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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Year in Review: An eight-month retrospective in television, music, movies and entertainment

    The Arts & Life staff took a look at art, pop culture and all things interesting and chose the biggest hits and hardest flops of the past year. From television’s lovely ladies making it big by being human to Twitter fights and legends lost, here’s a quick snapshot from August to May of things to note:

    BEST

    Cute girls doing un-cute things cutely

    “New Girl” and “Girls” brought the era of the adorably cute girl doing things that aren’t nearly as adorable or cute as they are — and audiences loving them for it.

    Zooey Deschanel’s foray into TV came with the tagline: “Boys will be boys. Jess will be Jess.” In the pilot, Deschanel walks in on her way-less-attractive-than-her boyfriend sleeping with another woman, and has to move into an apartment with three single men who at first don’t get her but slowly embrace her. And in true Deschanel fashion, she does it so adorably, rocking her signature bangs, singing in that voice that makes us all melt and making the show a hit for FOX.

    “Girls” just recently hit the scene, but with Lena Dunham at the helm, the show is bound for great heights. Dunham’s writing has been compared to that of “Seinfeld” creator Larry David. The show, which she stars in, directs and produces, has been compared to the four-female ensemble smash “Sex and the City.” An experiment in 20-somethings trying to make it in New York while making all the wrong decisions about relationships, “Girls” has been heralded as one to watch, and it’s made the theme of cute girls being cute without having to be perfect even more established this year.

    WORST

    Music legends lost

    Between Whitney Houston and Adam Yauch, the past eight months have left us reeling with established powerhouses passing on.

    R&B legend Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles the night before the Grammys this past February. The 48-year-old singer made headlines both for her powerful voice and her struggles with her ex-husband and R&B singer Bobby Brown.

    Despite her personal life, which included an ongoing fight with drug addiction, she won six Grammys and dozens of other awards during her career. Houston was one of the best-selling artists globally throughout the 1980s and 1990s, selling 55 million albums in the U.S.

    Adam Yauch aided fellow Beastie Boys Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “King Ad-Rock” Horovitz in creating a seminal rap group from which several current artists draw inspiration. Yauch died at the age of 47 last week after fighting for nearly three years against cancer in a salivary gland. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month. Over its illustrious 25-plus-year career, the group collected four No. 1 albums and sold more than 40 million records.

    BEST

    Movies making people read, despite the book quality

    Let’s face it. People reading is much better than them not. And with the popular “Twilight” saga winding to a close with the “Breaking Dawn: Part I” released last November and the first installment of the “Hunger Games” series released in March, movies are making people read books.

    After the “Harry Potter” juggernaut came to a conclusion last summer, the movie industry glommed onto “Twilight” and the “Hunger Games.” But books are affecting more than just the teen and college-age crowd.

    Acclaimed 2011 movies like December’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” September’s “Moneyball,” and August’s “The Help” have bucked the stereotype that the literature behind some of these box office smashes isn’t up to snuff.

    So it’s OK that “Hunger Games” did what the teen action novel did — entertain predictably and not challenge anything too much because, let’s be honest, reading (even if it’s not the highest of highbrow literature) is better than nothing.

    WORST

    Machine Gun Kelly, among others, tweet-fighting people

    The past several months have offered Twitter fights galore between musicians.

    Fresh-faced 22-year-old rap phenom Machine Gun Kelly took on The Naked and Famous after first buying a sample of the synth-pop group’s song “Young Blood” for his song “Half Naked and Almost Famous.” When the group tore him a new one on Twitter for it, he presented documentation of his sampling rights — but he wasn’t done with the beef.

    “It’s not that I stole their song, I just used the hook they sung and I rapped. They made me out to be a bad guy when they’re making money off me for the same time, so they’re a victim of their own cynicism,” MGK said in a Daily Wildcat interview last month.
    But MGK is not alone.

    Take Rihanna fighting with Chris Brown’s new lady love, model Karrueche, over her old relationship, and Brown fighting wrestler CM Punk (ridiculous, right?) after Grammy rants and arguably homophobic remarks on the social networking site.

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