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The 10 Best Shows, Movies, Books and Podcasts of 2020

While we were stuck inside most of the year doing our part to flatten the curve, we relied on our favorite streaming services, books and podcasts to keep us entertained. There were so many new releases that brought us comfort and a sense of community as we all binged the latest quarantine obsessions simultaneously like Love Is Blind, Tiger King and that Undoing finale! We looked at the most likes and saves to compile the top 10 new shows, movies, books and podcasts from Likewisers this year.

Top 10 Shows of 2020:

#10. Love, Victor

Hulu’s original LGBTQ+ series captured the hearts of Likewisers this year. This quasi-sequel to the blockbuster hit Love, Simon did not disappoint. Likewiser Tessa says, “Such a cute show about self-discovery. This story about discovering one’s sexuality is so important and isn’t told often enough in media. Even my mom loves this show!”

#9. Love Is Blind

The Netflix reality dating show we didn’t know we needed. Released just before the world went into lockdown, the obsession with this series took on a life of its own. From endless memes to even an Instagram spoof connecting strangers looking for love in lockdown, Love Is Quarantine, we could not get enough! Likewiser Taylor W sums up completely how we all felt watching this series, “Why the actual **** am I watching this? But it’s so addicting!”

#8. Locke & Key

It’s hard to imagine a pre-Covid 2020, but this hit Netflix series was indeed released in February of this year. Likewiser Drake L makes a big statement by saying Locke & Key is the “most binge worthy show right now. Once you meet Bode your life will be complete.”

#7 The Outsider

Because 2020 hasn’t been scary enough, Likewisers turned to HBO’s chilling Stephen King adaptation. Likewiser Amanda M shares her love of the series saying, “A suspenseful slow burn. Great characters, well acted and well written. One of the best Stephen King adaptations in a while.”

#6 Never Have I Ever

Mindy Kaling continues her streak of comedic genius with her new Netflix teen comedy. But don’t let the teen label fool you, this is a show everyone will enjoy. Likewiser Nikesh P says, “One of the best shows ever! Teen drama with an Indian flavor. A great Mindy Kaling production.”

#5 I Am Not Okay With This

Netflix broke a lot of hearts this year after announcing this superhero dramedy would not be renewed for a second season. If you haven’t watched yet, Likewiser Kristin G has the best advice for you, “If you are looking for something to hold you over after Stranger Things, this is the show for you!”

#4 Little Fires Everywhere

This Hulu adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and was equally regarded by Likewisers this year! Likewiser Josh E says, “Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are incredible actors. I would watch them in anything. This is much better than anything. A gripping 8 episode drama. Intense, searing. Rich characters. Loved it!”

#3 Cheer

Can you believe Netflix’s Cheer was released THIS YEAR? Upon its release Cheer was a feel-good pop culture phenomenon. Likewiser Karian B said, “I was addicted! This was so much more than just cheerleading. These athletes deal with so much and the high stakes make it such a nail biter. It’s also extremely inspirational! We loved it and didn’t stop watching – HUGE BINGE!”

#2 Tiger King

If you were to look up quarantine binge in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of Joe Exotic. This wild ride true crime Netflix docuseries couldn’t have come out at a more perfect time. At the height of lockdowns in late March, this was the escape from reality we all needed. Likewiser Jim S said it best, “What can I say… has to be seen to be believed.”

#1 Outer Banks

The #1 show on Likewise this year is Outer Banks! This Netflix teen adventure drama series took the world by storm during the early days of quarantine and seemed to especially strike a cord with Likewisers. Likewiser Brad M says, “This is the best TV show I have seen in a long time! Great characters, plot and chemistry. The only thing that is upsetting me is waiting for season 2 haha.” Same, Brad, same.

Top 10 Movies of 2020

#10 Enola Holmes

Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown stars as Sherlock Holmes’ little sister in this Netflix hit movie! Likewiser Salim H says, “Amazing and fully entertaining movie. I hope they continue to make more of these!” We couldn’t agree more Salim! CC: Netflix.

#9 The Half of It

Netflix hit us with this outstanding coming-of-age dramedy earlier this year and it might be the best kept secret on Netflix. Likewiser Marcus Oh says, “An odd pairing that makes interesting and alluring chemistry. I turned this on to pass the time and was immediately charmed into the story. I love accidental finds like these.”

#8 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

After mixed reviews and feelings about it’s predecessor Suicide Squad, DC fans were pleasantly surprised by this blockbuster hit. Likewiser Becca S says, “I didn’t expect to love this as much as I did! Love a group of strong powerful women kicking butt! And Ewan McGregor makes a great villain.”

#7 Hamilton

There have been few Broadway hits that have landed in the pop culture orbit quite like Hamilton. After 11 Tony Awards and years of sold out shows, a filmed version was finally released to the general public via Disney+! Likewise CEO, Ian Morris says, “simply terrific. It lived up to all of the hype. I hope we will bring more history to life this way.” We couldn’t agree more, Ian!

#6 Dolittle

Robert Downey Jr.’s Dolittle was met with unfavorable reviews from critics this year. However, Likewiser Mardelle G said what many were thinking, “I think this movie was underappreciated. It’s a film the whole family can watch, it has a cute storyline and a great cast.”

#5 Black Box

Spooky season produced some amazing and bone chilling releases this year. One of which was this Prime Video hidden gem that caught the eye of many Likewisers including Annie C who says, “This movie wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I was hooked pretty much from the beginning and it got better and better as it takes us down the rabbit hole.”

#4 All the Bright Places

We’re all a sucker for a good tearjerker. This Netflix romantic drama had many Likewisers in their feelings including Maya, “made me cry like crazy, but a beautiful movie! If you’ve ever experienced grief or struggled with mental health, I am sure you can relate to one of the main characters.”

#3 The Kissing Booth 2

The sequel to a beloved Netflix romantic comedy came out this summer and Likewisers could not have been happier! Likewiser Nancy H says, “This movie made me feel a hundred different feels all at the same time! Highly recommend it to people looking for a high school romance.”

#2 Mulan

This Disney live action remake of a beloved classic was due to premiere in theaters, but with the theater shutdowns, Disney+ released the film directly to streaming. Likewiser Imranullah M says, “A good movie that showcases women empowerment and the lead actress (Liu Yifei) played the role very well.”

#1 Onward

The #1 movie on Likewise this year is Onward! With movie theaters shutting down this year, Disney opted to release this Pixar film straight to Disney+ instead of delaying the premiere. And boy are we thankful they did! Likewiser Becca S says, “pretty much sobbed the entire time I was watching this, but also found myself laughing hysterically. A magical new Pixar film about a 16 year-old elf coping with grief. Highly recommended for children and adults!”

Top 10 Books of 2020

#10 The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue

This unique historical fantasy captured the hearts of Likewisers this year. Likewiser Biblio M says, “this is easily my favourite book of the last five years. It’s so smart and the premise is fascinating. This book shattered my heart in so many beautiful ways I can’t stop thinking about it.”

#9 Open Book

Jessica Simpson’s bestseller made national headlines this year as fans reacted to her deeply revealing memoir. Likewiser Jen T says, “one of the best memoirs I’ve read in a long time. I recommend the audio version read by Jessica. A beautiful telling of a public life with a behind the scenes of the 2000s pop world.”

#8 The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

The perfect book during spooky season, which in 2020 means any day! Likewiser Carla W says, not your average vampire story! You will experience laughing, sadness, anger and horror throughout this entire series as well as edge of your seat, can’t put it down excitement!” Sign us up!

#7 Beach Read

During a summer in lockdown and being unable to head to the beach ourselves, Emily Henry’s summer romance was the ultimate literary escape. Likewiser Meredith L says, “as the name suggests, it’s the perfect beach read! Really enjoyed reading!”

#6 House of Earth and Blood

This first book in a new fantasy series became a #1 New York Times bestseller and won Best Fantasy at the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards! Likewiser Kasey H says, “such a beautiful story that will have you staying up all night to finish. Can’t wait for the next one.”

#5 The Vanishing Half

This #1 New York Times bestselling novel was on many best of the year lists, so it’s no surprise it made it to the top of Likewiser favorites! Likewiser Paige L says, “What’s not to love! Such a great exploration of identity and selfhood from many lenses.”

#4 Midnight Sun

The Twilight community is a passionate one. So, when Stephanie Meyer announced she was releasing a new book from the perspective of Edward, fans went wild! Likewiser Alexis R went as far as to say, “so much better than the original Twilight novel! I loved the extra length because it added more substance to the story!”

#3 The Guest List

This bestselling whodunit series caught attention when it was selected as Reese Witherspoon’s June book club pick. Likewiser Laura B is everyone after turning the last page, “#Mindblown what did I just read?!?” If that doesn’t get you to add this book to your saves, nothing will!

#2 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

This sequel to the beloved Hunger Games series was a smash hit this year! Likewiser Melissa says, “this was a great addition to a great series. I loved seeing the journey of a character I had previously hated.”

#1 Untamed

The #1 book on Likewise this year is Glennon Doyle’s Untamed. Likewiser Sheldon R says it best, “This is my favorite book of 2020. I was telling my friend, this book is for everyone, but also you HAVE to be open to it’s message. If you are caught in the rat race of life, floating through and never question anything, than I’m sorry but there is a better way. This book explains it. I just hope you go into it with an open mind and it will guide you to change your life and the way you think. Phenomenal book.”

Top 10 Podcasts of 2020

#10 Unsolved Murders

This hit podcast is another can’t-miss true crime podcast to add to your saves! Likewiser Shelby J says, “I really enjoy it! The podcasts include re-enactments which are fun and unique! It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I enjoy the cheesiness as well as the information they provide.”

#9 Root of Evil

This true crime podcast tells the story of one of the most infamous unsolved murders, the Black Dahlia. With exclusive interviews from family members of the primary suspect, Georfe Hodel, this is a can’t miss podcast! Likewiser Alyssa says it like it is,“this is essential if you’re into crime.”

#8 Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend

After his wildly successful late-night career spanning multiple decades, Conan O’Brien entered the podcast world and we couldn’t be happier. Likewiser Joycifer even laughs at the ads, “the banter between Conan and his team leaves me wheezing with laughter! It’s the best part. Even the ads make me laugh.” Now that’s a glowing endorsement!

#7 Crime Junkie

Who knew comedy and true crime was the podcast equivalent to peanut butter and jelly? This award winning podcast is just that. Likewiser Lorenda T explains, “this is like sitting down with a couple of hilarious friends after watching a crime documentary and discussing it.”

#6 Serial

For so many of us, this is the podcast that started it all. The first episode aired 6 years ago and is still more relevant than ever! That’s how good this podcast is. Likewiser Diarmuid M says, “one of the original and best true crime podcasts.” It’s as simple as that.

#5 Armchair Expert

From revealing interviews with your favorite celebrities to informative interviews with leading experts in various fields, this podcast has it all. Likewiser Sharon L explains the magic of this pod, “Dax has a way of getting to the nitty gritty. His personal willingness to be open and honest brings out the same. Laugh out loud funny sometimes and always interesting and informative!”

#4 Office Ladies

This is a must-listen for fans of The Office! Now that Netflix has removed The Office from it’s platform, there is no better time to start up this award-winning podcast to get your Dunder Mifflin fill. Likewiser Courtney H says, “Jenna and Angela are so fun, have great stories and it’s been fun rewatching the series through this podcast.”

#3 The Joe Rogan Experience

Likewiser Tim H hits the nail on the head with his recommendation for one of the most successful podcasts of all time, “what I appreciate about this podcast is Joe Rogan’s legitimate curiosity to understand people that think differently than him. He has guests from a very wide range of political thought, covers many topics and provides enough time to allow people to get their point across. The world needs more of that.”

#2 Stuff You Should Know

The ultimate prep for your next dinner party (maybe in 2021?!) filled with random conversational topics. Likewiser Josh E says, “my absolute favorite podcast. Chuck & Josh dive deep into all kinds of subjects with humor, intelligence, warmth and respect. Great guys and a great podcast.”

#1 My Favorite Murder

The #1 podcast on Likewise this year is My Favorite Murder! True crime is the overwhelming favorite genre of the podcast world and that is no exception here at Likewise. With a tagline like “stay sexy and don’t get murdered,” it’s no surprise it reached our top spot. Likewiser Lauren B says, “true crime comedy podcast that changed my life! Karen, Georgia and Steven are like the best friends you haven’t met yet.”


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Meredith is a true pop culture and streaming enthusiast, from reality TV to award-winning series, she is always up to date on the latest and greatest. When she's not scrolling Netflix, Meredith loves to read the latest bestsellers in literary fiction and romance, listen to pop culture podcasts and explore the mountains and beaches of the PNW!
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