In entertainment as well as everything else, 2020 has been a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic shuttered movie theaters worldwide and gave streaming fare an unprecedented level of popularity.
Film critics Peter Debruge and Owen Gleiberman point out that “as crippling as the pandemic has been to movie studios and film festivals, this challenge came at a time when studios’ own streaming platforms like HBO Max and Disney Plus have allowed them to deliver films such as ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ and ‘Mulan’ direct to audiences while we wait an even bigger flood of Warner Bros. product on HBO Max in 2021. On the indie side, Kino Lorber and Alamo Drafthouse have done the same for smaller movies and docs.”
“Theaters will come back. In the meantime, America has experienced a drive-in resurgence the likes of which no one could have predicted. And as much as people crave a return to ‘normal,’ the crisis has validated the artistic ambitions of upstarts like Netflix and Amazon Studios, tech companies which have proven their commitment to prestige cinema — and who’ve forged ahead with releasing some of the year’s strongest films,” the critics wrote.
TV critic Caroline Framke chose one show per month for this unprecedented year, writing, “With every new month, a new series entered my life and became my favorite for a reason. Some shows found me at just the right time and headspace to make maximum impact; some provided comfort when I needed it most; others broke through my mental fog with welcome urgency.”
Music writers Jem Aswad, Andrew Barker and Chris Willman each give their top 10 albums of 2020 lists, which includes standout records from Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, the Weeknd, Phoebe Bridgers, Run the Jewels and Jason Isbell.
“Sometimes in this pandemic year, a spontaneous pick-me-up was what the doctor ordered, and in other moments, we might’ve wanted music to take us even deeper into our feels,” they wrote. “And lot of the best music that came to the fore this year combined at least a little bit of both.”