The Things I Loved About 2020.

2020 may very well go down as one of the worst years on record. We’re talking top 10 all time if I had to guess off the top of my head. But I’m trying to pick out some of the good things from this year instead of continuing to focus on the bad.

Below are 10 things I loved about this year. I hope you can find some things you loved about it too. Give it some thought and post your list in the comments.

The Mandalorian!

Now I know that The Mandalorian debuted in 2019, but I didn’t pick up Disney+ until January of 2020. The first thing we watched on the service was some episodes of The Gummi Bears, but the second was The Mandalorian. We binged the whole first season over a Saturday and Sunday, and when season 2 dropped, we watched every episode as they aired.

I’ve always considered myself a casual Star Wars fan. I don’t have to be at the theater on opening night to see a new release, and I don’t really collect anything associated with the brand. But I’m telling you right now, The Mandalorian is one of my favorite shows of the last several years.

To me, it’s a great western. There are certainly plenty of Star Wars references of course, but it just feels like a western to me. And that’s a good thing. I’ll take a heavy dose of Star Wars lore in my wild west feeling show.

Masters of the Universe!

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe are back on toy shelves once again! I know the line has lingered in various forms for several years now, but my fire for toys died down about 15 years ago, so I skipped all the recent re-incarnations of the brand.

But this year, my fire became re-kindled, and I decided to ease my way back into toys a little. I started with the Megaconstrux MOTU figures. Even with their small size, they are highly articulated, and I was impressed with the incredible amount of detail for such small figures. That was enough to get my fire raging, so I told the wife I would like to find some of the Origin figures under the tree for Christmas.

She didn’t disappoint, and I came out of Christmas morning with four figures from wave 1. Now I’ve got my eyes wide open looking for wave 2 figures.

MOTU was always my second favorite toy line growing up, and I’m super excited to be back in the world of Eternia once more. It’s like it’s 1984 all over again for me!

Marvel Unlmited!

This is a very recent addition for me, but just last week I signed up for one year of Marvel Unlimited. It’s like a streaming service for Marvel comic books, and they boast over 28,000 titles on the service.

At first, I was really excited to read some of the newer series on the market, but then another idea overtook me. I’ll start at the beginning. I mean at the beginning of the Marvel Age…all the way back to the sixties!

That’s right, I’ve started from the beginning and am going to work my way to the present. I started with Fantastic Four, had some Ant-Man, Thor, Sub-Mariner, Incredible Hulk, and others thrown in for good measure, and before long I’ll be on to the X-Men and The Avengers. It’s going to be a long journey, but it will be a fun one. It seems to be the perfect thing for me to stay occupied with during these trying times.

Host

I’m not an overly huge fan of horror movies. I guess I’m just really picky about the ones I watch and like. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of my all-time favorite movies, but stuff like Nightmare on Elm Street just doesn’t do it for me.

But I started seeing all the buzz around Host, and how the whole thing was filmed on Zoom. That concept got me interested, so I signed up for a free trial of Shudder just so I could check it out. Holy shit was that a wise move!

I know the movie industry has been pretty shaken up this year and not a lot of new movies came out and that may affect what I’m about to say, but Host was my favorite movie of 2020!

I was blown away by the story, and how they created tension throughout the whole thing. And then knowing that it was all filmed on Zoom just made me appreciate it even more. Kudos to everyone involved with this.

And hey, if you’ve not tried the Shudder streaming service, you should give it a look. There’s a lot of pretty cool stuff on there.

The Retro Network

If you’ve not been over to The Retro Network and checked things out before, you need to remedy that as soon as possible! It’s THE hub for all things retro and nostalgic!

Jason from Rediscover the ’80s and I launched the network almost two years ago as a place for creators to gather and do their thing. In that time, we’ve added numerous folks who do awesome written features, have 8 different podcasts on our podcast channel, and even have original video content on our YouTube channel.

The best part is the VIP Lounge channel on Slack where everyone in the network chats about all things. A lot of retro, but just life in general. They’re a great support system and I’ve made a lot of new friends over the last year. Give us a look over there.

And of course you guys and Retro Ramblings!

Retro Ramblings suffered a terrible fate early in the year, as the entire site crashed and I lost everything I had ever posted on here. That, coupled with the fact that ever since the network launched, I hadn’t spent much time here made this a very dull place.

But in the last two months, I’ve been spending a lot of time at my folks helping my Dad take care of Mom. One of the things I’ve found is how therapeutic it is to write about all this old stuff. But they don’t have internet there, so I thought it was a no go. Then I just start writing on a Word app and then copying and pasting when I got home. Being there with them has brought even more old memories out, and I spend a lot of time just typing away while I watch Mom sleep. It’s a bad situation, but I’m finding some good in it all. She inspires me greatly, as so many of my nostalgic memories are because of her.

And you guys. Through all the ups and downs, Retro Ramblings has retained a great readership, and for that I thank you. It’s nice to know that there are people out there who miss all this old stuff as much as I do! And your loyalty is going to be rewarded, as I’ve written a ton of stuff over the last two months that I just have to get posted. You should be seeing a lot on here over the next while!

So there’s some things I’ve loved about this really bad year. I hope you can find a few things about it that you enjoyed as well. If you do, drop them in the comments. I wanna hear what made your year just a little brighter!

Mickey Yarber

Mickey was born in the '70s, grew up in the '80s, and came of age in the '90s. He is the co-founder of TheRetroNetwork.com, and the host here at Retro Ramblings, a blog filled with nostalgia. When not here, he's out fighting for truth, justice, and the American way.

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