Pop Culture Year in Review

Person of the Year: Miley Cyrus. Love her or hate her Miley dominated the headlines this year. It all started with her performance of We Can’t Stop and Blurred Lines at the VMA’s. It was a polarizing performance that left many parents turned off and many kids eager for more. Good or bad she managed to steel focus from everyone else on a night when Lady Gaga and Katy Perry were also performing. She was able to change the conversation when it would’ve been easy to be overshadowed be music’s biggest names. On a side note, I laughed when everyone was so shocked at her VMA performance. Didn’t they see the video for We Can’t Stop? Didn’t they know she’s singing about drugs? What did they expect her to do? She followed that up with her second single Wrecking Ball which showed off more of her vocal ability. No other entertainer came close, this was clearly Miley’s year. #TeamMiley

Game Changer: Beyoncé. Beyoncé managed to pull off the best surprise in music history. She cemented her status as Queen B when, without notice, she stunned the world and released a full album in mid December. Despite a busy touring schedule for most of 2013, she somehow found the time to record songs and shoot 17 music videos. 17! Teddy Riley for CNN said it best, “The game just changed, and Beyoncé changed it.” Not only did the stunt cause a sudden burst of buzz across every corner of the internet, it also caused a burst in sales. She sold a reported 828,773 albums in just the first three days shattering every previously held record. It should also be mentioned that all 828,773 albums sold were downloaded exclusively on iTunes. Physical albums have yet to be release in stores. As a comparison, her last album 4 sold only 310,000 copies in it’s first full week. This new album did almost 3 times that in just three days. While Miley had everyone talking in 2013, Beyoncé is the artist who permanently changed the way music is sold. Way to go Queen B!

Musician of The Year: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. In the past I have had separate categories for Song of the Year, Album of the Year etc. This year though I changed it up and lumped all of those categories into one Musician of the Year category. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are by far my favorite new addition to the music scene. I have liked every song they have put out so far. Can’t Hold Us is my standout favorite but honorable mention goes to the touching Same Love. There’s one small problem… as it turns out my favorite song of the year, Can’t Hold Us was originally released in 2011 and their album The Heist was released in 2012. Can’t Hold Us was re-released in 2013 after Thrift Shop exploded and put them on the map. Even though their music is not all from 2013, this was definitely the year that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis proved their tremendous talent.

Obsession Award: Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey. Throughout the year I get obsessed with certain songs and end up listening to them on repeat over and over. Young and Beautiful from the Great Gatsby soundtrack was one of those songs. I had been only slightly familiar with Del Rey before but had never listened to any of her music. However her raspy voice and the haunting lyrics got to me. Runner up for this award includes We Can’t Stop by MC and Perfume by Britney Spears.

The Tracy Chapman Song of the Year Award: Royals by Lorde. Royals is a truly great song. However it was released for sale in March and she has yet to have follow up success. The term ‘one hit wonder’ usually conjures up the thought of a no talent band that got lucky that one time. (Look up Los Del Rios and the Macarena as an example) Lorde appears to have real talent but Royals maybe to big to come back from. That’s why I named this award the Tracy Chapman song of the year award. Chapman is a good example of a talented artist who had one earth shattering success (Fast Car) but never really went any farther. She had other songs but none compared until many many years later when she released One Reason. Although I hope I’m wrong, I suspect Lorde will unfortunately follow in the same foot steps. (The band Arrested Development is another good example of this phenomena) Many in 10 years she’ll release another hit too.

Douche Bag Award: Robin Thicke. There was no contest for this one. When controversy over his performance with Miley Cyrus hit the fan Thick threw Miley under the bus as quickly as possible. He claimed he didn’t see her twerking because he was too busy singing and to use his words “that’s on her.” Seriously?  Robin Thicke, you’re an asshole. (To see a clip from the interview and story visit Buzzfeed)

Social Media Breakdown: Amanda Bynes. She was arrested, she was obsessed with calling Drake ugly on Twitter, she had an overall meltdown on social media. In recent weeks it sounds like she has been getting help. Amanda get cleaned up and give the messy headlines back to Lindsay.

The Cop Out Award: Jodie Foster at Golden Globes. You might have already forgotten Jodie Foster’s lame speech at the Golden Globes back in January. The point of the whole speech was basically that she refuses to come out of the closet publicly. What a cop out. I lose all respect for gay celebrities who refuse to come out. What also struck me as strange is that if you do not want to come out why are you giving a whole speech about not coming out? It’s strange when you think about it. Why not just ignore the topic and just discuss your career? You’ve also got to give Foster some side eye for the friends she brought for her big night. Cheering her on were Robert Downie Jr. and Mel Gibson. RDJ has a well documented crazy past despite his career upswing at the moment. Then there’s Mel Gibson… MEL GIBSON?! He’s like the current reigning king of crazy. I have to deduce that Jodie must be legit cray cray.

Buzz Worthy Scandal: Paula Dean. Paula had a hard year. She was fired from many of her jobs over racism claims. There was even a law suite from one of her former employees. Many people came to her defense saying she shouldn’t be ruined by a one time mistake. However many people failed to realize there had been gossip and stories of questionable language and choices for years. It seems the dust has settled and her core fans still love her while the rest of the world is still giving her some side eye.

Most Improved: The Catholic Church. Pope Francis has been a breathe of badly needed fresh air for Catholics. After decades of blame and exclusionary focused ministry the church elected a pope that wants to instead talk about love and acceptance. He’s a down to earth man who is not shy about controversial issues. He famously welcomed gays back to the church by asking “Who am I to judge?” Hopefully he will live a long and successful life and unit Christians around the world with his positive message. On a side note: Pope Francis was chosen as the new head of the Catholic church because his predecessor Pope Benedict chose to step down. The last time a pope resigned was in 1415. That’s no joke… in 600 years, a pope has never resigned. There was never really a believable reason given for the sudden departure. I’m dying to know the secret details of what went on behind the scenes. You know that must be a juicy story! Juicier than Tom and Katie’s divorce.

Best Movie Cameo(s): Michael Cera and Channing Tatum both in This is the End. If you missed This is the End it’s really worth checking out. It really was a very funny movie. The basic plot is a bunch of Hollywood stars gather for a party during the end of the world. I won’t spoil any of the cameos but both Cera’s and Tatum’s small roles are hysterical.

Biggest Disappointment: Don Jon. Joseph Gorden-Levitt’s debut as a writer director looked like it had real promise from the previews. However the story was disjointed and rushed. I’ll give him a pass because it’s his first time but it really wasn’t a good movie. Wait to see it once it’s on tv for free.

Must See Movie (in the theater): Gravity. It’s a guaranteed nominee for Best Picture at the Oscars. It was simply breathtaking and amazing. Like many, I was worried that Sandra Bullock couldn’t carry an entire movie by herself. Don’t let that stop you. She can and she does an outstanding job. If you can catch it in theaters, make it a priority to go see it. Trust me.

Must See Movies (at home): Blue Jasmine. Cate Blachett plays an emotionally and mentally unstable women going through a divorce. I won’t spoil the movie but it really is worth seeing. Look for support roles by Andrew Dice Clay and Bobby Cannavale. This is Blanchett at her best and she is my pick to win the Oscar for Best Actress.

Most Overrated: Jennifer Lawrence. I know everyone is going to freak out because they love Jennifer Lawrence. I don’t hate her, I’m just sick of her. She won the Oscar for her role in a Silver Linings Playbook. It was a good performance but not Oscar worthy. My dream situation would be for her to take a year or two off to avoid over exposure. So Jennifer, if you’re reading this… Go home and chill out till your hair grows back.

Funny Lady: Melissa McCarthy. This funny lady had two big hits this year with The Heat and Identity Thief. That’s rare for a comedian and even more rare for a female comedian. It’s almost unheard of for a plus size female comedian. Hopefully this shows Hollywood that people outside the mold can draw a crowd. Keep it up MM!

Better than Expected: We’re the Millers. Jennifer Aniston has not had the greatest movie track record. For many years she stuck to boring romantic comedy roles that were ignored by audiences. Then she had a supporting role in last year’s Horrible Bosses where she played against type as super slutty dentist. She followed up that hit with this year’s We’re the Millers. It was a box office hit and it was genuinely really funny. I give it a strong recommendation and don’t let Aniston’s previous bombs scare you away. This one is worth seeing.

Best Award Show Hosts: Tina Fey and Amy Poehlr- The Golden Globes. Finding a good host is hard. Over the years there’s been a revolving door of comedians and actors that have given it a try. Billy Crystal and Neil Patrick Harris have done it well. Ricky Gervais and James Franco were epically bad. However in January 2013 we discovered the best hosting duo that has ever existed. As the headlines read the day after the Golden Globes, “Amy Poehler and Tina Fey should host every awards show.” They were funny without being mean, witty without being boring. The super due will return to the Golden Globes again in January 2014 to continue their reign as the Queens of comedy.

Well Done Award: Netflix- Orange is the New Black. Netlfix was struggling to maintain customers as more and more Redbox video rentals stands popped up. They decided to follow the lead of premium cable channels and create their own content.  Orange is the New Black has been the most buzzed about show of the season. They created a well written show with a predominantly female cast. There is even a trans character. They’re breaking rules all over the place to the delight of fans. Well done. Not to be out shined, their other original series House of Cards has also been a huge success and brought critical acclaim.

Unsung Hero: Kerry Washington. Scandal has been a huge success for ABC. The captivating hour long drama follows Oliva Pope as she navigates Washington and the White House. It’s easy to write this off as just a good show featuring a pretty actress. You might not realize how ground breaking Kerry Washington is for black actresses everywhere. Scandal is only the second time in history where a network drama has been lead by a black woman. The first time was back in 1968 when Diane Carroll was cast in the title role as Julia. It’s hard to believe that in the last 45 years there have only been two dramas staring a black woman on network tv. The one good thing about Kerry Washington is that no one has labeled her a black actress or Scandal a black show. It’s successful based on it’s own merit. That’s the greatest win any minority can hope for.

Addictive TV Show: Breaking Bad. Ok, I’ll admit it… I’ve never watched Breaking Bad. (Hangs my head in shame) However, without question it was the one show that everyone I know was addicted to. Even my dad got caught up in it. Much of the show’s success came from Netflix and Hulu where fans were able to catch up with past seasons. By the time the series finally came, the public was on the edge of it’s seat anxiously waiting.

Guilty Pleasure: RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you don’t watch it, you’re missing out. Another must see is Rupaul’s Drag Race Untucked where they show the behind the scenes drama in the Interior Illusions Lounge. It’s easily the most fun show on television. Shante’ You Stay.

Feel Good Viral Story: Batkid. I can go on and on about the Batkid story but it’s easier if you just read the article on Buzzfeed. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried.

Can’t Miss DVR Favorite: Tie- The Wendy Williams Show and E! Fashion Police. These two shows are my ultimate favorite shows that I won’t miss. I’ve also discovered that I get 75% of my entertainment news comes from Wendy. Ask my boyfriend, at least once a day I say “According to Wendy Williams…” She’s a big bold brassy broad and I’ve loved her ever since her radio days. E! Fashion Police is lead by my favorite icon Joan Rivers. Even at 80 she’s as funny and ruthless as ever. Both are fun wonderful shows. #Favorite

Instagram Photo of the Year: 

Without question Bearpire had the best picture on Instagram this year. It’s fun and whimsical with a sexy belly thrown in for good measure. It’s one of those pictures that’s simple and perfect. I’m also impressed at the pure height of the jump. Well done. What’s even better is that it started an ongoing series. Follow Bearpire on Instagram to see this and more pictures of him and his adorable boyfriend. #Favorite

For A Good Time Follow: wooferSTL

Woofer never disappoints. He’s a traveling executive bear with a naughty side. You’ll get plenty suit and tie pics as well as skimpy speedo shots. Sometimes his pictures from out in public are so elaborate I would love to be a fly on the wall to see how he gets the shot. Also keep an eye out for his adorable pugs Fred and Ethyl. I’ve also met him in person and he doesn’t disappoint. #Woof

International heartthrob: Woofioso

As you can see, Woofioso is sexy. His pics never fail to turn me on. He’s serving you awesome hair, beard, face, belly and suspender hotness. His pictures are a mixture of talented photography and sexy bearish fun. If I ever get to Spain hopefully I can catch up with him and his partner. Of course when I say catch up, I mean get naked. In addition, those are literally the best suspenders I’ve ever seen.

Side Note: He was previously featured here in one of my favorite photo’s ever.

App of the Year: Vine. Vine is the son of Twitter. You create short 6 second videos in an Instgram like setting. There are a lot of extremely creative and funny people on Vine. I recommend you start following Russell Neill first and go from there. He’s both hilarious and adorable. Also check out Cole Maverick of Maverickmen.com if you want Vines with some more x-rated content.

Questions That Were Left Unanswered:
Is Bruce Jenner really transitioning into becoming a women?
Edward Snowden… Treason or celebrated whistle blower?

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