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While none of us could have anticipated the effects that the advent of COVID–19 would have on our society, the hardships and grief of life under lockdown have certainly been felt by all of us. Separated from our loved ones and facing a future full of uncertainty, quarantine has pushed us to find new ways to cope with our so–called "new normal."
To say the least, 2020 has been a weird year. In light of the social distancing required to remain safe during these times, we've had more time than ever to consume media voraciously. Although watching TV oftentimes felt like a painful reminder of the life we left behind, it also serves as a welcome distraction from the havoc of the real world. Without further ado, we present to you our favorite shows and movies to escape into this year.
As 2020 comes to a close, it’s time for some reflection. And trust me, we’ve got a lot to unpack here.
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It's been a tough year. Thankfully, music exists.
Street Eats: Embracing Homemade Meals in Quarantine
Summer means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some of us, it means relaxation: a chance to live without having to check our planners for when the next problem set is due. For others, it's a time of freedom: we can perform research in the fields we're interested in or intern at the companies we want to work for. It's also a time for personal growth: a time for self–improvement and introspection, when we finally have time to focus on ourselves, our relationships, and our world.
Chad Vigil (C’20) is going to be a doctor. He’s graduating from Penn with a degree in neuroscience and a minor in chemistry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a medical professional quite yet.
In the event of nostalgia–related emergency, press play.
Free Food Aficionado: “Quarantine is my purge from having pizza literally every single night for years.”
Potential Apocalypse Victim: “My parents aren’t doomsday preppers, they’re more like doomsday expecters. They expect doomsday but don’t prepare for it.”
Stressed Zoomer: “I allocate at least 20 minutes each day just for existential angst.”
With the closing of gyms, restaurants, and every other activity in places around the world, walks are basically all we have these days. Whether you crave the comfort of a voice that isn’t shouting at you from six feet away, or you want to learn about something that isn’t COVID-19, here are the podcasts that Street editors recommend to keep you company on your strolls around the block (or just to the kitchen).
As far as motivational mottos go, “We need TV now more than ever” is pretty bleak. But it’s true. We’re social distancing, we’re self–isolating, and we’re working from home. That leaves us with a lot of free time to do whatever, as casual as that sounds. Sure, you can read, or pick up a new hobby, or try to exercise, but we all know what you really want to do is watch Netflix. So, if self–improvement isn’t your thing, here are some ways you can kill time while locked inside. Just don’t watch Contagion.
Right now, many of us are championing WFH, or work from home status. Some of us now have the luxury of extra downtime, which means, now more than ever, it’s easier to crack open a book and start on that New Year’s reading resolution we have been putting off. A good book can allow us to escape and ward off the climate of anxiety we are currently facing. Movies like Contagion and World War Z are good if you like confronting doom headfirst, but nothing can transport you to another world, sans travel bans and toilet paper shortages, like the dog–eared page of a new novel.
Art History Student With A Bad Boy Fetish: "Satan looks hot here."
Seasonally Observant Professor: “I always know when it's springtime because undergraduates start making out on College Green."
Essay contest winner: Love, Toolbox Child
Another year, another semester of putting off assignments with Netflix. And if there's a cause Film & TV can get behind, it's procrastination. Check out what we watched this past month, covering everything from an Oscar–nominated drama to an absurdist cop procedural.
This decade's output of television—the good, the bad, and the ugly—was staggering. At times, it was hard to keep up. But we tried our best. To qualify, a show had to air not entirely but mostly in this decade, and to have made a cultural impact on the 2010s. Below is Street's list of our favorite television shows from this decade, listed in the order in which they aired.