While there were plenty of unexpected surprises with unremarkable shows like Emily In Paris and Ratched picking up multiple nominations, or some of the year’s strongest dramas only managing to get acting nods (Mrs America, Perry Mason) there were many great shows which were snubbed entirely. Here’s our list of the best shows that didn’t get the recognition they deserved.
I May Destroy You (Disney+ Hotstar)
The poster child of this year’s snubs, Michaela Coel’s delicate meditation on the nuances of consent is widely considered the best show of 2020 and yet failed to pick up any noms. I May Destroy You (which Coel created, wrote, co-directed and starred in) brilliantly explores the trauma of comprehending sexual assault and is one of the most powerful and challenging shows of recent years.
Devs (Disney+ Hotstar)
One of the most thought-provoking shows of the year, the philosophical sci-fi series from Alex Garland is an examination of the meaning of free will and existence. After the CEO of a cultist, eerie company buys an AI that can predict the movement of organisms, the original developer of the AI mysteriously disappears. This universe is quiet and subliminally apocalyptic — it’s a slow burn with a challenging plot, but once the mystery sets in, we’re exposed to a Pandora’s box of dark twists and turns that absolutely deserved more recognition.
What We Do In The Shadows (Disney+ Hotstar)
The quirky mockumentary about silly vampire roommates, based on the film of the same name, was consistently one of the best and funniest comedies on TV and yet didn’t get a single nomination. The second season was even better than its first, leaning into everything that made it goofy, wonderfully strange and unexpectedly moving.
Defending Jacob (Apple TV)
Based on a novel by William Landay, Chris Evans stars as an assistant district attorney whose life is thrown into a whirlwind of confusion and tragedy after his son is accused of murder. Aside from have us constantly question whether Jacob is an innocent kid or twisted murderer, Defending Jacob explores the moral implications of how far you’d go to protect your children. If you need another reason to watch the limited series — J. K. Simmons is in it.
Dead To Me (Netflix)
The second season of Netflix’s messy comedy drama about a suburban mother (Christina Applegate) and her unusual friendship with the woman who killed her husband (Linda Cardellini) took things to even stranger places. Despite it’s over-the-top plot, it remained grounded thanks to the excellent performances of both leads who manage to walk the tonal tight rope of dark comedy, sadness, anger and suspense.
The Outsider (Disney+ Hotstar)
An adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, the miniseries starring a fantastic Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo starts out like a standard murder mystery but quickly take a turn toward the supernatural. Great performances aside, The Outsider is the rare triumph that’s offers both sharp horror and a well-paced detective drama.
Mythic Quest (Apple TV)
A scathing workplace comedy about the pleasures and toxicity of the game development industry, Mythic Quest follows the employees at a studio behind a popular online game. Aside from the winning comedy and cultural commentary, it remains one of the only shows to offer a powerful take on the pandemic, with a heartfelt look at loneliness, isolation and the fear of living in a very scary time.
The Boys (Amazon Prime Video)
The second season of Prime Video’s dark comedy series satirising superhero culture was bigger, bolder and even more messed up. Aside from its impressive scale and massive set pieces, season 2 used its bingeable superhero canvas to explore complex ideas such as extremism, racism and the divides within modern American society in a show that’s far more layered than it gets credit for.