My 2020 Media Consumption

At the beginning of this year I set out to be more mindful of what and how much information I take in. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a resolution, but it’s become something I try to keep in mind most of the time and it’s been nice to be more thoughtful about what I consume. There are only so many hours in the day and my social media usage and general screen time is usually embarrassingly through the roof. I also wanted to try to figuratively clear space in my head, making room for things that would feed my art in some way.

I’ve hit a couple (or a few) bumps in the road along the way, sometimes being too overwhelmed to watch or read anything. It would be an understatement to say 2020 hasn’t gone the way I thought it would, and when the Covid-19 panics hit and BLM protests picked up it became hard to focus on much besides art again. Now that we’re halfway through this awful year, I think it’s a good time to look back at what I’ve learned or enjoyed so far.

I decided to focus on catching up on Academy Award winning and nominated films, as well as art and music documentaries. This isn’t to say everything on this list has fit into these categories, especially since getting so many recommendations from friends. Eventually, I found I wanted to include podcasts, discussions, and streams to this list. I’ve also made it a goal to read more for pleasure, although not necessarily fiction.

I haven’t absolutely loved everything on this list, but I am glad that I’ve been more intentional about what I’m watching or listening to. I realized after a while that I started to feel guilty if I wasn’t using every minute of the day “productively” and learning all the time, especially all through June. Even as I write this I’m a few minutes away from finishing another podcast episode between three other tasks I’m balancing. I’m trying to fight this a little more and I think The Twilight Zone and ATLA have been helping me do that (even if I sometimes spend over an hour on an episode as I practice character drawing).

My “Things to Watch/Read” list is already lengthy and I’m hoping to join The Cat’s Meow‘s next book club reading, but I’m always interested in finding more. Any recommendations?


Moonlight (2016)

Amy (2015)

Roma (2018)

Minimalism – A Documentary About the Important Things (2015)

To the Bone (2017)

The Theory of Everything (2014)

Frances Ha (2012)

Marriage Story (2019)

Fundamentals of Caring (2016)


Knives Out (2019)

Booksmart (2019)

The Social Network (2010)

The Track with Ryan Swift


Molly’s Game (2017)

Abstract: The Art of Design (2017)

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019)

Ken Burns’ Jazz Ep. 1 and 2 (2001)

Studio 54 (2018)

Coffee For All (2017)

Julie and Julia (2009)

The Original Twilight Zone Season 1 (1959)

The Danish Girl (2015)

Paul Dances’ Global Online Social on Thursday nights


Ken Burns’ Jazz Ep. 3 (2001)

Rhythm Relief: The Swingtacular Show

The Original Twilight Zone Season 1 (1959)


13th (2016)

Lady Bird (2017)

Back to the Future (1985)

The Artist (2011)

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Ken Burns’ Jazz Ep. 4 (2001)

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

The Track with Ryan Swift

When They See Us Parts 1 and 2 (2019)

Paul Dances’ Global Online Social on Thursday nights

The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019)

A Conversation: Blackness in Lindy Hop with Shelby L. Johnson

Books, papers, and noteworthy articles:

As Though I Had Wings – Chet Baker Memoir

5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Black Music, White Business by Frank Kofsky

The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh

Now We Want Our Funk Cut: Janelle Monae’s Neo-Afrofuturism by Daylanne K. English and Alvin Kim (Black History Month Library – Afrofuturism subfolder)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

  1. Taylor

    July 9, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I LOVE THIS LIST! I really loved the Woodstock documentary too and I oddly enough I re-watched Moonlight earlier this year. I’ve been meaning to watch Dallas Buyers Club forever, maybe 2020 will be that year. Thanks for sharing your intentional consumption 🙂

    1. admin

      July 9, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      It was so good wasn’t it!? I also read that one of the couples in one of the clips met on the first day of the weekend, spent the whole time together and are still married today! They had no photos together from the weekend they met until they saw the trailer for the doc. How cute is that? <3 Thank you!!

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