2020 was the year of the great comeback of TV: it's time to take stock and say what we liked most
Sanremo 2020, the tops and flops of the Amadeus Festival
In this eventful 2020, TV has certainly helped people to get distracted and spend moments of leisure. In reality, we could divide this year into two parts, before and after Covid. Yes, because even though it seems like an eternity has passed by now, for the first two months we still lived in what some call "the old world", where there were no masks, tampons and social distancing.
From March onwards we can certainly say that television has been fundamental in everyone's life and that many have rediscovered the pleasure of gathering in front of it in the evening, a bit like they did in the sixties, with the famous Carosello, after which the children went to sleep.
But what were the programs and moments that marked this 2020 and that have remained in our hearts? The time has come to take stock.
Let's go back in time for a moment, in early February. All of Italy gathers in front of the small screen to attend the Sanremo Festival, the first of Amadeus, who for such an important occasion wants his lifelong friend, Fiorello, by his side. The event becomes a 360-degree show, in which – perhaps for the first time – the script is also upset by the improvisation that the relationship between the two allows. On the stage the singers and the gags of the Sicilian showman alternate who even gets to connect by telephone with Maria De Filippi while he himself imitated her. In this photograph there is a lightheartedness that would have totally disappeared only a month later. And perhaps also for this reason the 70th edition of the Sanremo Festival will remain in history, beyond the record audience and the forfeit of Bugo.
The return of Antonella Clerici
Last television season, her absence was felt and it was even assumed that the presenter could leave Rai, where she did not have the space she wanted (and deserved). Just during one of the press conferences in Sanremo, which Antonella Clerici participated as co-presenter during one of the evenings, the director of Rai 1, Stefano Coletta had expressed all his esteem towards this professional and had assured that they would open for her new doors. And so it was. Clerici is back in 2020 with two productions, È semper mezzogiorno and The Voice Senior. With the first, she returned to bring her smile and her imprint to what has been her favorite time slot for years, her home. With the second he surprised everyone. In fact, it was not easy to obtain this success with a new talent, in a period in which this genre had shown signs of abating. Instead Antonella was able to tackle this challenge with determination and elegance and came out as the winner.
The Pope in a deserted St. Peter's Square
It was perhaps one of the most touching moments of this year. The images of Pope Francis praying in the rain in a deserted St. Peter's Square and giving his blessing to support all the faithful will remain etched in the mind for a long time. Italy was in full lockdown, the numbers of infections continued to rise and on television there was nothing but the virus. In those minutes, however, time seemed to have stopped and seeing the pope alone in the churchyard of the basilica certainly had a significant impact, even if only symbolic and metaphorical.
The Doc Revelation – In Your Hands
The fate of the series with Luca Argentero was – inevitably – linked to the progress of the pandemic. The fiction has reached unthinkable peaks in terms of ratings and comparable only to those of major events such as the Sanremo Festival, the matches of the national team or new episodes of Commissioner Montalbano. The merit was undoubtedly of the high quality of production (like that of many other Rai fictions, which raise the bar year after year), of the skill and charisma of Luca Argentero and of the concomitance of the situation in which the world he found himself in that moment. The first episodes of Doc – In your hands, in fact, aired in the spring, right in Phase 1 of the pandemic, and the production had to stop due to the restrictions, thus interrupting the programming in the middle. The second part of the first season then aired in November, giving time to those who had not followed the first episodes to catch up and follow the revelation phenomenon of this television season. An unexpected success, perhaps, but hoped for and desired, which consecrated Argentero as a face not only for cinema but also for television. And the actor himself was so overwhelmed by the public's affection that he was moved by the airing of the last episode. The good news is that the series has been confirmed for a new season, to everyone's delight.
X Factor and the farewell of Cattelan
This year was the edition of the rebirth for the talent of Sky, which after the disappointing ratings of last season wanted to make a clean sweep and start over with music, talents, stories. And so it was. Never before in this 2020 has the transmission brought forward such heterogeneous artists and genres and has been able to exalt them not only thanks to the staging, but also thanks to the – courageous – decision to focus on their unpublished, expertly alternated with covers. A great opportunity for these young people, especially in the year in which the concerts were suspended. The jury, made up of veterans Manuel Agnelli and Mika, both returned to the fold after a few years off, and the new entries Emma and Hell Raton, were able to entertain with moments of play and sometimes even with some clashes (which, as we know, is good for the audience).
An almost perfect edition, were it not for the announcement of Alessandro Cattelan's departure from the program. A chapter that ends after ten honored years. News that was in the air, but that we all hoped would not arrive. Bets are now open on who will take his place. The writer hopes that the scepter can go to a woman, perhaps Daniela Collu, who during this edition found herself out of the blue having to replace Cattelan, forced home by Covid, and has shown that she can support the stage very well .
Years have passed since Silvia Toffanin's debut at the helm of the Saturday afternoon of Canale 5, but the program does not seem to feel the weight of age. Indeed, it demonstrates that it knows how to keep up with the times and is able to alternate light moments with others that are decidedly more complex. Guests are able to open up in often unexpected ways and this is undoubtedly thanks to the host who manages to put them at ease and to understand when it is appropriate to take a step back and leave the story to them. Grace and elegance are the words that best describe the new course of the broadcast, which this year dealt with many delicate and important issues, such as violence against women, bullying, homophobia. Among the most touching interviews, those with Valeria Graci, Tiziano Ferro, Ema Stokholma, Valentina Pitzalis.