Poppe Up! – Friday, December 27

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State your case for the biggest pop culture story of 2013:

Elizabeth Hyndman: Prince George Alexander Louis was born July 22, 2013. The world watched, via live-video feed, his birth announced by a town crier. The next day, we watched as he left the hospital in the arms of his beautiful parents whom we all love already. We made bets on his birthday. We made bets on his gender. We made bets on his name. And that’s just what the Americans did (those who fought for freedom from the British monarchy).

The Fresh Prince

J.T. Landry: It’s been a wild and wacky year for pop culture (but then, when isn’t it?), and I can’t seem to narrow things down; so, here’s a few. I can never seem to stick to the rules, so why stop now.

Justin Timberlake’s 20(/20)13
The first quarter of the year saw JT bringing sexy back – but this time everything was bigger (I mean the songs and scope were bigger. Bring it up to the ground floor, Culture Poppers). Two albums filled with some of the most epic and ambitious R&B since Stevie Wonder, including my personal pick for 2013’s song of the year – Mirrors – an 8+ minute opus paying tribute to the love of a lifetime. And that dance break in the final minutes of the video? To die for.
justin-timberlake-performs-on-snl
The Netflix Network
If you had told me five years ago that Netflix would basically become a de facto network overflowing with not only more streaming content than you could possibly hope to consume, but original content (and it’s good!) too, I’d have measured you for your bespoke straight jacket. But then I’d have had to let out the seams because Netflix changed the way millions consume television, from binge watching seasons of Breaking Bad, Scandal and Downton Abbey – in turn drawing countless new fans to the original runs of these shows – to savoring original series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, which more than stood up to regular cable fare. And I haven’t even mentioned Arrested Development.
kevin-spacey-house-of-cards
Beyonce
Leave it to Bey to stake her claim on pop culture by slapping 2013 with bookends on either side – a heavily hyped and successful Super Bowl halftime show swiftly followed by the announcement of the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in February, and then, in a masterstroke that NO ONE saw coming, a full-out “visual” album of 14 songs and 17 videos, just dropped into the internets on December 13 in stealth Bey-52 bomber mode.
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Laura McClellan: The return of the 90’s. Girl Meets World. NSync and Destiny’s Child reunited. Most of Buzzfeed’s content. The kids who grew up in the 90’s are finally in positions of authority and are bringing it back with a vengeance. And no one is mad about it. It’s either that or Beyonce’s pixie cut. Or JLaw’s pixie cut. Maybe just pixie cuts in general. THE 90S OR PIXIE CUTS. Ok, I’m done here.

DANIELLE FISHEL, ROWAN BLANCHARD, BEN SAVAGE

Brooke Rousch: Prince George is the complete obvi contender.  I mean people were obsessed with all the details of this kiddo’s birth, me included.  However, I think Jennifer Lawrence is the surprise pop culture phenom of 2013.  Don’t believe me, just hear my case:

A.  Her fall on the steps at the Oscars put her in the same league as Disney Princesses (and also won over America, to boot)….

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B. …and Bradley Cooper AND Hugh Jackman came to her rescue.  (What Disney Princess ever got TWO Princes?!)

C.  JLaw’s adorable freak out over meeting Jack Nicholson made her seem like one of us non-famous types.  This glorious moment was also on the same night as her epic fall. [There are countless other priceless interviews, but this is still one of the best.]

D.  The off-screen relationship with her Hunger Games co-star fuels fans’ hope that maybe there’s something more to their on-screen romance.

E.  Over the course of the year, Jennifer Lawrence became the darling of Hollywood…or really the golden girl.  The world spent over $300 MILLION to see Catching Fire on opening weekend.  This girl IS on fire.2013 proved that JLaw is a pop culture force of nature.  Where she goes, the masses (and money) will follow.

Jen Clapp: First off, can I just say that I never thought there’d come a day when someone would mention Beyonce and Brooke Rousch wouldn’t be involved? Well done, JT. SO MUCH happened in 2013 worth consideration – the royal baby, the Carter family’s domination of inventive ways to release albums, Amanda Bynes going BSCrazier than last year, somehow, the Kardashians using the ENTIRE year play a one-up game. The first half of the year was dominated by a record number of big budget super hero/world destruction movies – providing press junket moments that could be argued for this list, showcasing performers who showed us the same charisma that likely won them their roles (Exhibit A). Now late in the year we have Selena AND Justin “retiring.” All of that on top of Presidential selfies, the death of a global icon of freedom, and more reality show-themed shakeups to mention. HOWEVER, if I had to pick a winner of 2013, I have to go with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

You guys. Ford is a walking disaster, but if given the option, I’d still vote for him before I’d vote for some of the likely candidates I’m going to be given in the next few elections. I feel like everything we experienced in 2013 compounded to make this the first year someone whose story was SO absurd could remain a beloved figure. Consider this: The past decade has seen political figures ridiculed for grammatical errors, sexting, and being generally ridiculous. Rob Ford HITS THE POWDER and wins our hearts. When else could this have happened but in 2013?

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And, if nothing else, it gave us a chance to consider what might have been:

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