And we continue with our 2020 retrospective … After enjoying the best series of the year, it’s time to remember some of the best series episodes that have stood out over the past twelve months.
CinePOP has separated the ten best episodes of 2020 for you. And there are a lot of important and different things. We have new series, ending series, and even isolated episodes – which are not part of a season of your production.
Come see our list!
10) End of the game (The Queen’s Gambit)
The O Gambito da Rainha miniseries was one of the biggest thrills of the year. Who expected to fall in love with a chess series? Well, no one. But that’s exactly what happened to EVERYBODY. The production with Anya Taylor – Joy is engaging and fun. It’s true that the last half of the season loses a bit of breath, but the final episode deserves all the recognition. The chapter shows Joy reorganizing her life and heading to Moscow for an important chess competition, where she has a new opportunity to face her biggest opponent. The whole saga of the young woman in Russia is fascinating, especially the way in which she wins the admiration of “enemies”. Ultimately, we have a new demonstration that Joy not only enjoys competition, but loves chess itself.
9) The Halfway View (BoJack Horseman)
Farewell is always complicated … The View From Halfway Down is the penultimate episode of BoJack Horseman’s final season and is without a doubt one of the best in the entire series. It’s a false farewell to our protagonist, an imagination of what would happen if BoJack died at the end of the series. The chapter follows BoJack on a near-death experience, in which he passes out after a drug overdose. In his imagination, he meets deceased friends and family and ends up confronting many of his demons. As usual, the series explores the flaws and humanity of the protagonist, reinforcing all its complexity.
8) Episode 10 (Normal People)
Normal People is another sensation of the year. An addictive and passionate mini-series. It’s scary, about a long time in the lives of two young people in the midst of a back-and-forth relationship, but neither can “get rid” of the other. There are several notable episodes, but it is in the tenth chapter that the series makes a surprising decision and raises the drama of the production. The episode in question leaves the protagonists’ sexual relationship aside and focuses on the therapeutic treatment of Connell (Paul Mescal), who seeks help after the death of a high school friend. The actor delivers a strong and painful performance, reflecting well the depression felt by the character. The moments in which she interacts with Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) are very touching, especially because of the distance between them, since the meetings are done by video conference. It is all very sad, everything is very beautiful.
7) I Am (Lovecraft Country)
It was not easy to choose which episode to represent Lovecraft Country on our list. The HBO series that subverts the universe created by HP Lovecraft offers plenty of highlights throughout the season, with an emphasis on chapters such as Sundown (the first) and Strange Case. But this episode which shows all the creative potential and the impact of the series is I Am, focused on a character until then supporting: Hippolyta Freeman, lived by the incredible Aunjanue Ellis. The chapter presents Hippolyta exploring the multiverse and experiencing the most diverse realities. From developing a friendship with Joséphine Baker in Paris to fighting alongside Amazons. An enthralling episode and also enthralling.
6) On the run (what we do in the shadows)
What We Do in the Shadows is a little gem that is still little recognized, perhaps due to the difficulty of access. In Brazil, it is presented by Fox Premium. But the series that expands the universe of the eponymous film by Taika Waititi deserves better attention. Precisely for things like On the Run. The sixth episode of the second season follows Laszlo (Matt Berry) leaving his house and hitting the road after the appearance of an enemy vampire, experienced by none other than Mark Hamill. Laszlo’s time in Pennsylvania (which, no coincidence, looks like Transylvania) is fascinating, especially when he dresses up as human bartender Jackie Daytona. Very funny!
5) The Rescue (The Mandalorian)
The Mandalorian made a lot of noise in his second season. And it was fully justified. If the first year was basically Pedro Pascal taking care of Baby Yoda, the second had a lot more development. The second season brings better antagonists and a more engaging story, and more connected to the Star Wars universe. And that’s elevated to last power in the season finale, The Rescue, which stars the Mandalorian reuniting allies on the difficult mission to save Grogu (the baby). In the end, a very special participation made everyone enthusiastic and wanting more. And we’ll get a lot more, after all, not only is the third season confirmed but at least two spin-offs involving Boba Fett and Ahsoka Tano.
4) Whenever you are ready (the right place)
Oh, folks… Starting to write about this episode makes you want to cry. The Good Place has had its ups and downs over the past four seasons. But his ending was absolutely fascinating and painful. Whenever you’re ready finally bring our favorite quartet to the Good Place. It turns out that even the Good Place doesn’t last forever. Each at their own pace, the characters have the opportunity to complete their cycles in the universe. Audiences have the opportunity to say goodbye to each protagonist individually, but what hurts is seeing them say goodbye to each other. What a journey!
3) Ego Death (I can destroy you)
I May Destroy You is one of the strongest and most important series of the season. And his ending left nothing behind. Ego Death, the last episode, leads Arabella (Michaela Coel) to finally recall the details of the sexual violence she suffered. Cleverly, the series presents three imaginary scenarios for the viewer, with three different solutions. In either case, neither Arabella nor the public will be completely satisfied. It’s not always that a series manages to touch on such serious themes and still make the viewer feel the confusion, agony and sadness of an abused person. As in reality, there is no such thing as a totally satisfactory solution.
2) Bagman (better call Saul)
After five seasons, with a sixth on the way, it’s no exaggeration to say that Better Call Saul is a better series than Breaking Bad. Or, at least, more regular. Breaking Bad may have more strengths, but BCS manages to maintain a high level in a rare way in the history of the series. And the fifth season is a good example of that. Several episodes could be present in this list, but it turns out that Bagman (the eighth of the season) is the most symbolic. The chapter shows that Jimmy hits the limit after a simple sales order goes wrong. It’s full of connections and nods to the Breaking Bad universe. Not by chance, the staging is by Vince Gilligan, creator of the two series.
1) Problems Don’t Last Always (Euphoria)
Euphoria broke new ground and decided to launch two special episodes between the first and second season. Trouble Don’t Last Always is just the first special, released in early December. And it is breathtaking. Virtually an hour or so, the episode could almost be included in a list of the best movies of the year. The level of dramaturgy is very high. And the path chosen to follow the series in a minimalist way – after the postponement of the shooting of the second season because of Covid-19 – has proven to be precise and creative. The special chapter is essentially devoted to the dialogue between Rue (Zendaya) and Ali (Colman Domingo), his anonymous narcotics godfather. The level of the text is impressive and the two actors are fabulous. The best TV hour of 2020.
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