Mediaweek Best of 2020 TV – Mercado and Manning: The List

The Secrets She Keeps

That’s not a list – this is a list: 50 TV series

PLUS: Last-minute 2020 additions and 2021 list already growing

Mediaweek TV critics Andrew Mercado and James Manning released their annual Mediaweek Best of 2020 TV podcast in December. Below we print the titles recommended for people wanting to update their TV binge lists.

January could be just the right time to catch up on shows before too much good stuff starts to bank up again.

The rules: Programs (mainly drama) recommended that either Mercado or Manning liked enough to list. Shows are mainly 2020 premieres, but there are a few they didn’t get around until watching this year. They also list some movies that had their first run on TV during the year.


Listen to the Mercado & Manning Year in Review here.

Or listen on your favourite podcast platform – and remember to subscribe too, please.

Last minute 2020 additions

To stay up-to-date with 2020 releases, and to add a couple that were accidentally left off the Mediaweek Best of 2020 list, we have these additions:

Both like Netflix’s Bridgerton from producer Shonda Rhimes and think it a worthy addition to the list. Mercado was more taken with Netflix’s Death to 2020 than Manning who wouldn’t have added it to his recommendations.

Manning left off a number of series and wanted to add these three Nordic dramas:

The Investigation
(All three are enthralling viewing and can be found at SBS On Demand)

He also adds two seasons of Welsh crime drama Hidden, both are worthy of inclusion as he watched them both on Stan during the year.

Finally, he adds the Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience, a hilarious comedy about a Korean family running a convenience store in Toronto. Thanks to Michael Idato for the tip which came via Idato’s Best of 2020 list published here.

Hungry Ghosts

2020 Best Of List

Dramas: Australia
Hungry Ghosts (SBS)
Mystery Road (ABC)
The Secrets She Keeps (10)
Halifax: Retribution (Nine)
Wentworth: Redemption (Foxtel)
Stateless (ABC)
Operation Buffalo (ABC)
The Heights S2 (ABC)
Neighbours (10 Peach)

Normal People

Dramas (UK)
Roadkill (ABC)
Singapore Grip (BBC First)
Deadwater Fell (BBC First)
Des (Stan)
Traces (BBC First)
Last Tango in Halifax S5 (ABC)
White House Farm (BBC First)
The Crown S4 (Netflix)
Quiz (BBC First)
Belgravia (BBC First)
Normal People (Stan)


The Queen’s Gambit

Dramas (US)
Away (Netflix)
The Comey Rule (Stan)
The Great (Netflix)
Mrs America (Foxtel)
Perry Mason (Foxtel)
Unorthodox (Netflix)
Run (Foxtel)
A Confession (BritBox/7plus)
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
The Undoing (Foxtel)
Little Fires Everywhere (Prime)
Billions S5 (Stan)
Schitt’s Creek (ABC/Netflix)

Bluey (ABC)
Regular Old Bogan (7plus)
Housos 2020 (7plus)
At Home Alone Together (ABC)
Restoration Australia S3 (ABC)
The Block S16 (Nine)
Gruen S12 (ABC)
Hard Quiz S5 (ABC)
The Sound S1 & 2 (ABC)
The Long Way Up (Disney+)

Honourable mention TV movie premieres
I Am Woman (Stan)
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Netflix)

Best of 2021 preview

BBC First is a great source of programs that make the list every year and January promises to be very busy with the new dramas Us, Life and Too Close all look possible contenders.

Both reviewers are excited about Stan’s Bump from John and Dan Edwards which is now streaming.

Manning will be watching the final season of Vikings in January on SBS and is also looking forward to the end of Billions coming to Stan.

Mercado also added: “The one I am waiting for to hit Binge though is a Spanish series Veneno which is on HBO Max.”

The cast of Bump

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