Now that we’re into the new year, it’s time to look ahead and see what the wonderful world of streaming has in store for us in 2020. Similar to my list of top streaming shows of 2019, this will be a mix of new and returning series. Sadly, some of the best shows from 2019 — namely The Witcher and The Expanse — won’t make the cut as, based on everything I’ve seen, we’ll be waiting until 2021 before they’re back on the calendar.
Well, that’s enough chit-chat from me; time to get into the list. But first, the honorable mentions.
Altered Carbon, Season 2 (Netflix)—It’s been nearly two years (!) since season one of this sci-fi gem premiered on Netflix. Based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon takes place in a future where death has been all but eliminated. Whereas Joel Kinnaman was the season one protagonist, Anthony Mackie (who’s on this list for another series) will step in as the same character but different body. The concept that bodies are nothing but ‘sleeves’, to be discarded is a fascinating concept as is a world where death is usually nothing more than an inconvenience. Though no firm date has been announced, the rumor is that Altered Carbon will return in Spring 2020.
Locke & Key (Netflix) – Based off the imaginative graphic novel series by Joe Hill, this series follows the story of the Locke children who move into their ancestral Massachusetts home after losing their father. I’ve read the first volume of the comic series and it is a funky ride of horror and disturbing visuals. If the series holds true to the source material, fans and newbie viewers alike will be treated to a literal glimpse into the minds of its characters. Locke & Key premieres February 7, 2020
Lucifer, season 5 (Netflix) – After the shockingly wonderful season four debut on Netflix, I am even more keen on seeing what the final season of Lucifer (split into two 8-episode parts) will bring to the table. Judging by season 4’s May 2019 premiere, guesses put the first half of season five going live in May or June 2020 with the second half of season 5 coming Fall 2020.
Now, on to the main course.
The Mandalorian, Season 2 (Disney+) – This was what the Star Wars fandom needed; such a fun ride of cuteness, action, western vibes and characters you can’t help but root for. By my best guess, Season Two will not only explore new as well as familiar worlds as Mando attempts to return the Child to its mysterious species, but we’re bound to get more connections to the expanded universe of Clone Wars, the trilogies, and Rebels as the finale left us with Moff Gideon wielding the darksaber, the symbol of Mandalorian authority, which itself creates all sorts of questions. Jon Favreau himself stated that Season Two is set to premiere in Fall 2020.
The Boys, Season 2 (Amazon Prime) – Another series based off a comic property created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson and developed for Amazon by Eric Kripke (of Supernatural fame), this series’ exploration of a world where superheroes are as much a part of the culture as social media made for a wild ride. Whereas many aspects of Season One (not all) followed arcs created in the comics, it seems that Season Two will be taking a bit of a detour now that Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) discovers that his reason for vengeance is alive and kicking. With no premiere date set, it’s assumed that The Boys will return Summer 2020.
The Umbrella Academy, Season 2 (Netflix) – One of those pleasant surprises, this is yet another comic book property. Another superhero dark comedy-drama, The Umbrella Academy adds a healthy dose of quirk to its narrative that helps to distinguish it from the other shows out there. The finale left us with a world falling apart around the protagonists as they hurried to jump through time to set things right. Another show with no definitive release date, a good estimate would be for Season Two to drop sometime in Spring 2020.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+) – The first of the several MCU-connected shows to air on the “plus” in the next few years, this will explore an MCU without Captain America and the government’s attempts to invalidate Steve Rogers passing the torch to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). That singular narrative thread is itself worth the price of admission but combining that with Mackie’s on-screen chemistry with Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier) plus the return of Daniel Brühl’s criminally underrated Zemo makes this a can’t miss prospect. Unfortunately, earthquakes this past week in Puerto Rico forced producers to suspend filming and with no word on if these interruptions will delay the original premiere date. As it stands, look for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in Fall 2020.
WandaVision (Disney+) – Originally slated for 2021, this series was moved up to better stuff the as-of-now lacking original content Disney+ has offered. There’s been quite a bit of rumoring about this series and the expansive role it looks to give Wanda and how that may possibly affect the MCU as a whole but no concrete facts, other than it’s set to be a barmy trip through time with the only real theme that of chaos. Expect WandaVision to grace CR tubes (and LCD screens) Winter 2020.
Star Trek: Picard (CBS All-Access) – Though I have been a fan of Star Trek: Discovery, the inherent constraints of telling another Star Trek series in the past hampers some of the exploration the franchise can provide without wiping away what’s already been canonized. Picard takes aim at the future and though I have not been overly pleased at some of the hubbub that’s come from Patrick Steward about the show’s direction (it sounds as if the Federation we left in The Next Generation has gone the way of the dodo), it’s still Patrick Stewart and with some of the original TNG cast sprinkled in (as well as Voyager’s Jeri Ryan), I am still looking forward to this newest entry into the Star Trek universe. Thankfully, there’s not that long of a wait, as Picard premieres this week: January 23, 2020, to be exact.
That’s my list. Are there any shows on your list that aren’t on mine? If so, drop a line in the comments and let us know what’s on your MUST-SEE list for 2020.