Well, it’s almost over, ain’t it? 2020 was likely a difficult year for everyone reading this. Whether that’s emotionally, physically, or whatever else. My time here at That Hashtag Show has shifted drastically over the year. That’s one of the good things I can pick out from this hellscape of a year. But it wasn’t all bad. If you remember back to the days of January, when COVID-19 was just a mysterious ailment on the backpages of News Sites and not a global pandemic, there were still some great stories. We had the Royal Rumble from WWE, there were plenty of great news stories. We were regailed by tales of The Mandalorian season two filming, Star Wars: Clone Wars season seven being released soon, and much more.

I wrote a lot this year, most of it was “breaking news” or pieces about upcoming releases. But there were twenty or so articles that I wrote, that stood out for me. Some of these might be cheating, or they’re part of a greater series like THS Fright-A-Thon or Judas Priest-A-Thon. Both of those were practically month long series where I wrote a story a day, about horror, or an in-depth review of Judas Priest’s entire discography. Some articles from those show up, but also some one-offs that I feel like are some of my best work. If you can’t tell, this is going to be comprised of only articles that I wrote. You can read all of the excellent work from my esteemed colleagues on the front page.

Without further ado, and this is in chronologic order, I have no idea how I would actually rank these, my Top 20 articles of 2020.

20. Loki Gives Us The Answer About D.B. Cooper

If you all saw the Loki trailer, this might have been a detail that went over your head. It definitely went over mine the first ten times I watched it. Being a fan of Unsolved Mysteries, this might be one of the best in American history. Now it looks like Loki and the TVA are going to be using time-travel to fix up history in the new Disney+ show. It’s a great start for what looks to be the most wild of the Disney+ Marvel shows.

Link: https://www.thathashtagshow.com/2020/12/12/loki-gives-us-the-answer-about-d-b-cooper-in-disney-show/

19. If You Don’t Think Die Hard Is A Christmas Movie Then F**K You

I mean, the title speaks for itself. If you don’t think Die Hard is a Christmas movie, what the hell is wrong with you?

18. Why WandaVision Might Be The Most Important Disney+ Series Yet

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved.

WandaVision, is likely the tentpole for the entire fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What we’re seeing is Marvel branching out into the cosmic realm, but also other universes. The entire plot of WandaVision looks like it’s going to set off events that affect the rest of our favorite Marvel characters like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, so we’ll have to see when it releases in January.

17. THS Fright-A-Thon: Beyond Belief: Fact Or Fiction Appreciation Day

Out of all the articles I did for THS Fright-A-Thon, this is the one that I’m most proud of. I love horror, I love Jonathan Frakes, and I love cheesy anthology TV. So Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction puts all of that together. Combined with my attempt at a Frakes opening and closing for the show, this one was what showed off the feeling and meaning of Fright-A-Thon the most for me. It was just about getting people into and letting them know more about horror. I think it did that job.

16. The Next-Generation Pre-Order Process Was Terrible And Needs To Go

Raise your hand if the pre-order process for getting a next-gen console was a goddamn nightmare. Okay, that’s all of you, great. In 2020, there were stories of shortages, Xbox Series X’es overheating and smoking (debunked as idiots blowing smoke up their Xbox’es asses, basically), and more. This pre-order process was therefore, unlike any other before it. You couldn’t simply just waltz into your local GameStop and plop down the cash for the machine. No. You had to navigate online queues surrounded by bots and other damned souls who wanted to get the same thing as you. That sweet, sweet, next-gen console.

Some people are still waiting…

15. Dream Setlist: Iron Maiden Goes From Somewhere In Time To Fear Of The Dark

The Dream Setlist series was one of my favorite ideas of 2020. You think of your favorite bands and you make a setlist that you would love for them to play. Or you imagine what their farewell setlist would look like (more on this later). For this one, I chose a specific time period of Iron Maiden that has been a little left out. We’ve had two “throwback” tours in the Somewhere Back In Time and Maiden England tour, but those didn’t really flesh out the Somewhere In Time, No Prayer For The Dying, or Fear Of The Dark albums.

So I pick a setlist that was almost entirely comprised of songs from that era. It wouldn’t be one that Iron Maiden would play in a million years, but it’s an interesting thought experiment.

14. Reconsidering The Sega Saturn

2020 was the year of retro games. Go take a look at PriceCharting or GameValueNow, those old games you have are likely worth something. That doesn’t mean that you should go gouging people for your common Nintendo games though. I found out about the wonder and majesty of the Sega Saturn in 2020. I bought one for myself in June for my birthday, and it went off from there. The console is an enigma of it’s time. It was more powerful in most areas than it’s competition, but it was hard to develop for, so the power went to waste.

This article was a defense of the Saturn and a call for more.

13. WWE: Taking The Title Off Sasha Banks Before The Mandalorian Is Idiotic

Sasha Banks (or Mercedes Varnado) was a breakout star of The Mandalorian‘s second season. Her role when this article was written was shrouded in mystery, but now we know her as the Mandalorian that gave Boba Fett a Tornado DDT. For that, we thank her. But also, WWE could have bungled her newfound popularity, big time. Thankfully, they didn’t and Sasha is still our Smackdown Women’s Champion.

12. WWE: Please Get Samoa Joe In The Ring Against Seth Rollins

The doldrums of the Summer are a hard time for WWE. Their peak interest is always January-April (Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania). So the summertime is always a lull for them. They could have capitalized on the heat of one moment during a Monday Night RAW in August. Seth Rollins was in the middle of his feud with what seemed to be the entire RAW roster. Samoa Joe was on commentary and sticking up for a commentator who wouldn’t be able to defend himself from Rollins.

The story of the “retired” asskicker coming out to defend someone who can’t or right a wrong, is a classic wrestling trope. Too bad WWE didn’t capitalize on this one, and also too bad it wasn’t in front of fans. Samoa Joe is a superstar who hasn’t had the shake we thought he would in WWE, but there’s always room for him to kick one more ass.

11. The Two DiAnno And Blaze Bayley Dream Setlists For Iron Maiden

These two Dream Setlists were created from the thought of “what if Iron Maiden invited back two of their former singers to share the stage with Bruce Dickinson?”. Turns out, like Helloween, it would probably be pretty awesome. Iron Maiden already recognizes these two eras with multiple songs from DiAnno and Bayley’s tenures in the band hitting setlists. It was a fun experiment that highlights just how awesome the catalog of Iron Maiden really is.

10. Why We Won’t Likely Be Getting A Nintendo 64 Mini

The Mini console market is alive and well. Well, maybe not for the Nintendo consoles that you want. The Nintendo Switch throws a wrench in this whole Nintendo 64 Mini plan. Add in the fact that you won’t get some of the classic games from companies like Rare, and you’d have a machine that would certainly underwhelm. MVG explains it pretty well in the video that’s linked in the article.

9. Judas Priest-A-Thon: What’s Their Best Album?

2019 was about Iron Maiden, 2020 was high time for Judas Priest-A-Thon. Going through eighteen full length albums a day is an arduous task. Somehow it made me love Judas Priest even more though. It takes a full look at a band’s discography to truly find what you love about them. For those fans out there that haven’t given the entire list of Judas Priest albums a full listen, I recommend it. Do it for your favorite band, and you might just find something you forgot about or missed.

8. Top 10 Underrated Movies That Bend Genres

Genre bending movies are the best kind. You get magic when you combine genres like ice cream flavors. Who knew that chocolate and peanut butter go together? Well no one knew before Reeses did it. Just like people might not have known that Vampires and the western genre go together in Near Dark. I’m really proud of this list.

7. Dream Setlist: Judas Priest Busts Out All The Hits For Their 50th Anniversary

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ralph Arvesen/Shutterstock (10266764z) Judas Priest – Richie Faulkner and Rob Halford Judas Priest in concert, Austin, USA – 29 May 2019

This time, instead of getting to see Judas Priest embark on their 50th Anniversary Tour of the US, I had to think about what that setlist might look like. This one is pretty unlikely, but Judas Priest always has surprises for it’s fans on tours like this. I would bet that they end up playing “Reckless” from the Turbo album when they “hopefully” resume touring in October of 2021.

6. Dream Setlist: Iron Maiden’s Farewell Show

This whole series started off with a simple question. What if Iron Maiden did a farewell tour and what would that look like? We have a basis for what it *could* look like from Judas Priest’s Epitaph World Tour. That ended up not being a farewell tour, but Iron Maiden picking a song from each album and making a setlist out of it, was a fantastic thought exercise. My list might look vastly different from another Iron Maiden fan’s list though. I tried to follow the general formula that Iron Maiden has for their concert sets though.

5. The Two Night Wrestlemania Review, Part One, and Two

Well we’re reaching the beginning of the pandemic era. And let me tell you, it was incredibly refreshing and just uplifting to see some live entertainment at at time when everything else was shut down. That might mean that WWE got a bad rap for putting their superstars on the line, but people opted out, like Roman Reigns. That caused plans to change and it might not be the same as having fans. But it was a surreal experience to see this on my screen when it seemed like the whole world was ending. We’ve refined the “pandemic era” of wrestling pretty well so far, but this was just the beginning. And it was a damn good show to boot.

4. Top 10 Feel-Good Movies To Cure The Blues/Top 10 Movies To Forget About The Coronavirus

This was an article that I had to write for myself. In a time of major duress, where the world is falling around about you, you need some sort of soothing apparatus. That just so happens to be movies for me. So when you look at this list, and you think “what the hell is Goodfellas doing on a list of feel-good movies?”. Well it’s not a feel-good movie in that sense of the term, but it makes me feel good to watch it. Death Wish 3 might be a mess, but it’s an entertaining and brain-shutting-off movie to watch. Watching Charles Bronson mow down criminals with a Browning Machine Gun has never felt so good.

Also, just go watch Road House. And be nice.

3. Tango In The Night – Music Rec 3/16

When I go back and think about what the world and I was like in March of 2020, I’m going to think of this album. It was rainy, grey, and looked melancholy in the normally beautiful sunny skies of Southern California. I had to hold my house down alone, with three chihuahuas. I didn’t know what the world was going to bring for the next month or however long. Was COVID-19 the Pandemic like Contagion or something more similar to Swine Flu from 2009. Those are still questions that need answers, but from now on when I hear Tango In The Night by Fleetwood Mac, I’m going to be teleported back to that time.

I listened to this album non-stop for that entire beginning portion of the pandemic and it’ll stay with me forever.

2. Casting The Escape From New York Remake

Now I’m not normally for remaking my favorite movies, especially ones that I consider to be perfect. Just like Escape From New York. But in this case, the movie might be possible to give it that modern take. If they can still update the story for modern times or a modern look, then I’m all for it. It starts with a great cast, however. I’m usually not very good at casting for films, but this one, I knocked out of the goddamn park.

Call me Snake.

1. MTG: GB Stompy In Pioneer Crushes Competition

This isn’t the article I’m most proud of, but it’s one that shaped the early part of my year. I finally achieved my goal in Magic: the Gathering of qualifying for the Pro/Player’s Tour. It was a long time coming and you can see the jubilation (and cockiness), right in this article. To top it off, I did it my way. In a sea of broken combo decks, I took the biggest creatures in the Pioneer format and shoved them up people’s asses. So here’s to 2021 being a better year for Magic: the Gathering.

Wrap-Up To 2020 And Beyond

This year was hard. There’s no way around it. But if you got this far through it, you’re stronger than you were at the beginning of the year. It’s all about “rolling with the punches to get to what’s real” according to Van Halen. That’s something to live by. You gotta make it through the crap to get to the good stuff after all. So through a horrible year mired with death, plague, political issues, and more, these were the stories that I was most proud of going into 2021. I’d like to think you can see a natural progression through the year, but let me know if you do.

Just let Fleetwood Mac take you into 2021.

For more on pop culture, wrestling, video games, movies, television, card games, or anything else you can think of, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.