It’s that time of year when we start looking back, reflecting on all that we’ve been given over the past twelve months, and give thanks. But in between being thankful that grandpa remembered to wear his good false teeth – you know, the ones that won’t fall in the mashed potatoes during Thanksgiving dinner – and that moment when you bliss out on a combination of turkey and wine, remember to take some time to be thankful for the things that truly matter. No, not family and friends, the really important stuff, like celebrities going nuts and mayors smoking crack. You know, all the stuff that made you laugh because you’re secretly a terrible person. But don’t worry, we’re in no position to judge you, and in fact we invite you to join us as we celebrate these nine pop culture things we’re thankful for this year.
9 The Saga of Rob Ford
Sure, he’s a disgraceful mayor and kind of a shitty human being, but how could we not be thankful for this man who has given us so much over these past few months? Sure, sometimes a mayor will get caught smoking rocks. It happens. Just ask the people of Washington D.C. But Rob Ford proved that he’s no mere degenerate crackhead, just sadly getting high behind the dumpsters of the 7-11 or whatever they have up there in Toronto – Tim Horton’s? Yeah, let’s go with that. No, he brought a certain amount of joy to the crack game, a panache that I think we all needed this year. Of course, it helps that he looks like Chris Farley, and apparently acts just like him too, probably down to the massive heart attack he’ll have by the end of the year. And let’s not forget Rob Ford’s crowning moment, when refuting reports that he tried to give head to a female staffer with the already hall of fame worthy quote “I have more than enough to eat at home.” Bravo, sir. Bravo.
8 The Return of ‘Arrested Development’
Sure, it was mildly disappointing, but really that probably has more to do with the outrageous expectations we all had for it when Netflix announced they were bringing the cult hit back for another season. The reality is that even Arrested Development as a shadow of its former self is better than 99% of the crap on TV, and honestly, isn’t the world just a little bit better with it in it? This was also the moment when the Internet finally cut out the traditional network middleman, and while it probably means that a new class of middleman – companies like Netflix – will just take over, at least they’ll be middlemen who have a little bit better idea of what we want, and not 65 year-olds who exclusively watch CBS. This signaled at least a tiny demographic power shift, and you know what? It’s about time.
7 Amanda Bynes: Queen of Hearts
The pop-culture world moves so quickly now that everyone’s already forgotten about Amanda Bynes. But not me. This was the year that saw her go completely crazy (or maybe not?), get boobier and boobier, and win our hearts. Sure, there are some who will pity her or complain that she’s obnoxious, but you know what? Drake needed to hear some things. And those selfies needed to be taken. I won’t compare her to Jesus, but I will compare her to Batman. Actually, she was better than Batman. She was the hero the Internet needed, and the one it deserved. And I’m not saying that just because I proposed to her on Twitter. Okay, maybe I am, but still.
6 The Red Wedding
The only thing better than Game of Thrones’ already legendary “Red Wedding” scene was seeing the entire Internet freak out when it happened. Check that – the only thing better was knowing it was coming and then watching as the entire Internet freaked out. Yes, this was the moment fans of the books had been waiting for since the series began. And for fans of the show who hadn’t read the books, it represented the single biggest HOLY SHIT moment since poor Ned was de-Nedded in season one. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that Game of Thrones is stale or predictable. And if they do, just strap them to a chair and make them watch this scene A Clockwork Orange-style. And as an added bonus, this should serve as a memorable lesson of what happens when you take your eye off the game and let yourself get led around by a hot ass. But oh what an ass it was. Never forget.
5 ‘Grand Theft Auto V’
How can you not be thankful for a game that lets you waste hours acting like a complete sociopath? Sure, some would say we already have that game – it’s called the Internet, maybe you’ve heard of it – but sometimes a dude just needs to pretend to get behind the wheel of a car and mow down some hookers before pistol whipping a cop. I bet Rob Ford absolutely loves this game. But really, this game taught people some valuable life lessons this year too, like never fake your death and try to hide from your psycho best friend, or never try to jump out of a helicopter without a parachute, not even if you’re being chased by a police chopper and you’ve run out of grenades. You know, the sort of situations that pop up every day.
4 ‘Spring Breakers’
Look, let’s not pretend we’re above this sort of thing, okay? We’re all gentlemen here, and… oh hey, look, boobs! I mean, if you’re going to make a movie, you might as well take a bunch of hot actresses, stick them in bikinis for the whole movie and… wait, was there anything else that happened in this movie? Did it have a plot? Wait, was that James Franco? The correct answer to all of these questions is “Who cares?” Sometimes, the heart just wants what it wants, and so does the boner. It’s the fundamental principle of the arts.
3 Jennifer Lawrence: Coolest Woman Ever
2013 saw Jennifer Lawrence really take the world by storm, revealing that she’s not only ridiculously attractive, but that she is also a proponent of what we here in Internetland like to call real talk. Whether it comes to the ridiculous standards actresses are held to when it comes to their bodies (key word: THEIR bodies) or how wetsuits and cameltoes go hand in hand, Jennifer Lawrence is always completely candid, totally funny and genuine in a way that is both thought-provoking and disarmingly relatable. Sure, some might say there isn’t that much to think about when it comes to cameltoes and wetsuits, but I say maybe we just haven’t been thinking about it enough. Thank you, Jennifer Lawrence. Thank you.
2 The Final Season of ‘Breaking Bad’
There probably hasn’t been a better season of television ever. That’s a big statement to make, but the last season of Breaking Bad completely took over the pop-culture conversation for the three months or whatever it was on the air this year, and kept everyone riveted to their screen, ratcheting up the intensity and amazingly leaving fans satisfied with the way it went out, which, if you’ve ever paid attention to TV fandom, you know is pretty much the first time in history that has ever happened. People will always bitch about their favorite TV shows. Always. But Breaking Bad was so good this year that it transcended the bitchery. Yes, we’re sad that we won’t get to watch it anymore, but we’re incredibly thankful that we got the chance to see it go out with style.
1 The Sordid Tale of Manti T’eo and Lennay Kekua
This feels like it happened forever ago, doesn’t it? That’s how fast the pop-culture world moves. But it was only ten months ago that the incredibly weird tale of Notre Dame linebacker Manti T’eo and his imaginary girlfriend was loosed on an unsuspecting public, and oh dear lord, the laughs we all had. This story just kept on giving and giving, and with every detail we learned it just got weirder and weirder. There were dead girls who never existed, dudes pretending to be lady dudes on the phone for hours every day, island girls popping up to say that they were the “real” Lennay, everybody Te’oing on the internet for a solid month… it just kept on going. In the end, nobody still knows what exactly happened, but the one thing we can all agree on is that it either makes Te’o look like the biggest, most ridiculous sociopath alive or the biggest dumbass. And either way, that shit is just hilarious. The fact that it happened to one of the heroes of stodgy, nose in the air, delusional Notre Dame just made it all the better. It was the perfect story. Let us give thanks.