A full week of 2015 has already gone, but I’m not yet ready to dim the lights on the year to which we just kissed good-bye. Not that we want to live in the past, but year 2014 brought us some unforgettable characters and events, so let’s reflect on them one last time, courtesy of my beautiful young friend, Whitney, who knows everything cool and that it’s good to remember things.
- Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir at the Sochi Olympics
2014’s winter Olympics saw plenty of heart-warming athletic triumphs, like U.S.’s first gold medal in ice dancing. But Sochi will also be remembered as the first pairing of former Olympians Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. They joined forces as well-dressed figure skating commentators and became a must-watch part of Olympic coverage. Awesome or awesomely bad. Whichever.
- Jay Leno Passes the Tonight Show Baton to Jimmy Fallon
After more than 20 years as the host of The Tonight Show, Jay Leno permanently stepped off stage in 2014. Former SNL cast member and Late Night host Jimmy Fallon took his place, bringing his immediately viral skits and hilarious games to the NBC staple. Fallon’s unique spin on Tonight is irresistible, a is Jimmy himself. I like to see the nice guys win.
- Ted (and the rest of us) FINALLY Meet the Mother
After nine full seasons, Ted Mosby finally told his kids (and viewers) how he met their mother. Whether you theorized about her identity from season one or binge-watched recently to catch up, it was nice to have closure on what happened to Ted, Barney, Robin, Marshall, and Lily.
- Pharrell Williams Helps Everyone Get “Happy”
Time to “clap along” to one of the biggest songs of 2014, Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” anthem from Despicable Me 2. Williams even performed the song at the Oscars, though it eventually lost to the other biggest song of the year, Frozen’s much-covered “Let It Go.” Can’t help but feel happy, now, can you?
- Woman Wins Over $400K in Second-Longest Jeopardy! Winning Streak Ever
Illinois resident Julia Collins reigned as returning champion on America’s favourite quiz show for 20 episodes before not being able to write “Who is John Irving?” as her Final Jeopardy response. Her winning streak puts her behind only Ken Jennings most successive Jeopardy! wins. Girl power, folks. Girl power.
- ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Consumes Social Media
For weeks last summer you couldn’t go online without seeing at least one video of someone pouring a bucket of cold water over their head? Thousands of people accepted the ALS ice bucket challenge, and numerous celebrities got in on the act, too, from Justin Timberlake to Martha Stewart. My personal fave? Ben Affleck’s. Priceless. Did you do it?
- The World Watches World Cup Soccer
Excuse me, I mean football. Whatever you call it, the world’s most popular sport dominated the media for a month, until Germany’s victory over Argentina. Earlier in the tournament, the U.S. squad advanced to the round of 16, a feat many had predicted would be impossible. U.S. soccer fans lauded goalkeeper Tim Howard’s many many saves in the team’s final match, a loss to Belgium. I didn’t even know I liked soccer before then.
- Gilmore Girls Comes to Netflix and the Internet Nearly Explodes
Netflix announced it would post all seven seasons of the fast-talking, pop culture heavy series for commercial-free streaming pleasure. Fans proclaimed their delight all across social media, even though Lorelai refuses to get a DSL because she claims to “like our Internet slow.” Source
- George Clooney Marries Amal Alamuddin in Venice
The man himself vowed the day would never come, but Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor finally found a woman he doesn’t mind committing to for the long haul. Their truly lavish and extravagant Venetian nuptials, complete with stunning wardrobe and star-studded guest list, made for non-stop water cooler talk.
- Benedict Cumberbatch Announces Engagement Old School, Still Breaks Hearts
With George Clooney off the market, many consoled themselves with the knowledge that Benedict Cumberbatch remained single. But alas, the intelligent, mysterious, and charming English actor announced his engagement to Sophie Hunter, not on Twitter, but in the London Times. And recent news of a soon-to-arrive Cumber-baby gives us all something to look forward to in 2015.
What were your favorite pop culture highlights from 2014? What are you looking forward to in 2015?