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The Kivii Life

January 1, 2021

Year in Review: 2020 TV & Movies

Photo by Mina von Feilitzsch photography

2020 TV & Movies, a retrospective

Happy 2021! Let’s talk about all the 2020 tv and movies I watched. It was a lot!

(photo of me by my friend Mina of Mina von Feilitzsch Photography)

I’ll start with movies, since that’s a shorter list this year. These are listed alphabetically, so don’t read anything into the order. And I only saw 3 of these in theaters, so here’s hoping for more dark movie theater catharsis in 2021. Note: not all of these are 2020 releases, I just included all the movies I watched for the *first* time in 2020.

  • 20th Century Women: So So good. Everyone in this (Elle Fanning! Greta Gerwig!! Annette Benning!!!) is at the top of their game. I’m ashamed it took me so long to get to it.
  • All the Bright Places: Elle Fanning was in a lot of stuff I watched this year. She’s definitely a treasure. This was the worst of the bunch though. A little too trite for my taste, and melodramatic in that specific John Green way that I really dislike.
  • Birds of Prey: For your consideration! This is one of the three movies I got to see in a theater this year and I’m so glad!!! I went with a group of friends from a comic book club back in the pre-pandemic times and we had so much fun. I love this Harley and this movie did not get nearly enough love.
  • Emma: I love a period rom-com and I paid to rent this at the start of the pandemic. Anya Taylor-Joy had herself a 2020 and I’m so glad.
  • Eurovision Song Contest: Will Ferrell is very hit or miss for me, but this was a hit. Rachel McAdams is almost always a hit though, so I shouldn’t have been surprised. It’s a little absurd, but left me feeling pretty happy.
  • The Farewell: Another one I got to see in the theater, way back in January. ALL THE TEARS. I went alone and just cried and cried. Lulu Wang was robbed of awards nominations and it’s heartbreaking.
  • Folklore: The Long Pond Sessions: Taylor Swift made 2020 so much better. I think Folklore is my favorite album of hers, and watching the emotions as she played it live was magic.
  • The Half of It: Sweet little coming of age teen romance movie. I liked it!
  • Hamilton: I debated whether to include this since I’d seen the play before, but this was my chance to SEE the soundtrack.
  • Happiest Season: #TeamRiley but this was my favorite new holiday movie regardless.
  • The Holidate: this might be a new Christmas-time regular romcom
  • Horse Girl: Alison Brie is one of those actors who could be an A-lister if she wanted to. She’s crazy talented. But she likes being in strange, offbeat stuff and I love her for that. Horse Girl is definitely not for everyone. It’s weird AF, but I liked it.
  • The Incredible Jessica James: Another one I can’t believe I hadn’t watched yet. Going into regular romcom rotation though.
  • The Kissing Booth 2: meh.
  • The Late Bloomer: double meh.
  • Little Women: Remember when I was talking about Lulu Wang being robbed of awards? She and Greta are in the same club. This is the last movie I saw in a theater pre-pandemic and I hope it’s not the last one ever, but it was great just in case.
  • The Lovebirds: So. Much. Fun. It wouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with their work, but Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are great. Their comedic timing together was great.
  • Love Wedding Repeat: This was fun. I don’t really remember all that much about it, but it was fun.
  • Midnight at the Magnolia: Your typical, predictable holiday romcom, but nowhere near the top of that list
  • Miss Americana: Taylor started the year with this documentary and then she gave us everything else she gave us and I love her.
  • Mulan: I know the live-action Mulan got a lot of flack and a lot of mixed reviews, but I was a fan. It’s not as good as the animated movie, but it was beautiful and emotional.
  • On the Rocks: I heart Sofia Coppola and Rashida Jones and they do good things together.
  • Palm Springs: I *think* this is my favorite (non-Taylor-Swift) movie of the year. It’s either this or Little Women, but Little Women came out in 2019, so Palm Springs is my favorite movie of 2020. If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out.
  • The Princess Switch: Switched Again: I make no apologies.
  • PS I Still Love You: Not as good as the first one, but still cute.
  • Wish I Was Here: I don’t know how I missed this movie when it came out in 2014 because it’s about as up my alley as a movie can get. Pretty depressing and weird but with just enough of a positive vibe at the end.
  • Wonder Woman 1984: Siiiiiiighhh. I really, really liked a lot of this movie. But I understand all the hate it’s getting. And it pains me to say, because Pedro Pascal is so wonderful, but I wish they’d just committed to Barbara/Cheetah as the only villain. The Max Lord storyline was not as interesting as Barbara’s and it became unwieldy. Once they started down that path, there was no way to end it well.
  • Yes, God, Yes: Give Natalia Dyer more roles. This girl has a lot to offer, and I’ll keep watching her in weird little movies like this, but I want to see her in something bigger.

Okay, tv time. Brace yourselves: I watch a lot of tv. Not doing little descriptions for every single show, but happy to talk about any of them!! Ones with an asterisk are shows I watch with John, so episodes are fewer and farther between.

  • Altered Carbon Season 2*
  • Anne with an E: so many people told me I needed to watch this and I’m sorry it took me so long to do so. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. Mr. Cuthbert is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. And Anne is a role model for all of us overdramatic redheads everywhere.
  • The Americans*: I think we’re somewhere in season 2
  • Billions*
  • Brave New World*
  • Cheer
  • Crashing (BBC/Phoebe Waller Bridge): I had never heard of this show but it’s so Phoebe Waller Bridge and you can binge it all in a single night if you dedicate yourself (that’s what I did)
  • Crashing (HBO)
  • The Crown
  • The Cry*: Strong recommend for people who like British crime dramas!!!
  • Dash & Lily
  • Defending Jacob*: Chris Evans is so good in this
  • Des*: David Tennant as a serial killer. Need I say more?
  • Devs*: Weird and good. Who else watched this one?
  • Doctor Who*
  • Emily in Paris: Sorry, not sorry.
  • The End of the F**king world
  • Euphoria
  • The Flight Attendant*: My third favorite show of 2020. Surreal and thrilling. Kaley Cuoco has some acting chops I didn’t know about.
  • The Great: Elle Fanning is, in fact, Great.
  • His Dark Materials* 
  • I May Destroy You: Incredible. Please watch this if you haven’t.
  • Killing Eve*
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Love on the Spectrum
  • The Mandalorian*: Second favorite show of 2020. AHSOKA TANO is my queen.
  • Middleditch & Schwartz*
  • The Morning Show: I’ve loved everything I’ve seen from Apple TV, so keep on keeping on y’all.
  • Murders at White House Farm
  • Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet*: EVERYONE NEEDS TO WATCH THIS SHOW. It’s so underrated. I think I know like 3 other people who have even heard of it, but it’s so much fun.
  • Never Have I Ever: <3 <3 <3
  • Normal People: v. sexy
  • On Becoming a God in Central Florida
  • Pen15
  • Perry Mason*
  • Picard*
  • The Queen’s Gambit: I don’t have anything extra to add – everyone knows how amazing this is by now.
  • Run (HBO): I wanted to like this a lot more. It’s a short time commitment though. And Domhnall Gleeson is adorable as always.
  • Schitt’s Creek (full watch through to end the series right)
  • Seduced (NXIVM Documentary): if you’re only going to watch one of the NXIVM documentaries, watch this one. It’s better produced and does a much better job of trying to understand the victims
  • Sex Education
  • Spinning Out
  • Star Trek Discovery* (we’re only on Season 1)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Star Wars: Rebels
  • Succession
  • Ted Lasso*: This is it y’all. The best show of 2020. I think I cried in every episode the first watch through. I’ll probably have this in a regular rewatch rotation. Do yourself a favor and watch it, regardless of whatever pre-conceived notions you have.
  • Unbelievable: I think I actually watched all of this in 2019 but I wanted to include it so I could reiterate how good it is and how important of a story it is.
  • The Undoing: BORING. The best part was Nicole Kidman’s coats. There was a bit where I thought they were going to do something unpredictable and I would’ve been more into it, but nope, everything happened that I thought would happen.
  • The Vow (NXIVM Documentary)
  • Westworld
  • You Season 2

I think that’s it. I might have missed something and there are a few things on my “soon” list (specifically Soul and Bridgerton). Tell me what else I need to watch!