From Bake Off woes to Zoom fiascos: 2020 in lists – The Guardian

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2020s forgotten events

10 events that took place in 2020 (we think)

Cheer hysteriaRemember, that week in January when everyone watched the Netflix doc Cheer and you thought you might take up cheerleading? Hows that going?

The Renegade challengeChoreographer Jalaiah Harmon found TikTok fame early in 2020 with this dance craze. Dont learn it: if you are over 14, youre far too old.

Brad and Jen were a thing againPitt and Aniston shared a hug at the Golden Globes, sparking a million stories. Sorry guys: you caused this by making a tiny bit of physical contact.

There was a Love Island!In February, for some reason! And pretty much no one remembers a single thing about it! But Sean Paul did perform for the villa, at least.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira played the Super Bowl showAt the time, JLo failing to bring out Ja Rule felt like the worst thing that would happen in 2020. If only we knew.

The OscarsWhat won best picture? Come on: think. This was a question in your Zoom quiz, wasnt it? It was Parasite. Which feels like 900 years ago now.

Cats: The Butthole CutTime is a flat circle and all that, but can you believe we obsessed over a version of Cats where you could see their backsides for a whole week in April?

Finding out what Watermelon Sugar was actually aboutIn retrospect, nobody should have been playing that song at their childs socially distanced birthday party.

Selling Sunsets sudden separationAfter a full series of bragging about her perfect marriage, Chrishell found out by text she was getting divorced. We felt bad for her! For three seconds.

EastEnders dishwasher murderBecause the year wasnt miserable enough, EastEnders served up a grim end for Chantelle: impaled on a knife after being pushed by husband Gray.IS

Two-pint plastic cupsThe wrist strain of holding them up, the likelihood that youll need a wee two songs in, the hideous queues to secure them just for your mate to spill half of his down your coat Well have it all back, please.

Too many support actsWhat we wouldnt give to be allowed out of the house long enough for a seven-act all-dayer at a venue with no wifi

Grainy gig photosRemember the thrill of trawling through a million shots on your phone in the quest for one good enough to post online? Sierra filter, we hardly knew thee.

Close-quarters eavesdroppingMany a gig pal (or at least a moment of internal amusement) has been made from simply being squished up so close to someone that you cant help but get involved in their conversation.

The encore v last train dilemmaDo you miss them nail that rarity or risk the inevitability of the rail replacement? The year has known its fair share of tension, but it hasnt known THIS. JW

Unicorn Feng ShuiLockdown has meant some fine additions to the kids gatecrashing work calls subgenre. Budding interior designer Scarlett interrupted her doctor mums BBC interview to discuss the best placement for her unicorn picture. After newsreader Christian Fraser offered his advice, Scarlett demanded to know his name then ignored his suggestion. Classic.Cringe rating 1/5. Quite cute, really

Spud U Like?Newsflash: video meetings are boring. Unless, that is, your boss has accidentally transformed herself into a potato. In March, Washington resident Rachele Cleggs photo of her, a human colleague and a buried spud with sad eyes went viral on Twitter. The latter was actually Lizet Ocampo, a political director turned haunted Mrs Potato Head, courtesy of a video filter.Cringe rating 2/5. Funny as opposed to properly embarrassing

Muted leadershipIn March, while self-isolating, Boris Johnson held a Very Important Meeting not on a closed network but on a 15.99-a-month Zoom account. A screenshot was then posted, revealing the meeting and user IDs, exposing it to Zoom bombers. Last month, an apparently flustered Johnson (it can be hard to tell) kept accidentally muting himself during a Commons speech.Cringe rating 3/5. Embarrassing for us as a nation

Woah, is that a penis?Zooms easy, really: you unmute if youre talking and pop your camera on only if youre dressed. What you dont do is carry your laptop to the loo, like #poorJennifer. Then there was student Brent, who wandered about as nature intended in front of a gallery of shocked faces at a uni lecture. The less said about (now ex-) New Yorker scribe Jeffrey Toobins Zoom mishap the better.Cringe rating 4/5. Quite hard to look people in the eye afterwards

HollyweirdMay I suggest this clip of Euphoria actor Lukas Gage attempting a housebound Zoom audition only to hear the very-much-not-muted voice of British director Tristram Shapeero feigning sympathy for all these poor people forced to slum it in tiny apartments for next years best picture Oscar? It has everything: drama, twisted humour, sweaty bum embarrassment.Cringe rating 5/5. Open-letter-of-apology levels of embarrassmentMC

UKs First Ever Penguin Gender Reveal PartyThe nearby penguins didnt react because they are penguins but Holly Willoughby lost it at the guest of honours name: Squirt.

Alison Hammond Interviews a TreeHow does it feel to be nominated for European Tree of the Year? Hammond asked. Very exciting, replied the tree (according to a nearby tree whisperer).

Exclusive: Whitney Houstons HologramThe late R&B titan performed to Eamonn and Ruth, who did that annoying thing of recording it all on her phone, even as it was being broadcast on TV.

80-Year-Old: My Passionate First Night With ToyboyWe used a whole tube of KY Jelly, revealed Iris. I felt as if Id been riding a horse. They are now happily married.

The First Ever Christmas Song Written for DogsThe team played it live to a room full of disinterested hounds in Essex. There was a bit of confusion going on there, commented Phil.SB

The SopranosCrabby, out of shape, mooching around in a dressing gown Tony Soprano is a big 2020 mood. Those who dived back into HBOs mob opera via Now TV got to luxuriate in the richest of screen storytelling and may even have revised their take on the ambiguous ending.

Citizen KaneTotal sledge: is Orson Welless career cornerstone really all that? Months ahead of David Finchers torrid behind-the-scenes drama Mank, iPlayer presented Citizen Kane free in the dark days of May, part of an extremely welcome care package of vintage RKO classics.

MoeshaNetflix securing the rights to this poppy 90s sitcom starring the R&B star Brandy as a teen navigating LA high-school life offered comfort to newbies and closure to UK fans, since Channel 4 never got round to screening all of its six seasons.

The West WingImagine a world run by smart people who genuinely want to do the right thing: that was Aaron Sorkins fast-talking presidential power fantasy. But did it warp our political expectations? All 4 dropped the whole thing in the heated run-up to the US election so we could debate.

The Karate KidIf you burned through this years TV hit Cobra Kai, the daft but heartfelt sequel to The Karate Kid, the obvious next move was to revisit the 1984 original (also on Netflix), even just to see how the stars had aged. Turns out it really stands up (on one leg, ready to kick you in the face).

Battlestar GalacticaA whiteboard where the total number of surviving humans is calculated and routinely revised downward might not seem to offer much escapism from 2020s horrors. But viewers pounced on the iPlayers savvy box-setting of this mid-2000s sci-fi outlier.

ContagionMany of us checked back in with this 2011 pandemic-response thriller, either as a morbid goof or to see just how close Steven Soderberghs deeply researched movie got to replicating the real thing. With all our newfound expertise, the answer would seem to be: scarily so GV

Chains: Normal PeopleHe was a boy, she was a girl: could the BBC have made it any more obvious? What we didnt predict, however, was the nations sudden love of Argos silver chains.

Chess: The Queens GambitWho would have thought that Netflix (founded in 1997) would single-handedly give a sexy PR boost to chess (created in the sixth century AD)?

Stanley Tucci making a NegroniA double shot of gin. A shot of sweet vermouth. A single shot of Campari. Many lingering shots of Stanley Tucci shaking his cocktail. A safe, yet smouldering power.

CNN touchscreen guy John KingThe indefatigable CNN anchor and chief national correspondent was the most captivating part of the US election coverage or was that just our collective sleep deprivation talking?

Margaret Thatcher: The CrownOn the one hand, its Gillian Anderson. On the other hand: how was this allowed to happen?!HJD

You know what spreads faster than any virus fear Pitbull: I Believe That We Will Win (World Anthem)

Kinda hope were here for ever, Theres nobody on these streets / If you told me that the worlds endin, Aint no other way that I can spend it Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber: Stuck With U

Is this a sovereign nation Or just a fascist state? / You better look out people, fore it gets too late Eric Clapton and Van Morrison: Stand and Deliver

I cant reach but I can ring / You cant touch but you can, you can sing! Bono: Let Your Love Be Known

Are we all just pretending / That the world isnt ending? Sinad Harnett: Quarantine Queen

Amuse boucheToast la Nigella, double buttered and garnished with flakes of sea salt.

AntipastiCardi B and Megan Thee Stallions macaroni (in a pot).

SaladThe Florence Pugh Instagram Special: chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, tuna and hot sauce?

PrimiRam-don: packet noodles with sirloin steak served hurriedly by the family from Parasite while they try to cover up the mother of all frauds.

SecondiTacos to the chateau, please (served every 15 minutes by Snoop Dogg until you cant think of anything else).

DessertThe Freddie Mercury Bake Off showstopper cake or was it Ren from Allo Allo?

To DrinkA nice glass of Count Draculas Transylvanian claret.GM

The Cameos that could be yours for a small or not-so-small fee

Barry from EastEnders: 30Post-Extras, are his 30 shoutouts simply life imitating art? We dont even know any more.Value: Seems about right

Big Keith: 41.50Want to ask The Offices Big Keith if hes ever experienced paranormal activity? Of course you do. And its free! (for questions, 41.50 for videos).Value: Always read the small print

Katie Hopkins: 41.50Twitter might have permanently banned her hateful speech, but hey: why not fund her awful existence via video messaging?Value: Free would be too expensive

Tuna Melts My Heart: 41.50If youve ever wanted a video message from (the owner of) a weird chihuahua that became Insta-famous in 2013 for roughly a fortnight.Value: Not good. The dog doesnt even bother saying hi

Anthony Scaramucci: 45.65Remember him? Loudmouthed Trump aide for all of 11 days before getting sacked?Value: Compared to what he wouldve been paid by the Donald: great. Compared to what you might want to pay: not so much

John Cleese: 273Want a nice video message? Wrong guy: Cleese charges extra for not being rude. I could say your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries! he kindly offers on his profile page.Value: Pricey, but thats one high-calibre insult

Carole Baskin: 248248 for a shoutout from a Tiger King star? Weird, but not as weird as the message someone duped her into filming: a dedication to Rolf Harris, the wording of which is too off-colour to repeat here.Value: If you can prank her, cheap at twice the price

Rhys James: 830The standup comedians 830 price tag makes him the most expensive British comic on video-messaging site Cameo by a cool 500. AKA 28 Omid Djalilis.Value: Do you even need to ask?AD

Four times we lived vicariously through our televisions

Partying in Ibiza: White LinesIt will be some time before were allowed to rub sweaty, sunburnt shoulders with strangers on a dancefloor. But squint and you can just about imagine yourself in that euphoric crowd, instead of slumped on your sofa, telling yourself that dipping oatcakes into supermarket hummus counts as tapas.

After-work drinks: IndustryTheyre the kind of drinks that end up with a meal at Nobu followed by a Tuesday all-nighter partying with drag queens, but the most enviable part was watching a group of colleagues decompress in the pub, spilling tequila shots on the way back to a crammed table.

Hugging relatives: Schitts CreekWe might not want to live in a motel room with no lock next to our parents, but there was something bittersweet about seeing the Rose family spend quality time together in such close proximity. By its final season, relations thawed to the point where Moira and Alexis could hug without wincing.

Beach holiday and gossip: My Brilliant FriendAh, the unrequited crushes of adolescence, captured in all their agonising glory. This sumptuous Elena Ferrante adaptation provided us with no end of beautiful scenery in Ischia, with swimming, sunbathing and reading on the beach. But it also gave us far more precious gifts: gossip, and drama with a capital D.KB

(The much-hyped Netflix rival that lasted six months)

Fierce QueensReese Witherspoon narrates BBC footage of big cats with a feminist slant. Getting that belief in yourself, thats what growing up is all about, she opines as two female cheetahs slaughter an impala.

Thanks a MillionCelebrities surprise proles they happen to know by giving them a million dollars. Oh wait, its $100,000 (of Quibis money), and they have to give half of it to someone else. Should have been called generous tip.

Murder House FlipBasically, its Homes Under the Hammer, if it only featured properties where someone had met their grisly demise.

Fight Like a GirlFemale wrestling stars help young women struggling with a personal issue. In one episode, the Bella Twins try to cheer up a woman after the death of her mother.

Weather TodayA revolutionary idea: weather news stories, as well as a national forecast. Reminds me of an old show I used to watch, I think it was called the weather.SW

1 Sarah Silverman Comes out best, purely for attempting a sheen of self-awareness that none of the other performers could hit with a truncheon.

2 Maya Rudolph Competent, but not particularly enthusiastic. Honestly the best that anyone could hope for in this situation.

3 Jimmy Fallon Barely in it, hides behind his sunglasses. Seems to hate the whole thing, and that is to his credit.

4 Amy Adams Actually, genuinely quite good?

5 Leslie Odom Jr Also pretty good, actually.

6 Norah Jones Good, and smart enough to utilise a dog for distraction.

7 James Marsden Working his inherent forgettability hard here. Clever boy.

8 Annie Mumolo Admit it, you watched this 30 times and didnt realise she was in it.

9 Labrinth Empty child seat behind him. Even his kids knew this was a bad idea.

10 Will Ferrell The biggest disappointment of the whole song. Youre better than this, Will.

11 Lynda Carter Performed in the style of a call centre worker angry about being interrupted during her lunch break.

12 Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson & Kaia Gerber Like a wartime close-harmony group, from a war you retrospectively wish wed lost.

13 Zo Kravitz Whispers her line like the creepy kid from every horror movie.

14 Mark Ruffalo Less a song contribution and more a semi-welcome 3am U up? FaceTime message.

15 Kristen Wiig Most of the names involved apparently participated because Wiig asked them to. Very poor. For shame.

16 Chris ODowd and Dawn OPorter The twins from The Shining gone terrifyingly Christian folk.

17 Natalie Portman Wont stop admiring herself in her camera.

18 Pedro Pascal Weird flex to do his line in the style of Liam Neesons Taken speech, but OK.

19 Jamie Dornan Truly creepy. Like watching a sociopath try to practice empathy in a mirror.

20 Eddie Benjamin The sound of someone being dragged through puberty all at once.

21 Sia Christ, Sia, we get it. You can sing. Now, please, never sing again.

22 Gal Gadot This was all your idea, Gal Gadot. And you sang two different lines. And John Lennons ghost hates you. You created the single worst thing about 2020, and we had an actual pandemic this year.SH

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From Bake Off woes to Zoom fiascos: 2020 in lists - The Guardian

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