There are things we loved about 2012, there are things we hated about 2012 and there are things we were ready to hate about 2012, but later came to realize were actually awesome. There’s nothing like being pleasantly surprised by something in pop culture, so we thought we’d give credit where credit is due. Here is our Best of 2012 ..that we were totally prepared to be the worst.
1) Miley’s makeover
If you had told us Miley Cyrus was going to transition to a leather-pants-wearing, buzzcut-rocking Brigette Nielson lookalike this year and somehow pull it off, we wouldn’t have believed you. This makeover should not have worked, but we just have to recalibrate what it means to just be Miley.
2) Duck Dynasty
Don’t watch Duck Dynasty? You might be the only one. What started as the series Duck Commander on the Outdoor Channel became a reality hit on A&E for Phil Robertson and his family-run duck call business. The season finale managed to break A&E’s rating record, as well as beat out ratings winners like Law & Order: SVU and Nashville. What are the odds? It’s about a duck call business!
3) Cecilia Giménez (a.k.a the Ecce Homo painter)
Remember the delight you felt the first time you saw the mushed up monkey face on the Ecce Homo fresco from Borja, Spain, and how it was immediately followed by shame over laughing at 80-year-old restorer Cecilia Giménez? What should have been a crappy year for Ms. Giménez instead turned into international fame when the world caught wind of her botched artistic makeover…and she demanded that she see a share of profits from the church’s increased tourism. Oh, that’s good.
4) Katy Perry & John Mayer
We thought for sure we’d have heard details about how Katy Perry loves doing it on the Superman ride at Six Flags or some other deeply personal sexual information by now. She’s dating John Mayer after all. Isn’t that his M.O.? Looks like Johnny M has reached a new level of maturity, because we haven’t heard an inappropriate peep from him about their relationship. This high-profile relationship should have already blown up in their beautiful faces, and yet…
It was about a talking bear…with the voice of Peter Griffin….and it was rated R. This should have been some sub-Howard the Duck-level awfulness, but instead Ted turned out to be a commercial and (even more surprisingly) critical success.
6) The London Olympics Opening Ceremony
The combination of Mary Poppins, hospitalized children, filthy smokestacks and a giant Voldemort marionette should have produced one hot mess of an Olympics opening ceremony. Instead, Danny Boyle‘s production ended up being, as the New York Times put it, “oddly, confidently British” and a great start to this summer’s London Olympics.
7) Anne Hathaway as Catwoman
You might not remember it now that Anne Hathaway is poised to take over the Oscars, but the Internet was throwing a looooot of shade earlier this year as to whether the Les Miz star could pull off a convincing Selena Kyle. We had our doubts too. Did she have the sinister heat to make us momentarily forget Michelle Pfeiffer‘s Catwoman? Then Anne kicked Christian Bale’s cane out from under him and the Internet realized what a bunch of dumdums it was.
8) 21 Jump Street
Maybe we were burned by Colin Farrell‘s heinous Miami Vice movie back in 2006 (we’re still in counseling to process it), but we had assumed there was no way a movie remake of an ’80s cop show could be anything but pure suck. Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and the other Franco proved us impressively wrong.
9) Taco Bell Dorito shells
Judge us if you want, but did you have one of Taco Bell’s Dorito Taco Locos in 2012? Then you know the truth. It doesn’t make any logical sense, but you know the truth. A truth that helped Taco Bell sell $100 million tacos in 10 weeks.
10) The Mayan Apocalypse
We made it! Despite claims that the world would end on December 21 or December 22, 2012 based on the Mayan calendar (alternate interpretation: our individual consciousness would merge into one universal hyperconsciousness), we just got a lot of delightful tweets instead. Not that the hyperconsciousness wouldn’t have been kind of fun… Maybe in 2013!
[Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures/Getty Images/Columbia Pictures/A&E/Universal Pictures]