Look Back at 2020 Entertainment

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

2020 was a different kind of year for entertainment media. It started off with the usual drop of albums at the beginning of the year, movie releases in theaters and Broadway triumphs. Then, suddenly entertainment was changed forever when the world shut down over the coronavirus pandemic. Albums were delayed, movie theatres shut down, Broadway shut down, productions were put to a halt and instead of getting rid of the coronavirus, we learned to live with it. 

The music industry was changed in 2020 with the cancellation of live music all across the world. Artists could no longer support their new album with a tour and this created a risk when releasing music. However, that didn’t stop artists from coming out with fantastic music that became the anthems of 2020. 

Popular artists like Lady Gaga, Phoebe Bridgers, Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande and The Weeknd all released heartwrenching and uplifting albums when music was all people had. Rock, indie and alternative artists like Fiona Apple, All Time Low, Hayley Williams, The Neighbourhood, Yungblud and I Don’t Know How But They Found Me crafted albums that shone a light in the dark times of quarantine and beyond. All different genres featured standout new albums, like country albums from Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini and Sam Hunt which prevailed throughout the year with their melancholy hits. Even Taylor Swift had two surprise albums in one year. 

TikTok provided a space for new and popular music of the year to flourish. If a song trended on TikTok, it was considered one of the biggest songs of the year. This platform skyrocketed songs like “WAP” by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion, “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion, “3 Musketeers” by ppcocaine and “Bang” by AJR. 

When it came to television and movies, it was a year of binging for many as there wasn’t much else to do but stream for the months of quarantine. Before quarantine, however, theaters premiered movies like “Onward,” “Dolittle,” “Birds of Prey,” “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “The Call of the Wild” and “Emma.” Then after the pandemic shutdown, many movies were moved directly online, some of which you had to pay extra for, like Disney’s live-action “Mulan,” and some that you didn’t, if you have the streaming service like with Disney’s “Soul.” Even “Wonder Woman 1984” was put onto HBO Max and possibly the biggest release of the year, the recording of the original cast of the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” was uploaded to Disney+. 

Though, the shutdown only encouraged Netflix’s original movies and series to prevail above the rest. Free with a subscription of the streaming service, Netflix served up addicting, bingeable shows and unforgettable movies for the year. At the beginning of quarantine, everyone quickly became obsessed with the ridiculous and intriguing, “Tiger King.” Then, Netflix continued to add a number of fantastic original series like “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Ratched,” “Hollywood,” “The Haunting of Bly Manor” and “Cobra Kai.” 

Netflix had a plethora of original movies to accompany their series. A lot of Netflix’s movie releases were serious and mind-bending movies like “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” though there were some light-hearted additions like “Hubie Halloween” and “Holidate.” The streaming platform also helped out Broadway fans with the release of “The Boys in the Band,” based on the Broadway play and featuring the revival cast, and their adaption of the Broadway musical, “The Prom.” 

While 2020 was a difficult year of many decisions for the entertainment industry, the industry made sure it was a year that viewers would never forget. There were so many albums, movies, and television series that gave people peace of mind while the craziness of the world was bringing everyone down. We truly owe the little sanity that 2020 had to those who released media in 2020. Without them risking their lives and the possibility of failure financially, who knows how the year would have ended. Not to mention, since creators have adapted to working alongside the coronavirus, there’s no telling what wonders will come out in 2021.