Well, another school year has come and gone.
We said goodbye to memorable TV shows and acclaimed films that we still haven’t seen, and, of course, we have obsessed over the private lives of our foremost celebrities. Here are some of this year’s highlights:
We started off the school year in August with the biggest social media craze since the invention of the hashtag: the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The world poured buckets of ice water over their heads to raise awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
In November, Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 rocked the airwaves from Einstein’s Bagels to Dunkin Donuts. “Shake It Off” became stuck in everyone’s head, and we all wondered whether T-Swift had any “Starbucks lovers.”
Around this time, sexual harassment accusations involving comedian Bill Cosby, known for portraying Cliff Huxtable on the Cosby Show, rose to the surface as more and more survivors spoke out against the star.
The Sony Entertainment Pictures hack of 2014 also occurred in November, in conjunction with threats of retaliation by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un over the release of the Seth Rogan/James Franco film The Interview. To preserve the American values of freedom of speech and expression, Sony released the film, which parodied the dictator, in select theaters and online. Though the movie wasn’t incredible, it still garnered huge reactions from around the world. The year of 2014 ended with a bang when The Colbert Report ended its run on Comedy Central.
The year of 2015 started off on a good note when Netflix began to stream Friends on Jan. 1 and enhanced the procrastination of students everywhere.
January also ushered in a series of award shows beginning with the last Golden Globe Awards hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Fey and Poehler finished out strong with plenty of topical jokes related to the Sony hack and Bill Cosby. Amazon Prime’s subversive comedy Transparent about a transgender father and his family won Best Comedy. This was the first time an online show won an award for Best Comedy or Drama and the first time a show about a transgender protagonist was at the forefront of popular culture.
February was a busy month in pop culture.
On Feb. 15, Saturday Night Live celebrated its 40th anniversary with a star-studded tribute. Feb. 22 was the 87th Academy Awards. Though Birdman took home Best Picture, the real winners of the night were Lady Gaga’s emotional tribute to the 50th Anniversary of The Sound of Music and Common and John Legend’s powerful rendition of “Glory” from Selma. On Feb. 24, Parks and Recreation ended its run after seven incredible seasons.
In March, Fey’s new comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt skyrocketed to popularity on Netflix, highlighting a new era of online television.
On April 24, Bruce Jenner revealed on a 20/20 special with Diane Sawyer that, after months of speculation, he now publicly identifies as a woman, although he prefers male pronouns for the moment. Jenner’s interview stressed to the world the importance of being yourself.
This year has been full of ups and downs, but I am looking forward to seeing what next year will bring. Stay tuned!