The Worst Of 2016

The author wonders why people are still watching ‘The Voice,' starring Blake Shelton and Adam Levine AP PHOTO

The author wonders why people are still watching ‘The Voice,’ starring Blake Shelton and Adam Levine AP PHOTO

It’s the tradition of so many publications to publish a haughty, well-thought list of the best pop culture of the waning year. And we’ll do that next week.

But 2016 was quite a year, bringing with it an onslaught of celebrity deaths, a harbinger of political disaster, and generally just everything that could be awful. So, I’ve prepared a special “worst of 2016” feature for readers this week.

Worst Movie That Symbolizes Everything Wrong With Modern Cinema

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Every year, Metro cartoonist Nicholas Smith and I venture out to the theater to watch an awful movie. Last year, we saw Fantastic Four. This year, we saw … this. I need say nothing else.

Celebrity Death That Just Ripped Me The Hardest

Francis, poodle host of ‘Cooking with Dog,’ a YouTube cooking show

I haven’t cooked any of his recipes since.

Worst TV Show That Too Many People Are Still Watching

The Voice

This show has produced no musical hits, the results are very likely controlled by producers, and it’s really just an hour-long advertisement for other, already established musical acts. But 12 million people still watch it. Why?

Least Qualified Trump Cabinet Pick

Rick Perry, Department of Energy

There are some real doozys on the list, but Rick Perry probably takes the cake. Let us not forget he once declared he wanted to abolish that department altogether…

Worst Book That Thinks Gratuitous Equals Good

‘The Light of the Fireflies‘ by Paul Pen

Somehow the false (!) father-daughter rape accusation that kicks off this novel’s climax was not even the worst or most exploitative thing that happened. If this becomes a movie, I’ll explode.

Fantasy Football Pick Ruining My Championships The Most

Denver Broncos running backs (all of them)

They really weren’t kidding about defense winning championships, were they?

Most Gratuitous Disney Live-action Remake

The Lion King It’s apparently in production now. Are you serious?

Worst Meme


We were making fun of a dead gorilla for six months. Six. Months.

Hardest Lesson We Learned In 2016

If there is any trend from the disparate events of 2016, it is that we, as a nation, will always pick comfort over change. The future is scary not because it is different, but because it is not the same.

Asking tough questions disrupts comfort. Having to confront that the status quo is not perfect disrupts comfort. Being told that you are part of a problem disrupts comfort. That there are some people who are always uncomfortable in their lives, who would gladly give much to be able to enjoy comfort, does not enter into the larger equation. Liberals now shine the rosy glow of nostalgia over Obama, just as Trump’s supporters gaze further back, at an older age.

This is why we will always watch the sequels and reboots, over and over, because we know them. They are familiar, comforting, easy to negotiate — no matter how gritty they all get. We will always expect Adam Levine and Blake Shelton in two of those rotating chairs, even if the blonde woman and black man change every season. We expect the good sports teams to remain good. We expect our idols to live forever.

If we learn just one thing from this long, hard year, let it be that we learned to let go of nostalgia and face the brave new world ahead.