A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

And the top pop culture moments of 2018 are … Wait.

WAS there any pop culture this year?

Of course there was, but you could be forgiven for forgetting, because more than ever it was politics, politics, and more politics occupying the zeitgeist and sucking the proverbial air out of the room. Still, if you wanted a break from that, there was a royal wedding with something for everyone, some groundbreaking movies, the return of Mary Poppins (to the screen) and Harry Potter (to Broadway), a goodbye to some favourite celebrities, a tale of two coats that were more than just coats, and more. Join us on a highly selective chronological journey through a year in pop culture.

January

The first awards shows reflect a changed Hollywood, only a few months after the #MeToo movement engulfed the industry. At the GOLDEN GLOBES, the red carpet becomes a sea of glittering black gowns in solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct, and OPRAH WINFREY gives a barn-burner of a speech , looking to a day “when nobody ever has to say ‘Me Too’ again!” At the GRAMMYS, stars don white roses, and singer Kesha dedicates a tearful performance of “Praying” to the #MeToo movement.

February

Welcome to WAKANDA: The latest Marvel hero to jump off the page into his own movie is the “BLACK PANTHER,” and RYAN COOGLER’S film is universally acclaimed. “Tell them who you are” is a catchphrase of the film, but it might as well be a pre-Oscar motto for Coogler and a starry cast including CHADWICK BOSEMAN, MICHAEL B. JORDAN, LUPITA NYONG’O and a slew of others. Ten months later the film will be nominated for a Golden Globe and generating serious Oscar buzz.

March

Speaking of OSCAR, it’s that time, and we’re still talking about #MeToo, not to mention “Time’s Up!” Appearing onstage to mark the moment is a powerful trio of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers: ASHLEY JUDD, ANNABELLA SCIORRA, and SALMA HAYEK. And when FRANCES McDORMAND says she has “some things to say,” people listen: The best actress winner asks all the women nominees in the room to stand, and instructs Hollywood to tell their stories.

April

Times are changing at the PULITZERS, too, where rapper KENDRICK LAMAR wins the music prize for “DAMN.” He’s the first rapper to win the prestigious laurel and the first winner who’s not a classical or jazz musician. In film, director JOHN KRASINSKI energizes the horror genre with the creepy, silent “A Quiet Place,” also starring wife EMILY BLUNT. On Broadway, the enduring magic of HARRY POTTER is conjured with the hit London transplant, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

May

Let’s say “Do Svidaniya” to our favourite Soviet spy couple as “THE AMERICANS” ends its six-season run on FX with an elegant, surprising and moving series finale. At the annual glittery MET GALA, the theme is “Fashion and the Catholic Imagination ,” and imaginations are running rampant — we’re talking about you, KATY PERRY and your giant angel wings! But perhaps the most memorable fashion statement comes when the very American MEGHAN MARKLE weds the very British PRINCE HARRY in a refreshingly unadorned white gown. A gospel choir sings “Stand By Me,” and an American bishop, MICHAEL CURRY, almost steals the show with a spirited improvisational sermon before saying: “We gotta get y’all married!” Also this month, “THIS IS AMERICA” by CHILDISH GAMBINO, aka multi-talented DONALD GLOVER (also having a big year with “Atlanta”) opens at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, accompanied by a viral video of nonstop dancing punctuated by shocking scenes of shootings. And goodbye, ROSEANNE: The show’s reboot is cancelled following her racist tweet.

June

What was she thinking? MELANIA TRUMP doesn’t say, but the writing on her Zara jacket has everyone talking. “I don’t really care. Do U ?” reads the garment worn by the first lady on parts of her trip to visit detained migrant children in Texas. Four months later she’ll explain it was “for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me.” In music, JAY-Z and BEYONCE continue to exert their unique influence with a surprise joint album, “Everything is Love.” On a sad note, two admired celebrities are mourned after taking their own lives: global culinary chronicler ANTHONY BOURDAIN and colorful it-bag designer KATE SPADE.

July

Last year, it was WEINSTEIN. This year, it’s LES MOONVES, one of the most powerful men in television. Reporter RONAN FARROW breaks the explosive story of sexual misconduct on the part of the CBS chief executive; in September, with accusations escalating, Moonves will step down. And at year’s end he’ll lose his $120 million severance when CBS says it has grounds to fire him for cause, concluding he violated company policy and was unco-operative with an investigation — a claim Moonves’ attorney denies.

August

Farewell to the Queen of Soul: ARETHA FRANKLIN’s death sparks worldwide mourning, and the singer is hailed not only for her talent — the greatest of a generation — but her lifelong demand for “RESPECT,” as a woman and an African-American. She is eulogized in an epic eight-hour funeral. Another longtime great, PAUL MCCARTNEY, does carpool karaoke with JAMES CORDEN, and their visit to McCartney’s hometown of Liverpool that has many fans crying sweet tears of nostalgia.

September

“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,” says a new NIKE ad that makes waves because of the man speaking the lines: COLIN KAEPERNICK, the former San Francisco quarterback who began a wave of protests among NFL players against police brutality and racial inequality. At the EMMYS, the awards themselves are upstaged by a surprise marriage proposal. And happy birthday, HARRY POTTER! Wow, you’re 20 years old.

October

Usually DONALD TRUMP has the spotlight in the Oval Office, but apparently not when KANYE WEST visits. The rapper, ostensibly there to discuss prison reform, delivers a 10-minute speech about the president, politics, and of course himself. “You are tasting a fine wine,” he says, referring to, er, his truly. “It has multiple notes to it.” Onscreen, the ultimate chameleon, LADY GAGA, reinvents herself yet again with a stunning turn in BRADLEY COOPER’s acclaimed “A STAR IS BORN. ” And some fine-art news: The elusive BANKSY pulls a stunt for the ages with his self-shredding painting at a Sotheby’s auction. But was that him, in the audience? Maybe.

View this post on Instagram

Going, going, gone…

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

November

Three broken ribs might sideline a football player, but RUTH BADER GINSBURG ? Nah. Days after her injury from a fall, the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice is back on the job, capping a year in which she’s emerged as a true pop culture heroine. Already in the spotlight for “RBG,” the documentary in which she’s shown doing push-ups among other things, she’s also the subject of a popular SNL rap video, and by year’s end a new feature film, “On the Basis of Sex.” Oh, and she’s back at the gym, too.

December

Wanna be the new Oscar host? They’re hiring! (Unless you’d prefer to be Trump’s chief of staff.) KEVIN HART is forced to step down — two days after being named — when past homophobic tweets are aired. And remember all the talk over the first lady’s Zara coat? Now it’s NANCY PELOSI’s MaxMara coat we’re discussing, a fiery red number that she wears — with Armani shades — emerging from a tense showdown with the president. The fashion label immediately reissues the discontinued garment. And speaking of cool overcoats: A stylish new MARY POPPINS is on the block, thanks to BLUNT, who proves a worthy successor to Julie Andrews in the Disney sequel. At the end of a tough year, it feels nice to indulge with just a spoonful of sugar.

Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Port Alberni cat stars in national fundraising calendar

Jax the cat was one of 13 pets selected from nearly 45,000 entries

BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs move game to Parksville due to ice rink closure

Prince George and Bulldogs to battle it out Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Oceanside Place

Port Alberni language pole becomes ‘spiritual journey’

Funding shortfall could prove to be saving grace for project

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

Most Read