Well, 2012 is basically in the books, which is either a good or a bad thing, depending on your opinions of Honey Boo Boo (or impending fiscal doom).
Yes, there was plenty that buoyed the spirits over the past 12 months, but there were also no shortage of bummers, too. So to recap the year that was, I teamed up with my pal Tamar Anitai from MTV’s Buzzworthy blog to discuss both of those things: our Happy/Sad moments of 2012.
You can get Tamar’s take over at Buzzworthy, but here are my picks for the highs (and lows) of the past year:
Happy: Psy’s “Gangnam Style” breaks through
Sure, the South Korean sensation’s image took a bit of a hit after he apologized for those “anti-American” lyrics , but such was the magnitude of his year that not even an international incident could lessen the impact of his signature hit. “Gangnam Style” befuddled Bill O’Reilly , infiltrated the NFL, inspired more parodies than Clint Eastwood at the RNC and, oh yeah, racked up nearly 1 billion views on YouTube. And though you might think it’s nothing more than a silly dance, there’s no denying that “Gangnam” was also a rather historic thing: the first viral clip to truly break through to the big time. Where we go from here is anybody’s guess.
Sad: Chris Brown and Rihanna get back together
I’m not one to judge (and frankly, I don’t think Rihanna’s all that interested in my opinion ), but in 2012, she made her private life a very public thing , rather Unapologetic -ally so. Which means I’ve earned the right to voice my opinion on her reunion with Chris Brown … so let me go on record as saying I hate it, for obvious reasons . Don’t get me wrong, I’ll remain a fan of Rih Rih’s music, but I’m through defending her from detractors. And, really, wasn’t that, like, half the fun of being a Rihanna fan in the first place?
Happy: Taylor Swift can’t seem to find love
I realize that statement makes me seem like a truly horrible person (and maybe I am), but if Taylor’s trials and tribulations mean we’re going to keep getting albums as good as Red, well, then I’m gonna keep hoping for heartbreak. From biting breakup tunes like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” to the mega-sounding mea culpas like “I Knew You Were Trouble” and the wonderful weeper “All Too Well,” Taylor continued to work through her relationships, and we all reaped the benefits. Can’t wait for her “Haylor” double-album, coming some time in 2014.
Sad: One Direction and the Wanted bring back boy bands
Look, I’m sure that Niall Horan is a nice guy — I mean, he’s got braces — and I like that the one dude from the Wanted wore a “Game of Thrones” T-shirt that one time, but if there was one trend in 2012 that troubled me to no end, it was the return of the boy band (well, either that or bath salts). I spent the entirety of 1999 debating the merits of Justin Timberlake and Nick Carter with my girlfriend, and now, 13 years later, I’m doing the same thing, only it’s about Harry Styles, Zayn Malick and Max George (there’s a different girlfriend, of course). And now I’m older and no longer possess the strength to rally against their creeping insurgence. I guess all of this was inevitable, given the circular nature of pop music and life itself, but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about any of it.
Happy: The birth of Blue Ivy
There were plenty of celebrity babies born this year, but how many of them dropped a verse just days after entering the world? For that reason alone, Blue Ivy Carter — progeny of Jay and Bey — was my favorite famous baby of 2012. And on top of that, she’s adorable, too . Sure, she can’t copyright her name , but I suspect that will be the biggest problem Blue Ivy faces in her life. Welcome to the world, now go make a classic like The Blueprint.
Sad: The death of Whitney Houston
Not to end this on a sad note, but while we lost plenty of talented singers, actors and musicians in 2012, none hit quite as close as the death of Whitney Houston on February 11 . Sure, the last decade of her life was marred by battles both private and public, but I choose not to remember her for any of that. Instead, I prefer to think of Whitney’s talents — her voice, her attitude, her volumes of undeniably classic songs — which not only blot out the tabloid coverage of her final years, but will continue to color contemporary pop, soul, gospel and R&B for decades to come. Make no mistake about it, we lost a true titan this year, and that loss will only loom larger as we move forward.