Happy actual Bank Holiday Tuesday! The year starting with a Bank Holiday Tuesday strikes me as foretelling a good time ahead.
Okay, so the list of things that I can remember begins to dwindle thin. I know I left a million things out and was incredibly specific in my memory, but how and ever… Here’s the tail end of the list.
Downton Abbey returned to telly and proceeded to fuck shit up in the heads of it’s many fans. Everyone thought after the graphic and often upsetting to watch upheaval of series 2, set during WW1, Julian Fellowes might have gone easy on us. It seemed that way during the cosy Christmas special of 2011, and even the opening episodes of series 3 were mostly about financial worries, wedding plans, things being a bit awkward when the Sybs, youngest daughter of the family, arrives back from Dublin with her Irish nationalist baby daddy, and Shirlie McLaine being all catty with Maggie Smith. Then Julian goes balls to the wall and let’s us know he ain’t fucking around when he KILLS OFF SYBIL. He kills her off in the most horrifically sudden and upsetting death scene this year.
- She’s being a strident feminist in heaven now….
In a world where the plots to the soaps are printed in telly mags every day and spoilers abound, this was honestly shocking. A death nobody had anticipated at all- there had been the teaser that a major character would die, but all the money seemed banked on Maggie keeling over; Julian even wrote in a cunning red herring with another older female character’s health scare, only to strike at the most beloved and lovely of the cast. Jesus Christ.
Then the Christmas special made it worth with a gut punching out of NOWHERE car crash killing off beautiful cousin Matthew. Right after the birth of his son! Honestly if Downton has taught me anything it is the following
a) two out of three ladies maids should not be trusted, and
b) if you have a child, either you or your partner will die in the 24 hours preceding the birth.
Julian Fellowes is a rotten bastard. Oh and also
c) Beautiful cousin Matthew gets progressively more beautiful in each successive series he appears in. </3
In other telly spoilers, the Ponds said goodbye to Doctor Who in suitable bittersweet fashion, the new companion Oswin made an early bird cameo, and Sherlock STILL isn’t back because of the fucking Hobbit movies.
It was the Summer of the super hero flick, as The Dark Knight rises and the Avengers dominated pop culture and the box office. It was an interesting contrast of adaption and film making, but both with a clear goal to be the biggest movie of the summer- ask people and they’ll give you different answers depending on which they preferred, but I think the Avengers will be the one which wins out. The Dark Knight rises simply suffered from following an absolute critical darling of a movie. I preferred it to the Dark knight because of Anne Hathaway’s subtle and kind of hilarious performance at Cat woman, the best since Eartha Kitt basically codified the role. I suppose I could draw some parallel between the success of super hero movies the success of Slenderman which I discussed in part 1, as being part of an ongoing obsession we have with end times, chaos and a loss of meaning. I think the escapism of something like the Avengers and something a bit more cathartic like Dark Knight rises and how they contrast is interesting. I can’t really articulate anything better than that, hmm..
A terrible year for the gun lobby in the US with multiple mass shootings making world headlines. The recent awful story of Sandy Hook being the latest in a horrific parade; Aurora Colarado saw a mass shooting in a theatre screening ‘the dark knight rises’, cue the moral guardians blaming violent films and TV for the shooting instead of, yknow, the easy fucking access to assault weapons and perhaps even worse the incredibly fucked up gun culture in the US. Curiously under reported was the shocking shooting at a Sikh temple that killed 7 people, in what a lot of media outlets that did cover the story for about a day called a mistaken attack as the fucker who did it thought the Sikh worshipers were Muslims.
It was an awful year for the Labour Party, but also the year I joined their youth organization, so really they’ve made a net gain. But seriously with a tonne of defections, resignations and people losing the whip, it’s been tough. Fine Gael get shit too but in a much more eye rolling sort of way, as if they are acting exactly the way the people expected they would. Labour suffer from the perception that they have completely abandoned their principles and what my Mam would call ‘the labour way’. Not helping are some incredibly arrogant radio and TV interviews from Pat Rabbite and that photo of Ruarí Quinn signing a pledge not to increase university fees while in office. Their quietness around the abortion legislation question and their voting against Clare Daly’s bill twice have been PR disasters. Like any worth her salt moderate wishy washy lefty, I’m hoping they pick it up for next year.
Gangam style inexplicably became popular. Gangam style, socialist anthem of Korea, became a massive hit on youtube where it’s music video has recieved over a billion hits. People do the dance everywhere. Glee makes indie tracks like ‘Somebody that I used to know’ into massive worldwide hits. Parodies of somebody that I used to know’s video reach critical mass. Cinnamon challenge becomes a you tube phenomenon. People record the audio taken from a room of those playing that fucking game Slender. It was the year of ‘The <blank> are coming’, ‘shut up and take my money’ and scumbag steve. Everybody watched a man jump from the edge of space, possibly wondering if he’d splat, or see the house from Up on his way to the edge of Earth.
Too much happened this year, but this is literally all I remember.
Niamh ‘are three downton abbey pictures exessive? Nah’ Keoghan