Doctor Who

Dynamite Review Best of 2020

This was a unique year. Books were plentiful, movies were not, and I dedicated myself to one game. So in some ways it was easy to make my lists this year. In other ways it wasn’t.

Movies

I have ten movies to list but the ones at the end weren’t necessarily movies I loved, but they were movies I enjoyed.

  1. Hamilton on Disney+ – I have re-watched this movie so many times. Years ago when everyone was into the soundtrack I could never get into it. The visual made all the difference. I love it.
  2. The Old Guard on Netflix– The first time I watched The Old Guard I thought it was a good generic action movie. With each re-watch, and there have been a few, I love it more. It’s almost everything I’ve ever asked for in an action movie. I hope they’re able to make a sequel.
  3. Bill and Ted Face the Music – This was the movie I needed in 2020. It was so hopeful and fun. When it came out I streamed it with friends and when we finished I felt so happy. It wasn’t amazing, but it was definitely something I needed.
  4. Jingle Jangle on Netflix – This was such an amazing Christmas musical. The songs were great, the story was heartwarming, and oh my god those costumes.
  5. Enola Holmes on Netflix – This was a fun watch. Enola was an entertaining character and I enjoyed seeing her make her way in the world.
  6. Birds of Prey – The one bright spot in the DCEU. Seriously, the only DC movie I like after Wonder Woman 1984 retroactively ruined any goodwill I had for Wonder Woman.
  7. Happiest Season on Hulu – Another Christmas movie but one that I connected with on several levels. I know that sounds stupid, but it’s true so I’m leaving it.
  8. A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting on Netflix – This was another Netflix movie that I hope ends up birthing a new franchise. It was one of those rare movies that my kids and I both enjoyed.
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog – How did this end up being such a better movie than Detective Pikachu?
  10. The Babysitter: Killer Queen on Netflix – I had no idea this was a sequel and despite my extreme dislike of horror movies I plan on watching the first one. It was so ridiculous and over the top that I found it difficult to ever be too scared to continue.

Books

I tried to read all the books in 2020 that I was interested in. I failed. Epically. If I was to wait until I’d read them all this list wouldn’t come out until the middle of next year. Still, I read a LOT and there were several that I loved. I’m going to include one book that didn’t come out this year that I read for the first time because I enjoyed it that much.

  1. Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews– Is there every going to be a list without an Ilona Andrews book? I hope not.
  2. The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan– My historical romance reading this year was off the charts and this was my favorite.
  3. The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler– I laughed so much while reading this book and the sequel was just as good.
  4. How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole – The first book in the new Alyssa Cole series and it was easily just as good as the Reluctant Royals series.
  5. The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk– Wow I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did but it is one that stuck with me even after I finished reading.
  6. Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams– This series is one of my best finds of 2020. It’s so much fun and I love the premise.
  7. The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix – After being disappointed by the last Garth Nix book I read I was so excited after I read this one. It reminded me why I consider him to be one of my favorite authors.
  8. When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare– This is the older book I’m including on my list. This entire series was excellent, but this book in particular was highly entertaining. It was a sexy romantic comedy.
  9. The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde – Ughhh this book was so good. Even better after the recent events in the US.
  10. Snapped by Alexa Martin – I’m not a fan of football, but this series has been one I’ve enjoyed reading. I thought Martin did a good job in Snapped handling a very difficult issue.

TV Shows

Like with books I had a lot of TV Shows I re-watched. It was the year of finding comfort wherever I could. I’ve tried to keep this list to just 2020 seasons, but in cases where there were older seasons I often re-watched the entire series.

  1. Brooklyn 99 on NBC – Easily one of my all-time favorite TV shows, it’s a miracle I didn’t re-watch this more than once last year.
  2. Bridgerton on Netflix – Please, please, please Netflix make this entire series!!
  3. Julie and the Phantoms on Netflix – The music was great and completely overshadowed the teenage angst for me.
  4. The Good Place – I legitimately forgot this ended this year. I loved the ending. I thought there was no way it could live up to the rest of the show and it did.
  5. The Babysitter’s Club on Netflix – This was apparently the year of babysitters, I believe this is the third one to end up in this post. I loved the book series and I was so happy to see how they modernized it.
  6. The Mandalorian on Disney+ – This season was so much better than the first and I enjoyed the first. There were several great episodes and they better get Mando back with baby Yoda.
  7. The Umbrella Academy on Netflix – Five, Aidan Gallagher, is such an amazing actor. I can easily see him as an old man. The story this season was better than last season and I’m glad the family seems to have gotten back together. After that cliffhanger ending I’m eagerly waiting for the next season.
  8. Sex Education on Netflix – Last year was just too long of a year. Shows came out that I enjoyed that I forgot came out. This was one of them. Every time I watch Sex Education I’m surprised at how much I enjoy it.
  9. Doctor Who on BBC America – I’m enjoying the new Doctor and companions so much, though, honestly I barely remember this season.
  10. Guys Grocery Games on Hulu – This was one of my biggest comfort watches of 2020. This beat out The Great British Baking Show to be my favorite cooking show of the year. It’s fun and yummy.

Video Games

Did games that weren’t Animal Crossing come out in 2020? I couldn’t scrape together ten games that I played and liked this year. I play most games on the PC through steam, but included links to Amazon versions. So here is my abbreviated list.

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons by Nintendo – I played hundreds of hours of Animal Crossing in 2020. I’d play an ungodly amount, take a break, then come back and play an ungodly amount again. I’m currently taking a break, but I’ll be back, there’s no question.
  2. Hades by Supergiant Games – Holy shit this game was so unexpectedly amazing. The voice cast was phenomenal. The art style was beautiful. The game play was fun. I knew nothing about Hades until all my friends started playing it and I am so freaking glad I went out on a limb and bought it.
  3. Stardew Valley by ConcernedApe– Technically this game didn’t come out in 2020, however it had a pretty big update so I’m including it. The update got be back into the game and it’s currently replaced Animal Crossing in my obsessive playing.
  4. No Man’s Sky by Hello Games– Another game that didn’t technically come out in 2020, but it had several updates. It’s crazy to think back to when this game first released and compare it to now. They’ve added so much. It’s one of those games that I love to go back to again and again.
  5. My Time at Portia by Pathea – Yeah, yeah, I know it didn’t come out in 2020 either. I filled my time before Animal Crossing came out playing it though.
  6. The Sims 4 by EA Games – The Sims 4 had two Expansion Packs that came out this year. I wasn’t a fan of Eco Lifestyle and haven’t played Snowy Escape yet. However, I needed another game for the list and it’s one I played a fair amount of earlier in the year.
  7. Two Point Hospital by Two Point Studios – I mean, there was DLC released this year so…I’m including it.
  8. Civilization VI by Firaxis – Just deal with it.

Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time – Christmas Special

Doctor Who Twice Upon a Time Christmas Special

Network:

BBC

Director:

Rachel Talalay

Starring:

Peter Capaldi

David Bradley

Pearl Mackie

Plot:

The Twelfth Doctor, still refusing to change, goes on a last adventure with the First Doctor.

Review:

The Doctor meets up with his original self in this Christmas special in a story that honestly didn’t need to be. The first Doctor, David Bradley, apparently didn’t want to change either, which goes against what we’ve always known, but whatever. The twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, is thinking about refusing to regenerate because he’s old and tired and people aren’t watching him as much as when David Tennant was the Doctor. Instead they stumble across each other and fuck up some time shit and they decide they should move on with their lives and regenerate.

It was awkward seeing the first Doctor because he was very much a product of the times he was created in, which goes against what you think the Doctor should be. The Twelfth Doctor was embarrassed by him and his old school sensibilities, which could have been amusing, but since they were all gender stereotypes which the Doctor really never should have had, it was just awkward.

Bill, Pearl Mackie, and Clara, Jenna Coleman, showed up as well because the companions are always there at the end, but since I greatly dislike Clara and Bill never grew on me it didn’t really mean much.

I feel like Peter Capaldi never got to shine as the Doctor. He is a good actor, but the storylines were just never there. I am so happy that Moffat is no longer going to be the lead and I hope we can return to the stories that made the Tennant years so wonderful. Even the first Matt Smith year was good, but these last few years have almost turned me off Who completely.

3/5

Doctor Who Series Nine Episodes One – Four – BBC Saturday 9 EST

Doctor Who Series Nine Episodes One – Four – BBC Saturday 9 EST

Network:

BBC

Starring:

Peter Capaldi

Jenna Coleman

Thoughts:

I’ve watched Doctor Who since 2008 when I discovered it on Netflix and proceeded to watch the first four series over and over again. I loved David Tennant and introduced so many friends and family to the show because of that love. When Matt Smith showed up I was wary but ended up adoring him and the Ponds.

Around series seven things started to change and the show didn’t make me as excited. Even the Ponds weren’t doing it for me anymore. I still cried when they left, but it was almost because I was expected to. I continued to watch the show but I stopped watching it live, I stopped watching it on Saturdays, I pretty much had to force myself to do it.

The fiftieth anniversary special felt like a return to what I loved and I was excited again, but then it was back to more of the same. The Doctor changed and I hoped that we would get things back to what I loved, but nope.

It would be easy to blame Clara, Jenna Coleman, but I really don’t think it’s her fault. I also don’t think I’ve somehow changed fundamentally in the TV I like. I’ve decided to put the blame on Moffat, which is crazy because he’s given me some amazing episodes, but I can’t think of any other culprits.

I’d love to point to what changed but I loved Doctor Who so much that my brain basically melted any time I tried to come up with why. Now that I don’t like it I can’t really point to a reason.

It still has the cheesy Sci-Fi, the Doctor still saves the day, but something has changed. The risks don’t seem as high and Clara doesn’t seem as human as the other companions, but I’m not sure why. Missy, Michelle Gomez, is fine and I enjoyed Pink, Samuel Anderson, but they aren’t enough to make my old love return.

I watch every week with a hope that things will get back to what I loved, but each week it gets more difficult. I intended these weekly posts to be about my favorite episodes of the week, but I couldn’t ignore what’s going on with Doctor Who and I wanted to know if I was the only one that feltthe same. I know that the people I introduced to Doctor Who feel the same, but maybe they do because I do?

What does everyone else think?