Presumably, it’s not the end of the world as some Mayans once predicted, but at times, it sure felt pretty damn close. There are many pop culture bits we’ll treasure for years to come ― Magic Mike, Jennifer Lawrence becoming an A-list actress, the first half of the fifth season of Breaking Bad, the rise of Frank Ocean ― but some, we suspect, will not age so well.
Provided December doesn’t abruptly end in an apocalypse, we know that in a decade or two we’ll look back and cringe, cringe, cringe at a number of this year’s headlines. Unless ― we choose to forget. Collectively, we have the power to erase all the many many smudges on 2012 and pretend it was a happy golden year full of wonderful music, brilliant television, superb cinema, frolicking unicorns, and stars who always acted at their most gracious and composed.
So let’s do it! Let’s bid pop culture's bad bits goodbye! Here are the Top 30 things we (and the celebrities who wrought it all) will pretend never happened in 2012.
30. Kreayshawn's abyssmal first-week sales
The “Gucci Gucci” rapstress’ unfortunately-titled debut Somethin 'Bout Kreay made the wrong kind of history, selling a mere 3,900 copies. (Now who’s "basic"?) And we’re off to a good start, because there’s almost no chance anyone will remember Kreayshawn in the future, anyway.
29. Nicki Minaj vs. The World
In the future, maybe Nicki Minaj will have taken some anger management classes, learned to keep her ego in check, and be heavily medicated. Or possibly she’ll be in jail for having strangled Mariah Carey. Or Steven Tyler. Or the DJs at Hot 97. Or all of them. There’s no denying her stronghold on the charts this year, but if she doesn’t watch out she’s going to overexpose herself a la Gaga and we’ll all be exhausted of her by 2013. We prescribe a wee vacation from the public eye after American Idol.
28. Mitt Romney vs. Big Bird
Here’s a guy who probably won’t look back on 2012 fondly. Sesame Street had a pretty dramatic year, what with some sexual allegations against voice of Elmo Kevin Clash. But more enduring is Mitt’s Big Bird diss during the presidential debates, which seriously might have cost him the election. Mitt shot himself in the foot by pitting his privileged white guy persona against a poor, defenseless beloved children’s TV icon ― and lost. Note to Republicans in 2016 ― keep mum on Mickey Mouse.
27. Fiona Apple’s hash
Pop culture got a soulful chanteuse back on its radar when Fiona Apple released her first new album since 2005’s Extraordinary Machine. Then she was arrested for hash possession, briefly jailed, and went on a loopy, paranoid rant about how the cops mistreated her. We prefer to remember Fiona Apple from “Criminal,” not Fiona Apple the criminal.
26. Bobbi Kristina Brown gets engaged to her adoptive brother
Okay, Bobbi Kristina, we know you had a rough year with the loss of your mother and we’re willing to cut you some slack. But only if this ends, like, yesterday. If we’re to believe everything we see on The Houstons: On Our Own (and why wouldn’t we?), her relationship with Nick Gordon is now off. But here’s a quote we never, ever want to hear again under any cirumstances: "So we’re not engaged anymore. We’re just brother and sister again."
25. Brad Pitt’s Chanel ad
It will be impossible to forget this in the future, because when we look up "pretentious" in the YouTube video dictionary, this is what will play. Not exactly a banner year for Brad. He lost the Oscar for Best Actor (but at least he was nominated!), Killing Them Softly flopped harder than any movie he’s made since the early 90’s, and then his Tree Of Life audition tape was somehow leaked under the guise of a Chanel ad. It's pretty sad when your wife's right leg has a better year than you do.
24. Justin Bieber "love" doll
Baby, baby, baby, NO. We don’t need to wait for the future to find this embarrassing, gross, perverse, and all-around 50 shades of wrong. It’s all of those things right now. Let us never speak of it again.
23. Amanda Bynes
We’re not looking to forget one specific thing that she said or did. Just... Amanda Bynes, human being. So let’s wipe the troubled starlet out of 2012 completely. We’ll just pretend she was hibernating! Yeah. That’s good. Better luck in ’13, boo.
22. Madonna calls Obama a "black Muslim"... and flashes a breast in Istanbul... and and and…
Madonna’s not only the Queen of Pop. She’s also the Queen of Controversy. So we'd let some of this slide… if MDNA hadn’t sold so poorly. (Not Kreayshawn poorly, but definitely Madge poorly.) Instead, the “Girl Gone Wild” ― scratch that, make it "middle-aged woman gone wild" ― bared a breast for Istanbul, fell on stage, called the president a “black Muslim” during a concert, got booed more times than we can count, was called a “fairground stripper” (and worse) by her nemesis Elton John, misttook London for Poland (?), and her movie W.E. tanked, too. But at least she started the year off with a bang at the Super Bowl...?
21. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
It wasn’t the biggest flop of 2012. It wasn’t the worst-reviewed film, either. But in a year when a much more historically accurtae Lincoln is sweeping up accolades in awards season, this silly little movie sticks out amidst the even louder thuds of Battleship and John Carter because everything that’s wrong with it is contained right there in the title. We like our Abraham Lincoln ending slavery, not kicking undead ass, thankyouverymuch Hollywood. Are we all clear on this now?
Haylor just happened and we’re already sick of it. Fortunately, Taylor Swift tends to live up to her last name in the romance department, swiftly discarding one heartthrob for another ad nauseum. In 20 years, once Taylor has dated literally every man in the entire world, all we’ll have to show for this brief fling with Harry Styles is Taylor’s angry breakup album WRONG Direction, spawning memorable singles like “Die While You’re Young,” “That’s What Makes You UGLY!!” and “Little Thing (You Know What I’m Talking About, Ladies).”
19. Roseanne for President
Roseanne Barr was five slots away from stepping into the White House as the leader of the free world. Think about that. Write a screenplay. Sell it for millions. Then run for president yourself.
18. “Call Me Maybe” lip dubs
If you’re like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, the models of Abercrombie & Fitch, or Cookie Monster, you probably made one of these. Pretty much everybody did. And they were all embarrassing. Mark our words ― this will come back to haunt you.
17. Angus T. Jones calls his CBS sitcom “filth”
Not being great fans of Two And A Half Men, we didn’t know the name Angus T. Jones until a couple weeks ago. But we’re sure the filth-free Angus of the future will realize how stupid it was to preach his way out of the millions of dollars he’d earn if he stuck with the series through its inevitably lengthy run (series finale in 2022, we’re guessing?). In fact, it was probably the devil who made to do it in the first place.
16. Hulk Hogan sex tape
Haven’t seen it. Don’t want to see it. Not visualizing… not visualizing… oh, man, totally just visualized that. Forgetting in 3, 2, 1…
What? What Hulk Hogan sex tape? There’s no Hulk Hogan sex tape, silly!
15. TomKat split
It’s not that we aren’t glad that Katie finally wrestled herself free of Xenu’s grasp. It’s just that we want to forget TomKat ever happened in the first place. No couch jump, no divorce… wait, no Suri? Nooo, that won’t work. In 20 years, when Suri is starring as Ethel Hunt in Mission: Impossible 8, hopefully we’ll remember her for more than just the product of this wacky, possibly contractual romance.
14. Lana Del Rey on SNL
Every musical artist aspires to be the talk of the nation after performing on Saturday Night Live. Unless that talk is a bunch of people slamming your performance, and/or genuinely believing that it was a skit by Kristen Wiig. (Which it then was.) Lana has somewhat recovered and may, in fact, be a legitimate artist known for something other than this debacle someday, so do her a favor and let this one go from your memory.
13. Donald Trump’s Obama challenges
Speculation that President Obama was born in another country is sooo 2008 (by way of 1952). Our president is black, Donald. Get over it. You’re fired from 2012.
12. iPad Mini/iPhone 5 mania
OMG u guys they’re gonna announce the iPhone 5! OMG they just announced the iPhone 5! OMG it’s sooo different from all the other iPhones because it’s 25% smaller! OMG i’ve been waiting in line for 17 hours to get my phone! OMFG IT’S HERE I HAVE IT LOOK!!!!! OMG i hate this new Maps app!! OMG i’m soooooo over this. OMG when is the iPhone 6 coming? OMG SIRI I’M BORED!!!!
11. Stars vomiting on stage
As celebrity trends go, we’re glad this one (started by Gaga and The Biebs) appears short-lived. Dear celebrities: no one wants to pay $175 to watch you throw up. (Well, we’re sure someone does, but that person is freaky.)
10. Awkward holiday-themed music videos
Last month, Nicole Westbrook’s “It’s Thanksgiving” was a shoo-in for the most awkward holiday music video ever conceived. (We’re still not sure whether or not it was made with “Friday”-level badness in mind.) Then John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John had to go and ruin everything by presenting the competition, “I Think You Might Like It.” (Newsflash: we don’t.) Who would’ve thought an A-list actor’s music video sequel to one of the most iconic musicals of all time would have worse production value than some 14-year-old girl we’ve never heard of? Don’t get it twisted ― Thanksgiving is for singing into drumsticks, Christmas is for line-dancing with cops.
9. Clint Eastwood talking to a chair
Mitt Romney’s Big Bird slam wasn’t the worst campaign blunder of a highly amusing election season. He left that to Clint, who spent half his speech at the RNC talking to Invisible Obama in an empty chair. (It was improvised.) In keeping, we will pretend that Clint was the invisible one in 2012, erasing this from our minds completely.
8. Fifty Shades of Grey
If you were to read a “racy” book from 50 years ago, chances are it’d seem pretty tame in comparison to today’s literature. Fifty Shades of Grey will probably seem positively quaint in another couple of decades. We have a feeling most of the “naughty” housewives getting their kicks with this trashy work of fiction will regret it sooner rather than later ― or at least, they’ll regret the time they convinced their husband to try out a little spanky hanky-panky in the bedroom and couldn’t sit down for a week.
7. Ryan Lochte speaking
Rumor has it there are many things Ryan Lochte does well. Talking isn’t one of them. (There’s a reason he spends most of his time with his face submerged under water.) The gold medalist became the talk of the 2012 London Olympics more for his male-bimbo comments about peeing in pools and sleeping around than for his athletic prowess. In the future, we’ll remember it this way: more backstroke, less lip-flap. Just put on your Speedo and shut up.
6. Kristen cheats on Rob
It’s one thing to be caught running around on a hunky movie star, and another to be doing it with the older married director of your new franchise. While we somewhat admire her decision to publicize a heartfelt (awkward) apology, it came off as a little too much, like something Stephenie Meyer would have written. And come on. If you’re going to cheat on Edward freakin’ Cullen, can’t you at least do it with Jacob? Jeez!
A little something for the gents, a little something for the ladies. Remember when the royal family was prim, proper, and chaste? Okay, us either. As we know from looking back on the past, things that are shocking to a society at one time become no big deal a few decades later. So, in 20 years, when British royals are betting the Buckingham Palace at blackjack and starring in their own pornos, we’ll probably wonder what the fuss was about when we saw Kate and Harry’s private bits. (And not even their most private bits.) For the time being, it’ll do as one of the year’s most delightful scandals.
4. Liz & Dick
What’s worse than multiple arrests, court appearances, money troubles, family feuds, and run-ins with the cops? Yes, that’s right. Liz & Dick. Not even the sassy hurricane that is Lilo's personal life could eclipse this atrocious Lifetime biopic. Lilo's big “comeback” was more like a goawayforever. In short: we were bored. We were SO BORED!! Lindsay should really forget about 2012… and 2011… and every year since 2006, basically.
3. PSY's "Gangnam Style"
Hey, want to do the Macarena? No? How about the Electric Slide? Hmm... not that either? Well, of course you don’t! Those are ridiculous dances that make us, as a society, look like complete asses! Fortunately we’ve learned our lesson, and will never again fall for theseflash-in-the-pan pop culture crazes. Or… “Heyyy, sexy laaadyyy…” Oops. We did it again.
2. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
In the future, Honey Boo Boo will be our leader, and she will regret those awkward years when she let us watch her engage in such silly things as child beauty pageants. Those who speak of it will be swiftly deported and placed in a holding facility somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. We will not be allowed to ask where our loved ones have gone, or mention them again. It will be as if they never existed.
This future begins in 2013. Prepare.
1. Everything Chris Brown said, did, and thought
He may not have exactly topped his 2009 beating of Rihanna, but if it’s even possible, we like him even less now that he’s shown little to no remorse for his actions and only continued to act out in misogynistic, ignorant ways. Throwing a chair on Good Morning America, dressing as a terrorist for Halloween, tweeting angry scatological come-ons to a stranger, and, yes, getting back together with Rihanna both musically and, apparently, in the biblical sense.
The duo released a song called “Nobody’s Business” and, believe us, we really wish it wasn’t. But both superstars seem determined to rub it in our faces every chance they get. We can only imagine what insane antics Breezy will get into in coming years, but if 2012 can be looked back on for one thing, perhaps it’ll be as the year “we told you so.” Because this guy isn’t showing any signs of going uphill from here.
Okay! So that's the year in shameful review! Now 2012, go to the corner and think about what you've done.
For more of Hollywire's looks back at this eventful year, check out our other Best of 2012 posts.
Have we covered it? What'd we miss?
Thanks for the LOLz, 2012!
Photos Courtesy of Fameflynet.