One of the defining points of the pandemic was the “Tiger King” moment, when it seemed as if everyone was consumed by the Netflix docuseries about the eccentric, mullet-haired, big cat collector Joe Exotic and his equally colorful foe, animal rights activist Carole Baskin. Here, a list of other binge-watches that gave the Ad Age team solace during the real-world nightmare that was 2020.
The Queen’s Gambit
Netflix scored again with this limited series, based on Walter Tevis' 1983 novel about orphan chess prodigy Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), who quickly rises in the ranks of her sport while battling substance abuse. It has the drama of “Searching for Bobby Fischer” but mixed with a bit of sex, lots of drugs and plenty of nostalgic fashion eye candy. Ad Age’s Studio 30 Editor John Dioso describes the show as “the closest we've come to a top-notch adult version of a Disney Princess movie. Not an old-fashioned one, where the princess gets saved by, and lands, her prince, or even the mid-period princess who's tough as nails but also ultimately gets her man, but a postmodern princess who's brilliant and a hot mess and conquers the world on her own—princes be damned.”