2020 TV Shows: Students and Faculty Weigh In

Jane Hurley, Staff Writer

In a year where everyone on the globe was confined to their homes, television remained one of the few safe options for entertainment. Prep students and faculty have provided their opinions for some of the best and worst TV shows of 2020.

Out of all the responses given on a Seattle Prep Instagram Poll, “Outer Banks” was the most popular show, followed by “The Queen’s Gambit”, “The Mandalorian”, and “Bridgerton”.

“Outer Banks”, released on Netflix on April 15, follows four teenagers in North Carolina as they try to uncover the mystery of their friend’s father’s disappearance. The show received a meteoric rise in popularity during Spring 2020, inspiring new trends on social media apps.

Hans Wilwerding ’24, a fan of the show, described how he first heard about it: “My sisters would not stop talking about [Outer Banks] so I had to start watching.”

However, not everyone is a fan of the show. Addie Roza ’21 shared her experience: “While watching Outer Banks, I felt like writers were trying to make the narrative and characters relatable, but the unnecessary violence and recklessness made it unbearable to watch. Episode after episode there was some new twist that I couldn’t keep up with.”

Roza also recognized “Outer Banks’s” popularity on social media platform TikTok: “Scrolling through TikTok watching people re-enact scenes made the show 100x more cringe-worthy (no offense to the people who participated in these trends).”

In place of “Outer Banks”, Roza provided some other recommendations: “I am very loyal to “The Office”, and have watched it 16 times, and personally I don’t think 2020 produced any good TV shows. I did start watching “New Girl”, and it is hilarious!”

Some members of the Prep community have turned to the other side of the globe for their entertainment. Mrs. Lovejoy enjoyed a Korean Drama called “Crash Landing on You”. The show, available on Netflix, is about a South Korean heiress who falls into North Korea after a paragliding accident and is taken care of by a North Korean officer. Lovejoy said she is “Not sure [she has] ever seen anything quite like it before… This show had some of the sweetest, most heartwarming/heartbreaking scenes [she has] seen on film.”

When asked if she would recommend the series to others, Lovejoy shared her appreciation for the show: “Yes, if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, don’t mind subtitles, and you have some time on your hands (16 binge-worthy episodes at 80 min. or so each). I do highly recommend “Crash Landing on You!” And please come chat with me about it if you do watch…I finished it days ago, but still have so many emotions. I’d love to talk it out with other fans.”

Gabe Tanumihardja ’23 shared his appreciation for another foreign show: “One Piece”. Created by Eichiro Oda, the show follows a pirate named Luffy and his crew on his quest to find the “One Piece” and become King of the Pirates. What Tanumihardja appreciates most about “One Piece” is its characters and worldbuilding: “In most shonen anime (an anime where the protagonist is a teenage boy), it’s always the main character who saves the day. However, in “One Piece”, it becomes apparent very quickly that each character has a vital role… As the show progresses, you get to see each character grow not in not only power and ability, but also their views and morals.”

Despite this rave review, Tanumihardja would only recommend this show for the dedicated – “One Piece”, available on Netflix and Crunchyroll, spans 20 seasons, first airing in 1999 and continuing to air today. “The reason I was able to catch up was because I had a lot of free time in the summer and was bored in quarantine. However, if you’re the type of person to either binge shows or the type of person who doesn’t mind a very long show I implore you to check it out… Who knows, maybe you’ll get sucked into Oda’s rich world like I was.”

Without a clear end to quarantine in sight, it appears that the television industry will continue to thrive. While these shows may not be a vaccine injection in your arm, they might make the next few months a bit more enjoyable.