A-Sides: My Top 65 Pop Moments of 2015 – from Daisy Ridley to Ridley Scott
What a weird, often sad, poignant year 2015 has been in pop culture. It was the year of Bill Cosby’s demise, Taylor Swift’s continual rise, the emergence of Caitlyn Jenner, and the unstoppable power of the force. It was a year of pizza rats, “whips and nae naes,” surprise box office bombs (Steve Jobs, Terminator: Genesys, Entourage… the list goes on, and Adele, Adele Adele. Rather than rehash the pop culture stories beaten to death (here’s lookin at you Rachel Dolezal) and the sad, sad, sad world in which we live in, I’m just going to focus on my three pop loves: music, TV, and film. Here’s my top 65 “pop” moments of the year, which is Swift-free. Arts asides, let’s try to love each other more, and hurt each other less. Live love. Love life.
All That Was Good in 2015 (Pop Culture Edition) (In semi-order)
1. J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens – what an amazing feat to capture that old Lucas magic!
2. The brilliance of Inside Out from start to finish.
3.Ex Machina – the film and Alicia Vikander (AKA the actress of the year).
4. Everything about Master of None. The “Nashville” episode, in particular, is perfection.
5. U2’s Innocence + Experience Tour – their best in decades
6. Everything about The Leftovers Season 2
7. The cast of Spotlight.
8. Everything about Creed especially the shocking Oscar-worthy performance by Sylvester Stallone.
9. Welcome to rock royalty Elle King.
10. Miley Cyrus’ performance of “The Twinkle Song” on Saturday Night Live.
11. Jon Hamm finally winning an Emmy for Mad Men
12. Drake one-upping Seinfeld’s Elaine in the “Hotline Bling” video.
13. The final episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
14. The return of Modest Mouse.
15. The fearless Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl
16. The brilliant cast of Transparent – especially the Pfefferman kids.
17. Joywave’s “How Do You Feel Now?
18. The next generation of Star Wars actors.
19. Lebron James and John Cena in Trainwreck.
20. Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Bear in The Revenant
21. Everything about Kingsman: The Secret Service.
22. Rachel McAdams – the only saving grace of True Detective and subtly powerful in Spotlight.
23. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – quite easily the most underrated film of the year.
24. Mad Men’s finale, notably Peggy Olson’s final scene and Don Draper’s moment of zen.
25. The Mad Max guitarist.
26. The Hateful Eight’s final chapter.
27. Broadway’s Hamilton, which I can’t get a ticket to but am sure it belongs on this list.
28. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in Room.
29. Benecio Del Toro and Emily Blunt in Sicario
30. The lovely final episodes of Parks and Recreation.
31. Kyle Mooney on Saturday Night Live.
32. The final montage of Late Show with David Letterman synced with Foo Fighters’ stirring performance of “Everlong.”
33. Saying “Hello” again Adele.
34. The New York Mets winning the NL Pennant (humor me).
35.The emergence of songwriting hitmaker Justin Tranter AKA Semi Precious Weapons front man.
36. The “confident” Demi Lovato, who just killed it this year.
37. Tom Cruise holding his breath in Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation.
38. Lady Gaga’s gut-wrenching “Til it Happens to You.”
39. Ridley Scott probably, finally, and deservedly getting his first Oscar next year for his work on the terrific The Martian.
40. U2 bringing out Eagles of Death Metal on stage in Paris.
41. Michael Harney on Orange is the New Black.
42. Larry David as Bernie Sanders on SNL.
43. Michael Pena in Ant-Man.
44. Catfish and the Bottlemen’s “Cocoon.”
45. The Zoolander 2 teaser trailer.
48. “Prayer in C” – Lily Wood and the Prick
49. Clair Huxtable love over Cosby headlines courtesy of Louis York.
50. Selena Gomez’s “Good For You.”
51. The very last scene of Star Wars – TFA.
52. Viola Davis’ Emmy speech.
53. Neil Patrick Harris AKA underrated Oscar host.
54. Beck’s “Dreams”
55. Ruby Rose.
56. Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets.”
57. Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road – the best thing in an – I’m sorry – overrated flick.
58. Jimmy Fallon’s skits.
59. Pimping a butterfly.
60. Seeing Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox together again.
61. Big Data.
62. Hating on this season of The Walking Dead.
63. Michael Fassbender in Stee Jobs.
64. Montage of Heck and Amy.
65. SNL’s 40th Anniversary special (sans Eddie Murphy).
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman’s music/entertainment series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Air Supply, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille.