2013: The Year in Culture

Our Secret Urge to Fight: What We Have to Learn From the Highest Grossing Non-Sequels of 2013

We go to the movies to see a polished facsimile of ourselves, to see our collective fears and anxieties play out at an air-conditioned, melodramatic remove from reality. If the top-grossing movies of 2013 are any indication of who we are, then we must be starved for sameness, for the comfort of recurring characters — because for the most part, the top-grossing films of this year were sequels, prequels, and franchise reboots. Our yearning for the same characters has been mercilessly monetized, but this should hardly surprise us. … Read More

  • 0

2013: The Year of Persecution Narratives (and Persecution Complexes)

If there’s one good thing pop culture has provided for us in 2013, it’s an increasing awareness of identity politics within the larger cultural conversation. Sure, part of this has been fueled by online media’s inability to let cultural events die quickly the way they used to; just think back at how we spent a week — a week! — discussing Miley Cyrus’ Video Music Awards performance. But despite the fatigue, isn’t it slightly inspiring that culture has influenced such lively, albeit at times exhausting, debate about race, gender, and cultural appropriation?… Read More

  • 0

Flavorwire Staffers’ Favorite Songs of 2013

With the end of every calendar year comes the customary influx of “Best Of” lists, definitively ranking the créme de la cultural créme of the last 365 days. But sometimes “best” doesn’t accurately describe the things that stick with us most, or that we irrationally love out of personal preference. So to cap off 2013, Flavorwire staffers listed their favorite cultural items of the year — the books, movies, and experiences we’ll be taking into 2014. Click through for Flavorwire’s favorite songs of 2013. … Read More

  • 0

2013: The Year the Social Media Dam Broke

I feel I have to start with a caveat, and it’s going to sound melodramatic, and it is melodramatic. But when they canceled Enlightened in March I was “done” with popular culture. The rants I could go on were epic. What got me by the throat about the end of Enlightened was that it was the best thing airing and you simply could not get people really talking about it. People get mad when I compare it to Girls, but I do because they were both low-rated shows on the same network, and to an extent were both only ever going to appeal to similar crowds: your bicoastal literary/art nerds. And I could name a single incident in Girls on Twitter and set off an avalanche of commentary, but Enlightened just had to fly solo for the entirety its brief and beautiful life. It wasn’t that the show wasn’t topical in a way that could have made it one of those nightly think piece things: it was about women and corporate greed. And it wasn’t that Enlightened didn’t provide really great personal-essay fodder, because a lot of its episodes posed giant philosophical questions about what it means to be a person in our day and age. It was a little weird and offbeat, but then a lot of more popular things — I’m back at Girls again — are, and they survive. … Read More

  • 0

The Year in NSFW Music Videos

The decline of MTV and the rise of the Internet means that artists making music videos these days have far more creative freedom than they ever did in the past. This has been a particularly good year for videos, and foremost amongst the year’s best have been some that are most definitely not safe for work. So, again, here’s an examination of how videos that are raunchy, terrifying, and/or plain old strange have featured in… Read More

  • 0

Flavorwire Staffers’ Favorite Films of 2013

With the end of every calendar year comes the customary influx of “Best Of” lists, definitively ranking the créme de la cultural créme of the last 365 days. But sometimes “best” doesn’t accurately describe the things that stick with us most, or that we irrationally love out of personal preference. So to cap off 2013, Flavorwire staffers listed their favorite cultural items of the year — the books, movies, and experiences we’ll be taking into 2014. Click through for Flavorwire’s favorite comedies, dramas, dramedies, and docudramas of the year. … Read More

  • 0

2013 in TV: The Year Art Gave Us an Appetite for Trash

On the face of it, 2013 was just as strong a year as any in recent memory for the kind of prestige programming that has critics declaring a contemporary golden age of television. It was the year when one of TV’s most ambitious dramas, Breaking Bad, performed its swan song for over ten million viewers, a number that would make any network executive jealous. It was the year when Netflix not only resurrected the too-smart-for-primetime sitcom Arrested Development but also launched two equally intelligent (and arguably stronger) shows, Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards. It was even the year when books on the subject — namely, Brett Martin’s Difficult Men and Alan Sepinwall’s The Revolution Was Televised — started appearing to solidify this creeping consensus for posterity. … Read More

  • 0

2013 in Music: The Year Virality Trumped Nuance

There have been plenty of wonderful things about music this year. These albums. This photo. The emergence of new talents like Majical Cloudz and Savages, and the unexpected return of established ones like David Bowie and My Bloody Valentine. Angel Haze’s 30 Gold series and her subsequent schooling of her record company. The continuing absence of the Black Eyed Peas. But if there’s been one abiding image this year, it’s been that of Miley Cyrus and her remarkably gymnastic tongue. … Read More

  • 0

What Were the Worst Things on the Internet in 2013?

What a wild ride 2013 was, huh? So many memes, so many funny tweets, so many things on the Internet that infuriated us and made us think very hard about each other and also ourselves — particularly, “Why don’t we just delete all of our social media accounts so that we don’t have to see all of this stupid shit day in and day out?” (The answer: because we need it.) If you’re the kind of person who has ever dreamed about writing angry blog posts, you’re also the kind of person who watched with a combination of fascination and shame while the Internet made some weird attempt to self-destruct over the past 12 months. Let’s revisit some of the most annoying moments of the year; I apologize in advance for refreshing your short-term memory. … Read More

  • 0
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,501 other followers