Looking forward: the best TV of 2020
From the stylish return of BBC's Killing Eve with Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh to Belgravia, ITV's new period successor to Downton Abbey, TV in 2020 is awash with great drama
After season two's cliffhanger, it's hard to know where Phoebe Waller-Bridge's stylish iPlayer thriller will go.
Season two concluded with the hilarious and horrifying assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) shooting MI6 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) in a Roman ruin – apparently, finally, killing Eve. But Eve can’t really be dead, can she?
After Emerald Fennell (The Crown) replaced Waller-Bridge for season two, writer/producer Suzanne Heathcote (Fear the Walking Dead, See) succeeds Fennell for season three. No details have been revealed about the plot, but we suspect it'll be glamorous, thrilling, and funny.
In Malorie Blackman’s alternative apartheid dystopia, the world is racially divided – but not in the expected way. Those with black skin (Crosses) rule over the white underclass (Noughts); this society splits them apart.
Within this dangerous world of intermittent violence and bubbling rebellion, a teen romance blossoms between the Nought Callum (Jack Rowan) and the Cross Sephy (Masali Baduza). Rap musician Stormzy also stars.Read more ...
Almost as soon as Sex Education dropped on Netflix last January, audiences demanded a second helping. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long for the further adventures of teen sex teacher Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield).
In season two, Moordale School is struck with a chlamydia epidemic, making Otis’s services even more important. But he has his own problems, trying to progress in his new relationship with Ola (Patricia Allison) by mastering his new-found sexual urges.
Author Sally Rooney was labelled the novelistic voice for millennials with her Booker-longlisted novel Normal People. It didn’t take long for the BBC and Hulu to snatch the rights for a TV series, and, from the first-look photos, it already looks incredible.
Adapted by Rooney herself and directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Room, The Little Stranger), the series follows the complicated romance between Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) during school and university. Their personalities shift completely as they both attend Trinity College Dublin: Connell from extrovert to introvert, Marianne from loser to socialite.Read more ...
Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe has been a curious and tragic case since she died from a drug overdose aged 36. In many ways, she was a victim of the Hollywood system as the ultimate sex symbol of the 50s – plunging her into substance abuse and psychological trauma.
The new BBC drama The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe, penned by The Mallorca Files writer Dan Sefton, explores the last six months of the actor’s life. The series will also show Monroe’s relationships with famous (and manipulative) men, most notably US President John F Kennedy.Read more ...
The trailer for The New Pope, the follow-up to Paolo Sorrentino’s 2016 series The Young Pope, has a barely clad Jude Law walk out of the sea (Daniel Craig-style) and moving through lines of wide-eyed women in bikinis. It’s hard not to laugh at the sexual absurdity, but the reasons make sense.
The Young Pope ended with Pope Lenny Belardo (Law) drifting into a coma, and now John Malkovich’s Giovanni Paolo is taking the reins. But the coma isn’t permanent, and Belardo returns from his sexy dreams. He wakes to realise he’s been replaced. Awkward.
Eleanor Catton’s Booker Prize-winning novel is a long, complicated, spiritual mystery set in New Zealand’s South Island during the 1860s gold rush. The BBC first announced that it was making a six-part TV adaptation in 2016; three years later, The Luminaries still hasn’t hit our small screens.
But, hopefully, 2020 could be the year of its arrival (finally). Adapted by Catton herself, the story follows Anne Wetherell (Eve Hewson), a British immigrant who takes a ship to the small town of Hokitika, New Zealand. She meets the wealthy Emery Staines (Himesh Patel) and they promptly fall in love, but this leads to a shrouded thread of crimes in the town.
Eva Green (pictured) also stars, playing the ruthless brothel owner Lydia Wells.Read more ...
Downton Abbey writer/creator Julian Fellowes loves his cheesy and charming period dramas, and next year he’s writing three of them – all set in the 19th century. But Belgravia, in particular, looks like ITV's successor to Downton.
Based on Fellowes’s novel, Belgravia delves into the upper echelons of 1840s London society. The six-part series follows the Trenchard family, who get caught up in scandals, secrets and dishonour after attending a ball hosted on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo. Tamsin Greig, Philip Glenister, and Alice Eve star.
With A Confession, writer Jeff Pope crafted what’s arguably the best ITV drama in years – giving a rough, raw and realistic depiction of the 2011 Sian O’Callaghan case.
Pope returns to true-crime stories next year with The Barking Murders, following the victims of the ‘Grindr Killer’ Stephen Port. In a shocking piece of casting, the actor/comedian Stephen Merchant will play Port. Also starring is Sheridan Smith as Sarah Sak, mother of one of the victims.
With stars like Colin Farrell, Stephen Graham, and Jack O’Connell, The North Water is one of the most exciting titles of 2020. Screenwriter Andrew Haigh’s adaptation of Ian McGuire’s famous novel is a period piece that plunges into icy madness.
Patrick Sumner (O’Connell) is a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up to be the doctor on a whaling ship that's heading to the Arctic. But in trying to escape his horrifying past, Sumner enters a potentially worse fate. The harsh conditions lead to a violent struggle for survival.
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