The Good, The Bad & The Donald
Fairlady|December 2016

Let’s be real – it’s been a rough year. Like, really rough. So much so that when director Matt Oswalt tweeted, ‘Is 2016 being directed by Quentin Tarantino?’, it went viral. Here are just some of the stories that made headlines this year.

Liesl Robertson

Pokémon Go

The nineties kids’ TV show found a new incarnation this year: in July, a mobile phone game called Pokémon Go was released. Using the phone’s GPS, players could locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, seen onscreen as if they were in the same real-world location as the player. Which basically led to people traipsing through parks and backyards in search of Charizards and Bulbasaurs. The app was downloaded more than 500 million times worldwide, making it one of the most used and profitable apps of the year. It also got couch potatoes moving – on average taking an extra 194 steps a day! (Does that make it a fitness app, do you think?)

Rainbow everything

Rainbow cakes have been around for a while, but this year the multi-coloured food trend reached fever pitch when a bakery in Brooklyn debuted the rainbow bagel, and gooey ‘unicorn cheese toasties’ went viral online. 2016 was officially the year when all we wanted to do was make our food look like a My Little Pony.

Leo finally won an Oscar

Sixth time’s the charm! Leonardo diCaprio finally landed the little gold statuette for his role in The Revenant, beating out Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, Michael Fassbender, and Eddie Redmayne and finally putting an end to all the ‘sad Leo’ memes.

Brexit

Catchy name, less-than-desirable situation. The UK voted on whether or not to leave the EU; ‘leave’ won by 52% to the 48% who voted ‘stay’. There was a huge backlash: David Cameron promptly resigned, the pound plummeted and Google revealed that the questions ‘What is the EU?’ and ‘What does it mean to leave the EU?’ had spiked in popularity online (post-vote, mind you), leading many to believe that Brits had no idea what the real-life implications of their decision would be.

Adele says ‘Hello’

Her latest album, 25, was released last year, but it is still 2016’s biggest selling album, with David Bowie’s Blackstar coming in second.

Beyoncé made Lemonade…

… presumably with the lemons Jay Z handed her. We’re still not sure what exactly went down (we may never know), but the overwhelming theme of Queen Bey’s magnificent visual album seemed to revolve around infidelity and deceit, which led to a LOT of speculation, and a short-lived witch-hunt for ‘Becky with the good hair’. Beyoncé also broke the all-time record for most wins at the MTV Video Music Awards, surpassing Madonna with her 21 st win.

Bestselling books

The final numbers aren’t in yet, but here are some of the biggest contenders: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (despite the fact that it’s a play – and only partly written by JK Rowling), tearjerker Me Before You (boosted by the movie which also came out this year), and last year’s The Girl on the Train, also boosted by the film version starring Emily Blunt. Weirdly enough, Dr Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and Green Eggs and Ham are also on the list, as are adult colouring books, two of which are also Potter themed. When Breath Becomes Air, the cerebral memoir by late neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, also made the list.

Box office bests

Disney reigned supreme – the top four movies of the year were Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, Finding Dory and The Jungle Book. Superheroes are still the main moneymakers at the moment, with anti-heroes coming up from behind: Suicide Squad and the R-rated Deadpool did remarkably well, as did the dark and tortured Batman v Superman. When we were putting this wrap together, we were also expecting big things from soon-tobe-released Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Dr Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Zika panic

A widespread epidemic of Zika fever, caused by the Zika virus, is ongoing in the Americas and the Pacific. In February 2016, the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, as the virus causes a birth defect called microcephaly and the neurological disorder Guillain- Barré syndrome. First thought to be solely a mosquito-borne virus, Zika has now been found to be sexually transmittable as well.

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