ELLE’s Favorite Movie and TV Rewatches of 2020

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2020 was the year most of our plans were put on pause, including watching high-profile movie releases and bingeing new seasons of Succession or Euphoria. A year of uncertainty lent itself to re-watching that rom-com you can quote from memory for the 16th time, or perhaps starting a favorite sitcom all over again. Some yearned for the days when Thanos was the universe’s biggest problem. Others lost themselves in the martini-soaked days of Mad Men. Even if I’ve seen Fleabag a million times, has there ever been a better time to hear the Hot Priest say, “It’ll pass”?

Whatever your poison, it was a good time for a re-watch. As this year mercifully comes to a close, ELLE editors are paying homage to the content they loved reliving. Ahead, a look at what filled our days, lifted our spirits, and delayed our overflowing Netflix queues into 2021.

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Mad Men

“Inexplicably, my summer self-soothing ritual involved rewatching Mad Men while making friendship bracelets for the people I couldn’t see in person. There’s never a bad time to binge the show that gave us Peggy Olsen, Joan Holloway, and a scathing indictment of capitalism, and if you’re a big nerd like me, I recommend pairing your viewing with a copy of Matt Zoller Seitz’s essential episode-by-episode analysis, Mad Men: Carousel.” —Julie Kosin, Senior Culture Editor


Crash Landing on You

“BRB, gonna re-watch the South Korean drama Crash Landing on You just to feel something. Filled with tear-jerking romance, hilarious one-liners, incredible fashion, and plenty of action, this K-drama has been my source of comfort throughout this tumultuous year. At 80 minutes an episode, CLOY demands your full attention due to its English subtitles, providing a great distraction from quarantine spiraling.” —Ariana Yaptangco, Social Media Editor


Avengers: Endgame

So you mean to tell me Iron Man is really gone? This is the question I ask myself every time I log into my Disney+ account to re-watch the most heartbreaking film in the MCU lineup. After the year we’ve had, nothing feels better than escaping to April 2019 and reliving the sheer joy everyone in the theater felt watching MCU’s once-disintegrated superheroes return to help Captain America defeat Thanos.” —Nerisha Penrose, Assistant Editor


Disney Animated Movies

“I don’t think I’m alone in saying I was on edge between Election Day and the Saturday we found out who won the presidency. For that entire week, I could barely sit still, let alone watch anything for which I didn’t already know the ending. Instead, my partner and I rewatched a different, beloved animated movie every night: Inside Out, WALL-E, Lilo & Stitch. (It was all spurred by a re-watch of Coco the week before and then led to a re-watch of Monsters, Inc. the week after.) Embarrassing? Maybe. Comforting? Most definitely.” —Madison Feller, Staff Writer



“There’s never been a year I’ve wanted to give Fleabag’s withering direct-to-camera looks more. During the dark days of summer, living in my parents’ house and unable to concentrate on anything new, I turned to my favorite TV show. I actually rewatched the whole series (a breezy 12 episodes) twice, introducing various family members to the beautiful chaos of Phoebe Waller-Bridge. This may have also led me to track down The Jumpsuit™ from season 2 for my first proper night out—whenever that may be.”—Savannah Walsh, Editorial Fellow


The Sopranos

“I was too young to watch The Sopranos when it originally aired on HBO, but that hasn’t stopped me from streaming it over (and over, and over) in the past decade. Every time, I’m reminded that Adriana La Cerva is one of my eternal fashion icons. I always fall down a dark eBay rabbit hole after each episode, searching for that Roberto Cavalli tiger dress and denim puff-sleeve crop tops. Actually, now that I think about it, I might be able to DIY that unforgettable red beaded tennis outfit.” Margaux Anbouba, Associate Beauty Editor


The Wolf of Wall Street

“This movie is such a good time, it should be studied by scientists for its ability to make three hours pass without a second of lag or checking your watch. The story of Jordan Belfort riding penny stocks all the way to the bank (multi-millions of times) is the story of America: Even as Jordan (played by Leo DiCaprio in an Oscar-worthy performance) cashes some poor slob’s mortgage payment, we can’t help but cheer for him. He just makes being a gangster look so fun, and what else is money for?” —Katherine Krueger, Features Editor


Sailor Moon

“My boyfriend is into anime, and I wanted to watch a series with him to understand that world a little more. We opted to revisit the ’90s anime we both grew up with, which is available to stream in full on Hulu. We watch the subtitled Japanese version, and it’s eye-opening to see something you barely remember as a kid (Sailor Moon came out when we both were babies) and understand more sincerely why it resonated so much. The show itself is light, cute, at times pretty comical, and an ode to female friendship that was revolutionary during its time. It’s been fun to rediscover it, one 25-minute episode at a time, as a grown-up. Watch out for Tuxedo Mask, who is such a troll in the early episodes it’s almost shocking.” —Alyssa Bailey, News and Strategy Editor


The Apartment

“The walls of my apartment and I have gotten real intimate with one another this year. In an effort to embrace my tiny dwelling, I revisited the Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine classic The Apartment. It’s one of those movies that goes with a rainy day and cup of cocoa as few others can. Plus, there’s something so life-affirming about MacLaine’s Fran Kubelik urging me to ‘shut up and deal.'”—SW


Gilmore Girls

“This was a formative show during my adolescence. I followed it from the WB (I think??) to ABC Family to buying every season when it came out on DVD at my local Best Buy—I loved it that much. Rory and Lorelai’s rapid-fire dialogue taught me all kind of pop culture references before I was familiar with the source material and there’s one scene where Jess (best boyfriend, don’t @ me) says “okay” in such a comforting way I rewound it dozens of times to see it again. As you might imagine, the show hasn’t aged perfectly, but nothing really does. And at its base, Gilmore Girls is the story of a mother and her daughter and what it means to be family—which feels more timeless than ever.” —KK


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch

“I grew up playing Super Smash Bros. Melee on GameCube with my sister as a kid, and whenever I play any game from this series, it takes me right back to those carefree days brawling as Princess Zelda or Peach with my sister and our childhood friends. Everything feels lighter for a bit, the way it felt when we weren’t shackled down by the heaviness of the world and adulting. Nintendo Switch’s iteration of the game features online play, a game-changer during COVID and quarantine especially. I’ve used it to play remotely with friends I can’t see in person right now, and it’s given our phone calls a lot more character.” —AB



“I have never been on the reality TV train, but somehow, my roommate roped me into devoting every free afternoon and weekend to watching the back catalog of Survivor (all available on Hulu, thank you very much) and I cannot get enough. The back-stabbing, the brain-melting challenges, the pizza rewards?! In my darkest moments, I even consider auditioning before I remember I’ll have to deal with people like Jonny Fairplay in real life. Hard pass.” —JK

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