Top 10 reasons we were able to tolerate 2016
We’re only halfway through the month of October and the year of 2016 has already taken more than it’s given. We’ve lost some of our most talented stars and we’re in the midst of the ugliest voting season we remember since Paris Hilton’s My New BFF on MTV.
Thankfully, there have been 10 people/groups who made this year tolerable — if not enjoyable — at least for a brief period of time. To give you an example, these people are the equivalent of the one friend you have on Facebook who doesn’t flood your feed with political opinions, or sharing memes that say “Only 1% of my friends will share this, will you?”
10. Lin Manuel Miranda
Who would have thought that ol’ Broadway would give its regards to us in 2016? Thanks to the groundbreaking musical, Hamilton and In the Heights, Miranda (born in 1980) was living musical theater while still attending Wesleyan University. His exuberant portrayal of a U.S. founding father through the stage of hip-hop and R&B, captivated sold-out audiences and helped lead the play to 11 Tony Awards in 2016, as well as the Pulitzer Prize.
9. Jimmy Fallon
We were really getting sick of hearing celebrities give us their take on who to vote for right around — oh, say the first week of the race. The jokes were fine, but the problem is the joke far too often seemed to be on us. Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, much to the dismay of some unfunny and/or untalented counterparts among in television, decided to make it fun with both candidates, showing a lighter side, just when we needed it, going so far as to mess up the famed hair of ‘The Donald.’ He even showed up at the MTV VMAs in full Ryan Lochte garb, spoofing the Olympic swimmer (who definitely did not make this list!)
With America’s musical sweetheart, Taylor Swift, on musical hiatus, we were afraid that our album list for 2016 was going to consist of “Best of” collections. Adele’s 25 tour started just in time to cause every woman in America to simultaneously car dance, cry and scream-sing at the top of their lungs to her immediate hits, “Send My Love” and “Hello.” The nation breathed a collective sigh of relief, if only for 3 minutes and 46 seconds.
7. Ryan Reynolds
While bloated budgets and special effects were causing a bland turn in our super hero movie market and critics were telling us how foolish we were for not rushing out o see Bridget Jones’s Baby and Ghostbusters, we saved our hard earned dollar for the real movie hero, Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds thrilled audiences and fans with his perfectly imperfect Deadpool. The “Rated R” content was the in-your-burned-off-face behavior fandom had dared to dream was possible.Reynolds delivered on his promise to be a fan first and not just a money maker.
6. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega
Why did Star Wars do so well? Because it offered nostalgia and the newness old and new fans both wanted. The Force Awakens gave us unexpected heroics from a team-up turned the galaxy on its edge. Records were broken and the high expectations were met as Rey & Finn opened the door for a new chapter for geeks around the world.
5. Jon Snow
On the most popular cable show of our lifetime, we’ve grown accustomed to losing our favorites to horrible deaths, only to be seen again when they’re picked up on another series 3 channels over. For once, Game of Thrones did the unthinkable, though. They brought back a favorite that fans all-but-demanded. Jon Snow. The re-animation of the character was a secret that was well kept from fans and media, going as far as lying about it, The episode made even the most casual of fans happy, if only until the death of Hodor took the wind back out of our sails.
4. Harley Quinn
When DC announced Suicide Squad would finally reveal the on-screen debut of the live-action Harley Quinn, mixed reaction told us we couldn’t know what to expect. Film critics hated the film, while fans told film critics they aren’t really that important anymore, by launching the film into iconic status by overtaking Marvel’s greatest, Iron-Man, garnering $731M worldwide, making it the 50th highest grossing domestic movie, ever, with $318.6M. Not bad for “Daddy’s Lil’ Monster.” Margot Robbie’s Harley was such a popular part of the movie that happy fans are demanding a stand-alone of the crazy DC villain.
3. Kenneth Bone
Our most unlikely rescuer from the intolerable year of 2016 was a red sweater wearing presidential debate questioner. With his disposable camera and immediate trending topics after the debate, Bone already has his own Halloween costume and is the hero we didn’t know we needed. While politics itself is pure misery this year, Bone’s “undecided voter” status makes us realize that we’re all undecided on most things, except Ken Bone being #3 on the list.
2. Kobe Bryant
The five-time NBA champ, 18-time All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medalist played his final fame in 2016 and the legends of the game are all but gone from the court. We were reminded, though of how great the legendary Laker was as he scored 60 points in his final game, leading the Los Angeles in a victory over the Jazz 101-96. As fans chanted, “Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!”
Bryant leaves the court as the NBA’s number 3 all-time leading scorer.
1. The 2016 U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastic Team
The Olympics were plagued with crime, filthy water, a weird opening ceremony and a very strange situation with a U.S. swimmer that nearly overshadowed the greatest Olympic athlete of all time, Michael Phelps, who claims he is retiring. We needed a simple, joyful opportunity to cheer for something. The Women’s Gymnasts gave us just that, with gold after gold. In the hottest part of Summer, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian earned legendary hero status, helping us deal with everything life was throwing at us and — for a little while — we were actually united again. Something we can seldom say, anymore.