Patrick Davies

Patrick Davies

Entertainment offers ‘silver lining’ to chaos

We will not be talking about politics this week, I think.

I mean, sure, we have our own provincial election taking place this Saturday and election month is coming up in the U.S., but I’d like to save my hot takes on that whole mess until after it’s all said and done. Unless Florida does its whole thing again.

Anyway … I don’t know about you but 2020 has been a pretty great year, objectively speaking, in one aspect of my life: entertainment. Sure, I very nearly ended up unemployed, had to move and haven’t been able to see any of my grandparents in person as I’d planned, but y’know there have been some great TV shows, movies and video games released this year.

Take, for example, the smash-hit success of Netflix’s true-crime documentary series Tiger King that documented the bizarre, humorous and criminal dealings of Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and a rogues gallery of other private zoo owners in the United States. Each episode was masterfully crafted to leave you wanting more and living proof that sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. Now, of course, one could argue Netflix benefited from having a captive audience as Tiger King came out in those first weeks of lockdown in March but its content was undeniably captivating.

No major Superhero movies were released this year, for obvious reasons, although Sonic the Hedgehog has the honour of being the highest-grossing superhero flick in a decade that wasn’t made for Marvel. On the small screen, the superhero genre still thrived and changed with the second season of both The Umbrella Academy and The Boys. Both are more mature takes on superheroes, with The Boys a quite literal X-Rated interpretation, but they prove there is an appetite for quirky character study and world-building while addressing serious themes like racism and intolerance.

On the video game side of things, I take delight in the fact that so many quality games were released this year. From the masterpiece of demonic mayhem that was Doom Eternal to the cute and cuddly Animal Crossing: New Horizons to, most recently, Space Crew, a cartoony homage to Star Trek and space-faring science fiction of all kind, it’s already been a great year for gaming. With the monolithic excitement for the imminent release of the long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077, the year only stands to get better.

The point I’m trying to make here is that in the midst of a chaotic, stressful and upsetting year, there was and still is, joy to be found. For me, it was entertainment and visiting my family over the summer, for you it might have been finally starting that new garden, restoring that old car or reading a good book.

Life is always about finding that silver lining in every situation and I think, if nothing else, 2020 has taught us that.

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