Let’s be real for a second. 2017 wasn’t exactly the best. The news was a dismal wasteland every day. We really wish we could say “every other day” but nope. It was every day. We won’t go into why because you know exactly what we’re talking about. So we’ll try and focus on what little good we had this year in the realm of pop culture because that’s all we can turn to right now.
From Taylor Swift to Riverdale; these 17 2017 pop culture moments were the bright lights of hope in an otherwise horrendous year. Now let’s take a look at what 2017 pop culture moments made us grateful this year.
1. The Oscar Mixup
In case you were somehow away on another planet during the 2017 Oscars, we’ll remind you what happened. La La Land was announced the Best Picture winner. Yeah, not so much. The wrong envelope was read and it was actually Moonlight that took the big win of the night. Movie nerds will disagree, but for the rest of us… this was hilarious. Especially when you were kind of low-key tired of La La Land getting all the love and knew Moonlight deserved the award.
It’s funny how The CW could actually transform the goody-two-shoes way of the Archie comics into a teen drama filled with sex, murder and the almighty HBIC Cheryl Blossom. Now there isn’t a person out there not absolutely obsessed with Jughead… we mean Riverdale. Seriously, it’s basically taken the world by storm. 2017 marks the show’s enterance into the pop culture sphere but we have a feeling it’ll be around for a while.
3. Selena’s Star
Over two decades after she was murdered, Selena is as iconic as ever — especially in Los Angeles. With a large Latino community, Selena is a true queen and inspiration among many of their residents. So it made 100% sense that Selena was not only given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but a whole day. November 3rd will forever be known as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez Day in the grand city of LA and we are HERE FOR IT.
4. The Women’s March
While the Women’s March was not so much pop culture-centric as other moments on this list, it was truly an inspiring note in history and considering how well-documented it was on social media, we’ll still consider it pop culture. Women all over the globe from all walks of life took to their respected streets to take on a number of issues that they felt were at risk under the new administration. From #45 grabbing particular female parts, reproductive rights, the environment and the very real existence of racism in America, it was a day for intersectional feminism and our cries could be heard all over the world. It was clear to the patriarchy that times are changing, whether they like it or not.
5. Get Out
When Get Out hit theaters in February 2017, it was, quite honestly, the movie that the world needed. If you have not seen it yet… literally what is wrong with you??! One of the most timely and unexpected films in years, Get Out was brilliant. A horror movie where the fear sprung from reality instead of ghosts and ghouls, Jordan Peele really outdid himself with this movie.
6. The Handmaid’s Tale
About five or so months after #45 won the 2016 election, in walked The Handmaid’s Tale. Based on a 1985 novel by the same name it was too eerie to see where America could be heading with a man like Donald Trump in charge of the so-called “free world.” While scary to think about, The Handmaid’s Tale was one of the most well-made and addicting TV shows of the year.
7. Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do”
Love her. Hate her. You cannot ignore her. Gone were her social media accounts. In their places were our questions. What the hell was Taylor Swift up to? A new album that was led by a single that basically crashed YouTube. “Look What You Made Me Do” was insane in the membrane. It starred like, 57 Taylors and bred a cascade of hilarious memes we’re still laughing at.
8. Wonder Woman
DC movies are not exactly known for being the best superhero films, TBH. Coming off the crap that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, many were skeptical of Wonder Woman. Then all that fear escaped out of us as soon as the movie started and Gal Gadot perfectly embodied and empowered the role. Once again, a woman had to come in and save the day. Wonder Woman is the saving grace of DC in movie and reality.
9. Eminem’s Cypher
The BET Awards always has something interesting in the news but Eminem going in on Donald Trump went viral instantly. His cypher didn’t last more than five minutes, but it impressed us like no other. Plus, it hyped us up for Em’s first album to in four years. Smart move by Mr. Mathers.
10. The Lion King Announcement
The Lion King‘s live-action remake doesn’t even hit theaters until 2019, but we’re already ready. We were kind of excited about it before. Then came the cast announcement. Simba and Nala will be voiced by Donald Glover and Beyoncé? Dear 2019, you’re doing amazing sweetie.
11. Stranger Things 2
Fans of this show paid their dues. They waited, put in their time, and were greatly rewarded. Eleven and Hopper were everything, Barb got justice. Will was still over-dramatic. Steve redeemed himself as the best babysitter ever. Stranger Things 2 was basically bitchin’.
12. One Love Manchester
As we said before, 2017 had a lot of BS to deal with. One of the most heartbreaking had to be all the senseless violence in our country and the world at large. The bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in May was devastating. In a moment of solidarity, the singer brought her famous friends together for a beautiful concert to show their strength and support of the victims.
13. Thor: Ragnarok
Anytime Chris Hemsworth is shirtless in a movie, we’ve got a great pop culture moment. While that’s true, his godlike body wasn’t the only thing that made the latest Thor amazing. Marvel movies typically have comedy tossed in, but this movie was unlike the rest. It didn’t trudge along for over two hours with too much backstory. It was full force the whole way through, and with a whole ton of laughs to boot.
14. Cardi B
Taylor Swift may’ve us all wondering where the old Taylor had gone but it was Cardi B though who really owned music this year. “Bodak Yellow” was on everyone’s radar as it was shockingly the longest running #1 hit on the hot 100 by a solo female rapper. It all happened seemingly overnight but Cardi B blew up this year and we’re here for it.
15. P!nk’s VMA Speech
It’s been a minute since MTV was relevant in terms of music or music videos, but they continue to have an awards show. Nevertheless, they gave a grand honor to P!nk that night. She took the opportunity to talk about the idea of beauty in relation to her daughter. While aimed at her daughter, it spoke volumes to the rest of us, too.
16. Drake’s Superman Moment
In a year that’s been overflowing with sexual assault accusations, Drake‘s actions were an unexpected moment of relief. During a performance, he stepped in and stopped a man who was getting too handsy with a woman. Drake. The real MVP. It’s a shame that these types of actions aren’t the norm — but it still makes us love the “Hotline Bling” hitmaker just a little bit more.
17. Beyoncé’s Twins
Anytime we can celebrate the glory that is Queen Bey, we will. For some, the announcement of the pregnancy was more exciting than their birth. Either way, Beyoncé’s twins were a beacon of hope and greatness in 2017 and the memes that came along with Blue Ivy realizing that she had two people to split her inheritance with were funny AF.