For obvious reasons ::gestures broadly at everything:: I barely communicated let alone interacted with a large portion of my friends in 2020 - and because of that - you didn't get the yearly pleasure of hearing me yell about the things you should be paying attention to. That also means I was not allowed my favorite pastime, which is telling everyone about the shit I don't like.
I'll rectify all of this with an obnoxious list of the few things that brought me any joy in the various mediums I follow obsessively. Start scrolling and lets get a High Life and play some pinball in 2021.
Here are my favorite new shows from 2020. Don't even ask me about The Queen's Gambit, that show is mediocre at best.
How to with John Wilson (HBO) - The best thing on tv. You didn't watch it. You should.
The Good Lord Bird (Hulu) - Ethan Hawke's bonkers portrayal of John Brown should win an emmy, but he won't. It might also not be historically accurate and it just doesn't matter.
The Great (Hulu) - I was not expecting to like this as much as I did, but here we are.
Devs (FX) - With high expectations from me, Alex Garland mostly sticks the landing with this sci-fi thriller. The soundtrack is choice and there are some very nice visuals.
Dave (FXX) - The best show about a dude pooping in the woods I can think of.
Teenage Bounty Hunters (Netflix) - The Wesley sisters interaction is great. Netflix chose not to renew because their business model is absolute trash.
Harley Quinn (HBO Max) - This is the only good DC property currently airing - and that goes for both TV and Film.
High Fidelity (Hulu) - Of course it didn't get the love I thought it should, but Zoë Kravitz continues to be a god damn treasure.
Some of these were new, some continue to be great and some got a proper send-off.
Although I didn't see anything in a theater this year, it didn't slow down my viewing and apparently it was a documentary heavy year.
Possessor - When your dad is David Cronenberg, this is definitely the type of film you make and then some.
Feels Good Man - Documentary about the Internet meme Pepe the Frog and it's intersection with Trumpism and beyond.
Dick Johnson Is Dead - As her father nears the end of his life, filmmaker Kirsten Johnson stages his death in inventive and comical ways to help them both face the inevitable.
Boys State - In an unusual experiment, a thousand 17-year-old boys from Texas join together to build a representative government from the ground up.
Jasper Mall - Filmmakers Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb examine the economic hardships of a once-thriving mall in Jasper, Ala.
Shithouse - Coming of age comedy-drama written, directed, starring and produced by Cooper Raiff in his directorial debut.
Sound of Metal - A heavy-metal drummer's life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing. As someone with hearing loss and tinnitus I did not like relating to this movie at all, but Riz Ahmed is at his best in this one and the sound design is amazing.
Nate - A One Man Show - Meet Nate (Natalie Palamides) - your stereotypical masculine man just trying to be better. Unlike anything I've seen and asking necessary questions that make you uncomfortable - plus it's funny.
Looking forward to seeing these 2020 films in 2021.
Blowback - "The invasion of Iraq in 2003 constitutes the greatest crime of the 21st century." You'd be hard pressed to argue after listening to this 10-part series.
Rabbit Hole (New York Times) - What is the internet doing to us? The Times tech columnist Kevin Roose discovers what happens when our lives move online. Covers a man lost to 4chan and Trumpism and his eventual clarity and return to real life.
Reply All #158: "The Case of the Missing Hit" - A man in California is haunted by the memory of a pop song from his youth. He can remember the lyrics and the melody. But the song itself has vanished, completely scrubbed from the internet. Memory is a fickle thing.
A curated playlist of 2020 music that helped me survive this year. If you're looking for more from seasons past - here are a few more.
Hudson Yards Video Game- Conner O'Malley continues to be the funniest person you're unaware of and his entire YouTube channel is full of great work. I am incapabale of describing what he's doing, because he's on another level and planet.
Nick Lutsko- Creating a connected world of catchy songs built from current events ranging from GOP character Dan Bongino, republican boat parades, Spirit Halloween stores, the mysterious man who lives in his basement (it might be Jeff Bezos?) or getting Gremlins 3 made - Nicks sweaty (you'll see) songs get locked in your head and never leave. His work makes up the best comedy music album of the year. Dive into his batshit world and enjoy.
The Follow-Up (Ben Berman)- This is the follow up to 'The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (Hulu, one of my favorite films from 2019) by director Ben Berman. A must watch for it's creative construction while being resource limited during Covid lockdowns.
RMR - Rascal- This is something that shouldn't exist, but it does - and once you see and hear it, you realize that it transcends everything that it is.
Eric Andre: Legalize Everything- Look, he tucks that dong at the end of his comedy special to the surprise of the audience and the viewer - but it's also not really a surprise because it's fucking Eric Andre.
Jolee Dunn - I Wonder What's Inside Your Butthole (Remix)- Song of the year folks, really no competition.
Halloween Supplies- Did Tim Robinson really sneak into a Fox News segment? Maybe we'll never know, but the guy just wants his Halloween Supplies regardless of a lockdown.
A Portrait of Donald J. Trump, by Vic Berger- The Trump video edits by Vic Berger remain surreal, weird and prescient. Really no one better to document the absurdity that was the past four years than the soft touch of Vic.
The History of the Seattle Mariners, a Dorktown special- The only team in the MLB to never make the World Series, this special is the definitive look into the ups and downs of my favorite MLB franchise.
Mark Zuckerberg - Look at this absolute fucking idiot. Just obliterating democracy and personal privacy and wearing sunscreen like a complete dork. Fuck this dude.
The entire year of 2020 - In addition to just about everything about 2020 being the absolute worst, I got Covid-19. It wasn't fun, but luckily I survived to annoy you for years to come. The worst part for me was not having taste or smell for two months. Nothing kills your spirit quite like everything being bland, tasteless mush.
Tenet - From a technical standpoint the movie looks a treat. Almost all the action sequences (esp. opening sequence) are tense and visceral. The dialog is absolutely inaudable. It's purposely buried in the mix (again, I'm looking at you The Dark Knight). Contrary to what Christoper Nolan says - it's not creative, it's bad. The entire plot and premise is a mess and Nolan continues to write women like wet bags of flour. Knock that shit off dude.
Quibi - Imagine what you could do with $1.75 billion dollars. I bet you wouldn't start a streaming service named Quibi (short for Quick Bites for those unaware ::groan::), based around delivering mobile video content in 10-minute episodes called "bites". This is the epitome of really dumb people thinking they're really smart. Anyone involved should feel bad they wasted so much money on something that everyone knew was a terrible idea and bound for failure. Quibi is 2020 in a nutshell. Lets do better in 2021.
Congratulations, you made it to the end. Let me know if you found anything you like and we can discuss all about it on the otherside of 2021. Stay safe out there kids.