Buffy, bushfires, and an ode to Quibi — here are our team’s favourite stories from 2020.
For a lot of 2020, it felt like we were talking — and writing — in circles. The news cycle was relentless, and in addition to staying informed we were also desperate for anything that would bring us even a teaspoon of joy.
While I don’t feel the need to recap the major news events that shaped 2020 — because, well, you know what’s been going on — as the year comes to a close, it feels like the perfect time to reflect on some of our favourite published pieces. Together with our beloved contributors, the Junkee team investigated what needs to change in Australia for young people to have the opportunities they very much deserve, revisited the TV shows that granted them comfort and community in their youth, and so much more.
Below, you can find a non-exhaustive list of stories we’re proud to have published in 2020.
“And for the Asian-Australian contestants on the show and for those watching at home, these ingredients were one of the first tastes of real representation and diversity on mainstream TV. For those who grew up bringing “weird” foods to school for lunch and for those who were ashamed by their culture because it was not seen as normal, Melissa Leong’s Mystery Box set the tone for what authentic representation looks like on television in 2020.” –Michelle Rennex
“It was a show that broke barriers in terms of feminism and queer representation. In its time it was as equally loved and hated by critics, bemoaned for its realistic depictions of teens, as much as it was beloved by the youth themselves. Christian parents hated it.”
“First Nations people of this continent have, for years, been trying to gain the attention of the majority. We have been trying to be listened to… but all we get is silence. How can we as a nation condemn the US, when the same acts of racism are happening right here?” –Hayden Moon
“What gives him the right? Who allowed a noble man of medicine to present himself as an Eyes Wide Shut orgy attendee? And why is it absolutely doing it for me?” –Lucy Valentine
“In a show that often delights in bitchiness and shade, it’s rare that a proud political drag queen gets the chance to get her message across. The Vixen brought the fight to Drag Race, but it was the good fight.” –Patrick Lenton
“Yes, I was a student at Toowoomba’s Harristown State High School in 1997. Yes, I am personally familiar with this performance. Yes, I was in backstage crew. Yes, I helped bring this cursed performance to life. Yes, obviously I was a closeted lesbian. And yes, I still have the shirt.” –Rebecca Shaw
“For twenty minutes on Monday, my internet dropped out. Before I fixed it (aka turning the router on and off again and again to no avail before I then turned my computer on and off, solving it), I considered having to in time knock on my neighbour’s door, asking for a cup of WiFi in a time of COVID-19 crisis.” –Jared Richards
“It’s time we did something to prevent more of our young people turning against their community. While the path of how to do that isn’t clear, what we must do at the least is be honest about how this process begins.” –Jim Malo
“This love is not ironic, or contrarian, though I wish it was — that would, at the very least, be a comprehendible position for one to adopt. Instead, I have found myself in the absolutely baffling habit of watching the streaming service pretty much every night, as I’m falling asleep. And enjoying it.” –Joseph Earp
“I have no problem with middle-aged women in pseudo-bohemian garb. I expect that one day I’ll be one. What I do have a rather sizeable problem with is a rich con-man using his considerable platform to take advantage of vulnerable people and spread blatant, often dangerous lies.” –Nadine Von Cohen
“The fact is that, if you rent, you’re either paying off an investor’s loan for them or lining their pockets with profit. As if that wasn’t enough, you’re financing their investment portfolio with your taxes.” –Joshua Badge
“Twelve months ago the focus was on the desperate changes that needed to be made to prevent us falling off one cliff. A year on, we’ve just about clawed our way back up the precipice of another.” –Rachael Conaghan