50 Biggest Pop Culture Moments from 2018
All the movies, memes, and memories that made the year so bonkers
Now that we’re in the twilight of 2018, there’s no better time to look back on what was surely one of the most sensational years of pop culture in recent history. From building-scaling raccoons to yodeling kids to firsts in just about every category of representation you could think of, “groundbreaking” wouldn’t quite do it justice—but ground-shattering would. So kick back and get ready to move warp speed through the year that was in pop culture.
Black Panther Dominates the Cinema
Black Panther, Ryan Coogler’s film based on the Marvel comic book series of the same name, set a whole bunch of box office records. Yet those numbers tell little of its true impact. Becoming one of the first major motion pictures to feature an almost exclusively black cast, it was described as “a love letter to black culture.” In no time, it had kids everywhere—and a few adults—yelling “Wakanda forever” at every opportunity.
In a year-end nod to the movie’s enduring impact, Entertainment Weekly named “The Women of Black Panther” among its “Entertainers of the Year.” Looking forward, Coogler is signed on to direct the sequel, set to hit in 2019 or early 2020.
The Royal Wedding
You may have heard. Prince Harry, the younger of Lady Diana’s two sons, got married this year—and to a non-royal, at that. Meghan Markle, an actress best known for her role on Suits, was the lucky bride. In an elaborate ceremony in front 600 guests and almost 30 million Americans tuned into their TV set, the couple exchanged vows in front of Bishop Michael Curry of Chicago, Illinois. And if you thought your child’s wedding was a weight on the wallet, just check out the budget for this event: $45 million.
Beyoncé at Coachella
In April 14, 2018, Beyoncé became the first black female to headline the famous Coachella music festival in Indio, California. After having cancelled her performance the year earlier due to pregnancy, Beyonce played a 26-song set hailed by EW as “one of the most consequential performances of the year and…of the 21st century.” Clocking in at almost two hours, with appearances by Rihanna, Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, and an entire marching band, the expansive set left concert-goers spellbound. In retrospect, it was only fitting that the year’s festivities head earlier been given the unofficial name of “Beychella.” Whoever headlines 2019 will have some very large shoes to fill.
Kanye Visits the White House
On October 11, almost a month after his wife, Kim Kardashian, had visited the White House, Kanye West did the same. With Jim Brown seated nearby, and the two surrounded by a gaggle of reporters, West delivered a monologue that was, well, um, interesting, to say the least. Among the other things West touched on in a speech that he described as “channeled…from the soul,” was the idea that the president should travel in an Apple-designed airplane known as the iPlane 1. The entire bizarre sequence was, unsurprisingly, immortalized in an SNL cold opening the following week.
Pete and Ariana
Of all the year’s romances, that between pop star Ariana Grande and SNL cast member Pete Davidson almost certainly takes the cake. After getting engaged in June—just twenty-four days after meeting one another—the two went for a wild ride until, in October, TMZ reported the engagement was off. Their short time together included matching tattoos, an interlude on Grande’s album entitled “Pete,” and numerous incidents in which Davidson divulged intimate details of their relationship to late night hosts. While the two reportedly remain on good terms, each has taken steps to cover over their matching tattoos. And there’s been no dearth of snipes on social media.
The Thai Soccer Team Rescue
Seemingly the entire world watched as 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped in an underground cave in Thailand for a grueling 18 days. At times appearing doomed, the rescue was pulled off just in time by a group of Thailand’s Navy SEALS as the cave threatened to flood further with water. “We’re not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what,” one SEAL told CBS, explaining the miraculous mission. In a happy ending, the entire team stopped by Ellen to describe the harrowing experience, and were surprised by a visit from their soccer idol, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Hawaii Sends Out a False Alarm
On January 13th, residents of Hawaii were given quite a shock when they received an emergency alert on their phones warning them to “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER” due to a “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII.” While at least one resident suffered a heart attack in response, the alarm was in fact a result of human error causes by one state employee hitting the wrong button. Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry tweeted in response that, “When the lives of millions are at risk, we must do more than just hope that mistakes won’t happen.”
Bieber Serenades Baldwin
Denying rumors that they had recently eloped, pop star Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin travelled to London for the latter’s show at London Fashion Week. In between sightseeing, Bieber decided to surprise Baldwin—along with dozens of adoring, screaming fans—with an acoustic serenade outside of Buckingham Palace. In a light-pink camo hoodie and chunky Nike sneakers, the singer made quite a scene with the impromptu performance of his 2016 hit “Cold Water.” Fortunately, this was one of Bieber’s more positive headlines, a stark contrast to his newsworthy antics of years past.
The Greatest Crossover Event in History
This year brought the close (or at least the beginning of the close) for the record-setting Avengers franchise. Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joseph Russo, featured almost every living member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe facing off against the mighty Thanos (Josh Brolin). The first superhero film to bring in over $2 billion worldwide, Avengers: Infinity War displayed just how powerful a hero franchise can be—especially when all the heroes are brought together in one film. The sequel is scheduled for release on May 3, 2019.
Tide Pod Challenge
This year likely marked the first year in which a number of humans decided to publicly eat laundry detergent for fun. The “Tide Pod Challenge,” as it’s known, was a YouTube-based challenge in which people would be dared to eat detergent-stuffed plastic pods for the enjoyment of their peers. While jokes about eating the pods had been swirling since their introduction in 2012, it wasn’t until this year that the joke became mainstream.
But it wasn’t all fun: according to Vice, Poison Control received 86 calls regarding Tide-related poisonings just in the first three weeks of the year. Let’s hope this is a trend that stays in 2018.
Image via Instagram
Roseanne Gets Cancelled
After her former hit show Roseanne returned to TV in March to enormous ratings, Roseanne Barr was riding high. Less than three months later, however, Ms. Barr found herself in hot water. After tweeting out a message that appeared to compare Valerie Jarrett, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, to an ape, Barr had her show cancelled in a move the Times called “without precedent.” Fortunately for her co-stars, the show was brought back—with Ms. Barr’s character having died from an opioid overdose—as the The Conners, where it can still be seen on ABC.
The Queer Eye Reboot
After almost eleven years off air, Queer Eye, a reboot of the original “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy,” returned to public consciousness with a Netflix series. With an all-new fab five, and a different location (Atlanta instead of New York), the new Queer Eye was instantly a hit, with PopSugar explaining that “the internet has pretty much fallen in love with it.” Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson perhaps captured the feeling best when he tweeted that while he “wasn’t expecting to be so emotionally invested….these guys are building bridges & moving me to tears in ever [sic] episode.”
Aretha Franklin Passes Away
On August of this year, the Queen of Soul passed away at age 76 from pancreatic cancer. Among many other notable celebrities, Barack Obama tweeted out a tribute to Franklin, saying the singer “helped define the American experience.” Her funeral, meanwhile, was as imposing as she was, featuring performances by the likes of Chaka Khan, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder. As one mourner’s sign noted: “God’s choir will forever rock steady.”
A Raccoon Scales a Skyscraper
Who could have guessed that one of the year’s biggest celebrities would be….a raccoon? Well, after one scaled the 25-story UBS Plaza office tower in St. Paul, Minnesota, that’s exactly what happened. On June 12, social media was glued to the tale of the “MPR Raccoon”—so-called because it was first reported on by a reporter at Minnesota Public Radio—as it spent the day crawling up was it the 15th-tallest building in the city. As one biologist told the Times, commenting on the incident’s strangeness: “That kind of height is extraordinary.”
Meanwhile, crowds formed beneath the building, and employees watched from inside as the raccoon—occasionally taking breaks—methodically made its way up. Around 3:00 a.m., it had reportedly reached the roof, safe and sound, where it was retrieved by Wildlife Management Services. In response, a parody Twitter account made for the raccoon announced that it would “like to thank God, the great people of Minnesota and the Wu-Tang Clan.”
Cardi B Throws A Shoe At Nicki Minaj
Cardi B and Nicki Minaj were two of the year’s biggest stars, with Cardi experiencing a breakout and Minaj maintaining her dominance in the music industry. Unfortunately, however, the two can’t seem to get along. Whispers of their disagreements and mutual dislike reached a very public head in September, when Cardi reportedly threw a shoe at Minaj during a party at New York Fashion Week. The pair continue to beef back-and-forth on albums and on social media, and we can only hope that it’s purely for entertainment purposes, and not something personal.
The coolest part of the whole incident? Minaj allegedly “didn’t even flinch.”
Chloe Kim Wins Gold
Yup, the Winter Olympics were this year. If you forgot most of it, that’s fine—but one moment that stuck in everyone’s mind was the gold medal won by 17-year-old American snowboarder Chloe Kim. Whether it was due to her youth, her skill (those back-to-back 1080s!), or her refreshingly grounded personality, Kim was undoubtedly the star of this year’s games. Most recently, she was announced to be in Time‘s list of the 100 most influential people of the year.
The Crock Pot Death
This year’s season of the hit show This Is Us featured a sudden, surprise death. (Spoiler alert!) If that wasn’t enough drama in itself, the shows’ creators sparked a fury within the home cooking community when that death was the result of a Crock-Pot. Fear afterwards reached such a fever pitch that the show’s creator, Dan Fogleman, felt the need to tweet out a reminder that “it was a 20-year old fictional crockpot with an already funky switch….let’s not just lump all those lovely hardworking crockpots together.”
Serena At The U.S. Open
This year’s final of the Women’s U.S. Open will likely go down in history—though not for reasons the players would have wanted. With Serena Williams trailing upstart Naomi Osaka by one set, her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, was called for an infraction from the bench. That apparently was a call Serena took exception for, as she immediately began to publicly tar the umpire as a “thief” and a “liar.” Head officials from the Open eventually had to take the court to settle the issue, and the match ended with Osaka pulling away with an easy victory. The enduring image, however, is of Serena comforting an obviously shaken Osaka during the trophy presentation ceremony, as a chorus of “boos” reign down from the stands.
Anthony Bourdain Passes
On June 8, Anthony Bourdain—chef, writer, explorer, filmmaker, television personality, 21st-century Renaissance man—was found unresponsive in a Parisian hotel room. The Kitchen Confidential author was beloved both in the food world and beyond, as testified by the tributes that began pouring in from all over the globe. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Broadway’s Hamilton, might have put it best when he admitted that reading Bourdain had “made this one formerly picky, forgetful eater very brave and want to try everything.”
Drake Plays Fortnite
In 2018, if you had young kids, you almost certainly watched them spend hours playing the online game Fortnite. Released in 2017, it wasn’t until this year that the game reached household name recognition. Perhaps the most iconic moment in its swift rise to pop culture-obsession, however, was when Drake, along with Travis Scott, played live on the streaming platform Twitch, along with popular gamer Ninja. As could be expected, the stream broke all sorts of records, at one point receiving over 600,000 concurrent viewers to watch the pop stars play a video game.
Few people had a better 2018 than Mason Ramsey, whom you may know as “Yodeling Kid.” After being caught on camera greeting customers in an Illinois Walmart with a yodeled rendition of “Lovesick Blues,” the 11-year-old, along with his signature red bowtie and cowboy boots, went viral. As a result, Ramsay performed at Coachella, performed on Ellen, and even signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Something says we’ll likely be seeing a lot more of this precocious young fella.
Pose Hits The Small Screen And Makes History
Pose, the latest TV drama from Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy, made history this year for having the largest cast of transgender actors for a television series ever. Chronicling ballroom culture in late ’80s New York, the cast largely represents the characters they will be playing. Alongside its groundbreaking casting, the series has won merit on its own right, with a Times headline urging that “‘Pose Demands to Be Seen.”
Red Hair Emojis
This year, a major cultural oversight was remedied: redhead emojis were released. Despite having been requested for years, the red-haired emoji was reportedly delayed due to questions about its implementation, such as which emojis should be able to don the color. However, on June 5, the emoji was made available worldwide, with individual phone companies being given a mandate to integrate them into their offerings. The arc of the emoji universe may be long, as they say, but it bends towards justice.
“Thank U, Next”
Following up on the notoriety of her failed relationship with Pete Davidson, the singer released a track, “Thank U, Next,” in which she references all of her past famous boyfriends, saying she is “grateful for my ex.” Released on November 3rd, the track was met with both critical and popular acclaim. Along with reaching number one on the charts, it also broke the record the single-day streaming record for a female artist on Spotify, having been streamed 8.2 million times on November 5th. It’s also probably what everyone in your office is singing under the breath.
The TanaCon Disaster
This year, Tana Mangeau, a popular YouTuber, decided to throw her own festival to rival VidCon, the popular conference for YouTubers and other online video makers held every summer. Instead, she created what amounted to a Fyre Festival 2.0, when attendees were left in the California sun and heat for hours without water, causing police to shut down the event less than half a day before it began. “We stood outside for 4 hours, just to be treated like animals,” one attendee tweeted. Before it was all over, Tana had numerous “thanks” for the sunburns she had caused, along with articles in major publications trying to explain just what went so wrong.
One indication that something may have been amiss in the planning stage? Despite the venue’s capacity for 5,000 guests, promoters had sold 20,000 tickets. And for more worthwhile things to watch on YouTube than Ms. Mangeau, check out these 15 Genius YouTube Classes That Will Improve Your Life.
The Aziz Ansari Story
When Babe published an expose about one woman’s evening with Aziz Ansari, and how he repeatedly crossed the line, the internet went into over drive. The opinion sections of just about every major newspaper in the country weighed in; so did some 800 bajillion Twitter accounts. Some said the behavior was clear sexual misconduct, while others suggested it was less cut-and-dried. Meanwhile, though no definitive conclusion has been reached, Ansari recently released dates for a jam-packed 2019 North American tour.
Millie Bobby Brown Was Bullied Off Twitter
Apparently 2018 was also the year for bullying famous teenagers off of social media. After the hashtag #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown began circulating in 2017, the effort came to a head this summer when the 14-year-old Stranger Things star deleted her Twitter account in response. For the past year, users had been using the hashtag to circulate false rumors about supposedly intolerant things the star had done to various groups, including gays and Muslims. While none of the reports were confirmed, Brown had apparently had enough of the name calling, and left the platform for good. As one tweeted in response: “Wowwwwwww humanity really is the worst.”
Drake And Pusha-T Feud
This year saw the return of major hip-hop beef the likes of which we haven’t seen since the days of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. Kicking off with rapper Pusha-T dissing Drake on a Kanye West-produced track, Drake quickly responded with his own track, criticizing West for using ghostwriters and Pusha-T for being a hypocrite. In short order, Pusha-T delivered the now-infamous “Story of Adidon,” in which he reveals the existence of Drakes’ then-unacknowledged child. The cover, meanwhile, featured an image of Drake in blackface, kicking off speculation as to where the image originated.
While Drake failed to respond—citing the influence of higher-ups requesting his silence—the whole incident left many wondering where Pusha-T had received such sensitive information about the pop star, and many others wondering how they could get some more.
The Suicide Forest Video
YouTube star Logan Paul got 2018 off to an unfortunate start when his first vlog of the year featured him walking into Japan’s so-called “Suicide Forest.” Donning a Minions hat and a rainbow-infused denim jacket, Paul light-heartedly joked with friends while walking the sacred grounds, until they stumbled upon a dead body. As could be expected, this generated a tremendous amount of backlash, with the star having to abandon his once-profitable channel. Months later, Paul returned to the spotlight to announce he’d be working on a documentary “about everything that’s happened this year.”
IHOP Becomes IHOb
On June 11, IHOP—America’s oldest and most famous pancake chain—changed its name to IHOb by flipping its “P” upside-down. The move was ostensibly to promote a new line of burgers (International House of Burgers), but the name itself caught more attention than the meal offerings. Other brands got in on the fun, too, with Netflix tweeting: “brb changing my name to Netflib.”
Less than week later, however, the chain reverted to its original name, explaining that, “We’d never turn our back on pancakes.” Wendy’s, meanwhile, asserted they had never really fallen for the gag, writing in response to one Twitter users’ lamentation that the entire incident was a joke: “Of course it was.”
Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh Testify
No matter what side of the divide you found yourself on, the Brett Kavanaugh hearing was a major cultural moment the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the Anita Hill hearings. With over 20 million people tuned in, America watched as two prominent professionals—first Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, then Brett Kavanaugh—divulged deeply personal information in a show of intense emotion. While both sides were ultimately left unsatisfied, the images and repercussions of those hours will live on for generations.
The Fluff Challenge
This year also saw the rise of more humane, though devious, YouTube pranks—most notably, the “What the Fluff” challenge. In it, a human dog or cat owner reveals themselves multiple times behind a blanket to their pet, before dropping the blanket and disappearing. When that happens, the animal almost always immediately reacts, jumping up out of concern that their owner has simply vanished. Moments later—or minutes, depending on how cruel they are—the owner reappears, and the pet is as excited as ever for their return. While it’s all a bit of emotional manipulation, it’s highly effective, and led to some great reaction shots.
Stephen Hawking Dies
This year the world lost renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking. Known for his work on black holes, as well as his popularization of the field, Hawking had been suffering from a motor neuron disease—which left him wheelchair bound—since he was 21.
Reactions to his death came from all corners of the globe, including scientists, politicians, artists, and others. The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, for example, noted Hawking’s “colossal mind and wonderful spirit,” while actor Benedict Cumberbatch hailed his “wickedly funny sense of humor.” Once again, former president Barack Obama came through with a fitting and touching tribute—an image of the two men smiling in the Oval Office with the caption, “Have fun out there among the stars.”
A Star Is Born
Without even seeing the film you had to know that a Bradley Cooper-directed and Lady Gaga-starring remake of A Star Is Born was going to be huge. When the film turned out to also be good on its own merit, people went nuts. As one entertainment anchor for Fox tweeted, “Believe the hype…I was a puddle after seeing it.” With the Oscars coming up, all indications are that we will be hearing a lot of more of this film next year, too.
This year saw the return of everyone’s favorite boy-band-singer-turned-real-human, Justin Timberlake. Beginning with the release of his fifth album—and first since 2013—Man of the Woods, Justin went on to headline the Super Bowl halftime show. While there were some technical difficulties along the way—as well as an unfortunate outfit choice involving a camouflage suit and orange bandana—the entire world immediately fall back in love with Mr. Timberlake, almost forgetting his last time on the country’s biggest stage.
Yanny V. Laurel
Yes, 2018 was a year of stark, insurmountable differences arising between family members, loved ones, and fellow citizens. Like “The Dress” before it, the “Yanny or Laurel” debate all began with an innocent piece of media—this time a low-grade audio clip, whose contents appeared to reveal themselves differently to separate sets of listeners. While some clearly heard “Yanny,” others distinctly hear “Laurel,” with seemingly no room for compromise in between.
Of all people, it was former basketball star Charles Barkley who perhaps provided the one possibility for coming together. Everyone could agree, that is, that Barkley was certainly wrong when he suggested the possibility that the audio clip actually says “doughnut.”
Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski Get Arrested
Sure, Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski had a big year otherwise, but it paled in comparison to images of their getting arrested over protests outside the nation’s capital. No matter what your political bent, there was something powerful about seeing these two famous women—who attained celebrity for such different reasons—put their ideals ahead of their physical freedom. (Their movie, I Feel Pretty, was also pretty good, too.)
Geoffrey Owens Spotted At Trader Joe’s
In September of this year, one woman spotted Geoffrey Owens—of “The Cosby Show” fame—bagging groceries at Trader Joe’s. Her subsequent image of the exchange went viral on social media, with Owens experiencing reactions he described as “so demeaning.” The woman who took the image, meanwhile, Karma Lawrence, eventually expressed regret to a local news station. “I actually wanted to go up to him and say something, but I thought, ‘you might embarrass him,'” she explained. “But then I did something that actually embarrassed him more.”
For his part, Owens says he would gladly return to bagging at the beloved supermarket chain if need be. In the meantime, however, he’s working on a Tyler Perry-produced drama for the OWN network.
Kate Spade Passes
In 2018, the world lost Kate Spade, the world-famous designer behind her namesake brand. Reaction quickly poured in from those who loved the woman herself, her designs, or both. “Kate Spade was more than a designer,” Lena Dunham wrote on Twitter. “She was also a staple of NYC who spread good will….Thank you, Kate, from one of the millions you made feel beautiful.”
Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams Pay Disparity Comes To Light
In a blatant symbol of gender pay disparity earlier this year, it was revealed that Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million for the re-shoots on the movie All The Money In The World, while co-star Michelle Williams netted less than $1,000. The event—due its mind-boggling figures—laid bare many cultural issues in holiday and remains an important moment in pay disparity arguments. Due to intense public pressure, Wahlberg eventually agreed to donate his earnings to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, a donation he made in Ms. Williams’ name.
Jennifer and Justin Split
2018 was the year which saw yet another memorable Jennifer Aniston breakup, this time from long-time hubby Justin Theroux. In February of this year, the two sent a statement to the AP announcing their split. Fortunately, they told sources the decision “was mutually and lovingly made.” Aniston, meanwhile, “hasn’t given up on love.” So neither should you.
The Obama’s Portraits Are Revealed
In February, Barack and Michelle Obama had their official portraits unveiled. Just like their tenure, it was a break with tradition. The paintings—Barack’s featuring him seated in front of a flower bush, while Michelle elegantly sits in thinker’s pose—were the first in the National Portrait Gallery to be painted by African American artists. Speaking about Michelle’s portrait, Obama told the painter, Amy Sherald, “I want to thank you for so spectacularly capturing the grace, beauty, intelligence, charm, and hotness of the woman I love.”
Elon Musk and Grimes Attend The Met Gala
Before 2018, Elon Musk was a merely the CEO of Tesla (the electric car company) and SpaceX (the private interplanetary travel company). After 2018, well, who knows. Along with a string of strange incidents—including the time where he publicly smoked marijuana on Joe Rogan’s podcast, spawning erroneous reports that he would lose his security clearance—showing up to the Met Gala with the musician Grimes was one of the more memorable acts Mr. Musk engaged in. Dressed like extras a nightmarish episode of Star Trek, the pair turned heads—especially with the Tesla-logo that Grimes arrived sporting tightly around her neck.
Kim’s Awkward Lying Pose
Kim Kardashian‘s yearly shutdown of the internet occurred in August of this year, when she tweeted out a picture of herself lying awkwardly on a bed while wearing her husband’s new “Yeezy” sneakers. The pose—in which she appears to have just fallen—was found so strange that the internet couldn’t help but make it into a seemingly infinite array of memes. As one Instagram user wrote, “This has got to be the most awkward picture i have ever seen [sic].”
The “In My Feelings” Challenge
Only in 2018 would it become popular to leave your car while moves and dance to the Drake. The “In My Feelings Challenge”—in which fans dance to Drake’s hit song “In My Feelings” from his Scorpion album from outside the passenger seat of their car—all started with a video of Instagram influencer TheShiggyShow. Sooner than later, the dance had taken the world by storm, receiving renditions by Will Smith, Dua Lipa, and many others. It all came full circle when Drake brought TheShiggyShow in for the music video, and they both did the dance.
Tristan Caught Cheating On Khloe
In April of this year, social media went aflame as Khloe Kardashian and NBA player Tristan Thompson welcomed their first child together, a girl named True. The reason, however, wasn’t all smiles: just days earlier, photos had emerged of Thompson cavorting with another woman in New York City. Despite the subsequent social media outrage and made-for-TV-drama, the two have remained together, most recently sharing a Thanksgiving together.
The First Female Doctor Who Debuts
In another first for TV, 2018 saw Jodie Whittaker take over the mantle as the first female Doctor Who, on Doctor Who. After appearing in the final episode of the 2017 season, Whittaker took center stage this year as the time-traveling humanoid. Her debut was the high-rated debut for a new Doctor in ten years with an average of 8.2 million viewers. She described the experience as “overwhelming, as a feminist.” After positive reviews, series is set to resume in 2019, with Whittaker remaining as the 13th iteration of the famous Doctor.
The Incredibles 2
After more than a decade out of the limelight, America’s favorite superhero family finally returned this year with Incredibles 2. And they more than lived up to the hype: along with popular praise, the film was hailed as “an exhilarating gift” by Rolling Stone. Ticket sales, meanwhile, didn’t disappoint, with Incredibles 2 bringing in $180.2 million in its opening weekend, the largest for an animated film. As to a whether a third is in the works, director Brad Bird told EW that he “wouldn’t ever rule it out.”
Sacha Baron Cohen Returns To TV
2018 saw the return to TV for mock broadcaster Sacha Baron Cohen and his array of outlandish characters. In a series entitled Who is America, the British comic impersonated some of the country’s greatest stereotypes, including an NPR-loving professor and a conspiracy-toting internet troll. While the series failed to land the punch if promised, it caused responses from some of the country’s biggest names who had been duped, including Sarah Palin and Ted Koppel. The final episode, meanwhile, brought decades of American pop culture fascination into culmination with an outrageous interview with O.J. Simpson.
Toys R Us Closes
After more than a half a century in business, Toys R Us, the famous toy emporium, closed its doors this summer. The move came after the chain filed for bankruptcy, and alerted its 30,000 remaining employees that they would be terminated. In addition to support for the newly-displaced workers, there was an outpouring on social media of nostalgia for the days when Toys R Us was still a kid’s happiest place on earth. Fortunately for die-hard supporters, CNBC reports that a former CEO of the company is in talks to resurrect the brand.
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