the year that wasnt random

The Year That Wasn’t: 5 Random Things

Time was weird and often meaningless in the Year of Our Coronavirus, 2020. It felt endlessly stretched, recklessly rushed, and sometimes both at once. So many Big Things happened–pandemic, politics, protests–that the news never let up. At the same time, daily life was so consumed with risk-management strategies–six feet apart, wear a mask, #stayhome–that it all became a blur.

Crawling toward the finish line of 2020, a few random observations come into focus…

The last movie I saw in a theater, a few weeks before California was locked down, was Little Women. I went by myself to see it for the second time and loved it just as much on repeat. And I have barely thought of it again since March (no pun intended). I should see if it’s streaming somewhere…

…because what’s not streaming somewhere these days? If you couldn’t find something to watch on TV, it was probably because the options were just exhausting.

Still, a few shows stood out for me:
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2 seasons available on Hulu) is hilarious and ridiculous and I recommend it highly
  • The Boys (2 seasons on Amazon Prime Video) is less hilarious and even more ridiculous. I want to hate myself for liking it so much.
  • Fargo (4 seasons available on Hulu): We began watching this show in its second season, and went back to watch the first before the fourth season aired this fall. Every season is different but they all have common threads. This year’s season may have been the best of them.
  • The Crown, Season 4 (Netflix): Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher entered the story, and we sucked it all down in about a week.
  • Watchmen (HBO): I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’d heard it was good. It was very good, and very resonant in the summer of 2020. It was one of the best things I watched this year.
  • The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix) was the other best thing I watched this year. I’m reading the book now (which completely escaped my attention in 1983).

I always thought I’d like working from home. I was right. Not spending almost 3 hours a day in my car has been one good thing in this bad, bad year.


I would like to be able to pay less attention to political news in 2021. I’m not entirely hopeful this will happen, but I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s possible.


It wasn’t a good year for blogging, but I did create an Instagram account for my dog. Since he’s in 1/3 of my Instagram Best Nine for 2020, it was probably a good move.

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6 comments

  1. I also liked the Queen’s Gambit and The Crown very much. My daughter and I have gotten hooked on Korean dramas and they have been such fun to watch this winter break! Each one has 16 episodes then we get to find a new one to watch.

    1. I don’t foresee Kdrama becoming a thing around my house. (Telenovelas would be more culturally appropriate here at Casa Vasquez, but they’re not happening either ?.) I was reading yesterday about a proposed second season of The Queen’s Gambit and I have very mixed feelings about it.

      1. Korean dramas are certainly not for everyone, but I’ve loved the escapism! I probably won’t watch a second season of the Queen’s Gambit if there is one.

    1. I saw that What We Do in the Shadows was at the top of your “Top 5 TV Shows” post and could not agree more! We came to it late and binged the first season right before the second started. The first season was good, but the second was stellar. And yes, you do need to watch The Queen’s Gambit.