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    23 TV Shows And Films That Actually Got Through To People In The Dumpster Fire That Was 2020

    These parts of 2020 might be worth revisiting.

    Well, we did it, folks — 2020 is finally over. We made it.

    New Line Cinema

    Thank goodness it's over.

    It's definitely tempting to write the year off completely — but there were a lot of important things we learned and discovered last year. Among those (or helping us in our journeys) were TV and movies!


    Which, of course, we watched a lot of during the pandemic.

    To this end, we asked the BuzzFeed Community what TV show or movie they watched last year that truly impacted them and got through to them in such a difficult time. Here are some of the best!

    Warning: mild spoilers ahead! Also, not everything is actually FROM 2020 — it just has to have been watched in 2020.

    1. Hamilton gave people hope.

    Hamilton, John Laurens, Lafayette, and Hercules Mulligan singing "Tomorrow there'll be more of us" while drinking in the pub during "The Story of Tonight"

    "Specifically, the line, 'Tomorrow they’ll be more of us.' Last year was so depressing and disheartening. When I see all this shit happening and so many hateful people, I think about that line. Tomorrow, there will be more good people. More thoughtful people. More people who care. More people who want to make a better world. I’m a teacher, so I know tomorrow there will be more of us."


    2. Just Mercy showed us how we can overcome adversity while also reminding us how racist and unjust the criminal justice system is.

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    "Just Mercy really resonated with me because of the Black Lives Matter movement and also my overall disgust with racism. A Black man was wrongfully convicted and spent decades in prison. When he was finally released, he started an 'Innocent Project'–like organization."


    3. Black Is King celebrated Blackness at a time when it was especially needed.


    "Everything about it was just so beautiful, from the locations to costuming to the music. It was truly a celebration of Black culture and people; especially with everything going on in the US these days, it was a powerful reminder for me as a Black person to take pride in my identity."


    4. Fleabag reflected a lot of our struggles with identity and love.

    BBC Three

    "It showed an imperfect woman struggling and trying to thrive while dealing with trauma. I saw myself a lot in Fleabag and I'm so grateful I listened to my coworker who said to watch it."


    5. As did Normal People.


    "Beautiful acting and story. It sent me on an emotional ride and tells so well the hardships of first love. It broke me in the best way."


    "Normal People...[it's about] trying to understand who you are and not just who you are through other people’s eyes."


    6. Wonder Woman 1984 helped people say goodbye.

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    "I lost my best friend at the beginning of last year and I've been grieving. ... My best friend and I...loved the first film, and they were so excited about the sequel. I watched it and seeing how it plays out with Steven Trevor...was the goodbye I needed [and] the goodbye I didn't have. ... The way they dealt with the grief in that film helped me a lot."


    7. The Assistant helped us gain a new viewpoint on toxic work environments.

    Jane typing on her computer while on the phone
    Bleecker Street Media / courtesy Everett Collection

    "I was terminated from a really toxic work environment back in April. The film reminded me SO MUCH of my former job, since I also worked as an assistant for a well-known entertainment company. As rough as it was losing my job, the film made me so sad and reminded me that at the end of the day, I’m on a better path to a healthier work environment."


    8. BoJack Horseman helped us deal with trauma.


    "I tried to watch it in the past, but I couldn’t get into it. This time, I decided to watch it all the way through and it was amazing. The storylines are so dark and deal with real trauma. Then they balance it out with silly stuff so it’s not too emotionally draining. The more you watch, the better it gets. And some of the songs are really haunting."


    9. Little Women celebrated women and made them feel understood.

    Sony Pictures Releasing

    "I know the movie Little Women was released on Christmas in 2019, but most of its hype was in the beginning of 2020. I’ve read the book many times, and while the 1994 movie is great, the 2019 version really resonated with me. Jo’s speech about women having minds and souls, as well as hearts — ambition and talent, as well as beauty...and they’re more than just a partner in a relationship, but that she also feels so lonely because of how independent she is...I bawled my eyes out at that part in the movie theater. It hit home so deeply because, as much as I pride myself on being independent and taking care of myself, there are times, especially this past year, when the loneliness has been hard to bare."


    10. We're Here made LGBTQ people feel close to their community in a time where many felt alone.


    "During the pandemic, I felt so far away from the LGBTQ community, as well as the theater community. I'm a performer and a pansexual extrovert; without these outlets, the first few months of the pandemic made me feel lower than I had in many years. I decided to watch We're Here one unemployed day, and it was truly transformative. It made me feel so much joy and hope. I felt a void filled that had been really wearing me down over time. It also reignited my hope in humanity. ... This made me feel safe, and like everything would be alright."


    11. The Good Place made people think about their own morality and want to become better people.

    Eleanor says she's not the savior of the universe, and Michael tells her to keep on trying no matter how many times she fails, because one day things might work

    "The Good Place also gave some very necessary reminders about what humanity should be, especially in a year that snatched so much from us all. It helped me be less fearful of death and made me understand how toxic cancel culture can be and that every person has their own story and their own arc. It really helped me *want* to be a better person every day of my life ever since I saw it for the first time."


    "I have been following the show from its first season. I have always been blown away by how well the characters are fleshed out and the ways in which the writers make us absorb moral and philosophical topics without sounding overbearing or preachy. The way they concluded the show — doing justice to every character's individual and group arcs — gave us food for thought and made us laugh and cry in every weekly dose of 20 minutes...I'll always get goosebumps thinking about how lucky I have been to have seen the show!"


    12. Schitt's Creek helped people feel good in their own skin.

    David standing in front of a rack of suits
    CBC / courtesy Everett Collection

    "David Rose is ALL of my deepest insecurities, history of anxiety, inner musings laid out bare on screen and I was not afraid of it at all. He made me love myself more than I had done so far and helped me feel okay in my own skin."


    13. Soul reminded us what's actually important at the end of the day.

    Joe playing piano
    Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "A very latecomer to the shit-fest that was 2020, but Pixar´s Soul was beyond incredible. One of the most beautiful and touching movies I've ever seen. It managed to tackle such difficult topics with a kind touch and make them suitable for kids and adults, while not skipping on the funny."


    14. The Social Dilemma reminded us to get the hell off our phones.

    a man looking at his phone, with lots of social media pictures popping up
    Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    "Honestly, it opened my eyes about how people make massive decisions based on social media trends they follow. I’ve always jokingly called my fake FBI guy Jerry (mainly when things pop up on my feed that I was verbally talking about), but The Social Dilemma kind of brings 'Jerry' to life. I highly recommend everyone watch it."


    15. Pose told stories of trans women and queer Black men that are often underrepresented.


    "A friend and lover of mine died back in June; he was a queer Black man with an incredible passion for dance. I watched Pose for the first time shortly after his death without really knowing what it was about beforehand. The show really helped me process his death and feel connected to him again through the characters and their stories."


    16. The Haunting of Bly Manor provided a beautiful example of an LGBTQ relationship.


    "[It's] the healthiest [lesbian] relationship I’ve ever seen on TV (minus the fact that, spoiler alert, one of them dies). While the show itself absolutely devastated me and continues to stick with me two and a half months on, the depiction of such a happy lesbian couple really helped me come to terms with the internalized homophobia I’ve been struggling with since my teenage years!"


    17. Late Night with Seth Meyers' "A Closer Look" raised money for charity and made us feel loved.


    "Every time Seth Meyers ended his segment 'A Closer Look' during COVID, he would say, 'Stay safe, wash your hands, we love you.' And that, still now, without fail, makes me cry. Seth is constantly raising money for charities during COVID and it was also super cute to watch his kids be 'murder hornets' one time."


    18. The Queen's Gambit celebrated ambitious women AND helped people recognize their maladaptive coping strategies.


    "A brilliant and engaging story, and it also made me aware that my ways of coping with...2020 (overdrinking and sleeping for days at a time) were very unhealthy. It took seeing Beth’s spiral on screen to make me realize how close I was to that point."


    "Everyone doubts her because she is a female. She deals with loss of a loved one. She battles addiction. She is self-made. She is independent. I love this series because she earns her place and respect in a 'man's game.' She never gives up and disciplines herself to get better. She doesn’t care if she fits in or is popular; she only focuses on what she is passionate about. She makes money by doing something she loves."


    19. Parasite gave great insight to both the influence of foreign film and class dynamics in Korea (as well as worldwide).

    Kim Ki-taek and Chung-sook eating at their home
    Neon / courtesy Everett Collection

    "I lived in Korea, made a bunch of Korean friends, learned to speak a bit, and learned how to read and write...I became enamored with Korea, but I also saw the hyper-capitalism and clear classism that brought the country from the third world to the first in a generation, often at the expense of many Koreans' wellbeing. For example, the pressure for be the best academically and the disdain for those children and their parents if they cannot achieve this, meaning their exclusion from the capitalist rat race. Other great Korean films tackle those issues a bit, like Castaway on the Moon, but Parasite went all in on these critiques. Both the Kim and the Park family are parasites in their own ways, and the ending broke my heart. I was enthralled [with] the entire film. It deserved to win Best Picture and I hope this opens the door for more foreign films to be on the American radar."


    20. The Three Deaths of Marisela Escobedo encouraged people to fight for change.

    a missing poster for Ruby Marisol Frayre Escobedo

    "It actually was a documentary and a song...I've watched other shows and movies, but this documentary, The Three Deaths of Marisela's broken me. I live in Mexico, where 10 women are raped and murdered every day. ... The film is about a mother that demands justice after her daughter is murdered by her partner. I'm not going to spoil it, but it had me in tears. The fact that, although it was no surprise, my country and its disgusting and corrupt system preferred to murder Marisela for demanding justice makes me want to get out of here. The song, 'Vivir Sin Miedo,' was brilliant. It's a message to everyone. We will not be silenced; we beg for peace and justice. It all hit me on such a personal level and I'm glad they aired it. Staying silent is what you do when you want things to stay the way they are, and that's the exact opposite of what the women in my country are trying to do."


    21. The Wilds helped us deal with loss, struggle, and abandonment at a time when we were all trying to keep it together.


    "It was such a raw and unbridled show. It felt real and I connected a little bit with almost every character. While it dealt with some pretty rough topics, I never felt like it was pandering or trying to get social points; it just was."


    "It was an amazing show with such a dark and deep message. One of them, Nora, really resonated with me because she was doing everything for her sister without being appreciated whilst she was struggling with her own loss, I felt her pain and struggle and it made me cry."


    22. Throwback series like Scrubs gave people hope things would get better, and reminded us to look to those around us.


    "I watched Scrubs for the first time last year. I work in a nursing home, so I figured...[it] would be a good time to watch it (not to mention the fact that my uniform changed to scrubs). This show made me laugh on days I wanted to cry (it hit home in Season 1 when Dr. Cox explained why healthcare workers have a dark sense of humor) and gave me hope that things will get better. And if not, I would have the best people beside me while we work together to make a difference. In a year when everything fell apart, this show helped me stay together."


    23. And finally, What We Do in the Shadows made us laugh.


    "The first time I watched What We Do in the Shadows, I walked into my mom's house during the werewolf episode. When Nandor picked up the squeaky toy and tossed it off the roof for the wolf to chase and jump off the building, I hadn't laughed so hard in a very long time. 2020 was...intense, but that scene made me laugh at a time that I really needed it."


    Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.


    Pose tells important stories about queer Black men as well as trans women. An earlier version of this post did not include trans women.