Netflix’s Best & Worst of 2020

  • 26 Dec - 01 Jan, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly

The year has been a surprise to all of us and not in a good way. The entertainment industry has also been hit by the Covid-19 wave as theatres were asked to shut down so that precautions can be made due to the virus. With no signs of reopening, viewers moved to streaming platforms in order to entertain themselves. So far this year, Netflix has added a wide variety of original TV shows, films, and documentaries to its streaming site. Netflix originals like Feel Good, Cheer, and The Queen's Gambit, have received rave reviews. On the other hand, critics felt like viewers could skip originals like Desperados and The Last Thing He Wanted. Here are the best and worst Netflix originals that have come out in 2020, according to the critic scores.


Feel Good

On Feel Good, Mae Martin stars as Mae, a stand-up comedian adjusting to life in London as she starts a new relationship and quietly struggles with sobriety. Critics fell in love with the fresh and funny series, saying that Feel Good was an admirable mix of heartfelt and insightful moments.

The Queen's Gambit

Based on a book by Walter Tevis, the drama follows talented chess player Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) as she works her way up in the world of competitive chess while dealing with addiction and loss. The miniseries received plenty of praise for its smart writing and well-developed characters.

The Baby-Sitters Club

The Baby-Sitters Club is a modern adaptation of the book series by Ann M. Martin from the 1980s. The show centers on a group of seventh graders, Kristy (Sophie Grace), Mary-Anne (Malia Baker), Claudia (Momona Tamada), and Stacey (Shay Rudolph), as they start a babysitting business in their neighbourhood.


Based on a memoir by Deborah Feldman, Unorthodox is a dramatic miniseries that follows Esther Shapiro (Shira Haas) from life in a secluded Hasidic community to her eventual escape in the far reaches of Berlin. Unorthodox received a stream of positive reception from critics, who applauded the miniseries for effectively channeling the suspense and trauma of Esther's story.

Miss Americana

The music documentary Miss Americana shows an extensive look at Taylor Swift's career, from her humble beginnings as a country-music star to her position as an influential figure in pop culture. Critics praised Lana Wilson's direction but agreed that the emotional heft of Miss Americana came from Swift's vulnerable interviews.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

This true-crime documentary series tells a series of stories about the world of big-cat sanctuaries and the corruption, rumours, and crimes that have taken place there. Critics and audience members couldn't get enough of this docuseries, which consisted of seven total episodes and one reunion special.

The Stranger

On the drama series The Stranger, Adam Price (Richard Armitage) leads a happy life with his family until a mysterious woman (Hannah John-Kamen) appears and reveals that his wife faked her recent pregnancy and miscarriage. Thrilling, binge-able, and based on the hit novel by Harlan Coben, The Stranger wasn't perfect but critics feel it is one of the more solid options available on the streaming service.

I Am Not Okay With This

Based on a comic book, I Am Not Okay with This, centers on 17-year-old Sydney (Sophia Lillis) and her struggles at school and home all while she develops telekinetic powers. Complex and multifaceted, the series received high marks, with critics citing Lillis' central performance and the show's dark humour as the series' strong suits.


October Faction

On the supernatural series October Faction, two teenagers (Aurora Burghart and Gabriel Darku) discover that their parents hunt monsters for a secret society. October Faction was met with some head-scratching from critics, due to its overstuffed plot and haphazard editing.

Spinning Out

On the drama series Spinning Out, figure skater Kat Baker (Kaya Scodelario) sets her sights for the Olympics while trying to balance her love life and her family. Spinning Out was largely received as a soapy drama that didn't feature the spectacle of its main sport enough to qualify as a skating show. Despite being loved by audiences, the series also got cancelled after just one season.

AJ and the Queen

On the comedy series AJ and the Queen, drag queen Ruby Red (RuPaul) finds an unlikely companion in 10-year-old AJ (Izzy G.) while on the road. Overall, critics wanted more from the comedy series, wishing that RuPaul and the creators of the show had dug deeper. The show was cancelled after one season.

Space Force

Space Force is a comedy series starring Steve Carell as Mark R. Naird, an Air Force general who is tasked with leading the latest branch of the US Armed Forces. With his sights set on another successful moon landing, Mark works alongside new team members Adrian (John Malkovich), Tony (Ben Schwartz), and Captain Angela Ali (Tawny Newsome). Existing in an awkward space between parody and intentional drama, Space Force left critics confused and disappointed even though they loved its ensemble cast.


The holiday film follows two strangers (Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey) who agree to pretend to be each others' plus-ones for family gatherings during the holiday season. But as they pretend to be together to avoid questions from relatives, they end up falling for one another. Although the film had star power, it failed to bring anything original to the table.

Dangerous Lies

In the drama Dangerous Lies, Katie Franklin (Camila Mendes) is thrown for a loop when her elderly employer unexpectedly dies and names her as the sole recipient of his wealth. With a huge windfall of money in her hands, Katie finds herself subject to suspicion after his death. Critics agreed that Dangerous Lies was more of a middling distraction than a credible drama.

The Last Thing He Wanted

Based on a Joan Didion novel, The Last Thing He Wanted follows news journalist Elena McMahon (Anne Hathaway) as she leaves her job to fulfill her father's dying wish. With a muddled narrative and talent that seemingly went to waste, The Last Thing He Wanted didn't impress critics.

Fatal Affair

In the dramatic film Fatal Affair, Ellie Warren (Nia Long) reconnects with her old college friend David (Omar Epps) and uses her newfound attraction to him as a sign to repair her marriage with her husband. Predictable and repetitive, Fatal Affair was called a lazy movie better relegated to the daytime television viewing.