I’ve done a couple blog posts in the last few weeks talking about the books I really enjoyed in 2020, but this post will be a bit different. I’m going to share some of my favorites for things outside of books. I guess you could look at this post as a wrap up of things outside of books for 2020. So let’s get into it!
I’ve talks a bit on my blog about how much I loved reading The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and I was thrilled when I heard they were making a movie staring Harrison Ford! This movie came out in February, but I didn’t see it until months later. I loved this movie, even if turning Buck into a graphic dog instead of a real dog was a little disappointing (though I can understand it, considering how hard it is to work with dogs on set).
And like the book, the end of this movie had me balling my eyes out. So that was great…
The next movie I have a love/hate relationship with is the sequel to The Babysitter from 2017, The Babysitter: Killer Queen. My boyfriend and I have watched the first movie several times. It’s one of those movies that’s so bad it’s good.
The best way I can describe this movie (and it’s sequel) is about a boy who finds out his babysitter is part of a cult who wants to kill him for his blood to gain eternal life. He fights back, and a hilarious horror follows. This show balances horror and comedy perfectly. It’s cheesy and horrible, but I kind of loved it. Just don’t go into this movie expecting an actually good film.
My final movie is Hillbilly Elegy, staring Amy Adams and Glenn Close (who both do an amazing job in this film!). This is based on a memoir by J.D. Vance by the same name, which I read a year or so ago. I loved the book, so I hoped I would enjoy the movie. And it was perfect!
It tells the story of a young boy raised by his hillbilly grandmother while his mother suffers from substance abuse. Eventually, he is able to leave it all behind him go to college, becoming more successful. It’s a harsh reality of the lives of poor whites living in rural America, and the acting performances were truly exceptional!
I know there was a controversy when this movie came out that it was racist (something about that we shouldn’t focus on poor whites because blacks have it worse), which made no sense to me. Whether white or black, we should understand and try to help people get out of poverty.
Yes, I know, I’m pretty sure most everyone with Netflix watched this series in 2020. It’s a documentary about several “zoos” (more like madhouses) which show and care for tigers. Two of the owners, Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin (who may or may not have murdered her first husband), fight and induce drama all around them.
This is both a great documentary and is so bad. It’s ridiculous and you kind of can’t trust anything this drama shows. But still, it’s so amusing!
The next TV show is a BBC miniseries and new adaptation of Dracula. I watched this again because of my boyfriend, and boy was it…unexpected. It’s pretty graphic and horrifying, but it really takes an interesting twist away from the original novel. It’s a miniseries, comprised of only three episodes.
It stars Claes Bang as Dracula, who is possibly my favorite Dracula even if his performance may have traumatized me slightly. Dolly Wells plays his advisory, Sister Agatha van Helsing, a Catholic nun who sets out to defeat him. The show doesn’t really understand Catholic beliefs, but it’s entertaining so I won’t focus on that.
There are rumors of a second season, but I honestly think the series concluded quite well.
The final TV show came out just over a week ago on Netflix. Currently, I’m only a few episodes in, but I’m absolutely loving it!
Made in Korea, it is based on a comic book series (which my boyfriend read the beginning of, so he recognizes a lot of things from the original). Pretty much, it’s set in a world where most humans turn into monsters (each unique to their own lives as a human) and a cast of survivors in an apartment building, led by protagonist Cha Hyun-Soo (played by Song Kang of Love Alarm fame) must survive.
There are a few more twists, but I won’t give anything away. It’s such an exceptional show, really playing against common tropes seen in apocalyptic shows.
I’m so excited that BTS has an entirely English song this good! It’s so addicting!
Let’s not talk about the live action movie of Mulan (because ranting from me will ensue), but I absolutely love this song from Christina Aguilera! It combines perfectly a more traditional Chinese sound and modern pop.
Janet Devlin has this perfect soft voice, and this by far is my favorite song she’s released yet!
I have mixed feelings about Maroon 5, but this song has a perfect combination of upbeat and somber.
I got into Ateez last year, and I love this new song by them! Especially when Mingi’s deep voice starts.
This is a song from the movie 1917 (still haven’t had time to see it, but I want to eventually!), and I love it so much! It’s so dark and serious.
Youtube Channels (General)
I’m dividing this up into two parts for YouTube Channels: general and specifically Booktube. Since starting my YouTube channel nearly two months ago, I’ve found so many amazing small Booktube channels! Also I’m only including those channels that I found this year.
The Austin Flipsters is a channel where two friends flip houses in Austin, Texas. I love their flips, and their humor is so cringy! It’s great.
Cozy Rain is a channel which shares ambiance of cozy places, and I love their videos! I discovered them a few months ago and their videos really helped me get through this semester!
J. Draper is a channel which focuses mostly on London history. This is a good video example of the channel, but it also talks of Victorian fashion, historical movies set in London, etc. I truly love the channel, and I’m surprised it only has 998 subscribers as of me writing this post.
And finally, my boyfriend started a gaming channel! This is the first video of a series we’re doing together over on his channel, playing a game called Don’t Starve.
Youtube Channels (Bookish)
HollyByGollyBooks is possibly my new favorite BookTube channel on YouTube. She does a lot of book reviews and I usually agree with her opinions. Also her makeup is always gorgeous (#makeupgoals)! And she currently has only 2.86K subs. Definitely deserves more!
Katrina Brown is a small Booktuber with only 348 subscribers, but I love her content! She does a lot of tags and reading vlogs and she’s just so adorable! I highly recommend her channel.
I just discovered Lady Jane Books a couple weeks ago, but I already think she’s adorable! She mostly does book tags, but she’s got random vlogs and reviews mixed in there. Her personality is just so positive, and she only has 104 subscribers.
Random Other Things
I’m super into Hobby Lobby candles this year! Actually, just candles in general are awesome. I even got some small flameless candles with flickering lights to turn om when I was in school last semester.
I just love the cozy feel of candles!
The next thing I’m really into is this small business in Tipp City, OH, which is relatively close to where I live. It’s called The Golden Leaf Tea and Herb Company (they do also ship out teas and coffee, so if you don’t live in the Dayton area, you can still get it!). I love their tea! The one shown on the right is Frosty, which is a combination of spearmint, peppermint, and marshmallows. It’s so good! It is, however, a special for the holidays, but they have great ones all year round.
Actually, in general I’ve been trying to shop more small businesses this year. They are the ones which have been hit so hard by Covid, whereas the big businesses are thriving. So I’m trying to do everything I can to keep my favorite small shops from going out of business, and I’m trying to shop less on places like Amazon. Here’s a link to their website if you want to check them out.
This post is getting way too long, so I’m finish there. Merry belated Christmas and Happy Holidays!
What are some of your favorites of this year? Have you heard of any of these movies, shows, songs, YouTube channels, etc.? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,