Barack Obama’s annual list of favorites is often the gateway to undiscovered gems across cinema, television, and music. While 2020 will be a year we would want to keep off our memory books, the shows launched during this time will always be remembered as our saviors from the undue stress of the pandemic. Amongst the Former President’s list, a noticeable mention is that of Voot Select’s The Good Lord Bird. Starring Ethan Hawke as revolutionist John Brown, the docu-series thrives on an exceptional tale of real life inspired events that led to the infamous 1859 Harper Ferry’s raid, the catalyst to the American revolution.
Each show in Obama’s list has similar traits that being of stellar cinematography, powerful performances, and brilliant storytelling. Available across across Netflix, Voot Select, Disney+Hotstar, Colors Infinity, Comedy Central india, Amazon Prime Video and National Geographic TV, here is the complete list of the former American President’s picks to catch up on if you haven’t already.
1. The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix India)
Rated 8.7 on IMDB, the Netflix miniseries The Queen's Gambit has become and remained one of the platform's most popular and talked about shows this year, and for good reason. The seven-part story about chess prodigy Beth Harmon pushing through obstacle after obstacle to become the greatest living player is a fascinating, inspiring, and oftentimes maddening look into the psyche of a bonafide genius with a mountain of personal demons to overcome.
2. The Good Lord Bird – Voot Select
Rated 7.5 on IMDB, The Good Lord Bird features Ethan Hawke as abolitionist John Brown in this series based on the novel of the same name. Narrated by "Onion", a fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of Brown's family of abolitionist soldiers, the sequences unfold the events leading up to the 1859 raid at Harpers Ferry. Ethan makes history fun again in a career defining performance that is matched with exquisite cinematography and hard hitting punch lines.
3. The Boys – Amazon Prime Video
Rated 8.7 on IMDB, THE BOYS centers on a group of vigilantes known informally as “The Boys,” who set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than their blue collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty. Superheroes embrace the darker side in this series that is amongst 2020’s finest productions.
4. Better Call Saul – Colors Infinity
In a worthy spin off of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul revolves around Saul Goodman who was a struggling class lawyer Jimmy McGill before he met Walter White. How did McGill become Mr. Goodman and what led him to his life with the notorious 'Heisenberg' in the first place? 'Better Call Saul' is the origin story of a man trying to survive in a harsh, exploitative world where anyone and everyone will try and take him, and his dreams, down. Spanning over 5 seasons, Better Call Saul is rated 8.7 on IMDB and airs in India exclusively on Colors Infinity.
5. I May Destroy You – Disney+Hotstar Premium
I May Destroy You centres on Arabella, a care-free, self-assured Londoner with a group of great friends, a holiday fling-turned aspirational boyfriend in Italy, and a burgeoning writing career. But when she is spiked with a date-rape drug, she must question and rebuild every element of her life,". The series is rated 8.1 on IMDB and is a must watch that will leave you astonished much after it’s ending
6. The Good Place – Comedy Central India
The Good Place revolves around Eleanor Shellstrop who finds herself in the afterlife, she's both relieved and surprised that she's made it into the Good Place. It doesn't take long for Eleanor to realize she's there by mistake. Her seemingly perfect neighbors and open-hearted soul mate help her realize that it's never too late to change. With the help of her new friends -- and a few enemies -- Eleanor becomes determined to shed her old way of life in hopes of discovering a new one in the afterlife. Spanning over 4 seasons, the show is rated 8.2 on IMDB and is available in the country on Comedy Central India
7. Devs – Disney+Hotstar Premium
Following the popularity of dystopian sagas, Devs s a miniseries that follows computer engineer Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno), who believes her employer Amaya has something to do with the disappearance of her boyfriend and co-worker, Sergei (Karl Glusman). The series is rated 7.7 on IMDB and is available on Disney+Hotstar Premium.
8. The Last Dance – Netflix India
Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance is a 10-part documentary series provided an in-depth look at the Chicago Bulls' dynasty through the lens of the final championship season in 1997-98. The Bulls allowed an NBA Entertainment crew to follow the team around for that entire season, and some of that never-before-seen footage is featured in the documentary. Rated 9.2 on IMDB, The Last Dance is available on Netflix India
9. Mrs America – Disney+Hotstar
Mrs. America captures the complicated life and times of Phyllis Schlafly with poise and style to spare, brought to vivid life by a superb ensemble led by another masterful performance from Cate Blanchett. The series is rated 7.9 on IMDB and is available on Disney+Hotstar.
10. City So Real – National Geographic
City So Real is an American documentary miniseries directed by Steve James, revolving around the 2019 mayoral election in Chicago, Illinois, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and social upheaval following the murder of George Floyd. The series is rated 7.5 on IMDB and is available on National Geographic.