Happy Christmas Eve! I really loved making a list of my favorite pop culture moments last year, and putting together the same post for 2018 was no exception. Part of the reason why I love the entertainment industry is because it soothes our bad days and distracts us from our individual troubles and the world’s issues. Obviously, there are moments when the field overlaps with politics and international concerns (see: #MeToo), but I love recapping what put a smile on my face throughout the year.
What are some of your favorite pop culture memories from 2018?
1) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married, Prince Louis is born, Princess Eugenie gets her moment in the sun, Meghan is pregnant…
…and essentially any positive thing to do with the royal family this year. I’m so over all the reports of drama within the family (brothers are allowed to go through tough times and sisters-in-law never have to be BFFs) and would rather focus on their brighter moments. What other year had two royal weddings, a birth of a prince, and the announcement of a beloved couple’s first baby? While watching Harry and Meghan’s wedding, I even grew more emotional than I anticipated, tearing up at Harry’s reaction to his bride, as well as Doria Ragland watching the two of them together. I cried over some of the New York Times’ more personal event coverage and just spent that whole morning marveling over this amazing addition to the British monarchy. Plus, all of the year’s weddings and babies just meant that we all had more chances to see my favorite royal, Princess Charlotte, be the mini-boss lady she totally is.
2) Timeless returns for Season 2 and gets a two-hour finale movie
What this fandom continues to achieve never fails to impress me. What other fans have pushed network execs so much that they willed a cancelled series’ second season and TV movie into existence? I loved Season 2 of Timeless and how the cast and crew clearly made the most of their second chance, developing characters beyond the show’s main trio, introducing little-known historical figures, and raising the story’s stakes so smoothly. It’s clearly wise to never say never when it comes to Timeless, so fingers crossed that the NBC movie on Dec. 20 may lead to more!
3) Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir dazzle in ice-dancing at the Olympics
If these medal-winning Canadian ice dancers maintain that they’re just friends, I’ll believe them until proven otherwise. However, I was definitely on board with spectators’ theories that Virtue and Moir’s chemistry on ice translated to real life at some point. Their Moulin Rouge routine never gets old (dare I say it foreshadowed the news that a stage adaptation will bring Aaron Tveit back to Broadway in 2019?!) and I second the internet’s notion for a Virtue and Moir-inspired romance novel about a longtime ice-dancing pair falling in love.
4) Paul McCartney stops by for Carpool Karaoke
Certain Carpool Karaoke segments are some of my favorite YouTube videos ever. My love for the Paul McCartney version wasn’t instantaneous, but now it never fails to make me teary-eyed. I just love how James Corden never tries to hide his own enthusiasm and excitement about who’s in the car with him, and him leaking a few tears always gets to me. This video is especially emotional because McCartney is touring his hometown and you can tell how touched all of the locals are when they spot him.
5) The Try Guys launch their own company
This time last year, the Try Guys were the only reason I was still subscribed to BuzzFeed Videos on YouTube. I was such a fan of the company’s taste tests and reaction videos, but I probably noticed an overall decline in enjoyable video content about two years ago. I was only interested in the experimental, often hilarious videos starring these four, so when they announced their own independent Try Guys channel, I was thrilled. In case you’re not familiar with them, Ned, Keith, Eugene, and Zach were BuzzFeed employees who began this brand through videos of them trying a range of things, including physical challenges, motherhood, dressing in drag, and researching their genetics. The group’s comedic chemistry is what I love most about them — I usually can’t get through one of their videos without giggling a bit!
6) Lisa Ann Walter and Elaine Hendrix talk about The Parent Trap for its 20th anniversary
The fact that Chessy and Meredith are best friends in real life never ceases to delight me. If you haven’t watched it already, this full version of Lisa Ann Walter and Elaine Hendrix’s Parent Trap anniversary discussion is so sweet and funny. Nowadays, it’s tricky to watch The Parent Trap without thinking of Natasha Richardson’s untimely death or Lindsay Lohan’s professional decline, but the reminder that these two women have the film to thank for their friendship definitely betters the experience.
7) Hearing Nancy Meyers, Alan Menken, and Heidi Thomas speak at the Tribeca Film Festival
I mentioned this back in April, but seeing Call the Midwife creator Heidi Thomas on a Tribeca panel about her new Little Women adaptation was one of my most valuable industry experiences yet. It was so surreal seeing one of my professional heroes talk about what that story means to women of all generations, and to top off that craziness, I was then only a few feet away from the adaptation’s star, Maya Hawke, hugging her mom, Uma Thurman, after the panel.
I had similarly awestruck feelings when I sat through a talk with Nancy Meyers, the mind behind some of my life’s most iconic movies, and looked up before the premiere of the Howard Ashman documentary to spot his composing partner and fellow Disney legend, Alan Menken, casually shuffling into the row in front of me. Menken also spoke after the screening alongside Don Hahn, who produced Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. With 2018 being my first full year immersed in entertainment work, I just had so many “pinch me” moments for which I’m so grateful.
8) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel gets the recognition it deserves
It took me a few episodes to really start liking the first season of the Amazon Prime series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but I’ve adored Season 2 from the start. I think Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino have gotten so comfortable with this period comedy writing style that the second season definitely feels more reminiscent of Gilmore Girls‘ style, which could turn into an issue in future years but still feels like a treat. After being such underrated figures in TV for so long, the couple are finally getting the attention they deserve.
9) SNL finally pulls itself together for its Christmas episode
I didn’t really start watching SNL until college, but staying up to date with its sketches became an absolute must for me during the 2016 election season. Understandably, the show lost a little steam after Trump’s first few months in office, and this particular season has felt like a bit of a drag. Despite this, I’ve grown particularly fond of the current cast over the last year, so I was thrilled when Matt Damon hosted what has definitely been the best episode of the season so far. This year’s holiday episode honestly had so many great sketches, but “Christmas Ornaments” is one of my favorites.
10) Oprah delivers the truth during her Golden Globes speech
This was almost a year ago now, but Oprah Winfrey’s Cecil B. deMille Award acceptance speech at the 2018 Golden Globes was what the world needed at the moment. That ceremony was the one where actresses wore black in solidarity with #MeToo, and if anyone was doubting the entertainment industry’s ability to take this movement seriously, this speech proved them wrong. Not only was it a monumental moment of representation, but the speech reminded us that Oprah just knows how to exude the truth and inspiration people deserve in a cynical time.