TV and Film

The Most Binge-Worthy TV Shows & Movies of 2020

This year's greatest movies, tv shows, and documentaries by female filmmakers and writers to stream right now.

By Anna Jornlid

In spite of the delays of new releases that the coronavirus may have caused, 2020 has still been (and will continue to be) a year riddled with great new movies and tv-shows made by some of the most creative female filmmakers and writers. And while you may be dreading a few more weeks of sheltering in place, we suggest that you pass the time by catching up on some of the must-see releases of the year thus far. From binge-worthy crime series to heart-felt dramas, below is a frequently-updated list of the best movies, tv-shows, and documentaries you can stream right now.


High Fidelity

Check out writers Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka’s new take on the Nick Hornby novel-turned-movie by the same name. Originally featuring John Cusack as Rob Brooks, a Chicago record store owner, this modern interpretation takes place in Brooklyn and stars Zoë Kravitz (also an executive producer of the show) as the iconic Rob, who revisits her romantic past.

Watch here.

EMMA.

Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about the perils of misconstrued romance is now reimagined in this new adaptation of EMMA. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy (previously seen in The Witch), this upcoming comedy-drama film is directed by Autumn de Wilde and written by Eleanor Catton.

Watch here.

Twenties

Created by the imitable Lena Waithe, BET.com’s new comedy series, Twenties, follows “a queer black girl, Hattie, and her two straight best friends, Marie and Nia” as they navigate the tumultuous ups and downs of life, love, and career.

Watch here.

 

Hillary

“I’ve got the kind of life you can’t make up,” teased Hillary Clinton with a tweet in January. “See for yourself on Hulu, March 6.” Directed by Academy Award nominee Nanette Bursteiner, her four-part eponymous documentary, Hillary, is finally here.

Watch here.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Writer-director Eliza Hittman is following up her 2017 Sundance winner, Beach Rats, with Never Rarely Sometimes Always—a moving coming-of-age story highlighting one of our time’s most divisive issues: abortion. If the rave-reviews are any indication, this film (following an unintentionally pregnant teenager traveling from her rural hometown to New York City in search of support) is an important must-see for all.

Watch here.

Little Fires Everywhere

Reese Witherspoon has teamed up with powerhouse Kerry Washington to produce and star in a Hello Sunshine TV adaptation of Celeste Ng’s best-selling book, Little Fires Everywhere. The story follows the lives of two families residing in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where a dramatic custody battle over a Chinese-American baby tears the town apart.

Watch here.

Home Before Dark

Inspired by the true story of Hilde Lysiak, a young investigative reporter who, at age 9, was the first to expose a murder in her small Pennsylvania hometown, Home Before Dark is a new mystery series created by Dara Resnik (Daredevil) and Dana Fox (Ben and Kate). The young detective drama had already been renewed for a second season ahead of its April premiere.

Watch here.

Mrs. America

Dahvi Waller’s mini-series, Mrs. America, is finally coming to Hulu/FX with an A-list cast including Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, and Sarah Paulson. A true story of the conflict between the 1970s feminist liberation movement that fought to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and the conservative organizer Phyllis Schlafly who helped defeat it, this highly anticipated nine-episode series peels back the layers of a political battle that, in many ways, shaped the current U.S. cultural divide.

Watch here.

Promising Young Woman

Emerald Fennell’s, Promising Young Woman is a thrilling comedic drama that follows Cassie (Carey Mulligan), a med school drop-out who, after an unknown incident, dedicates her life to punishing would-be rapists. As she sits alone in bars feigning close-to-blackout drunk, a familiar story ensues: A self-described “nice guy” offers to take Cassie home and eventually, without her consent, pushes her into a sexual act. For the men who ignore her pleas to stop? A horrible fate awaits.

Watch here.

Killing Eve (Season 3)

The critically-acclaimed crime show about a secret investigator, Eve (Sandra Oh), and her thrilling cat-and-mouse game with serial killer Villanelle (Jodi Comer) is back. Each season features a new female showrunner, so catch up on the first two seasons (written by Phoebe Waller-Bridges and Emerald Fennell, respectively) in anticipation of Suzanne Heathcote’s latest take.

Watch here.

Betty

Based on creator Crystal Moselle’s critically acclaimed 2018 feature, Skate Kitchen, this six-part, HBO miniseries follows a diverse group of young women as they infiltrate New York City’s male-dominated world of skateboarding. Betty, which is written by Crystal Moselle, Lesley Arfin (one of the writers behind HBO’s Girls), and Patricia Breen (who’s previously worked on Frasier and Big Love), covers everything from relationship drama to street fights and female friendships, making it an uplifting comedy radiating girl power.

Watch here.

Tammy’s Always Driving

Actor-turned-director Amy Jo Johnson’s dark comedy film, Tammy’s Always Dying, is being released on VOD after its Toronto Film Festival premiere late last year. The movie follows the dysfunctional relationship between Catherine (Anastasia Phillips) and her self-destructive, alcoholic mother Tammy (Felicity Huffman), in the wake of her terminal cancer diagnosis. It is a story about the torments of having to care for an unstable parent and the complexity of whether or not to try and mend a broken relationship.

Watch trailer here.

Becoming

Yes, it’s true—an intimate documentary on the former First Lady is coming to Netflix. The just-announced feature is directed by Nadia Hallgren and will chronicle behind-the-scenes stories of Michelle Obama’s book tour, Becoming, unraveling the “life, hopes and connections” of the women she met following the release of her best-selling memoir.

Watch here.

LoveFraud

For the past 20 years, Richard Scott Smith has been charming unsuspecting women into love and marriage, only to steal their identities, wipe their bank accounts, and disappear. In LoveFraud (a binge-worthy docu-series that will be available on Showtime), filmmakers Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing follow the troop of victims and their enlisted female bounty hunter as they execute what they feel the justice system failed to do—hunt down and revenge Richard Scott Smith.

Watch here.

How to Build a Girl

In this brisk comedy, Johanna Morrigan (Beanie Feldstein) is a 16-year-old who uses her colorful imagination to escape her mundane life in Wolverhampton, England. Although her social life is nil, she uses her skills as a writer to draft earnest reviews for a self-important, London-based rock magazine. Johanna’s new life as a rock critic forces her to choose between staying true to her positive spirit or turning into a ruthless critic. Based on Caitlin Moran’s own bestselling novel, this coming-of-age comedy—written, directed, and produced by women—traces the shaky road to womanhood through the lens of a quirky protagonist, and will be available on VOD.

Watch trailer here.

Every product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through one of our links, The Helm may earn a commission.

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