A Few Good Shows – 2020 New Releases

Deciding which films and shows to watch causes way too much anxiety. I have a lot of blindspots that I want to fix, but I find trouble in figuring out where to begin. Add to that all of the new and returning shows for the 2020/2021 season, muted as it is given the state of the industry in the pandemic. I’ve been able to watch a lot during this time, though, as we all have been limiting our time outdoors.

I have stacks of my physical media that I hope to watch soon, laid out in an order that I hope will allow me to work through the collection. Some Best Picture winners, Best Director nominees, and random selections I just have not yet seen are included in there. I update my Letterboxd page as I watch movies, so check that out if you want to follow my watches.

Here’s what I’ve finished watching lately:

Lovecraft Country (HBO)

Season 1 just ended last night, and it held my attention for its entire run. Jonathan Majors affected me last year in his breakout performance in The Last Black Man in San Francisco, so I was excited to see this project once I learned of his casting. The entire cast kept me interested each week, as well as the twists and turns in every episode. I hope it gets the Academy love that Stranger Things has been getting all this time.

Brave New World (Peacock)

This one took me a while to watch, as it did not tend to intrigue me enough to keep watching when the episodes were first released. Alden Ehrenreich is a great lead actor in the show, though, and I loved seeing Jessica Brown Findlay pursuing such a different character after her time as Lady Sybil Crawley on Downton Abbey. The show does offer an interesting premise: no privacy, no monogamy, no family, and everyone has a set place in society with which they are very happy. They have rules in place to ensure everyone’s happiness and maintain societal stability until the arrival of an outsider (Ehrenreich) disrupts the system. I do think the show is worth checking out and deserved a bit more attention than it got, but it just didn’t affect me the way it may have affected others. There were bright spots, but parts of it always held me back from fully engaging with the show.

The Third Day (HBO)

This show starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris as two very distraught individuals who find themselves on a mysterious island in the midst of some island rituals. The scenes are beautifully and expertly composed and shot, with some delicate care in place throughout the show. Emotionally gripping from start to finish, The Third Day really knew how to punch me in the gut in every episode – mainly due to the powerful performances of Law and Harris. I felt their pain, and I understood their heartache. I hope this one is not forgotten by the Emmys next year.

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