Amongst the embers of the continuous dumpster fire that was the year 2020 there were some bright spots that took my household’s focus off of the misery, isolation and loss we faced throughout the year. Not to mention the social upheaval that brought attention to deep underlying issues that still need to be fully addressed in our society.
These bright spots were found streaming to us from multiple, often competing , sources on the interwebs. There were shows we watched that were new to us, such as Victoria, which was an awesome watch but it didn’t make my list because all three seasons were pre-2020. I also finally watched the Punisher season 1 and was duly impressed with the depth of the story. This list is just the new shows from last year.
This was a joy to watch and very humorous. It deals with “life”, albeit a digital one, after death. Not all digital afterlives are coded equally, and we are treated to different levels of service by the “providers” of this afterlife.
It was great to see Captain Picard, as well as some familiar faces from the past, back in action. The show had some “WTF” moments but overall it was very entertaining. I am unsure how I feel about the dark future that instore for the Federation, but it makes for some tense storytelling.
Having been a fan of the Justice Society, since my first copy of an All-Star comics issue back in 1978, I was thrilled to see some live action love for not only the original characters but for their legacies.
Four: Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege
Although the feel of the show is a bit sparse, for something that is supposed to be a global conflict, the action and story are both pretty good. I would love to see more bots getting into the action but it is understandable that time and money limitations need to be adhered to when creating an animated show. This isn’t just another quaint retelling of the conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons, this is a dark and violent look at the events that brought them to the exhaustive end of war for Cybertron.
Three: The Umbrella Academy
The first season was an incredible journey through the lives of these individuals that make up the family, with the second really twisting their worlds inside out. More “end of the world” hijinks ensue in this season and far more character development too. This season was the same as the first yet very different… there was this feel about it like this is new but very familiar.
This not only is a batshit crazy Kung Fu program, it highlights the struggles of immigrants who are attempting to make their way in 19th century America. There are very adult situations (hyper violent scenes and substance use). This is supposed to be based on a concept by Bruce Lee, which I feel like it is what he wanted “Kung Fu” the series to actually be about. There are good people doing bad things, bad people doing good things, and those who are in the gray area in-between who can go either way. Warrior is a compelling program that I will just binge when given the chance.
One: The Mandalorian
I adored season 1, season 2 didn’t fail to up the ante. While the rest of Disney+ was a disappointment due to the pandemic, The Mandalorian was on time and came out swinging. There was a ton of fan service in this season, more than its previous and I am here for that. Heck, a team of fans are creating this thing for the fans. The key to allowing fans to drive the bus is a strict quality control, which Dave Filoni brings to the table, and better than that are the way the other creators rely on him openly to keep things “correct”. I dig that George Lucas visits the set as well.
So much happened in this season, which only was another eight episodes, that I cannot believe that they were able to pack it so tightly without making it feel overwhelming.
The Mandalorian will return December 2021, which is only a month later than the two previous seasons that both premiered in the month of November. Just a one month delay with all this craziness going on? I’ll take that. It will be a while before I pay for Disney+ again, but next December seems like a great time to catch up with that service. The Book of Boba Fett will be coming out that month as well… I’m all in.
This is the way.
I would be remiss if I didn’t credit my favorite creators on YouTube with seeing us through this rough year as will. Head over to my YouTube Channel and check out some of my favorites.