Before writing this post, I read my “2019 Pop Culture Year in Review.” Many of us had such high hopes for 2020. I’m trying to stay positive for the most part, but I can’t help feeling Covid-19 took so much from me. Conventions, trips, seeing my family all have been canceled, put on hold, or decreased. While quarantine allowed me more time for introverted activities, I found myself longing for social experiences. This is my fourth Pop Culture Year in Review post and it’s likely the most different recap I have written.
Movies I Saw in Theaters:
- Rise of Skywalker
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
- Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey was the last movie I saw in theaters before the pandemic hit. I do miss movie theaters. I hope theaters will bounce back after the pandemic. Birds of Prey was my favorite film of 2020. It was such a chaotic, girl-power action film.
Since being in quarantine, I did make a point to watch movies I had never seen before. These included the Blade movies, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Ready or Not, The Normal Heart, BlacKkKlansman, Ghostbusters re-make, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. My favorite movie I watched for the first time this year was BlacKkKlansman.
TV Shows I Watched:
- New Girl (finally finished the whole series this year)
- The Mandalorian
- True Blood
- Normal People
- Challenger: The Final Flight
The obvious choice of the best TV show in 2020 is The Mandalorian. The second season topped the first season in many ways. Pedro Pascal’s back must hurt from carrying the Star Wars franchise. Besides the Mandalorian, I loved Fleabag. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is an excellent writer and Fleabag allows her to shine.
Video Games I Played:
- Spy Fox in Dry Cereal
- Monster Prom
- Sims #3: Supernatural / Late Night expansions
- Kingdom Hearts 3
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Costume Quest II
- Nancy Drew and the Ghost of Thornton Hall
- Hidden Through Time
- Marvel’s Avengers
This year I experimented with games on Steam. I cleared out excess programs on my laptop to make space for my Steam games. My favorite game I purchased on Steam was Hidden Through Time. It was such a soothing hidden objects game. While other gamers were playing Animal Crossing, I played a lot of Sims. There’s something comforting about simulation games while being stuck inside.
My favorite game I played on a console was Costume Quest II. Costume Quest II is a game that appealed to my love of Halloween. I was able to play it for free on Xbox Game Pass, although I’m considering purchasing both Costume Quest I and II on Steam to re-play them.
Another fond gaming memory was spending hours playing Star Wars: Battlefront II. I played Battlefront II for most of the summer. It was such a great way to unwind from work, crack open a beer and play as Lando.
Gaming in 2020
- Star Wars: Outer Rim
- Tattoo Stories
- Virus < how fitting
- Vampire the Masquerade Roleplaying
- Hocus Pocus
To be clear, I played all of these board games before the pandemic started. The highlight of my gaming in 2020 was the Vampire the Masquerade role-play session. My character was named Karen and she was the “talk to your manager” vampire. She would only feed on managers. I had such fun playing as her in this one-shot.
Once quarantine began, I didn’t play nearly as many board games. Besides board games, I missed playing DnD. DnD podcasts filled the void of being able to roleplay in person.
Graphic Novels / Comics I Read this Year:
- The Weirdos
- Chandra IDW Issue #2
- Teen Titans: Raven
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Omnibus Edition
- Wolvenheart Issue #2
- Birds of Prey
- Batgirl #1 Rebirth
- Ghost in the Shell
- Eat and Love Yourself
- Ghosted in LA
- Doctor Aphra Issue #1 & #2
- She Said Destroy Volume. #1
- Glitterbomb Volume #1
- For Goodness Sake
- Joker 80th Anniversary Edition
- Cult Classic Volume #1
- Berserk Volume #1
- Finger Guns Issue #1 – #5
I read way more comics and graphic novels this year than in 2019. The graphic novel that stood out to me this year was Eat and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo. This graphic novel discusses some intense topics regarding body dysmorphia and eating disorders. It was an emotional read. I adore Sweeney Boo’s art style. I follow her on Instagram where she posts her art. Besides Eat and Love Yourself, I did enjoy Ghosted in LA published by Boom!
As far as individual comics, I was impressed by Doctor Aphra. It captured my attention within the first issue. Finger Guns is another comic series I enjoyed reading. I read through all five single issues quickly.
2020 Pop Culture Moments
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge winning all the awards
- Celebrities & the “Imagine” video
- President Trump advising people to drink.. bleach?
- President Trump losing the election
Podcasts I Couldn’t Stop Listening To:
- I Weigh hosted by Jameela Jamil
- Ain’t Slayed Nobody
I didn’t listen to as many podcasts in 2020 versus 2019. Once I started working from home, I wasn’t listening to podcasts on my bus rides. I still listen to Not Another Dnd Podcast, This Podcast Will Kill You, Science Rules, however, the podcasts listed in the bullets were podcasts I discovered in 2020.
Jameela Jamil’s I Weigh features Jameela interviewing various actors, activists and friends. At the end of every episode, she asks her guests “what do you weigh?” meaning what gives your life meaning other than the weight of your body. Jameela Jamil seems like a lovely human being and I adore how intelligent and charismatic she is.
Ain’t Slayed Nobody is a Call of Cthulhu roleplaying podcast. This podcast takes place in the 1800’s Wild West era in the United States. Each episode is well-edited, there’s a recap at the beginning of each episode, and the keeper does an excellent job telling the story. Ain’t Slayed Nobody releases their episodes once a month for their main campaign, but will often feature one-shots as well.
Catchiest Song in 2020
Conventions I Attended in 2020
I forgot I attended C2E2 this year. The convention was in February before Covid-19 hit. I debuted my new Punisher cosplay. The cosplay is comfortable. The only change I would make is to wear my new black combat boots versus my workout shoes. At C2E2, they had the outfit Jon Berenthal was wearing on display. It was pretty cool to see.