A Year in Review: Pop Culture in 2015

What was so important about 2015? I’m asking this, not as a question specific to your lives, but as a question specific to the area of pop culture. Pop culture is essential in our society as it gives life to an otherwise dull world. Though I am in no way a ‘pop culture junkie’, I am fascinated with the different things that happen in the world of pop culture each year. As with every year, 2015 had its fair share of contributions to pop culture history, from new albums released by Billboard heavy-hitters to absolutely devastating losses for the movie industry, long awaited continuations of iconic movie franchises to the retirement of a basketball legend, here are the most important things that happened in the world of pop culture of the year 2015


In the realm of social media, certain celebrities were given the spotlight in the different social media platforms, such as Bill Cosby with all the rape accusations filed against him and the divorce of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Donald Trump was a popular choice for ridicule in social media because of his various candidacy speeches. Shia Labeouf was another popular choice because of his memorable antics such as the “Just Do It!” motivational speech and watching every single movie that starred himself with a bunch of people. Perhaps the most talked about celebrity last year was Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner. Her announcement shook the internet and the world as well. Caitlyn wasn’t the only Jenner to have an impact on social media. Kylie Jenner’s lips were apparently so beautiful, people would do anything to make their lips look like hers, and thus the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge” was born. It invaded social media for quite some time until it died out. Another challenge that took the internet by storm was the “Don’t Judge Me Challenge” wherein a person who is actually beautiful pretends to be ugly by placing horrid makeup on their faces. They then cover the camera and then when the camera is uncovered they are back to their normal, beautiful selves. In relation to being beautiful, the recent ‘Miss Universe Mishap’ was briefly talked/raged about by many netizens. Steve Harvey incorrectly crowned Miss Colombia as the ‘Miss Universe of 2015’, then he later apologized and announced that Miss Philippines was indeed the real ‘Miss Universe of 2015’. Though when it comes to confusion, the Black/Blue or White/Gold dress is a pretty tough act to follow. Netizens were basically just arguing about whether a dress was colored black and blue or white and gold. The Filipino netizens didn’t stop there however and went on to argue about who was their #APECHottie. The 2015 APEC summit was held in the Philippines, and the Filipinas got hot and bothered because of the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and the Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto. Although when it comes to the trendiest topic in Philippine social media, AlDub cannot be beat. AlDub, a pairing between Alden Richards and Yaya Dub (formally known as Maine Mendoza), is perhaps the most prominent event in Philippine pop culture of 2015. AlDub dominated Philippine social media from when it first began in July and is continuously doing so. This is one train that seems to have no signs of stopping.


Social media can be a great platform for dank memes and annoying challenges, but it can also be a humble abode for song artists. The internet went crazy over Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ music video but music videos weren’t the only thing dominating social media last year. 2015 saw the resurrection of Adele as she released her new single ‘Hello’, which is included in her new album ‘25’. Billboard juggernaut, Justin Bieber released a flurry of singles this year including ‘What Do You Mean’ and ‘Where Are U Now’, but didn’t stop there as he released his new album ‘Purpose’. Popular boy band, One Direction also released their new album ‘Made in the A.M.’ this year. Many dance crazes were also born this year such as the ‘Whip and Nae Nae’. These dance crazes are popular among the teens and for that reason I do not see them dying out this year. Sports didn’t fail to invade social media last year either. The diving fail of the Philippine team in the SEA Games was promptly talked about. The historic ‘25-0’ run of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Regular Season and the controversial FIBA finals game between the Philippines and China were two more sports related social media takeovers. The long awaited fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a social media hit as well as the fight between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. Arguably the saddest sports pop culture event last year was the announcement of NBA icon Kobe Bryant that he was retiring.


From music and sports we move on to the the breakout movies of last year. 2015 was a great year for lovers of animated movies because of releases such as the tear-jerking and heartwarming Disney/Pixar movie ‘Inside Out’ and the adorable and funny Universal Pictures movie ‘Minions’. The 2015 movie scene was also filled with relatively fresh blood movies such as sci-fi flick ‘The Martian’, rap biopic of the NWA ‘Straight Outta Compton’, legacy of Rocky boxing movie ‘Creed’, and crime thriller film ‘Sicario’. The most memorable movies of 2015 however were not the new movies but the sequels to age-long franchises. The ‘Terminator’ franchise was succeeded by ‘Terminator: Genisys’, the ‘Jurassic Park’ franchise was rebooted with ‘Jurassic World’, the ‘Mad Max’ franchise was succeeded with ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, the ‘Avengers’ continued to fight on with ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, the ‘Fast and Furious’ rode for one last ride with ‘Furious 7’, the ‘Mission Impossible’ team continued work as usual in ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’, and James Bond was still doing what he does best in ‘Spectre’. Even with all these sequels and reboots to memorable franchises, they all had to bow down to the one movie that everyone has been eagerly waiting for. 2015 saw the long-awaited sequel of one of the most beloved franchises from a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars. ‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ was the most eagerly awaited movie of 2015 and it showed as it went on to destroy box office records once it released. The Force is indeed strong in this one.


2015 was a huge year for pop culture filled with confusion, fangirling, disappointments, Shia Labeouf, and Star Wars. As the New Year ushers in, let us remember that we should always accept and love one another. When someone on the internet has an opinion that is different from yours, don’t insult them or their mom, ignoring or simply accepting it are better alternatives. Okay that’s it, thank you for reading my pop culture 2015 post. I hope that you have a prosperous new year and that the Force may be with you.


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