispatches from Elsewhere's experimental approach doesn't always coalesce, but committed performances and a genuine sense of wonder make it a trip worth taking.
A group of ordinary people stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.477%
Critics Consensus: Though the show around them burns a bit too slowly, Tales from the Loop beautifully transposes Simon Stålenhag's paintings into moving art and provides a welcome dose of warmth and humanity with its sci-fi.
The townspeople who live above "The Loop," a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe, experience... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.035%
Critics Consensus: Funny, heartfelt, and brought to life by a smartly assembled ensemble, Big Time Adolescence finds fresh pleasures in the crowded coming-of-age genre.
A seemingly bright and mostly innocent 16-year-old named Mo (Griffin Gluck) attempts to navigate high school under the guidance of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84.571%
Critics Consensus: Though at times more style than substance, World on Fire's layered storytelling never steps on itself, leaving room for its excellent ensemble and gorgeous set-pieces to fill in any narrative gaps.
World on Fire tells the story of World War Two through the lives of ordinary people from all sides of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.736%
Critics Consensus: While not quite there yet, a clearer sense of purpose and more defined characters push Altered Carbon's sophomore season one step closer to the brilliance of its source material.
Season Two begins 30 years after the epic conclusion of Season One, and finds Takeshi Kovacs (Anthony Mackie), the lone... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.555%
Critics Consensus: Though it skips the occasional beat, High Fidelity's fresh take on a familiar track is as witty as it is emotionally charged, giving a curmudgeonly charming Zoë Kravitz plenty of room to shine.
A female record-store owner in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, uses music to reflect on past relationships in this TV adaptation of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.793%
Critics Consensus: A bizarre true crime story you have to see to believe, Tiger King is a messy and captivating portrait of obsession gone terribly wrong.
Among the eccentrics and cult personalities in the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, few stand out more than Joe... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.824%
Critics Consensus: A disturbing new mystery reminiscent of Broadchurch, Deadwater Fell is gripping, even if the plot doesn't always hold water.
Dark crime thriller.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.472%
Critics Consensus: As awkward and charming as adolescence, but with twice the supernatural twists, I Am Not Okay With This' first season at times veers into shallow territory, but Sophia Lillis' strong performance keeps it afloat.
I Am Not Okay With This is an irreverent origin story that follows a teenage girl who's navigating the trials... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.736%
Critics Consensus: Like something out of a movie, McMillions effectively -- if not always artfully -- captures the chaos of this once-in-a-lifetime, very real con and the colorful cast of characters at its center.
The story of an ex-cop turned security auditor who rigged McDonald's Monopoly game promotion for a decade, stealing millions of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.626%
Critics Consensus: Hayley Atwell shines in Howards End, a beautiful, if borderline superficial, adaptation of a much-revered book.
Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Helen Schlegel (Philippa Coulthard) are intelligent and idealistic young women living together with their hypochondriac younger... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.223%
Critics Consensus: A cautionary tale that hits close to home, The Plot Against America's handsomely realized revisionist history is disturbingly relevant, making it difficult, but essential viewing.
Adaptation of Philip Roth's novel that imagines an alternate American history, as seen by a working-class Jewish family in New... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.389%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by the incomparable Patrick Stewart, Picard departs from standard Starfleet protocol with a slower, serialized story, but like all great Star Trek it tackles timely themes with grace and makes for an exciting push further into the final frontier.
At the end of the 24th Century, and 14 years after his retirement from Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.38%
Critics Consensus: A fun, fast paced film for all, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made celebrates the power of imagination with a delightful sense of humor and just the right amount of bears.
Based on the best-selling book by Stephan Pastis, the Disney+ original movie "Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made" follows the hilarious... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.902%
Critics Consensus: While it relies too heavily on the workplace comedy formula, Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet is nonetheless hilarious and stands out for exploring the gaming industry with intelligence, thoughtfulness, and sincerity.
"Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet" follows a team of video game developers as they navigate the challenges of running a popular... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.979%
Critics Consensus: Though its predecessor's shadow looms large, devout fans will still find much to like in The New Pope's exploration of power dynamics and sumptuous strangeness.
Sequel to 'The Young Pope' follows Pope John Paul III as he takes over the papal throne from Pope Pius... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.256%
Critics Consensus: A smart, well-acted, and refreshingly messy coming-of-age story, Selah and the Spades suggests a bright future for debuting writer-director Tayarisha Poe.
In the closed world of an elite Pennsylvania boarding school, Haldwell, the student body is run by five factions. Seventeen-year-old... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.824%
Critics Consensus: If at times a bit blunt, Gentefied's gente-centric approach to the realities of gentrification is as strikingly personal as it is hilariously relatable.
Created by two Chicano first-gen writers, Gentefied is a half-hour dramatic comedy adapted from the 2017 Sundance digital darling of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.513%
Critics Consensus: Miss Americana provides an engaging if somewhat deliberately opaque backstage look at a pop star turned cultural phenomenon.
Miss Americana is a raw and emotionally revealing look at one of the most iconic artists of our time during... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.23%
Critics Consensus: Like a good wine, once you let Uncorked breathe, its heartfelt tenderness will yield a sweet time.
Fueled by his love for wine, Elijah enrolls in a course to become a master sommelier, an elite designation given... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.399%
Critics Consensus: Unorthodox adapts its source material with extreme care, crafting a series that is at once intimate and urgent, all centered around Shira Haas' captivating performance.
Based on the New York Times bestselling memoir of the same name by Deborah Feldman, Unorthodox is a story about... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.985%
Critics Consensus: Joyous, heartfelt, and very human, Little America's thoughtful collection of immigrant tales is as inspirational as it is relatable.
Inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, "Little America" will go beyond the headlines to look at the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.632%
Critics Consensus: Mrs. America captures the complicated life and times of Phyllis Schlafly with poise and style to spare, brought to vivid life by a superb ensemble led by another masterful performance from Cate Blanchett.
Mrs. America tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.907%
Critics Consensus: With an inspirational troupe of teens and willingness to engage in the tougher trials facing the sport today, Cheer perfectly captures the highs and lows of what it takes to be a cheerleader.
This gripping docuseries follows the ups and downs of Navarro College's competitive cheer squad as they work to win a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.979%
Critics Consensus: A compelling and comprehensive portrait of one of basketball's great teams, The Last Dance's blend of archival footage and candid interviews confirms there's nobody quite like Mike or the team he led to victory.
In the fall of 1997, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls began their quest to win a sixth NBA title... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.483%
Critics Consensus: With a strong cast and empathetic storytelling, Party of Five's timely reinvention adds a new layer of urgency while still honoring the original series.
The Buendía siblings struggle to survive together as a family after their parents are deported to Mexico.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.522%
Critics Consensus: Bittersweet and brilliant to the very end, BoJack Horseman's final season manages to keep surprising viewers with its empathy and depth, solidifying its place as one of TV's greatest offerings.
BoJack inches his way toward redemption as a stint in rehab forces him to confront his mistakes and start making... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.823%
Critics Consensus: A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon retains the charm of its small-screen source material while engagingly expanding the title character's world.
What begins as an ordinary day for Shaun the Sheep (Justin Fletcher) turns out to be anything but, when an... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98.653%
Critics Consensus: Ozark finally finds its footing in a third season that ramps up the tension and shines a brighter spotlight on Laura Linney's exceptional performance.
It's six months later, the casino is up and running, but Marty and Wendy are fighting for control of the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.067%
Critics Consensus: Sex Education's sophomore season definitely has more going on, but by treating each new subject with care and humor, it leaves plenty of space for its characters to grow.
In season 2, as a late bloomer Otis must master his newly discovered sexual urges in order to progress with... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.316%
Critics Consensus: Grounded by Bob Odenkirk's endlessly nuanced, lived-in performance, Better Call Saul's fifth season is a darkly funny, vividly realized master class in tragedy.
In season five of the critically acclaimed drama, Better Call Saul, Jimmy McGill's decision to practice law as "Saul Goodman"... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.469%
Critics Consensus: Clever, funny, and original, Blow the Man Down is a cinematic journey that's not to be missed.
Welcome to Easter Cove, a salty fishing village on the far reaches of Maine's rocky coast. Grieving the loss of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.862%
Critics Consensus: Smart, suspenseful, and superbly shot, Giri/Haji is a near-perfect crime thriller with a surprisingly sharp sense of humor.
A detective from Tokyo travels to London in search of his missing brother, who had ties to the Yakuza.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.571%
Critics Consensus: Stephen Graham gives a masterful performance in Shane Meadows' deeply personal depiction of trauma, gifting viewers with a raw account of self-destruction and a hopeful promise of renewal.
A troubled man travels to Ireland to confront demons from a childhood spent in the care system.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.653%
Critics Consensus: Witty, warm, and with just the right blend of wisdom and wisecracks, Schitt's Creek's final season is the perfect farewell to the Roses and the town that changed their lives.
A wealthy family lose their fortune and move to a dreary small town they purchased once as a joke.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.653%
Critics Consensus: An intimate portrait of addiction and love, Feel Good is at once sweetly charming, uncomfortably complicated, and completely worth falling for.
A comedian living in London navigates sobriety and a new relationship with her girlfriend.... [More]
Looking for more TV and movies to watch? Check out our guide to the best in streaming and TV, Binge Central.