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.
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, Searching, Brief 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?