The Best and Worst of 2012 Pop Culture

By | Arts & Entertainment |

Film

argoPhoto by Claire Folger via Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Best
Argo

A picture written and directed by Academy Award winner Ben Affleck (The Town, Goodwill Hunting), Argo is already predicted to do very well throughout awards season this winter. Also starring Affleck as the leading role, Argo has already been nominated for several awards at the Golden Globes this year, including Best Motion Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Score.

Worst
Rock of Ages

Considering that the movie stars a round-up of Hollywood's washouts and ordinary actors, paired with poor '80s rock covers, Rock of Ages was created to please those who still watch Dancing with the Stars. We apologize that most of America had to witness Tom Cruise singing and strutting around half-naked on screen. Apparently, he's not over his Risky Business phase in life, even 20 years later.

NEXT >>

TV Show: Comedy

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Best
Girls

Starring, written by and created by 24-year old newcomer Lena Dunham, there is much to love about this show. The series revolves around four 20-somethings struggling to establish careers and start their lives in New York City. Girls is the general antithesis of everything Sex and the City was on HBO a decade ago, as this show is an accurate representation of what girls' 20s actually are—weird feelings, weird sex, weird bosses, and weird friends. Hannah Horvath is no Carrie Bradshaw, but that's exactly what we love about her.

Worst
Partners

The new fall sitcom created Emerson College alum Max Mutchnick, and David Kohan (the creators of Will and Grace), was sadly short-lived. It was cancelled mid-November after poor ratings.

NEXT >>

TV Show: Reality

 

Best
Catfish

Based on Nev Schulman's virtual dating experience in his documentary Catfish, MTV's identically titled reality show has Schulman taking people around the country meeting their Internet beaus in person. Of course, what would the show be without some crazy surprises? Even Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley tweeted about her fascination with Catfish.

Worst
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Watching this show is like watching a drunk Diane Sawyer on Election Night—it is disturbing and wrong, yet I can't seem to tear my eyes away from it. Or perhaps it is just the absurdity that a family like Honey Boo Boo's has a reality show in the first place.

NEXT >>

Commercial

Photo via Chanel

Best
Brad Pitt for Chanel No.5

This ad is wonderful because it makes Brad Pitt look absolutely ridiculous. For once, the most handsome man in Hollywood is portrayed as a monotone, awkward, and obtuse. Does he actually even understand his own monologue? We know somewhere in the world, George Clooney is appreciating this.

Worst
Brad Pitt for Chanel No.5

At the same time, why has the universe let Brad Pitt off so easily with this ad? Come on, America. Let's give Brad Pitt the credit he deserves. If you haven't already, you can watch this train wreck of an ad on YouTube.

NEXT >>

Acting

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Best
Jennifer Lawrence

Recently named the Most Desirable Woman in 2013, Jennifer Lawrence is as talented as she is beautiful. In 2011, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Winter's Bone, and soon after, sniped the lead role as heroin Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Based on the Boston Society of Film Critic's awards, Lawrence's role in Silver Linings Playbook is expected to get some recognition during the awards season in 2013 as well.

Worst
Taylor Kitsch

For a handsome guy who was expected to become the next Channing Tatum, Kitsch had many opportunities to rise to stardom, but all had terrible outcomes. Sadly, the total gross of John Carter was only $101.6 million worldwide, in spite of Disney's production costs at $250 million. He had a few chances to redeem himself, but Battleship sunk pretty low, as did his movie Savages. Is anyone else in favor of reviving Kitsch as the charming greasy-haired footballer, Tim Riggins? What ever happened to Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose?

NEXT >>

Musical Artist

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Best
One Direction

We could make loads of gags about the frenzy surrounding this boy band, but it looks like these guys are no joke. The world hasn't seen such chaos surround a band since the Beatles, and CBS New York is even calling them the new “British Invasion”. In just one year, One Direction released two albums (Up All Night and Take Me Home, each of which went multi-platinum in the U.S.), have sold out a 2013 World Tour (consisting of 100+ dates across the globe), and have accepted multiple awards at the MTV Music Awards, the American Music Awards, and the UK's Bambi Awards and MTV European Music Awards. The band is MTV's Best Artist of the Year, and is currently shooting a 3D movie, set to release next year. So they're young and successful, but that's what makes them beautiful.

Worst
Nicki Minaj

If her new torso-shaped perfume isn't weird enough, then her threats to fellow American Idol judge, Mariah Carey, certainly are. Come on Nicki, you're bigger than this!

NEXT >>

Celebrity Power Couple

Photo via Tumblr

Best
Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Since the birth of their daughter in January, Beyonce and Jay-Z have proven to be the cutest (and wealthiest) parents ever. Although Blue Ivy Carter's name lost its trademark bid, Blue Ivy is definitely a diva-in-the-making. Jay-Z and Beyonce bought their precious baby a $20,000 baby crib, and $15,000 Swarovski crystal high-chair. “Power Couple” might be an understatement.

Worst
Taylor Swift and Harry Styles

If Taylor Swift (most popular singer/songwriter in the world) and Harry Styles (singer in most popular boy band in the world) are not the most obviously arranged couple in show business, I don't know who is. Let's just hope Styles can make a 'swift' getaway post-breakup because we all know Taylor has no modesty when it comes to writing about her “bad-boy” exes.

NEXT >>

Book

50shadesPhoto via 50 Shades of Grey Fan Club

Best
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Reviewers believe that Flynn's thriller novel is page-turner, but let me assure you that that's a fact. The plot revolves around a married couple named Amy and Nick—both of whom are certifiably psychotic, yet so completely relatable as a couple, it's disturbing. It makes me question my own sanity as a human. The plot is so cleverly written, you'll be astounded by the mystery surrounding Amy's disappearance by the end of the book.

Worst
Fifty Shade of Grey trilogy by E.L. James

We hate to love this series. It's a guilty pleasure in ever sense of the phrase, and according to Forbes, Fifty Shades arouses “more than just book sales.” Forbes says the series has boosted sales on sex toys and books on sex bondage. Widely accepted as Mommy Porn, the series is getting credit for spicing up the sex lives of married folks. Sort of in the same way Twilight made teen romances more angsty. Or was that One Direction fan-fiction?

NEXT >>

Viral Video

Best
MIT, “Gangnam Style”

Noam Chomsky FTW.

Worst
Harvard Baseball, “Call Me Maybe”

Yet again, it looks like Harvard is the runner-up to MIT, but this time with its comedic song-dubbing abilities. As somebody once said (me), the funniest people are the smartest people. But most of us already know MIT has a history of pulling fast-ones on Harvard, and these videos are no exception.

NEXT >>

Youtube trend

Best
Creative song covers

5 People, 1 Guitar, Somebody That I Used To Know

Visit YouTube for a similar video of five guys on one piano playing What Makes You Beautiful.

Worst
Sh*t [Whoever] Says

Sh*t Boston Girls Say:

Do Boston girls really sound like this? Is this word “hoodie” really just a Boston phrase? Wouldn't “blinkah” be the more appropriate phrase than “directional”? Didn't Rob Gronkowski replace Tom Brady as the Boston hunk two seasons ago? Is that Grandma wearing one of those masks from the robbery scene in The Town? I think the only accurate detail from this video is how emotionally invested we are in Dunkin' Donuts.

NEXT >>

Parodies

Best
The Real Housewives

The Real Housewives of South Boston:

Sure, the representation of Boston ladies may not be as accurate as we'd like, but like Bravo's Real Housewives series, this definitely dramatizes the stereotype of a determined area of the country. So we give this an A for outstanding effort, and an extra check-plus for a Mahky-Mahk shoutout. The video is the perfect primer for upcoming A&E series Southie Rules.

Worst
Presidential Elections

It's hard to top what SNL has done in election parodies in the past, specifically with the 2008 election—from Tina's infamous Sarah Palin impression, Amy's take on Hilary Clinton, and Fred Armisen as Barack Obama. This year was a letdown; the cast replaced Armisen with Jay Pharoah as Barack Obama, and considering Mitt Romney tended to walk into his own jokes, there was little to work with.

NEXT >>

Language/Slang Trends

Best
Hashtag (#hashtag)

We are a little embarrassed that a mother named her baby Hashtag earlier this year. But the word itself represents the age of social media that America has embraced. From the Occupy movement, to the presidential election, to Hurricane Sandy, the art of the hashtag has been perfected on Twitter to spread news and trending topics across the globe.

Worst
YOLO

We can all thank Drake's top 40 hit “The Motto” for this catch-phrase, short for “you only live once” (that's the motto). Sure, it's a cute and potentially inspirational saying, but if Jimmy Kimmel thinks its funny enough to tweet from John Krasinski's Twitter account, then it's officially overused. But we always appreciate Jimmy Kimmel's ongoing prank-rivalry with Krasinski, who stars in new movie Promised Land with fellow Boston native, Matt Damon.

NEXT >>

Sports

Best
Tyler Seguin's whereabouts during the NHL lockout

We've all been trying to keep ourselves occupied during this NHL lockout, and that includes the Bruins' 20-year-old superstar Tyler Seguin. This screenshot of an incoming text-message from a lady-friend shows us just what Seguin's been doing with his time. So he's 20, rich, and single. Let's let him live while he's young.

Worst
The Patriots' Superbowl loss

There was a long list of blame following the Patriots' tough loss at the Superbowl last season, and Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, certainly felt entitled to her not-so-humble opinion. She declared that her quarterback husband “cannot f***ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.” After this declaration, the Boston community threw a fit, because of course the opinion of a supermodel is absolutely significant when it comes to the logistics of the game of football.

NEXT >>

Art

Photo via MFA.org

Best
Mario Testino at the MFA

One of the most in-demand and respected fashion photographers in the world, Mario Testino brings his “In Your Face” exhibit to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts between October 23, 2012 through February 3, 2013. His exhibit offers a provocative peak into exclusive subjects of his work, many of whom are widely acclaimed, including Anna Wintour, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alessandra Ambrosio, Jennifer Aniston, Gisele Bundchen, and Tom Brady (pictured).

Worst
Boston Public Art

We've brought it to everyone's attention previously that Boston's public art is simply subpar compared to that of New York City and Chicago. There was a defacing frenzy surrounding a paint mural in Quincy back in October, where a person vandalized a professional painting on the outside of the Presidents Rock Club. With vandalism now in the mix with our lack of contemporary and updated artistic innovation, Boston's public art is at its lowest point.

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2012/12/20/best-worst-trends-2012/