The year has come to a close and what an odd and surreal year full of shit its been. COVID-19. Fires. Riots. Karens. Social Justice Warriors. Shouting. Fighting. Quarantine. Even our entertainment was weaponized for political aspirations. Nothing was sacred. Below is some of the big things that I have picked that helped shape 2020 into the year it was. Let’s get started with….
Star Wars is dead! Long live…Star Wars?
The Star Wars franchise came back in a big bad way in 2015 with The Force Awakens, the first part in the big sequel trilogy. The only problem the trilogy ran into was…they literally had no idea what the hell they were doing. Which is the MO of J.J. Abrams. The mastermind behind Lost loves to create mystery box mysteries and even does a good job in the beginning. Problem is, he doesn’t know how to stick the landing. So Lucasfilm head honcho, Kathleen Kennedy, brought in director Rian Johnson and the series went down the shitter from there. The Last Jedi (the second film in the sequel trilogy) was so poorly received that Abrams had to be brought back in and do a soft reboot mid trilogy negating most of Johnson’s extreme creative choices. Oh and not to mention due to the Han Solo prequel film bombing at the BO, Kennedy wanted to just outright end the Skywalker trilogy with very little build-up ultimately delivering The Rise of Skywalker that had all the shine of a fresh Monday turd. Enter Director/Producer Jon Favreau and Clone Wars/Rebels George Lucas disciple, Dave Filoni. The two introduced a new Mandalorian character and the most popular to the franchise since Yoda, Grogu aka Baby Yoda. The two masterminds teamed with Lucas to bring the past to the future of Star Wars. They literally made Star Wars great again! Season two gave us a rampaging Boba Fett, a live-action representation of fan fav Ahsoka Tano, oh and the greatest use of Luke Skywalker in 30 years. All of this done on a streaming series on Disney Plus. Now, Lucasfilm is planning a slew of spin-offs, animated shows, and more set to debut in 2021. It just goes to show that you can please fans while also delivering something that is truly incredible.
No MARVEL STUDIOS films in 2020; So why did Warner Bros./DC Films still fumble the ball at the BO?
The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on many things in 2020 but one of the biggest things it affected was movie theaters. Theaters pushed films from one month to the next and eventually just dumped many of them on streaming platforms. Marvel Studios suffered and did something they had not done in 10 years. Not have a single film released in theaters. And don’t say “What about The New Mutants” okay because that’s like the inbred cousin who shows up to family reunions trying to figure out which uncle is his daddy. No one wants to own that shit. Unlike DC films and WB who just plop whatever they got on the table and be like “look what I can do.” Now DC has found some theatrical success. Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Shazam, hell even Suicide Squad. But right out the gate in 2020, they crapped out The Birds of Prey film that fell flatter than a plate full of piss. Directed by some indie person and shot on a budget of two dollars and a pack of gum, BoP failed to be funny or entertaining. I mean, for a Harley Quinn film with the very likable Margot Robbie, this is an unforgivable sin. Until WB did the next unthinkable thing. Deliver a spastic, and somewhat boring Wonder Woman sequel. The film went through a series of delays and reshoots until it finally arrived on HBO Max due to the continuing pandemic. Being the only film big film studio to release a superhero film this year (Yes I am intentionally forgetting Sony’s Bloodshot cuz…damn, did you see that shit? It was crap ‘n’ pasta) WB should have brought their A-game. Instead, they decided to settle for just good enough. Which was not enough. Again.
Warner Bros dumps their entire 2021 film slate on HBO Max
Oh hell, here we go again. Warner Bros just can’t get of their own way. I don’t understand who gives the okay for anything that goes on there but someone high up should be doing a series of firings at the start of the new year. Now I get it, I do. The pandemic has shut theaters down for so long, a concession had to made for the future. But when you do something like, oh I don’t know, drop multi-million dollar films on a streaming service WITHOUT telling directors, stars, and crew people who worked on the films, well that’s shady AF. In fact, the only film team that actually knew was Wonder Woman 1984 film crew. Director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot actually got an extra 10 million just because WB really wants a Wonder Woman 3 (which is in the works). Meanwhile, films like Godzilla vs Kong and Dune, which were financed through Legendary films pretty much were left with the check and are still in the process of taking legal action against WB for malpractice. Directors such as Christopher Nolan (who gave us the brain cancer-inducing film, Tenet) and James Gunn (director of The Suicide Squad) took to social media to express their displeasure with WB and warned this could lead creatives to venture to other studios instead of work with WB in the future. Nice job asshats.
When Tiger King RULED the world
During the first month of quarantine, the world was a captive audience to a redneck with a trucker hat, his two husbands, his collection of wild cats in Oklahoma, and his relentless feud with a rival big cat owner. Now there were a ton of other reality shows in 2020 that enthralled us like “The Circle,” “Love Is Blind,” “The Vow,” etc., but nothing seduced audiences more than Netflix’s Tiger King docu-series. The series literally had everything and only got weirder and more bizarre with each episode.
The year of broken video games
When gamers drop anywhere between 40 to 60 dollars on a video game they expect it to be you know…finished. But that hasn’t been the case in the digital age of gaming. Game developers, not just indie ones, we are talking big-time developers for years have released games with bugs. But it was passable because the developers would always upload patches that would take care of any reported glitches. However, what do you do when the game itself is the problem. Either it’s not finished or in some cases, not even playable. Case in point: Fallout 76, WWE 2K20, Avengers, and most recently Cyberpunk 2077. All of these games were highly anticipated and ultimately none of them could deliver the goods because they were rushed into the market so developers could get their big fat paydays. It would be as if a movie studio delivered a film that was half made to theaters and then told them they would have the rest of the film in a month or so. What kind of business model is that? A greedy one. and due to fans being more vocal on social media this year than ever before, studios are facing harsh and much-deserved backlash.
South Korea resurrects the Zombie genre
Let’s face it, the Zombie genre has been dead for a while stateside. After James Gunn/Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead reboot and AMC’s The Walking Dead, there hadn’t been any zombie-related entertainment that resonated with fans. Enter South Korea’s Train To Busan that made the shambling cannibals scary again. In 2020, South Korea gave us the highly-anticipated action-oriented sequel Train to Busan 2: Peninsula, the awkward love/survival story #Alone, and the frightening season 2 of Kingdom that blends Game of Thrones family hierarchy in a feudal South Korea besieged by reanimated corpses tearing up the countryside.
Which streaming service did you choose in quarantine? Bet it wasn’t Quibi!
You know when the worst time is to try and launch a streaming service with bite size content for people on the go? During a global pandemic when people have nowhere to go. Quibi was a sad victim of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was a streaming service meant to view solely on your phone as you are trying to catch a flight, a cab, or sitting in the back at church. Needless to say, it disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. But that didn’t stop people from streaming content at home. 2020 saw the emergence of streaming platforms like HBO Max, Apple TV, and Peacock. But with an economy in tatters people had to start choosing which platforms to keep and which ones to give the Quibi to (see what I did there, I’m helping keep Quibi relevant by making it a verb). As prices start to rise for most streaming service in 2021, you have to start to wonder, are we saving money anymore by not having cable?
SPACE FORCE IS GO!
So say what you will about President Trump, but the name started a new branch of the military named SPACE FORCE! HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT SHIT? Oh it gets cooler because the people who work in Space Force are called “Guardians.” Not since Reagan has there been a US President this hyped about space. And I for one am stoked. I just hope the next guy up keeps Space Force around so we can see it full potential.
ATTACK OF THE CANCEL CULTURE SJWS
Are you familiar with doxx? Have you been singled out online for agreeing with a political party, liking something, or having your own opinion? If so you were probably harassed by a Karen (a loudmouth opinionated woman with short hair) or a Social Justice Warrior (a loudmouth opinionated pronoun). Yes, identity politics, racial issues, and pronouns invaded all avenues of our lives this year and NONE of us were better for it. If you say the wrong thing you are a hate-mongering, woman-hater, from hell. Which is a good thing that I don’t give two shits what most people think. Including these fucktards with too much damn time on their hands. I respect other people’s opinions no matter how wrong they are. Don’t mean I gotta hate them. But I guess they gotta hate me. Either way let’s remember the good old days when people could disagree and still grab some beers together.
Remembering the fallen…
2020 took away too much this year. Including entertainers, sports stars, and more in both shocking and unexpected ways. Let’s take a moment to reflect and remember these people that were taken from us this year…
Kobe Bryant. Terry Jones. Pop Smoke. Kirk Douglas. Kenny Rogers. Max Von Sydow. Little Richard. Naya Rivera. Ian Holm. Ennio Morricone. Chadwick Boseman. Dame Diana Rigg. Sir Sean Connery. Eddie Van Halen. David Prowse. Jeremy Bullock. Dawn Wells. Jon Huber.
All taken from us unexpectedly. All remembered for their talent and their works. Never to be forgotten.
As 2020 takes it last long bow before handing it over to 2021, lets not look back at this year as a complete shit show. I mean, most of it was, but individually I think all of us can look back and point to one moment that made us laugh, feel loved, and take pride in an accomplishment we achieved no matter the size. 2020 may not have been the year we were expecting, but it was one we endured together. We lived it. And come tomorrow, it will just be another memory.