Well, this has been a humdinger of a year, hasn’t it? Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older, maybe being a mom has me thinking all kinds of intense (but fruitless) things about Teh Children, but I felt that the highs and lows were pretty extreme. Throughout it all, movies, music, TV, and the internet have been standing by to help us make sense of it all. Sometimes they’ve helped us to express and process our feelings about all of the ways that the world has changed. Sometimes they’ve just been a welcome distraction from things that we just need a break from thinking about.
These are a few of my favorite pop cultural things of 2012:
David Lynch on Louie
The third season of Louis CK‘s brilliant original series Louie was almost atmospheric, taking a poetic approach to the weird people and situations that the title character is always encountering while still being, to use a bit from CK himself, hilaaaaaaarious. But the absolute best thing that I saw on TV this year was David Lynch’s guest starring stint on the show playing Jack Dall, a deranged but brilliant TV executive. Dall mentors Louie as he is considered to take over the hosting position that would be vacated by a retiring David Letterman. I don’t think I laughed much harder at anything as I did when he showed Louie how to greet his audience.
Kind of an obvious choice, but it was pretty fun to watch Psy‘s “Gangnam Style” become a thing. I went to a wedding in September and the DJ played it during the reception. Practically nobody in attendance knew what it was or why they should care. By Thanksgiving, my grandmother performed the some of the dance moves and yelled, “Oppa Gangnam Style” as my brain exploded. It also inspired one of my favorite MamaPop posts ever.
“Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackcident” Episode of Girls
Girls was one of my favorite surprises of 2012. I really didn’t think I was going to like that show at all, and it ended up being the groan-worthy, impossibly funny, sweet, and original highlight of my week during its first season. The best episode, by far, was when they all attended a party in Bushwick where everything went completely awry. I haven’t laughed that hard in awhile.
Samsara Finally Coming to Theaters
Here is where I try desperately (and probably fail) not to sound like pretentious film snob. But there are a series of documentaries that I love that are kind of about life and the world and us and the things we do and how we behave and…stuff. There’s no dialogue, just scenes from humanity in all reaches of the planet and some moody music. There was initially a trilogy from the 80s and 90s that included Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi. Those were then followed up by Baraka, which came out in 1992. All of these movies were visually stunning and ridiculously thought-provoking. Rumors of a sequel of sorts to Baraka began to circulate some years ago and finally that sequel, Samsara, was released this year. It’s beautiful and ugly and wonderful and crushing and sad and joyous and just so, so perfect for a year like this one.
What pop culture things top YOUR Best of 2012 list?