Film, TV & Other Media Recs: Best of 2020

Since we added a section about movies, shows and other media to our monthly wrap-ups, we of course also had to let you guys know which of the titles we loved most.

And if you paid attention to said wrap-ups, you probably noticed that Charlotte doesn’t watch as much stuff as I do (Charlotte is definitely the Reader part of this blogging duo). That’s the reason why my section is longer than Charlotte’s. And why The Half of It, And Then We Danced, and Schitt’s Creek are not among my choices – I loved them too, a lot, but it was either let Charlotte pick them or agree to this post being just five titles for each of us.

Anyway, below are 25 great stories we have watched (or listened to) in 2020. Enjoy!

inbtwn
ANNA
Brokeback Mountain (2005) dir. Ang Lee

Rep: gay mcs
TW:
homophobia, homophobic violence

Yes, I have only watched this movie for the first time in my life in 2020, wine drunk. No, I somehow didn’t know how it ends before watching. Yes, I reread Crush immediately after I finished. No, I don’t wanna talk about any of this.

Monsoon (2019) dir. Hong Khaou

Rep: Vietnamese gay mc, Black gay li

It’s one of those quiet movies, where if you wanna describe the plot, you realise not much actually happens. But when you want to talk about the feelings, it’s the most eventful movie of the decade. I also very much appreciate that while very important, the mc being gay isn’t the focal point of the movie – rather, him being Vietnamese, but not brought up in Vietnam.

Imagine Me & You (2005) dir. Ol Parker

Rep: lesbian mc, sapphic mc

I guess you could say that 2020 was the year of watching gay classics for me, yeah. And frankly, love that for me! And love this movie. Truly a perfect romcom. How could you possibly ask for more! I only ask for more movies like this one…

Unpregnant (2020) dir. Rachel Goldenberg

Rep: lesbian mc, lesbian side character

Listen, if you liked Booksmart, you have to watch this movie! The vibes seem so similar, it’s like those two movies are from the same universum. It’s unreal, in all the best ways. And just like with Booksmart, it’s so clearly a movie for, by & about women!

Summerland (2020) dir. Jessica Swale

Rep: sapphic mc, Black sapphic li

With my love for period dramas, it was only a matter of time before I watched this movie. And yeah, maybe the plot isn’t surprising or anything, maybe it’s exactly what you’re expecting, but frankly? It somehow still feels groundbreaking, just because it’s about sapphics. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

Liz and the Blue Bird (2018) dir. Naoko Yamada

Rep: Japanese cast, sapphic mcs

This one took me a little bit by surprise, I’m not gonna lie. It has that fairy tale feeling to it, not only because the characters read a fairy tale and it’s part of the story, but also because it’s magical in a way, whimsical, otherworldly. A lot of it comes down to close ups, to telling the story with hand gestures and pining glances, I think. It’s beautiful.

Dating Amber (2020) dir. David Freyne

Rep: lesbian mc, gay mc, lesbian character, gay characters

You can just tell it was created by a gay person! All this love shining from every scene, all the attention paid to the right moments! I especially appreciate the fact that we have a gay mc and a lesbian mc, and they both approach their gayness in different ways, find different path to be comfortable with it. Also it’s hilarious.

Los Fuertes (2019) dir. Omar Zúñiga

Rep: Chilean cast, gay mcs

I was trying to get Charlotte to watch this one by showing her the dancing together in the kitchen in the morning scene. Maybe someday I will succeed. It’s just one of those movies that will make you ache but also feel loved, feel like someone is giving you a warm hug.

Vita & Virginia (2018) dir. Chanya Button

Rep: sapphic mc, bi mc, mlm side characters, sapphic side characters

The scenes where they read letters they wrote to each other? Just for those, it’s a must seen! But there’s also the way this movie depicts Virginia’s mental health, the way they do justice to all those people, frankly. It’s a bit overwhelming, but so strangely beautiful.

Dashing in December (2020) dir. Jake Helgren

Rep: gay mc, gay Colombian-American mc

This was actually the last movie I watched last year, and oh boy, what a good choice! Yes, it’s a Christmas romcom about gay cowboys. Oh, you’re not sold yet? There’s the initial hate to love situation, country dancing, riding horse in the starlight… Honestly, a little gay dream come true.

The Thing About Harry (2020) dir. Peter Paige

Rep: gay mc, poc bi li, gay side characters

Hate to love romcom that’s also a second chance romance. There’s so much to love about this movie! It’s like someone took a look at all our favourite fics and went, yeah I can work with that. It’s so utterly, utterly cute! Also that ending… Jesus. Tooth rotting fluff, which is exactly what we deserve!

Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas (2019) dir. Theresa Bennett

Rep: Asian-American lesbian character, Black lesbian character

I watched uhh… seven Christmas movies this past December, so it’s only logical that more than one found its way on this post. You know that movie, Last Christmas? No spoilers, but it’s kind of like that only so! much! better! Plus, there are lesbians, and lesbians make everything better.

Gentleman Jack (S1) cr. Sally Wainwright

Rep: lesbian mcs

Yeah, this was a rewatch for me, because sometimes you just really have to enjoy some dramatic lesbians go through some problems that don’t even stem from them being lesbians. And sometimes, you need those lesbians to wear fancy period dresses. All jokes aside, though, it really might be one of my all time favourite pieces of lesbian media.

Betty (S1) cr. Crystal Moselle

Rep: Black sapphic mc, lesbian mc, lesbian characters
TW:
sexual assault

So this is based on a movie by the same lady, and it’s just so much fun! It’s basically about a bunch of young girls who skateboard, and how they form friendships with each other, and grow. It feels so lowkey, just like hanging out with your best friend. It’s honestly so lovely!

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (S3-S5) cr. Noelle Stevenson

Rep: lesbian mc & li, lesbian characters, Black gay characters, nonbinary character

I mean, who doesn’t love She-Ra, am I right? I basically binged three seasons somewhen after the first wave of covid truly hit my country. As someone who was weirdly obsessed with He-Man as a kid, I really can’t explain the joy of watching this, and of this being so casually gay!

inbtwn
CHARLOTTE
The Half of It (2020) dir. Alice Wu

Rep: Chinese-American lesbian mc, Latina sapphic character

This is one (and the one below, really) I fought with Anna over who got to include it, to be perfectly honest. Both of us adored this film. I remember waking up on the day this released and not even stopping to have breakfast before starting it.

And Then We Danced (2019) dir. Levan AkiN

Rep: Georgian gay mc, gay li

There is a scene in this film, where the main character dances for his love interest, to Robyn’s Honey, and that is the scene which got me watching it. That is the scene I go back to over and over because there’s just something about it. There are a lot of scenes in this involving some form of intimacy, but I think this one hits the most.

For Nonna Anna (2017) dir. Luis de Filippis

Rep: trans mc

This is actually a short film that you can watch for free on vimeo and it’s 13 minutes that will absolutely slay you. There’s not a whole lot of speech, but it manages to transmit exactly the emotions it aims to without. Trust me when I say this is one you want to watch.

Les de l’hoquei (s1) cr. Núria Parera

Rep: lesbian mc, bi mcs
TW:
abortion, miscarriage, stalking

This is a Catalan series, the first series of which is on Netflix (although the second is not yet and I still haven’t found a working and free vpn to watch it through the channel’s site). It’s about a women’s roller hockey team who are told that they will be shut down if they don’t get promoted this season. I went in expecting just a sports show, no real expectations of sapphic rep, and instead what I got is probably my favourite series of this whole year.

Space Force (s1) cr. Steve Carell & Greg Daniels

Rep: gay mc, bi/questioning side character

I watched this with my mum when looking for something to binge together on Netflix and it is just so much fun. It fit our sense of humour perfectly and I can’t wait to watch series two (whenever that may be…soon I hope).

Kontrola (s1) cr. Natasza Parzymies

Rep: lesbian mc, bi mc

This is a series you can watch all of on youtube in under an hour. It’s a second chance romance that flips back and forth between the past and present day. And, if you start it now, you’re just in time for the second series this year!

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts (s1) cr. Radford Sechrist & Bill Wolkoff

Rep: Black gay mc

Sometimes all you need is an extremely bingeable kids’ show and you’re set. Well, if you’re looking for exactly that, this will fulfil your needs. It’s bighearted and full of love and I have to admit to tearing up hearing a cartoon character on a children’s show say the word gay.

Cuffs (s1) cr. Julie Gearey

Rep: gay mc, lesbian mc
TW: suicide, racism, violence

This was technically a rewatch, but Cuffs is one of my favourite shows so it’s gonna count. I am, sadly, a sucker for police shows (although they remain awful in real life) and Cuffs is like… a comedy but then what do you know, you’re crying! So, the best kind of show.

Schitt’s Creek (s6) cr. Dan Levy & Eugene Levy

Rep: pan mc, gay mc, Black lesbian side character

Schitt’s Creek started out as a show that made me burst into giggles at inopportune moments. As the series progressed, it became a little less so, until series 6. There’s so much to love about the show as a whole too — it’s full of love and compassion and redemption — and all of that is encapsulated by this series.

King Falls AM cr. Kyle Brown & Eric Kimelton

Rep: gay mc with depression, wlw, bi & gay side characters

This is where the “other media” aspect of this post comes in. There’s nothing quite like a podcast that you start, thinking it’s all fun and games, and then you’re sobbing your eyes out at one in the morning after a certain episode. Good times.

inbtwn

Are any of these on your top of the year? What others made your list?

4 Replies to “Film, TV & Other Media Recs: Best of 2020”

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