Decade in Review: the Most Impactful Movies and Shows of the 2010s
So much has happened in the last ten years, it feels as if we’ve been in the 2010’s for about a century rather than a decade. Some of the things that have seen advancement in the last decade are obvious: technology, social media, memes, etc. But another aspect of our lives that has seen a lot of change over the past ten years is the movies and TV shows we’ve been watching, as well as how we’ve been watching them. Get ready to feel old. It’s been ten years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Despicable Me, Toy Story 3, and Camp Rock 2 came out. It’s been nine years since Lemonade Mouth, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and Kung Fu Panda 2 came out. It’s been eight years since The Avengers, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2, and The Lorax came out. The 2010’s saw so many iconic movies and shows come and go, and had a huge impact on our childhoods as well as our current teenage years.
The 2010’s saw countless movie franchises rise and fall. Star Wars was bought by Disney for over 4 billion dollars in 2012, and released a sequel trilogy of movies, as well as two other stand-alone movies set in the established universe. As stated before, the Twilight and Harry Potter sagas both released their final chapters during the early 2010’s, and in 2016 the world of Harry Potter returned to the big screen with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Other dystopian franchises based on books were extremely popular, like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. But the stand-out movie franchise of the 2010’s, the one that has come the farthest since 2010, and remains the strongest going into 2020, has to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Superhero movies in general were very popular in the 2010’s, with the Justice League, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four all appearing on the silver screen, but Marvel movies were especially huge this past decade. The Avengers came out in 2012, and since then 16 Marvel movies have come out, the most recent being Avengers: Endgame, which quickly became the highest grossing movie of all time when it was released in April 2019.
But no list of the 2010s’ greatest hits would be complete without the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows we all watched. Iconic Disney Channel shows that came to an end in the 2010s include Hannah Montana, Phineas and Ferb, Wizards of Waverly Place, Suite Life on Deck, and Good Luck Charlie. These shows are widely regarded --at least among our generation-- as some of the best that Disney ever created. “Ever since I was a kid I had always liked the aspects of fantasy prominent in shows like that,” said Henry Bull Lyon (11), recalling watching Wizards of Waverly Place during his childhood. Watching these shows after school or on Saturday mornings will stand out as some of our best memories from the 2010s, and our childhoods. Other huge TV shows of the decade are Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Parks and Recreation, and Breaking Bad. A lot of great shows came to an end, but others are just getting started as we enter the 2020’s.
The 2010s also saw a rise in the use of streaming services to watch movies and shows, rather than watching them on cable channels or going to the movie theater. Netflix is without a doubt the frontrunner of these services, seeming like almost everyone has Netflix today. While Netflix was founded before 2010, it was used mostly as a service for just renting movies on DVD in the early 2000s. It wasn’t until the 2010s that Netflix became one of the first streaming services offered on electronic devices. These services have gotten so widespread and popular that many have started producing their own movies and shows. Netflix released its first original show, House of Cards, in 2013, and has since released countless others. Other popular streaming services include Hulu, Youtube TV, Amazon Prime Video, and the recently released Disney Plus. The pros of these services are obvious: you can watch at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home, whenever you want, and it’s generally much cheaper than going to a movie theater. “On Netflix you’re able to pause, and it’s a lot more accessible. There’s not the whole worry of catching it at the right time,” Bull Lyon continued. It’s hard to say whether these streaming services will completely take over in the 2020s, but they were definitely an instrumental part of how we consumed media like TV shows and movies in the 2010s.
It’s never good to dwell too much on the past, but as we enter into a new decade of our lives it’s important to reflect on the one that we just finished. The 2010s were our childhood, and the