Peaks & pits of 2017-2018 pop culture

The Lifestyle editors discuss the year's most important moments in entertainment

Shivani and Josh surronded by pop culture.
Photo illustration by Josh Granovsky

The 2017-2018 year hasn’t disappointed us with a mecca of pop culture cringe-worthy moments and uplifting memories. 

It’s time to break down the best and worst of this year.


Grammys diversifies nominees

Shivani: While there’s a diverse range of races in the music industry, this usually isn’t represented during award shows, so it was nice to see 2018 brought some more racial diversity to the Grammys.

Josh: Non-white artists made up 80 per cent of those nominated for Grammys this year — an unexpected outcome after two years of #OscarsSoWhite. It was a welcome surprise to see the Recording Academy recognize some of the best music out there from artists who, in the past, have been ignored because of their skin colour.

Kardashian pregnancies

S: I could barely keep up with all these Kardashian pregnancies, but I loved every minute of it. As someone who’s been following Khloe’s marriage and fertility problems for years, I was so happy everybody’s favourite Kardashian was finally getting her dream of motherhood. 

J: I won’t pretend Kylie’s pregnancy announcement video didn’t make me a little misty. Otherwise, I can’t say I have anything but neutrality towards the Kardashians. But bringing more life into the world is good, I guess?

Jack Pearson as a person in our lives

S: Jack Pearson, the patriarch in This Is Us, has exceeded everyone’s standards of what makes a good husband and what a loving father looks like. Plus, Milo Ventimiglia has somehow proven that he can be even more attractive with a mustache straight out of the 70s. 

J: As a loyal This is Us fan, I think Jack Pearson is the greatest and his selflessness is inspiring beyond belief. As a guy who will now forever be expected to maintain the same standards of altruism, craftiness and generally ridiculous facial hair, I can’t help but resent him just a little. However, if I’m going to be forced into a new chapter of self-betterment, I’m glad it’s by a guy as fun to watch as Jack.

Black Panther

S: It’s safe to say that this movie is officially iconic. The film has an African-American majority cast with insanely talented actors. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the movie is now the highest-grossing Marvel movie in the United States.

J: A hit movie with a predominantly African-American cast — especially on the heels of summer breakout Girls Trip — sends a pretty strong message to the corporate leaders heading up Hollywood studios: audiences want diversity. 

American Idol coming back

S: When I heard that American Idol was coming back, I thought it was so lame. But watching a few episodes, I have to admit it’s pretty amusing. The show has done a good job of realizing and capitalizing on its own ridiculousness and I’m not mad about it. You do you, American Idol.

J: I responded to news of Idol returning a single year after its farewell season with a massive eye roll. However, the contestants’ charm has quickly won me over and judge Katy Perry has me consistently laughing throughout the show. Even though I wasn’t a massive Idol fan back in the day, its new iteration is an surprising breath of fresh air that’ll have me sticking around for a while.


Grammys has majority male winners

S: Gender equality in award show winners is especially vital in a field where there are a lot of women high up in the game. I think the world let out a collective sigh to see that the majority of the nominees were men.

J: Only one woman won a Grammy during the televised ceremony this year, to which the Recording Academy President responded by saying that women in music needed “to step up.” No, Grammys, it’s quite the opposite.

Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment allegations

S: It’s empowering to see people speaking out about experiences with sexual harassment and there’s a potential for change to be made. But the Harvey Weinstein debacle has also illuminated the systematic problem of sexual harassment in workplaces across the board.

J: Weinstein’s exposure as a Hollywood predator was accompanied by shock, disgust and numerous other stories of high-profile men. Hopefully, we’ll get to a point in which every one of these stories has been told — not because people stop speaking up, but because there’s nothing to speak up about.

All the celebrity couples that broke up

S: Alright, let’s pour one out for all iconic couples that broke up this year. Brangelina, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris and, as of this week, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum. 

J: That last one stings. Step Up will never be quite the same viewing experience. The dissolution of three couples who appeared rock solid from the outside and were prime examples of “finding true love in Hollywood” left us all a little less hopeful for finding a picture-perfect romance.

Taylor Swift’s new vibe

S: 2017 was the year Taylor Swift re-invented herself — well, tried to. She threw out all the shade possible and released music that is just not that good. Can we please just go back to the days of curly-haired, guitar-playing Taylor?

J: Coming off the massive success of 2014’s 1989, Taylor Swift had one of the biggest platforms in music. And she chose to use it to bring “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred back into our lives. Hmm.

Arie as ‘Bachelor’

S: Put a narcissistic former race car driver with the moral ability to end an engagement with a woman, on camera for another woman and you get this season of The Bachelor. Does it make us pretty uncomfortable? Yes. Does it make for great TV? Also yes. But that doesn’t make it cool to exploit someone’s breakup for ratings.

J: The only part of this season I watched was Arie’s unceremonious parting with his brief fiancée, but I still felt overwhelmingly unimpressed with his choice to break the news over television. And the dumpee’s takeaway from her embarrassing experience is to ... remain on television for The Bachelorette

2017-18 pop culture was filled with surprises — some good, some bad, some Kylie Jenner-related. We learned that maybe we don’t understand pop culture as much as wethought we did. Looking forward to a learning curve, 2018-19.


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