The Top Pop Culture Moments of 2022
And the winner is...
by : Patricia Karounos- Dec 21st, 2022
Courtesy of ABC/Pamela Littky (Abbott Elementary), B. Affleck & J.Lopez (Getty Images), Courtesy of Netflix (Do Revenge)
As 2022 comes to a close, we can’t help but look back on some of the most notable pop-culture moments and experiences of the year, so we decided to crown just a few of our favourites. Think of it as our version of the Oscars—but way more entertaining.
THE BIGGEST SURPRISE: Abbott Elementary
Abbott Elementary—this year’s breakout TV hit about a group of passionate teachers working at an underfunded public school in Philadelphia—is one of the best sitcoms we’ve seen in a while. It’s not exactly a surprise that showrunner and star Quinta Brunson created a series that is hilarious, full of heart and so sure of its voice—especially considering the cast, which includes the riotous Janelle James as the school’s out-of-pocket principal, Ava, and the iconic Sheryl Lee Ralph giving an Emmy-winning performance as tough but loving veteran teacher Barbara. Anyone who’s familiar with Brunson’s work in the early days of BuzzFeed Video already knows how talented she is. No, what is really shocking is that in 2022, our streaming-dominant society is collectively obsessed with a show that’s on network television. I’m willing to sit through commercials to watch Abbott Elementary every week, and if that’s not a major accomplishment, I don’t know what is.
THE MOVIE THAT MADE ME WISH I WAS A TEENAGER AGAIN: Do Revenge
I did not like being a teenager, and I do not wish to relive the experience of being a teenager, so it’s quite a feat that Netflix’s hyper-stylized black comedy Do Revenge made me nostalgic for those days. Directed and co-written by ultra-cool filmmaker Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (Someone Great, Thor: Love and Thunder) and starring Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke, the movie follows two high-schoolers who team up to help each other get revenge on the people who have wronged them. With obvious nods to classics like Mean Girls and Cruel Intentions (including a small role for Sarah Michelle Gellar), Do Revenge is clever, biting and modern in a way that feels authentic and not try-hard. It’s the kind of movie I would spend hours and hours rewatching if I was still a teenager.
THE ALBUM THAT’S STILL ON REPEAT: Renaissance by Beyoncé
Patience is indeed a valuable skill—and practising it in anticipation of Beyoncé’s most recent music was essential. Unsurprisingly, the wait was more than worth it, because with Renaissance—her seventh studio album and first solo record since 2016—she definitely delivered (and then some). Full of upbeat dance music, the LP gloriously pays homage to queer Black house and disco music while revelling in fun. “Break My Soul” got people to quit their jobs (or at least seriously think about it), “Virgo’s Groove” got us to honour the Virgos in our lives and “Alien Superstar” quickly became a galvanizing anthem of self-celebration. It’s an album that only Beyoncé could have made, and that makes it all the more special.
THE INSTANT CLASSIC: Everything Everywhere All at Once
There’s a reason why the quirky yet moving Everything Everywhere All at Once became one of this year’s biggest box-office hits. The absurdist sci-fi action-dramedy— about a Chinese-American woman with tax troubles who realizes she has the ability to connect with versions of herself in parallel universes and soon must save the multiverse—is wildly inventive and ambitious and makes for an excellent star vehicle for the always transcendent Michelle Yeoh. But underneath all the in-your-face noise and visuals, there’s also a tender mother-daughter story that resonates deeply. Twenty years from now, when we’re looking back on 2022’s slate of movies, this is the one we’re still going to be talking about.
THE MOST UNDERRATED SHOW: Pachinko
Nothing on TV (or streaming platforms) this year has been more breathtaking than Pachinko, the Apple TV+ adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s 2017 epic historical novel of the same name. Set across multiple timelines, the period drama tracks four generations of a Korean family as they immigrate to Japan amid political turmoil, facing tragedies and struggles during their quest to thrive. At the centre of it all is matriarch Sunja (played at different ages by Oscar winner Youn Yuh-jung and breakout Kim Min-ha), who is both big-hearted and hardened by what she’s had to overcome. The series is large in scale but still intimate, making you feel every stunning high and low of the family’s journey. It was well reviewed yet hasn’t found the broader success it deserves (including at the Emmys, where it was snubbed). It’s the show I’ve recommended the most this year because it’s impossible not to get swept up in this captivating story.
THE SILLIEST (BUT STILL AMUSING) GOSSIP STORY: Spitgate
Let’s get one thing straight: I never really thoughtHarry Styles spat on Chris Pine at the Venice Film Festival premiere of Don’t Worry Darling. Yes, I watched the video (many times, obviously) and can see why the speculation started, but come on. That would be some seriously unhinged behaviour—the type people who are professionally famous would not indulge in while in a fancy setting among many people and their cameras. Still, the frenzied gossip and analyses were a lot of fun—for, like, an hour. Then people started taking it way too seriously and it all just became too outrageous. Now that both parties have denied the weaponization of any spit and we have moved past it, I can laugh about it again, but please let’s remember to employ a bit of critical thinking the next time the behind-the-scenes drama of a film is more interesting than the film itself.
THE BREAKOUT STAR: Iman Vellani
You don’t have to be a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or a huge comic-book nerd to love young Canadian actor Iman Vellani in the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel. From the moment she appears onscreen as protagonist Kamala Khan (a.k.a. the titular Ms. Marvel and the MCU’s first Muslim superhero), Vellani enchants viewers. She is effortlessly funny, unabashedly earnest and endearingly relatable, and she oozes charisma. Even when the plot gets bogged down in Marvel technobabble, it doesn’t matter because you just want to spend time with her. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Vellani outside of the MCU, but, for now, I’ll settle for her upcoming reprisal of Kamala in next year’s highly anticipated flick The Marvels alongside Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Samuel L. Jackson— which, you know, isn’t so bad.
THE MOST UPSETTING CANCELLATION: Rutherford Falls
With 500-plus TV shows debuting each year, it’s only natural that there would be a few casualties in the overstuffed streaming landscape. I wish Rutherford Falls—a sharp and gentle two-season comedy co-created by actor Ed Helms, prolific producer Michael Schur (The Good Place) and showrunner Sierra Teller Ornelas— wasn’t one of them. Following two best friends—one a descendant of their town’s colonizer (Helms) and the other a member of the (fictional) Minishonka Nation exploring her identity (Jana Schmieding)—and the vibrant, eclectic community around them, the series was a true gem. It was funny, warm and bursting with potential that we should have gotten to see play out.
THE BEST COMEBACK: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
When Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez rekindled their romance last year—nearly 20 years after they first became “Bennifer”—I was delighted. I ate up every obviously planned paparazzi moment, understanding that this was a well-timed publicity stunt (reminder: this all unfolded not long after JLo’s split from Alex Rodriguez) by two people who clearly enjoyed each other’s company. I thought that their coupling would create some fun moments online and then they’d break up and we’d leave this era of early-2000s nostalgia in the past and send low-rise jeans back with it. (Please, I am begging.) But then, in an almost defiant show of love, the A-listers got married. They did what they were unable to do two decades ago and now seem to be enjoying wedded bliss. Long live Bennifer.
Abbott Elementary: Courtesy of ABC/Pamela Littky
Do Revenge: Courtesy of Netflix
Everything Everywhere All At Once: Allyson Riggs Pachinko: Courtesy of AppleTV+
O. Wilde, C. Pine, H. Styles: Getty Images
Rutherford Falls: Courtesy of NBC/Peacock
Ms.Marvel: Courtesy of Marvel Studios
B. Affleck & J.Lopez: Getty Images
Join our mailing list for the latest and biggest in fashion trends, beauty, culture and celebrity.
Anna Kendrick on the Toll of a Psychologically Abusive Relationship in Alice, Darling
Kendrick plays a woman in a toxic relationship that comes to important revelations while on a weekend getaway.
by : Marriska Fernandes- Feb 3rd, 2023
10 New Sex Toys to Please Yourself
We’ve found a selection of innovative naughty tools, which promise to take us to seventh heaven.
by : ELISABETH MASSICOLLI- Feb 2nd, 2023
This Highly Anticipated Retinol Serum Is Perfect for Sensitive Skin
by : ELLE Canada- Feb 3rd, 2023