Friday 25 December 2020

2020 in Review: Looking Back

We've come to the end of my week-long 2020 in Review series of posts. But before I proceed with today's look back at the year as a whole, here is a quick recap of everything that went down during the week. On Monday, I went over my Top 10 video games released in 2020. This was followed by a rundown of my Top 10 TV shows on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I highlighted my favorite songs. And yesterday, I revealed my Top 10 movies. Today, we'll be capping off the series with a look back at events that shaped the year into what it was.

To say that 2020 was a tough year for everyone would be like the understatement of the century. 2020 was brutal to say the least, from the impending threat of World War III at the start of the year, to a global pandemic that still continues to grip the world as we speak. We all know the details at this point, so going over each and every one in great detail should not be necessary. What I'll be doing instead is recapping those events that affected me on a personal level.

So pretty much the whole world went into lockdown around Mid-to-late March, in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus. All of a sudden, it was no longer okay to congregate in large gatherings, or shake hands with friends and loved ones, as social distancing slowly became a concept we'd come to accept. Many were forced to work from the safety of their homes, and many still no longer even had jobs.

We watched as event after event was cancelled, from the Olympic Games to conventions like E3 and San Diego Comic-Con. Conspiracy theories became the order of the day, as everything from 5G internet to opposing political views were being blamed for the current situation. There were toilet paper shortages, but through all the inherent madness of those early months, we persevered and slowly settled into the so-called "new normal."

Then there was the Black Lives Matter movement, which reached a fever pitch after both Breonna Taylor and George Floyd had lost their lives to police brutality. Thousands took to the streets in protests, ignoring curfews and their own safety just so that they could ensure the issue received the audience it demanded. But things quickly spiraled out of control, and protests turned into riots, as looters took advantage of the situation.

And just like déjà vu, we watched as the same pattern of self destruction took place here in Nigeria, after peaceful protests advocating for the complete abolition of the notoriously brutal police unit known as SARS were hijacked by hoodlums. This would culminate in the Lekki Massacre on the 20th of October, when peaceful protesters were fired at by military soldiers, which in turn gave birth to even more unrest and looting.

Amidst all that chaos and bloodshed, we'd also suffered a number of celebrity deaths. But to focus on those in a year where literal millions had lost their lives to the pandemic would be a bit callous. Except I'd also be remiss if I didn't at least take a moment to acknowledge the passing of Chadwick Boseman, who died of colon cancer on August 28, after keeping his battle with the illness a secret for what had been his last four years.

The actor had touched so many lives in the brief time he'd played the character of T'Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which was very much evident by the outpouring of grief that took hold of the internet that weekend and in the days and weeks after. But the fact that he had given us not one but two solid acting performances this year, in both Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, only goes further to solidify what was already a strong legacy.

2020 was also the year that gamers welcomed a new generation of game consoles, with both the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series S/X launching two days apart in November. This was following several months of drip fed information and anticipation, and the demand for these consoles had proven so great that they've remained pretty much impossible to buy today at regular retail prices, with scalpers and price gougers having a field day with the situation.

I personally don't plan on getting either console until they become widely available to buy at their  respective MSRPs. I've never been much of an early adopter in any case; I didn't get a PS4 until almost 4 years into its life-cycle. The one exception to that would be the Nintendo Switch, which I've owned since around its launch in 2017. And the console continued to prove to be a resounding success for Nintendo this year, with games like Animal Crossing: New Horizon selling close to 30 million copies and helping move even more units of the hybrid console in the process.

Reeling things back home now, I'd mentioned during my Year in Review wrap up post last year that I'd seen over 30 movies at the cinema in 2019. Well, this year, that number took a considerable nosedive, as I was only able to see 8, with theaters closed for the better part of the year here in Nigeria, due to the pandemic. On the flip side, I did manage to see and review even more movies than I had last year, with the final number being somewhere in the ballpark of 90 movie reviews.

What had spurred me to see and review that many movies this year was the fact that I had decided to approach doing so like it was my 9 to 5. The fact that I no longer work a regular 9 to 5 no doubt helps of course. So this has really opened me up to the possibility of upping my output and trying new things, and one of the ways I did just that was by starting my very own YouTube channel.

Yep. That's right. You can consider this my official announcement post, even though I've been embedding the videos I upload over there in my posts since July. And if for whatever reason you are reading this and you still aren't subscribed to the channel, then I've got to ask: what are you waiting for? Christmas? Well, as fate would have it, today is Christmas, so you know what to do.

It's hard to imagine that it's been 10 years since I started my annual Year in Review series on this blog. And what a wild ride it has been too, with so many ups and downs, milestones reached, and many more to come. Merry Christmas everyone, and here's to another 10 years of celebrating the things we enjoy geeking about the most.


  1. I have no idea what year you’re talking about. All my information says 2019 skipped directly into 2021. I have access to a time travel machine, so you can rest assure I investigated quite extensively. “2020” sounds like good eyesight to me. Congratulations on having good eyesight, Michael!

    1. Lol. If only we all had access to that time machine you apparently have... I'd skip back in time to when things were saner. ;)

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