The Pandemic was a severe blow to many industries. Although for some others, the confinement suited them quite well. Streaming services benefited a lot from everyone having to stay at home. 2020 was one of the best years in terms of new subscriptions for Netflix. Although hundreds of films and series had to be postponed, many productions had to put their plans on hiatus, in recent months we have been able to enjoy many phenomenal series. Some have broken records, others have won various awards. Many of these titles managed to come about just in time to be released during the quarantine. Others of these occurred during a pandemic and became instant classics.
We are almost in 2022, and the arrival of COVID seems a long way off. So let’s recap which are the best Netflix series that were released during the pandemic, in no specific order.
The Queen’s Gambit
The successful mini-series starring Anya Taylor-Joy not only broke records, it not only won awards, but it also got chess schools around the world to fill up with new students. It is possibly one of the best new series of 2020. We see the story of Beth Harmon, an orphan girl who discovers a natural talent for chess. It is a concise, compelling, and exciting story.
Possibly Netflix’s first big hit during the quarantine. Violent, unpredictable, dizzying, visceral, surreal. Those are just some of the words with which we can describe this amazing documentary series. We will follow the story of Joe Exotic and his zoo of tigers, lions, and other exotic species. Crazy as it may sound, a man with hundreds of pet tigers is the most normal thing you’ll see in this show. The second season, filmed and produced in the pandemic, premiered on November 17.
The Last Dance
If The Queen’s Gambit did motivate everyone to learn chess, The Last Dance put us playing basketball and buying Bulls jerseys. This documentary series showed behind the scenes of the last season of the legendary 90s Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan. Family dramas, leadership, rivalries, and the rise of one of the greatest athletes in history.
At the beginning of 2020, we enjoyed the second season of Sex Education and the pandemic made us wait a year for the third. Otis and Maeve’s relationship made us forget about a year of anxiety, worry, and sadness. In a few but effective episodes, we can enjoy one of the best youth series of the moment.
The third season of the most obsessive and toxic romantic on television: Joe. This series left us in suspense for more than a year since its second season. In 2021 we could enjoy the continuation of this sick love story that entertains and disturbs us at the same time.
The Money Heist
The Spanish series became one of the first worldwide phenomena of Netflix and in 2021 the beginning of the end arrived. The first half of the fifth and final season will close the biggest heist series ever made. Plot twists, action, surprises, unexpected returns will make you watch all the episodes in one sitting. The second part of the season arrives in December of this year.
Never Have I Ever
What started as a typical teen series became an all-time favorite. The second season of the story based on the lives of its creators Mindy Kaling and Land Fischer brings us more of Devi’s family and love adventures. This show is very fresh, engaging and makes you just fall in love with her characters.
If I told you that one of the best Netflix series of 2021 is an adaptation of a DC comic, you would think of a bat man or a man of steel. You would never think of a deer boy. We see a post-apocalyptic world where there are half-animal hybrid people. Gus, a half-deer boy may become the key to humanity’s destiny.
Shadow & Bone
Based on the trilogy of homonymous novels, Shadow & Bone is one of the most captivating fantasy series released this year. A cartographer named Alina Starkov discovers that she possesses magical powers and that she holds the fate of the world where she lives in her hands. The plot and character development are simply fantastic.
The Squid’s Game
Korean productions have grown in popularity in recent years. From the Oscar winner Parasite to groundbreaking and impressive series like The Squid’s Game. This show became the most successful product of Netflix in history. The classic battle royale concept was brought to television with an unexpected and surprising twist. In this game hundreds of participants compete until only one is left to win a massive sum of money. However, the games, although they seem childish, are not what they appear at all.
Despite being a very tough year for the economy and public health, we were able to enjoy many incredible shows. Some have become world phenomena and many others are on the way. We had it all: action, comedy, reality shows that seem stranger than fiction. Thinking about new Netflix releases only makes us more excited.
How many of these series did you see during the lockdown?