Television, in trying times, can be a real gift: distracting us, teaching us about others, making us kinder, keeping us sane. Right now, the world is very lucky to be sheltering in place with a lot of truly outstanding programming — while it’s unclear what the next six months will bring (both when it comes to television and the world), what is clear is that this list of the best shows to air so far this year was originally going to be capped at 20. As you’ll see below, we couldn’t keep it to that, as there were just too many great series we wanted to celebrate.
There is very adult animation and very sweet family comedy on the list below; tribute is also paid to silly superheroes and captivating documentaries. 2020 has been, let’s be clear, a dumpster fire in so many ways. But it did also bring us outstanding new series like Mrs. America, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, and Upload, plus the swan songs of great series like BoJack Horseman and Schitt’s Creek. There’s more TV to come this year, but these shows stand a chance of rivaling them, come December.