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The Best of 2020: A Guide to Movies, TV Shows, and More

By Katie Fitzpatrick '21

Plymouth Whitemarsh High School

While 2020 has not been anyone's favorite year, that sentiment hasn’t stopped the rise and fall of many trends. As every person across the U.S. was trapped in their homes for weeks (or months) on end, we had a lot of time on our hands to explore social media.

I loved every single piece that took up my time this year, but alas, I must give the people what they want. So grab some popcorn, relax, and enjoy my list of the ‘Best Of’ in Movies, TV Shows, Music Albums, and Tik-Tok Trends.

Best of Movies

If I included every one of my favorite moments from these movies, we would be here for days. Instead, I hope this testament will do. Watch all of these, please, they’re fantastic.

10. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Rotten Tomato Score: 99%

Summary: Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn and her cousin, Skylar, travel across state lines to New York City on a fraught journey of friendship, bravery and compassion.

Starring: Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder, Théodore Pellerin

Directed By: Eliza Hittman

9. To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

Rotten Tomato Score: 75%

Summary: As her relationship with Peter continues to grow, Lara Jean reunites with another recipient of one of her old love letters.

Starring: Sarayu Rao, Holland Taylor, Noah Centineo

Directed By: Michael Fimognari

8.The Assistant

Rotten Tomato Score: 92%

Summary: Jane, a recent college graduate and aspiring film producer, just landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul. But as Jane follows her daily routine, she grows increasingly aware of the abuse that insidiously colors every aspect of her workday, an accumulation of degradations against which she decides to take a stand.

Starring: Julia Garner, Matthew MacFadyen, Makenzie Leigh

Directed By: Kitty Green

7. The Half of It

Rotten Tomato Score: 97%

Summary: A shy, introverted student helps the school jock woo a girl whom, secretly, they both want.

Starring: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire

Directed By: Alice Wu

6. Becoming

Rotten Tomato Score: 93%

Summary: Join former first lady Michelle Obama in an intimate documentary looking at her life, hopes and connection with others during her 2019 book tour for 'Becoming.

Starring: Michelle Obama

Directed By: Nadia Hallgren

5. Time

Rotten Tomato Score: 98%

Summary: Entrepreneur Fox Rich spends the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year prison sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early 1990s in a moment of desperation.

Starring: Fox Rich

Directed By: Garrett Bradley

4. Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu)

Rotten Tomato Score: 98%

Summary: France, 1770. Marianne, a painter, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Héloïse is a reluctant bride to be and Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She observes her by day, to paint her secretly.

Starring: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Valeria Golino

Directed By: Céline Sciamma

3. Enola Holmes

Rotten Tomato Score: 90%

Summary: While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and help a runaway lord.

Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin

Directed By: Harry Bradbeer

2. Miss Juneteenth

Rotten Tomato Score: 100%

Summary: A former beauty queen and single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the "Miss Juneteenth" pageant.

Starring: Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze

Directed By: Channing Godfrey Peoples

1. Hamilton

Rotten Tomato Score: 98%

Summary: The real life of one of America's foremost founding fathers and first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton

Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr.

Directed By: Thomas Kail

Best of TV-Shows

I have to be honest, I watched way more TV Shows this year than movies, which makes this selection even harder. There were some incredible series and seasons I watched for the first time this year. I truly impressed myself with my bingeing skills.

10. Normal People: Season 1 (Hulu)

Rotten Tomato Score: 90%

Summary: Following Marianne and Connell, from different backgrounds but the same small town in Ireland, as they weave in and out of each other's romantic lives and start to grow up.

Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Paul Mescal, Eliot Salt

Directed By: Lenny Abrahamson

9.The Wilds (Amazon Prime)

Rotten Tomato Score: 92%

Summary: Teenage girls from radically different backgrounds find themselves stranded on a remote island, unaware they've just become the subjects of an elaborate social experiment.

Starring: Sophia Ali, Shannon Berry, Jenna Clause

Created By: Sarah Streicher

8. Tiger King (Netflix)

Rotten Tomato Score: 86%

Summary: An exploration of big cat breeding and its bizarre underworld, populated by eccentric characters.

Starring: Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, Jeff Lowe

Directed By: Eric Goode

7. Schitt's Creek: Season 6 (CBC)

Rotten Tomato Score: 100%

Summary: When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup and rebuild their empire from within the rural city limits of their only remaining asset - Schitt's Creek

Starring: Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy

Created by: Dan Levy

6. Outer Banks (Netflix)

Rotten Tomato Score: 71%

Summary: A teenager enlists his three best friends to hunt for a legendary treasure linked to his father's disappearance.

Starring: Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline, Madison Bailey

Directed By: Josh Pate

5. Dear White People (Netflix)

Rotten Tomato Score: 95%

Summary: Follows several black college students at an Ivy League institution (the fictional Winchester University), touching on issues surrounding modern American race relations.

Starring: Logan Browning, Antoinette Robertson, Ashley Blaine Featherson

Directed by: Justin Simien

4. The Crown: Season 4 (Netflix)

Rotten Tomato Score: 97%

Summary: Portrays the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding in 1947 to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, until the early 21st century.

Starring: Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tobias Menzies

Directed By: Andrew Eaton

3. Bridgerton (Netflix)

Rotten Tomato Score: 90%

Summary: During the Regency era in England, eight close-knit siblings of the powerful Bridgerton family attempt to find love.

Starring: Phoebe Dynevor, Julie Andrews, Rege-Jean Page

Directed By: Shonda Rhimes

2. Euphoria (HBO)

Rotten Tomato Score: 96%

Summary: American teen drama television series created and written by Sam Levinson for HBO, loosely based on the Israeli miniseries of the same name. It follows a group of high school students through their experiences of sex, drugs, friendships, love, identity and trauma.

Starring: Zendaya, Colman Domingo, Maude Apatow

Directed By: Sam Levinson

1. The Queen’s Gambit

Rotten Tomato Score: 97%

Summary: Set during the Cold War era, orphaned chess prodigy Beth Harmon struggles with addiction in a quest to become the greatest chess player in the world.

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Director: Scott Frank

Best of Music Albums

I listen to music more than I sleep. To say this was a difficult selection would be an understatement, frankly, I don’t think I would have been able to rank songs. I wish I could listen to each of these albums for the first time again, they’re fantastic. So with the help of my 13-year-old sister who told me I would disrespect the entire world if Megan Thee Stallion wasn’t on this list (which is 100% correct), here are my top album picks of this year.

10. The Weekend - After Hours

9. Lady Gaga - Chromatica

8. Cardi B - WAP

7. Dua Lipa Club - Future Nostalgia

6. Chloe X Halle - Ungodly Hour

5. Miley Cyrus - Plastic Hearts

4. Megan Thee Stallion - Good News

3. Ariana Grande - Positions

2. Fine Line - Harry Styles

1. Taylor Swift - Folklore

Best of Tik-Tok Trends

I spent a lot of time on Tik-Tok this year; my Screen Time can prove it. While all our algorithms on the discovery page (for you page) are a bit different, I would like to think I have some expertise in some of 2020's best trends.

10. Things That Just Make Sense

Seeing random objects from people's houses. I think that I may have found some of my favorite objects *cough cough it gave me an excuse to go on Amazon* from this trend

9. "I do my lil' dancey dance"

Cute animals. Must I say more?

8. Roller Skating

The vibes, the calmness, the reason to buy roller skates. I see no downsides.

7. Election Memes

I’m an AP kid which means I enjoy a good meme about a frustrating event and something my parents won’t find funny. These were absolutely no exceptions.

6. Rating Random Things

I discovered we all had the same exact childhood, and found some great recommendations.

5. Being the Main Character

The positivity, the happiness, the confidence. All of it was amazing, I’m happy it came, I hope it sticks around.

4. It’s The _ For Me

I thoroughly enjoyed my friends and I roating one another endlessly

3. Ratatouille the Musical

I mean...we made an entire musical, that is being made into a Broad Show, by ourselves, in three months. And it's good.

2. Such a Snack

Tie: Whipped Coffee and Cloud Bread

1. Voices of Change

I was hesitant to put this as a trend since the BLM movement and fight for equality isn’t one and never should be. But with the mass influx of creators speaking out and Tik-Tok being a platform that has been used extensively, I thought it appropriate. I will not rank any video, moment, or creator but instead encourage anyone and everyone to speak out against injustice and wrongdoings whenever they may see them.


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