2020: The Year in Review

2020 has been an extraordinary and unforgettable year. The COVID-19 pandemic saw communities rally together as the virus took millions of lives worldwide while healthcare and other frontline workers knuckled down and continued to provide their vital services.

A myriad industries and businesses were affected. In the entertainment industry film productions were halted and when they were resumed new ‘COVID safe’ measures were put in place.

A banner thanking NHS and other key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
A message of thanks in a shop window, Black Country style

Talk show hosts interviewed their guests via Zoom and streaming services recorded continued growth; Disney+ launched in the US in November 2019 (March 2020 in the UK) and currently has over 86 million subscribers globally.

Millions across the world, myself included, were told to ‘stay at home’. I ticked off many ‘lockdown bingo’ activities, including making banana bread, taking part in an online quiz and putting a rainbow in your window.

I also watched films – although there’s nothing new in that – and binged quite a lot of television series thanks to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. I also got back into gaming in a big way, revisiting Skyrim and purchasing Subnautica and No Man’s Sky.

My year in review
  • 136 films logged this year equating to over 263 hours
  • 57 rewatches and 79 first time watches 
  • Highest rated films – ★★★★★ = The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (rewatch), Parasite, Green Book, SearchingBrief Encounter
  • Lowest rated film – ½ = Father Figures
  • 2 films seen at the cinema = Underwater (11 February, ★★★★) and Wonder Woman 1984 (27 December, ★★★) 
  • Most popular genres: comedy (46%), adventure (39%) and drama (38%)

What I watched

A few years ago I fell off the MCU machine: I think it was somewhere after Thor: Ragnarok in phase 3. Thanks to Marvel teaming up with Disney+ I was able to watch (or rewatch) the series again.

Via Disney+ I also watched every film in the Star Wars canon. After much deliberation I watched the films in chronological order rather than release, including Solo: A Star Wars Story and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the films this way and particularly enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story, Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Thanks to BBC iPlayer I was able to watch quite a few films from the Golden Age of Hollywood (1910s-1960s), including Brief Encounter, The Bishop’s Wife and High Society. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ones I’ve seen so far, and look forward to viewing some more.

I also watched quite a lot of television. Among other things I watched every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, having only seen the odd episode previously, and fell in love with how witty, moving and original the show was.

Harlan Coben’s Safe & The Stranger, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments and Norsemen were watched for the first time and I rewatched Stranger Things, The Witcher and The Vicar of Dibley, the latter being a wonderfully funny British comedy from the 1990s.

My final binge of the year was watching The Mandalorian for the first time. I watched all 16 episodes in a matter of weeks and completely fell for Mando and The Child. It’s entertaining, compact with its short, 30-40 minute episode lengths, and a joy to be back in the Star Wars universe revisiting old planets and characters while also exploring and meeting new ones.

What were the stand outs films that you watched this year? 

8 thoughts on “2020: The Year in Review

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  1. Lovely write up. I think the most memorable rewatching I’ve done this year has been all the James Bond films. I’ve also read all the Ian Fleming books too to see how they matched up. I think the teenage me would disagree with the adult me in terms if which is the better feature.
    From your write up though I’m reminded to get back into the Mandalorian (only watched season 1), and to finally give Norsemen a try (heard so many good things about it!). 🙂

    1. Thank you!
      Ah, I did a ‘Bondathon’ a few years back (Ranking Bond films) but I’ve never read any of the books. What was you conclusion?
      Yes, definitely catch up on The Mandalorian and Norsemen really tickled me. Be interested to hear what you think!

      1. The Bond films and books are both a product of their time; they aren’t perfect but they are mostly entertaining still. There is sexism, racism, and all manner of negatives when you look at them, but despite their problems the good usually outweighs the bad – most of the time anyway. I’ll have a read of your ranking the next chance I get 🙂

  2. Firstly, it’s great to see someone else as interested in the films they’ve watched throughout the year as me. 🙂 My own total is 198 with a lot of the 5-star films being re-watches. The best first-time films for me this year were: 1917, The Lighthouse, The China Syndrome, Knives Out and Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.

    I’ve also got into The Mandalorian but I’m only 4 episodes in at the moment. I agree, it’s great to be back in the Star Wars world and I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed the “galaxy far, far away” as much since the originals.

    We’ve been through the entirety of Stranger Things this year and we also watched the Harlan Coben drama-thrillers. We also re-watched Band of Brothers too.

    1. Ah, thank you, Dan! I do enjoy a good stat.
      I’ll add some of the films you’ve mentioned to my watchlist. I didn’t get round to seeing Once Upon A Time in Hollywood at the cinema, unfortunately.
      Yes, think I’m with you there, except I did enhoy The Force Awakens immensely.
      I LOVED the Cobden drama-thrillers. I get hooked on shows on that but rarely watch them unless there’s something in the cast I really like. Perhaps I need to branch out more!
      It’s been years since I watched BoB. Will bear that in mind for my next TV binge so thanks!

  3. Great year-end recap, Claire. I actually haven’t counted how many films I’ve seen, I probably should do that, ahah. Wow, 57 rewatches!! That’s a ton! I probably only rewatched about half of that, even though I LOVED the Medici season 2 series so much I rewatched it 3 times already, which is rare for me to do. We have a mutual love for The Mandalorian and Vicar of Dibley!

    1. Ohh, sign up to Letterboxd and it’ll do the counting for you 😉
      I was slightly surprised by the amount of rewatches. I guess if in doubt of what to watch, put on a film you know you enjoy!
      Pleased to meet another Dibbles fan 😀

      1. I think I signed up w/ Letterboxd a while ago but haven’t actually went to the site to update what I watch.

        Ahah, I’m with you about rewatches, when in doubt, your faves never let you down. I just did my December recap post, turns out rewatched quite a few rom-coms 😆

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