The Best of 2020: Top TV Shows, Music & Video Games That Brought Us Together During the Pandemic

Gayle Kurtzer-Meyers

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Surviving a pandemic is not an easy feat. Here is a round-up of the best TV shows, best music, and top video games released in 2020 that carried us through the turbulent year.

“It was the best of times., it was the worst of times...”

-Charles Dickens-

The quote from a Tale of Two Cities encapsulates the highs and lows of 2020. The world might have stood still this year. Yet, we traveled through space, time, and realities while watching the best TV shows, playing top video games, and listening to the chartbusters released post-pandemic. The terrific trio allowed us to immerse and entertain ourselves when things looked grim.

Here is a round-up of the best music, top video games, and best TV shows that uplift our spirits in 2020:

The Best Music of 2020: Throwback to the Catchy Lockdown Tunes We Hummed

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The pandemic may have canceled live shows and postponed world tours, but it didn’t stop our love of music from growing. Many spent their days humming to Disney soundtracks, replaying 2019 hits, and dusting off vintage vinyl records. Theatre enthusiasts sang-along the Hamilton cast as they made guest appearances before the highly-anticipated onscreen release. These different choices serve as a reminder that the best music comes in many forms.
Music can help you survive tough days and celebrate milestones with an impromptu dance no matter what you prefer. New releases also doubled up as an excellent noise-cancellation strategy against noisy neighbors/roommates when we worked from home.

Here is the breakdown of our favorite albums:

1. After Hours by The Weeknd

After Hours merges ‘80s percussion with strong vocals and a modern vibe. The album was released in March─ just when the world went into a collective house arrest. The moody melodies and soulful lyrics become our quarantine anthem as we shifted routines and tried to survive in the new normal. Standout songs from this album include Blinding Lights, Until I Bleed Out, In Your Eyes, and Hardest to Love.

2. Club Future of Nostalgia by Dua Lips

Dua Lips collaborated with music masterminds Moodymann, Mark Ronson, the Blessed Madonna, and Yaeji to create a foot-tapping disco album. The much-awaited-album made an ironic entry during the lockdown. Yet, its upbeat tracks and innovative sound mixing encountered rave reviews.

These fast-paced numbers become the background score for Zoom parties, virtual weekend hangouts, and at-home workouts. The album also featured musical cameos by Gwen Steffani, Stevie Nicks, Madonna, and Missy Elliot, making it the perfect mash-up for club-goers and disco lovers everywhere.

3. Folklore and Evermore by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift made our lazy summer days more tolerable with her surprise Indie album (Folklore). Everyone welcomed the change of pace from her previous peppy records and a delightful return to country music. Her melodic voice and touching lyrics wrapped us in a warm Cardigan (much like her song). She also enlisted Justin Vernon for a memorable duet (Exile). Adding to this was an enchanting video of Cardigan and the intriguing story behind her holiday home (The Last Great American Dynasty).

What’s more? She made Christmas merrier with a companion music album (Evermore). The new songs tell the tale of holiday romances, modern mythology, and devastating heartbreaks.

Both releases brought us great comfort during the last quarter of 2020. It also showed that isolation could work as a muse to produce the best music if you set your mind to the task.

Top Video Games of 2020: Playing Video Games to Fill Our Quarantine Days

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This year, the gaming industry opened doors to fantasy worlds and idealistic villages with its 2020 releases. We swiped mobile screens and tilted game consoles to keep ourselves busy during slow days. Together, many vanquished virtual monsters, built empires, and completed a series of challenges to advance to another level.

Classic reboots of top video games like Star Wars: Squadrons, Like a Dragon, and Final Fantasy VII Remake kept many engrossed. Players found themselves in exciting situations as they overcame unexpected curve balls thrown at the protagonists.

Other notable releases include:

1. Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing became an online meeting ground for friends and families. The game enables players to socialize with different players, and endearing anthropomorphic creatures reside in your virtual village. The friendly atmosphere, interactive activities, and goodwill vibes served as a breath of fresh air for people stuck at home.

It also promoted positivity, social wellbeing, and happiness amongst the online community. Subsequently, its rise to fame reminds us that top video games can go beyond violence and power plays.

2. Hades

If you like hardcore role-playing, you should give Hades a chance. The fantasy game takes you on a quest to break free from hell and find Olympus. We resonated with the frustration and dismay of its protagonist Zagreus. You find yourself sighing whenever he faces another challenge during the mission. His yearning for lost friends and family pulled our heartstrings too.

Plus, finding freedom at the end gives everyone the hope for victory over the monster-like COVID-19 virus.

3. Homescapes

People who prefer leisure games and mindless challenges entered the ‘Scapes Universe’ to cure boredom. The game revolves around a butler (Austin) who wants to renovate his parents’ home. Watch a mindless hour of interior decorating turn into an addictive adventure as you unlock more rooms and spaces.

Players lived vicariously through Austin as he acquired additional rooms. For instance, the modest family home featured a dancing hall, boathouse, and greenhouse. Advanced levels add to the extravagance as Austin adds a café and chocolate factory to his newly-built estate.

Players lived vicariously through Austin as he acquired additional rooms. For instance, the modest family home featured a dancing hall, boathouse, and greenhouse. Advanced levels add to the extravagance as Austin adds a café and chocolate factory to his newly-built estate.

The Best TV Shows of 2020: Redefining Fictional

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Lastly, streaming views spiked as millions worldwide spent countless hours re-watching old movies, hosting virtual movie marathons, and catching up on shows. Many old and new fans tuned into the memorable series finales of some of the best TV shows produced in the decade. Here we found ourselves bidding farewell to the misfit crew from The Good Place, the brave trio from Supernatural, and the quirky family from The Schitt’s Creek.

Other fictional friends returned as the dysfunctional superheroes from The Boys fought new supervillains, and The Crown revealed royal secrets surrounding the Diana era. We also reunited with Baby Yoda (from the Mandalorian), Lyra (from His Dark Materials), and Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy). Adding to this were several socially-distanced and virtually judged reality shows like The Voice, The Great British Bake Off, and America’s Got Talent.

Even Saturday Night Live packed a few humorous punches with its talented cast as they featured in home videos. Their politically-aware and witty social commentary on how Americans dealt with the pandemic lightened the mood. Adding to this were breakthrough shows that kept us entertained and engaged. Each of them has the potential to win awards as the best TV show of 2020.

These include:

1. Lovecraft Country (HBO)

This mini-series gives viewers a fresh take of the 1950s by blurring the lines between ghost stories and history lessons. It stars diverse characters that work together to keep monstrous entities and discrimination at bay in each episode. The special effects and subtle motifs conjure a captivating world.

2. The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)

After her delightful portrayal of Jane Austen’s Emma, Anya Taylor-Joy graced our screens by showcasing a sinister side to her acting. The Queen’s Gambit weaves the narrative of an orphan girl who mastered chess via strategic moves and deception. Watching the rise and fall of Beth Harmon transformed dull chess games into a nail-biting experience.

3. The Normal People (Hulu)

Romantic souls took a rollercoaster ride as they watched Irish teenagers stumble in and out of love. Despite the clichéd trope of opposites attract, the realistic portrayal of Connell and Marianne you engrossed. As a result, you pine over stolen glances, agonize during misunderstandings, and shed tears over fictional breakups.

The Parting Words

In short, binge-watching these series and memorable music albums kept us happy and sane. These little escapades served well for lonely folks stuck at home and families trying to catch a break from mundane routines. You also have a list of top video games that made quarantine life exciting, adventurous, and social.

Fortunately, you can revisit these fictional worlds and embark on new journeys whenever you press play. Additionally, nobody can guarantee a COVID-free year in 2021, but we can count on the entertainment and gaming industry to help us power through these uncertain times.

Did your favorites make the list? Comment and share your top picks below.

P.S: Happy New Year!

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I am a Licensed Community Association Manager for the State of Florida and a published author. My top articles are about Florida RE, property management, and the many beautiful venues and activities available in the Sunshine State. Thank you for reading my work and joining me on the journey.

Kissimmee, FL
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