It's been a challenging year to say the least. OK, fine — it totally sucked. Big time. I don’t know about you, but I’m holding my breath until it’s over. It’s certainly been a wild year for entertainment. Let’s take a look at some of the big moments of 2016:
If there is anyone left, I think we should wrap them in fluffy blankets and put them in a bunker until Jan. 1. We’ve lost so many celebrities, from actors to musicians and comedians. Here’s a tiny sampling: David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Garry Shandling, Doris Roberts, Anton Yelchin, Muhammad Ali, Garry Marshall, Florence Henderson, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alan Thicke — I can’t go on. I really don’t know how the list compares to other years, but it certainly seems far longer than usual.
“Saturday Night Live” has had its ups and downs over the years, but it’s back on point. The cast is great, the sketches are better (mostly), but its sendup of the farce that we called an election has been brilliant. Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of Donald Trump has been so dead-on that even the president-elect can’t help but complain like a toddler about it on Twitter. Kate McKinnon has nailed her portrayal of both Kellyanne Conway and Hillary Clinton. If you didn’t tear up during her version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" (there’s yet another celebrity this vile year has stolen from us), you have no heart.
Theater is back
Between “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and “Hamilton”'s continued dominance, theater has seen a huge revival this year. Speaking of “Hamilton,” the show got even more political this year when one of the cast members told Vice President-elect Mike Pence at a performance he attended how important diversity and understanding are, in a very respectful address.
Superheroes are going strong
Remember all those stories about how there was no way to sustain the glut of superhero films and TV shows last year? (And the year before that, and the year before that…) Well, they were wrong. DC and Marvel both had two huge films, one of each featuring a battle between the good guys. People have different opinions about whose was more effective. Sadly, that dialogue often ended in threats and venom for those with a different view.
'Star Wars' continues to conquer
Speaking of venom, white supremacists decided to boycott “Rogue One” because it actually had women and people of color in it. Well, the weeny, whiny babies didn’t exactly do any damage — the film blew away the competition at the box office. Whether or not you see a deeper meaning in the Rebel Alliance fighting the Empire or not, the franchise just added a pretty damn good chapter.
Yes, 2016 sucked, but at least there are a few things going for us. I didn’t even mention the comfort that the Obama/Biden memes have brought the world, or the way TV has reflected our feelings of impending doom. While 2017 may still kick our asses even more, as “Rogue One”’s Jyn Erso said, “Rebellions are built on hope.”