2020 was abysmal across the board. Well, except for television, of course. Because the one thing we all needed was more television.
The end of a console generation usually signals a wave of indelible experiences. After years of learning a system’s capabilities, resourceful game developers craft the console’s grandiose swan songs.
Disney, the IP empire behind Marvel, Star Wars, and remakes of its own animated classics, was responsible for an asinine, unprecedented 80 percent of box office hits in 2019. The dominance of a single multimedia conglomerate is counter to the oligopoly that we’ve grown accustomed to in the entertainment industry (and, broadly speaking, the United States).
With stars like Mahershala Ali, Toni Collette, and Meryl Streep slumming it on the small screen, 2019 was another year dominated by miniseries, anthologies, and bite-sized seasons. Although a handful of new faces were able to enter the collective consciousness, the year’s best work came from familiar names and shows.
“Top heavy” may end up being the best descriptor for cinema in 2018. It was a better year than average at the movies, but the crème de la crème made it truly memorable. A black-and-white foreign film about the women who raise us, a documentary about skateboarding and more, and a live-action, animated bear elevated 2018.
Whether you like exploring story-rich environments as prisoners on the lam, immersing yourself in a role-playing game developed in-part by a powerhouse Japanese animation studio, or singing sea shanties with your friends on the hunt for buried treasure, 2018 truly offered something for everyone. 2018’s varied slate of games stood out to me as the most diverse field in recent memory, and yet, I can’t remember a year where the Game of the Year winner was so clear-cut.
Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) adapted Homecoming—a psychological thriller podcast about a caseworker trying to remember what happened at a mysterious government-contracted facility—for Amazon this year. The show, starring Julia Roberts, is expertly crafted, and its twists and turns are a fitting callback to the paranoia cinema of the 1970s. Yet, TV was so good this year that Homecoming didn’t crack the top 10. The list:
Our top 10 movies of 2017.
Our top 10 TV shows of 2017.
Two brothers founded Studio MDHR, the independent Canadian game studio behind Cuphead. Cuphead, the studio’s first game follows two brothers (Cuphead and Mugman) who gamble their souls away in a casino owned by the Devil. To win their souls back, the two brothers must collect the souls of others who lost it all in the Devil’s casino. Players are tasked with shooting, jumping, and dodging their way through a litany of unrelenting boss battles to capture the souls of the Devil’s debtors.