It’s the end of the year, and everybody from NPR to the Freeform Music director at my college radio station (WOBC FM) is making “Best of” lists. (Side note: I’ve never really understood what “freeform” music is. I’m pretty convinced that it’s a genre that my college station made up to create staff positions for their weird hipster friends).
So I figured that as an aspiring pop culture expert, and creator of mixed metaphors, I should throw my 10 cents into the ring. Without further ado, I present my comprehensive list of moments in pop culture. There’s also a chance that some of these moments actually happened in 2012, but that’s okay, because this is the internet and we’re allowed to be factually incorrect! I’ve broken this list down into two categories: TV and pop music. I did this because I don’t really watch movies unless they contain Matthew McConaghy as a stripper or Wooderson, and if I included more categories no one would read this post.
Top 3 TV Moments of 2013:
1. Every episode of the Mindy Project this year
If you don’t watch the Mindy Project, you should. Mindy Kaling plays a doctor who is possibly the most realistic heroine in a tv show with a female main character on television this decade (starting in 2010 of course). Mindy is not self-depricating (Liz Lemon – RIP 30 Rock), not so energetic that we know we could never live up to her impossible work ethic (Leslie Knope), nor unrealistically quirky and perky (Jess from New Girl). I could write an entire post about how wonderful this show is, but I’ll save your eyes so you can watch this incredible show yourself.
2. Parks and Rec was renewed for another season!
We all thought it was over for Parks and Rec when Leslie Knope (spoiler alert!) got married. But Parks and Rec got renewed, despite the theme that prevails across television that the moment the main character gets married/hooks up with the love interest that they’ve been building awkward sexual tension with the entire run of the show, the show must immediately be cancelled or go downhill so much that everyone is praying that it will be cancelled mid-season to spare us the agony of watching our heroine get involved in increasingly stupid plotlines until the show is simply our beautiful and once interesting female protagonist eating baby food from her cute but flawed boyfriend’s navel in a methadone clinic (I see what you’re doing New Girl and I don’t like it!).
3. Whatever Ended Up Happening to That Dude on Duck Dynasty.
Okay, so I admit that this show was entertaining. I watched it once and probably would have watched it again. But those guys are filthy rich white dudes, and just because they live in the South and have accents does not diverse programming make. Really, Sara Gaines has said everything that needs to be said about the subject here, so I’m gonna shut up and get on to #4.
4. I guess I don’t watch as much TV as I thought I did.
5. Oh yeah, the new Arrested Development was alright.
6. Oh wait, did you watch Top of the Lake? Go watch it. It’s good. It’s on Netflix. But also, maybe came out in 2012.
Top 5 Pop Music Events of 2013:
1. Beyonce released a surprise new album stealing everyone’s (But mostly Lorde’s) thunder.
I like Beyonce, but there are people who are much bigger fans that I will ever be. But I am happy that she stole Lorde’s thunder. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for women breaking pop music records and recording crazy hits satirizing pop music. But Lorde should be in high school right now. She should be getting her driver’s license and making stupid mistakes. The only reason you’ve never seen a diamond, Lorde, is that none of your friends have gotten engaged and posted ring photos and shoved diamonds in your face all the time, because you’re only 16! This is not a privilege thing. It’s a “you’re only 16 it’s not fair that you know your mind better than someone who is 8 years your senior does.” Wait 4 years, and I guarantee that you’ll have plenty of exposure to diamonds, Grey Goose and people who are tripping. For now, enjoy living in New Zealand with the hobbits and being a teenager.
2. Ke$ha and Pitbull collaborated
I love Ke$ha and I love Pitbull. Someday, I will write a post in defense of Pitbull, but for now, I will just say that the song Timber manages to be catchy, danceable, and pay homage to square dancing. Plus, when I listen to the song on Spotify, there’s a picture of a woman’s butt in cut-offs, and I’m pretty sure her thighs would touch, which is really exciting because for some reason that’s a big deal right now. God, I’m so glad I’m not a teenager any more. Maybe I should be nicer to Lorde.
3. Robin Thicke, Pharrell, (who was that other dude?) – Blurred Lines
I’m not proud of the fact that “Blurred Lines” was the track I listened to the most on Spotify this year. In my defense, it’s incredibly catchy and danceable and really fun to sing to my cat as I chase him around the house (“You’re the cutest cat in this place.” and “Oskie can you breeethe? I got this from Jamaica”). But there are also a lot of problems with it. I’m not going to talk about the problems, but this song sparked some really amazing conversations about double standards and sexism in the music industry that needed to happen.
4. Miley Cyrus
In my opinion, Miley has fallen far from the days of Party in the USA. But she’s still doing her thing, or some thing. I’ve already talked about Miley this year, so I won’t say much more, but her antics also started some really important conversations about race and feminism and a whole other slew of things. Pop culture can be pretty fucked up. But there are lots of people paying attention to the ways in which it is fucked up and calling artists out on it. The internet is vigilant, whether it thinks that Miley Cyrus is a horseman of the apocalypse, or simply being slut-shamed.
5. Amazing Ladies that I Never Listened To!
There were so many best of lists that included awesome women of color and female musicians who were making music in which women are powerful and amazing. But I wouldn’t really know, because I was too busy listening to Blurred Lines and Fleetwood Mac. Maybe in 2014.