It can’t all be bad. Right?
This year has been rough. Let’s not get into all the reasons why. That’s not what we’re here for. Instead let’s revisit some choice moments in entertainment that made 2020 just a little bit more bearable.
Socially Distanced Wrestling Match
Competing under “Social Distance Rules” for Game Changer Wrestling, “Bad Boy” Joey Janela and Jimmy Lloyd did something that would have only happened in 2020: a wrestling match where both competitors remain at least six feet apart at all times.
Beginning with a gentlemanly and medically advised socially distant handshake, Janela and Lloyd launch into a ballet that is equal parts comedic and violent. Despite pulling off a volley of professional wrestling maneuvers, both men never touch.
Still — the headlocks, the dropkicks, the Canadian destroyers — every move is sold with full dedication. The match is eight and a half minutes of absurdist, physical art, and a true product of its times. Janela even sanitizes a steel chair before using it on his opponent.
Just remember during hard times such as these: Wrestling will get us through.
Bong Joon Ho Makes His Oscars Kiss
Parasite winning the top prize at the Academy Awards feels like a distant memory now. In some ways, it was the last surprising, feel-good moment before the world went sideways.
Writer/director Bong Joon Ho was the standout of the ceremony, gushing over his filmmaking idols and letting everyone know that he was about to get awesomely drunk. It was very human and genuine in a way that these sorts of award shows are often lacking.
The best moment that epitomizes the Korean filmmaker’s utter glee on that evening is when he pressed his two Oscar statues together, making the two golden men kiss.
Something about this display was so innocent and jubilant that it stands out even after the hellish months that followed.
Roger Corman Quarantine Film Contest
B movie legend Roger Corman struck a chord with all isolated film buffs when he announced his Corman Quarantine Film Festival on social media.
Corman is famous for making the most with less when it comes to filmmaking. So when he called on fans to produce their own two-minute short films under quarantine, the contest really resonated with people looking for anything to distract them from everything that was going on in the world.
What people were able to produce under such limited circumstances really speaks to the creativity and talent that’s out there. It also stands as a testament to the low-budget icon who did it better and cheaper than anyone in the industry.
Cressa Maeve Beer celebrates Trans Pride through Godzilla
Speaking of short films, stop-motion animator Cressa Maeve Beer (@beeragon on Twitter) created what may be the most heartfelt piece of kaiju cinema ever made.
In just two minutes, Beer depicts Godzilla’s realization that the towering monster’s offspring identifies as female. It’s a powerful piece of animation that is simultaneously personal and universal.
Without a word, the short communicates a message of acceptance that is impossible to dismiss. And then, of course, our favorite monsters return to destroying.
I am convinced that Megan Thee Stallion is 11 feet tall. Something about her just makes it impossible to picture Ms. Thee Stallion not having to lean down when walking through a doorway. Featured on Cardi B’s gynecological anthem, the two rappers manage to elevate raunch to an art form.
Among all the tigers, snakes, and semi-nude Instagram models, the two performers fit right into the over-the-top bawdiness of the track’s music video. The clip managed to stir up the usual controversy among all the people who grew up in the town from Footloose, which is refreshing in its own way. With so many actual crises to debate this year, it was nice to sit back and watch people be outraged by a rap song they refuse to mention by name.
Why It’s Almost 8 Things
The initial draft of this article included Shia LeBeouf’s turn as Spicoli during the table read for Fast Times at Ridgemont High when he was all high and everybody was having fun. Then came the news that he is accused of a whole laundry list of domestic offenses, so that’s a no-go now.
I’ve included this note because wow is that the past few years in a nutshell. One day you’re reading about a celebrity’s wacky exercise outfit. Then… well, you know.
Jeopardy Contestant Thanks Host for Teaching Him English
Alex's impact is immeasurable. Thank you for sharing, Burt! pic.twitter.com/XgGGwJ8GlH
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 6, 2020
It’s been a true year of loss. And among all those who passed in 2020, the death of Alex Trebek hits on a deep level. For nearly 40 seasons, Trebek was a presence in the homes of millions, encouraging curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge.
In an episode airing this past November, Trebek learned the true impact that he had on the life of one of his loyal viewers. Winning contestant Burt Thakur teared up as he told Trebek that he would sit in his grandfather’s lap every day as a child and watch Jeopardy. Growing up as an immigrant, Thakur credited the show with teaching him to speak English.
It’s such a beautiful moment of television and a testament to the effect that one person can have on the lives of others. It’s also odd to realize that this is the year that Jeopardy could make you cry.
Eurovision Hit “Think About Things”
Americans might not be fully aware of the annual international music competition that is Eurovision. This is a shame because they’re really missing out.
Of course, 2020 wasn’t the best year to have musicians and fans from across the world travel to a packed arena to hear pop songs. For that reason the traditional Eurovision competition didn’t happen. But that didn’t stop Icelandic contestant Daði Freyr from capturing the world’s attention with the much-needed pop perfection that is “Think About Things.”
Written for the bandleader’s newborn daughter, “Think About Things” declares his love for his child and the anticipation of learning about his daughter as she develops into a person.
For 2020, this song stood out as a bright piece of optimism for better times that must be on the way. Right?
Check out Bong Joon Ho on Plex: