We don’t know about you, but Netflix and Hulu have been my saviors during this pandemic and although a lot of my binges have been older shows I missed out on when they premiered, some of the shows I’m currently into are popular in the HERE and NOW. Anyway, this list is NOT about shows necessarily it’s about actresses in shows, or movies, or media that made US swoon in 2020.
We’ve chosen a few that have made us excited this year and gotten us through this shit show of a year. These women lit a fire within us based on their performances whether it be movie or tv series.
I wanted to know more about them, I wanted to see other projects they had been in. Some of these women I’ve seen in various television shows, but this year I saw them in a whole new light. So, here we go, in no particular order.
We love Gillian Anderson and she never ceases to amaze us. X-files, is our absolute jam, and we also love her her in The Fall and Sex Education. Girl can act her ass off and has proved she’s more than just Mulder’s skeptical sidekick. She is over 50 and she is fabulous! LOVE HER. We will watch anything she plays in.
This woman can play a crazy mother, friend, supreme, or drug addict like no other actress can. She has RANGE.
Ryan Murphy has struck gold with her multiple times, most recently in Netflix’s Ratched. Love it or hate it, Sarah was fucking amazing in that movie and the costumes on her… Don’t get me started.
Sarah is vulnerable and that shows up on screen in her performances, it radiates from her and we think that is what draws us in and keeps us watching. Sarah Paulson is a freaking badass LBGQT Queen and no one better say a bad word about her, in front of us, because we will defend her talent to the bitter end.
Casimere Jollette she is a newcomer to our television screens and light the fucking epicenter of our dancing hearts in Netflix’s Tiny Pretty Things. She plays Bette, who is a fierce dancer, pill popping, conniving bitch and WE LOVE HER.
In Tiny Pretty Things we were all about Bette, and we did not care that she was crazy. Casimere slayed that role, and it’s because of her and the role that we will be back for season 2 if Netflix gives it the green light.
Come for the dancing stay for the beautiful people who have sex and dance their cares away all the damn time.
Alexxis Lemire is the reason that we need there to be a second act to Netflix’s The Half Of It. Because of her acting and portrayal of the role we were captivated by the journey her character Aster Flores was on. Alexxis came out of nowhere, and quite honestly stole the show as the potential love interest of Leah Lewis.
Girl has depth and beauty and we can’t wait to see what she stars in next.
If you haven’t guessed by all the talking that we do about it, we’re obsessed with Julie & The Phantoms. We can’t get enough. And a large part of that is the lead, Madison Reyes. She captivates a screen, delivers amazing performances, and that voice! Lord, we wish that we could sing like that. But it’s her performance that left us wanting to know more about her and hopefully see her in a season 2 of the hit Netflix show. This kid has range and is going places.
If you say that you wanted to watch Season 4 of The Crown for any reason than seeing the Charles/Diana love story, well we don’t relate. Watching it unfold was a highlight of our year and Emma Corrin was a huge part of the reason. The actress blew us away with her performance. She captured Diana so seamlessly. We forgot sometimes that we were watching a television show and not real life, because of the way that she embodied the Princess. We LOVE her and can’t wait to see more of her in the hit Netflix series.
This latina star (yes, latina!), who we already knew from Peaky Blinders, had not one breakout role in 2020, but two, with the movie Emma and the Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit. And she did all of it with effervescent joy and making sure to bust out the Spanish in every interview possible, reminding us that there’s not just one way to be latina.
There was a lot to love about Bridgerton, but one of our favorite parts was, without a doubt, Penelope Featherington, played with such heart and joy by a Derry Girl favorite of ours, Nicola Coughlan. To command attention the way Penelope did, without stealing the spotlight per se, but just making us want more from her, it takes a very rare performer. If you haven’t watched the show yet, be warned, you might think you’re going into this for Daphne and Simon’s love story, but you’re soon going to realize this is Penelope’s world, we’re just living in it.
There was more than one breakout star in the Saved By The Bell reboot, but Alycia Pascual-Peña makes this list for having the toughest job of all, playing the “best friend,” the “football start” and the “love interest” and managing to do all of those convincingly. Best of all, she got a starring role, got to bust out the Spanish as she and Daisy (Haskiri Velazquez) casually bantered – or even argued – and she didn’t have to choose to downplay any part of herself to be liked. She was a proud Afro-latina in a starring role on a big time reboot, and we didn’t just love her for that …but that deserves a mention.
As much as we love The Old Guard for Charlize Theron, we need to talk about Kiki Layne. She gave her all to this performance and proved once again how necessary black superheroes are in 2020. She was poised, extraordinarily complex, and kicked ass from here to the moon. And if you’re looking for more Layne content, don’t forget to check out If Beale Street Could Talk and her upcoming work in Coming 2 America and Don’t Worry Darling. You won’t regret it.
With every season that passes on Killing Eve, the more we come to realize the gift that is Sandra Oh. She has transformed herself into one of the most interesting actresses in Hollywood and we need to see her in more shows and movies. Her character on Killing Eve is morally complex, ever evolving, and on a journey we often don’t see women on. And we’re here for the long run if it means more Sandra Oh!
While I am so thankful for 2020 to be over and done with. It did give us some good bingeable television and movies with some fabulous Rom-coms. I was here for it, on my couch, in my pj’s like the rest of the world during lockdown. Please 2021 bring me more good television and grace my screen with more of these women.
Who were your favorites stars of 2020? Tell us who we may have missed!