Find out what’s in and what’s out as another year kicks off.Peter Chianca firstname.lastname@example.org @pchianca
As the year grinds slowly and mercifully to a close, you may be wondering: What does 2017 have in store? (You are sort of a glutton for punishment that way.) Well, never fear: As you get ready tack up your new Garfield calendar, we’re here to let you know what’s trending so as not to leave you unprepared at your water cooler or cocktail party come January. (For starters, Garfield is out.)
So read on, and discover what's hot and what's not in news, entertainment, lifestyles and life in general. (Trigger warning: You may not like it. Also, trigger warnings are in.)
Society & Politics
The year 2016 is, thankfully, finally out. There’s still debate over whether it was a bad year, a terrible year, or the worst year ever -- but don’t ask the pollsters, because they have no idea. Pollsters are out.
Donald Trump, of course, is in as our president and Tweeter-in-Chief. Also in is a great, big, beautiful wall on our southern border, while the following things are sadly out: women, minorities, Muslims, immigrants, workers, the middle class, journalists, the disabled, GLBTQ people, POWs, Jeb Bush, Billy Bush and anyone who doesn’t want to be killed by riled-up terrorists or atomic bombs.
White people, though, are in, and a large number of them -- notably the working-class whites of the Rust Belt -- took Hillary Clinton out of the running by voting in large numbers for Trump. So now Hillary is out, roaming the woods of Chappaqua with her lapdog, who is also out. (Sorry, Bill.)
Unfortunately many white people are convinced that being white (and male and straight) is somehow out, so put upon are they by the shackles of political correctness. (Political correctness is out.) Of course, being white is only out unless you’re something else, in which case you know what being out is really all about. (Especially now.)
Barack and Michelle Obama are out, of the White House at least, if not out of Washington -- they’ll be camping out there for a few years, so President Obama will have plenty of opportunity to stop by and offer President Trump advice that he can promptly ignore. (Promptly ignoring advice is in.) But don’t think we’ve heard the last of Obama -- he’s rumored to be considering starting a media company, possibly just to troll Trump on Twitter. (Trolling is in.)
Fake news is in, much to the chagrin of those of us who’ve spent our entire careers doing real news. If we’d known we could just make stuff up, it would have saved us a whole lot of time and energy. (Just ask Andy Borowitz.) Meanwhile, real news that sounds fake is also in, whether it be about crazy clowns or the untimely death of Harambe the gorilla. (Gorillas are in! Clowns, not so much. #harambelives)
But real news is also in: “Spotlight,” a tribute to investigative reporting and wearing khakis, won Best Picture this past year, and Trump’s election has actually spurred people to buy newspaper subscriptions so they can keep tabs on him without having to follow him on Twitter. But following Trump on Twitter is in, sort of like following an oil tanker with flames coming out of it, just to see what happens.
Isolation is in, and not just here -- across the pond in England, the Brexit vote took the U.K. out of the European Union. To quote Churchill: “Union, Shmunion.” Churchill is out.
Unity in general is out, with people taking to social media to malign each other in record numbers. (Online maligning is in.) The country has rarely been more divided, and until President Trump figures out how to make us great again -- he’s working on it, it’s a secret plan, the best plan -- it may not get any better.
On the other hand ... Legal marijuana is in! It’s feeling like we’re gonna need it.
One word: Beyonce! Beyonce is in, and thanks to her latest Grammy-nominated smash album “Lemonade,” so is lemonade. Mmmm ... Lemonade.
But she isn’t the only singer who’s in, even if it may sometimes seem that way. This year also showed that America is still a place where you can be in on the charts even if you have a funny name, like Snakehips, Bebe Rexha, Major Lazer or Mike Posner. (“Mike Posner” ... Ha!)
Speaking of funny names, Lady Gaga is out as an outre disco queen. But she’s in as a philanthropist and humanitarian, which we think is even better. Her videos are still sorely lacking in pants, however.
For aging rockers, literature is in: Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, much to his apparent bemusement and the possible chagrin of Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Annie Proulx and any number of other writers whose work tends to come in book form. (Books are out.) And Bruce Springsteen wrote a smash memoir that delved into how IT’S AWESOME TO BE BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. (Paraphrasing.)
And unfortunately, being a legendary artist was out in far too many cases, with the loss of David Bowie, Prince, Merle Haggard and Leonard Cohen, among others. Amazingly, Bowie and Cohen actually released great new albums just before their deaths, so it seems retiring is out and working until the bitter end is in. (Speaking of which: On his 90th birthday in October, Chuck Berry announced he’d be releasing his first new album in 38 years, proving the adage that old artists never die, they just duck walk away.)
On the big screen, flops were in, whether it was the “Ben Hur” remake, or the “Ghostbusters” reboot, or the “Zoolander” sequel, or the Mark Wahlberg movie about the Deepwater Horizon explosion, or ... Well, you get the idea: Movies were bad and people didn’t go to see them. Except for “Suicide Squad,” because if a movie is based on a comic book, you have to go -- it’s the law.
And some of the comic book movies were even good, like “Deadpool,” “Dr. Strange” and “Captain America: Civil War,” whose total number of superheroes was ... Wait, let me check ... one meeeeellion. So Marvel movies remain in, while DC movies ... Well, “Batman v Superman.” That’s all we’re going to say about that.
And of course, we now live in a world where “Star Wars” movies are boundless and plentiful, like hydrogen atoms or Dunkin’ Donuts franchises. All of those things are in.
And while animated cartoons and movies based on animated cartoons are still in -- especially those involving wild animals, pets, birds and fish -- movies with human people doing actual human things are still out, unless they're about a real-life person who is played by Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks is in. (Duh.)
But it’s on TV where the real action is. (TV is in.) Well, not broadcast TV, except for “This Is Us,” which I haven’t watched but which I think is about time-travel, and The CW, which is now just one long, never-ending superhero crossover.
But on cable, HBO has “Game of Thrones,” featuring naked dragon women, and “Westworld,” featuring naked robots, both of which are in. And VH1 has “Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party,” in which if there is a God, nobody is naked.
Cooking reality shows in general are in, particularly when you watch them while eating freshly delivered takeout. (Mmmm ... Takeout.) But in the wake of Kim Kardashian’s Paris robbery which she may or may not have made up, Kardashian reality shows are out. (Please, please, let them be out.)
Streaming, meanwhile, is even more in than cable, because it’s cheaper, it’s wireless and it has “Stranger Things.” (“Stranger Things” is in.) Netflix is of course the in streaming service, but Amazon Prime is catching up, or at least it was until it put on that awful Woody Allen show. Woody Allen is out. (Sorry, Woody.)
Zombies also might finally be out -- “The Walking Dead” saw big ratings declines on AMC after it showed one of its favorite characters getting beaten to death with a baseball bat (something which you never had to worry about on “The Andy Griffith Show”). And the movie “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies” was exactly as successful as you’d expect. (But don’t worry, Jane Austen is still in.)
Late night talk shows are in, but not late at night -- instead, watching the bits on YouTube the next day is in. In particular, Carpool Karaoke is in, because it’s much more entertaining to watch James Corden singing with Adele than it is to watch Jimmy Fallon fondling Donald Trump’s hair. (Corden, Adele: In. Fallon, Trump’s hair: Out.) And “Saturday Night Live” is back in, thanks to the genius of Kate McKinnon and the comic stylings of Alec Baldwin, who is now stuck there for at least four years.
And musicals are also back in, thanks to the smash success of “Hamilton: An American Musical,” the popularity of TV musical specials like “Hairspray Live!” and the buzz for the Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling movie “La La Land.” Mike Pence has yet to be booed at “La La Land,” but you know that’s coming. Mike Pence’s burgeoning career as as a theater critic is out.
Sports & Lifestyle
Thanks to the talented and charismatic U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team -- Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman -- gymnastics is in. And thanks to one stupid goober -- Ryan Lochte -- swimming is out. (Sorry, Michael Phelps.)
But of course the biggest sports story of the year was the Chicago Cubs, who are finally back in the pantheon of World Series winners after 108 years. So the Billy Goat Curse is out, and 2003 foul ball catcher/championship spoiler Steve Bartman ... Well, he’s not in, but he can finally go out of his house again. Doing The Bartman, the 1990 dance craze created by Bart Simpson, was, is and always shall be in. (The Simpsons: Still in!)
Sadly, of course, David Ortiz is out, having retired at the ripe old age of 40 after one last spectacular season. But’s that not to say the Red Sox are out, despite their early departure from this year’s playoffs: If nothing else, we can all take solace in the fact that baseball once again has a proper Mookie (Betts, that is). Mookie is in.
In football, the Patriots are in after disappointing the haters who predicted they would lose four in a row when quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for no reason. (Rumor has it that after the Patriots win the Super Bowl this year, Bill Belichick is going to stand outside Roger Goodell’s living room window and just glower at him. Glowering is in, especially for Bill Belichick.) But Gronk is out -- again! -- following back surgery, which could severely affect his ability to twerk on top of the Gronk Party Bus in the off-season.
Tennis: Still out!
Online, Facebook is in for fake news, stalking and pretending your vacation was better than it actually was. Vine is out -- even six seconds was too long to have to put up with some of those people -- and Twitter is out, given its predilection for attracting short-fingered vulgarians. But Instagram and Snapchat are in, so if you want to see the pictures that are going to keep your kids from being able to get hired someday, that’s where to look.
Chiropractors are in, given how the entire world has destroyed its posture by looking down at a phone all day long. Looking down is in, and in a related note, so is walking into poles. (Concussions hence are also in.) On social media The Mannequin Challenge is in, and apparently so is having nothing better to do. (Read a book, for crying out loud! Oh, I forgot, books are out.)
At least for a brief, shining moment over the summer, people actually got outside with their phones to run around in search of imaginary Pokemon GO creatures. This lasted for approximately three weeks, by which time all the participants had run into poles. (You’ll recall what we said about concussions. Or maybe you won’t, depending on how many poles you’ve run into.)
Electronics on your shelf are out, but electronics you can wear, like iWatches, FitBits and virtual reality headsets, are in, and being concerned about looking like The Borg from “Star Trek” is out. (Resistance is futile, and also out.)
And finally, having someone tell you what’s in and what’s out is, regrettably, out. Let’s face it, we were probably just going to make it all up anyway.
This year’s In and Out research team included Diane Marsh, Joe McConnell, Jennie Oemig, Jeff Pope, Nancy Prag, Matthew Reid and Wendall Waters. Writer Peter Chianca is Director of News & Operations for Gatehouse Media North of Boston and author of “Glory Days: Springsteen’s Greatest Albums.” Follow him on Twitter at @pchianca.
Source : http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20161227/slouching-towards-2017-whats-in-and-whats-out