Along with films, I watched a fair bit of television shows, and these were the highlights of the year for me, in no particular order..
Ken Burn’s The Civil War
Thanks to Mark for recommending Ken Burn’s documentaries, because even though they are long, they are so detailed and provide so many fascinating personal stories. I can re-watch them, over and over again and learn new bits of knowledge that I can use in my teaching. They are so good, even my wife took an interest in them! Anyway this one focuses on The American Civil War, and looks at both sides to this conflict. You will walk into these having no interest in the subject, but still be enthralled. Highly recommended!
Ken Burn’s and Lynn Novick The Vietnam War
This time Ken Burns with Lynn Novick look at The Vietnam War; The war that still effects America and the world today. Once again an excellent documentary.
Ken Burns The West
Another epic Ken Burns documentary-2020 was the year of Ken Burns. However I love the Wild West, I always want to teach it, and this series provided so much extra knowledge, that once again it comes highly recommended. I am a big advocate of books, however watching one of these documenaries is the equivalent of reading a book. This one is about The Wild West, and is utterly brilliant.
Star Wars Rebels-Season 4
The final season of Rebels was another doozy. When Rebels first started, I wasn’t sure that it was that good, however now it is one of my favourite Star Wars shows. The development of the characters has lead to a lot depth. The links into other aspects of the Star Wars universe has been done intelligently rather than shoved in. However the cherry on top has been the introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of my favourite Star wars antagonists from the Heir to The Empire books. He has been changed, to fit in with the new canon, but it still is the same Thrawn who out strategizes his opponents. In addition if you love The Mandalorian, then watching Rebels will fill in some holes.
The Mind of Asron Hernandez
I love the NFL and the New England Patriots, and when Hernandez was arrested for murder, I was shocked. This is his tale, and the documentary tries to answer the question of “Why would a NFL player who signed a $40 million contract do these things?” There are many twists and turns, and I was gripped throughout.
Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 7
The Clone Wars grew into a brilliant show over the years, and Disney allowed it to end in a fitting way. This season was set before and during Revenge of the Sith, and features Order 66 and some of the ramifications of that. It focuses on Ahsoka Tano, and her life post Jedi. Once again highly recommended to all fans
Star Trek Picard Season 1
I came to this series not knowing what to expect. I liked The Next Generation, and Picard was a great character, but I wondered what direction would the creators take with him. I didn’t need to worry because despite some episodes being a little slow, this was enjoyable. It managed to mix in a new crew, challenges with nostalgia from the past. Whilst the ending was a little disappointing the journey was enjoyable.
Cobra Kai Season 2
The breakout series was such a surprise when the first season came out on YouTube, where it built a small following, but now on Netflix, everybody should see it. It follows the characters of the Karate Kid, and where their lives have lead in the intervening years. The show focuses on Johnny Lawrence, his attempts to turn his life around, and restore the reputation of The Cobra Kai Dojo. This season features the return of John Kreese, Cobra Kai Sensei from the first film, and his machinations that effect Johnny and his students. The season is funny, heartfelt and nostalgic, ending with a huge battle and a cling hanger ending.
The Mandalorian Season 1
I watched this and was instantly hooked. I love Star Wars, and this was Star Wars done in a unique way, but with the essence of Star Wars. Essentially this Star Wars Wild West, with many influences taken from classic films of that genre. There was action, adventure, humour and morality. This appeals to the nostalgic views of the originals, but answers some of the questions, whilst raising more post Return of the Jedi. This was my favourite fictional show of the year.
I spotted this whilst flicking through Netflix and on a whim, I started watching it. I’m glad I did, because this is a fun series reminiscent of The Last Kingdom. The focus is on 3 friends who find themselves on opposite sides, during the Roman occupation of Germania, and the oppression that occurs. Barbarians follows these events of 9 A.D that will eventually lead to The Battle of Teutoburg Forest. A gripping series, that will have a Season 2.