On Day of the Dead, friends and family traditionally gather to honor the memory of departed loved ones.
We couldn’t help but think of all the losses pop-culture vultures have suffered this year. We’re not talking about icons (Prince’s death still hurts) — that salute will come at the end of the year — but about other, perhaps more trivial things that we’ve lost in the arts and entertainment world.
Trivial? Sure. But still worthy of a small salute. RIP, Brangelina.
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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s first roles onscreen together were as husband and wife, and life imitated art. Ten years and six kids later, they wed in real life. Even the truest Team Aniston cheerleaders had all but embraced the pair.
But their tabloid marriage ultimately couldn’t survive the headlines, and the announcement of their breakup in September broke the internet. Let’s raise a glass of Miraval rose wine from their French estate and toast to love and loss in Hollywood.
The desire to forget O.J. Simpson
Sure, we couldn’t get enough of O.J. when he was actually on trial 21 years ago, but then Y2K flipped us into a new century and we were done. After years and years of talking about whether he killed his wife, we’d had enough. He was in jail for a different crime. We’d moved on to other innocent-or-guilty musings.
But then FX rocked our worlds with The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Suddenly a whole new generation was fascinated by the football star-turned-murder suspect. And so were we, all over again. Because this series was good. Emmy-winning good. So good that it once again brought O.J. into water-cooler conversations. And by “water cooler,” of course, we mean Facebook.
There was something so lovely about the ending of a good story. We cried, sure, but whether satisfying or not, there was closure. There was the occasional series spinoff, but for the most part, we were able to walk away from our favorite characters.
But 2016 has brought us the return of Full House (Fuller House), Boy Meets World (Girl Meets World), MacGyver and many more. Gilmore Girls is even coming back this month. And J.K. Rowling is releasing new Harry Potter books after we mourned the end of the series.
While we don’t hate hearing from our favorite characters again, we’re starting to worry about rekindling so many old flames — will love be as sweet the second time around? Only time will tell.
Clowns have been entertaining people since the dawn of recorded history. Smithsonian.com says they made both Egyptian pharaohs and ancient imperial Chinese courts laugh. They hit their heyday when Bozo the Clown got his own TV show in the 1960s, the same decade Ronald McDonald became a pitchman for the golden arches.
But no more are clowns innocent party and circus entertainment for kids. Not since “creepy clowns” have been frightening schoolkids and grown adults out of their wits across the country. We’ll never again be able to throw on a big red nose and curly wig as a Halloween costume without considering whether we’ll scare other people.
And, like Pagliacci, that makes us sad.
Awaiting a hotly anticipated album
Lone gone are the days of anxiously counting down the days until favorite artists release new works — standing in line at the record store or even excitedly preordering an album on iTunes. Over the past decade, musicians have begun surprising us, releasing new music with no notice. It was fun at first. Novel. Exciting. But in 2016 it wasn’t just Drake, Beyonce and Skrillex to surprise-release music. U2 released a free album on iTunes and David Bowie announced a project he had recorded in secrecy.
It’s official — there’s no more advance warning, no more buildup. You must be in Wi-Fi range at all times, lest you miss your favorite artist’s new songs. It’s not that we hate the music, but we do miss the anticipation.
Caring about Taylor Swift breakups
Taylor’s 2008 breakup with Joe Jonas broke our hearts, brought us great music and was fodder for a funny Saturday Night Live monologue. A succession of romances and splits with high-profile boyfriends like Taylor Lautner, John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal kept tabloids buzzing about someone other than Brangelina (again, RIP), and kept the music coming.
Her 2016 breakup with Calvin Harris only brought us … a 2016 breakup with Tom Hiddleston. We’ll always read scoop about her love life, but we’re fatigued. We want more music from Swifty — preferably upbeat, hopeful tunes and no more sad breakup songs. We hope for all of our sakes that her next romance is a true Love Story and not a We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.
Our love of the electoral process
It’s not that we don’t love Democracy anymore. It’s just that the 24-hour news cycle focused on a particularly special crop of candidates engaged in a long, long campaign, rife with email scandals, Billy Bush drama and a nationwide debate over “bigly” versus “big league” has us rethinking our normal election-year excitement.
Here’s one series finale we’re ready for Nov. 8. Come to think of it, can Taylor Swift write a breakup song about it?