Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Broadening my Pop Culture Horizons

I love pop culture.  I like watching entertainment TV shows like ET and eTalk, talk shows like The Social and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, I like browsing entertainment websites and magazines like People and TMZ, checking out viral Youtube videos, watching awards shows, reading best-sellers, and just being "in the know" when it comes to pop culture.

I love music.  I love TV.  I love movies.  I love books.  I find celebrity news fascinating.  I get obsessed by it and can't get enough.  This is how I know that Netflix is going to totally change my life.  I seriously can't decide what I'm going to "binge" on first.  I keep changing my mind.   But that's a post for another day (as Netflix is still probably about a month away from being in my life...)

Despite my adoration for pop culture, there is a lot I've missed out on over the course of my 32 years.  I think it's bound to happen, right?  Certain movies, certain musicians, certain TV shows... I mean, you can't stay on top of it ALL.

But I've sort of added another New Year's Resolution to my list in respect to this.  One of my 2016 goals is to broaden my horizons, and make it a priority to "get caught up" on some big pop culture milestones that have passed me by in my lifetime.

I've already made a few big check marks on my list thus far.  

On Saturday night, I saw Back to the Future for the first time.  That's right... the first time.  I grew up with Michael J. Fox as a mild crush of mine; I was a fan of Family Ties and always thought he was a little hottie, but had never seen possibly his biggest movie ever (or any of its sequels).  This past October, there was a lot of buzz on the 21st - "Back to the Future Day" - as that was the date Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled into the future in the DeLorean in Back to the Future Part II (released in 1989).  I felt a little left out that day.  I didn't know what all the hype was about, I didn't even know what "the DeLorean" didn't mean a thing to me.  My friend Lindsay felt the same way, and so she ordered the Back to the Future Trilogy that day and we decided we were going to watch it!  Plans for a Back to the Future Marathon in November fell through, but we finally got the first movie in on Saturday night, and it felt like a major accomplishment.  Bonus:  I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!  I always thought it was a sci-fi time-traveling movie - probably why I never bothered to watch it before - but as it turns out, I enjoyed the story line - especially the era they traveled back to!  I think I was meant to grow up in the '50's and '60's!!  I'm already looking forward to watching the next two installments.

Then on Sunday morning, I made another massive accomplishment when I finally - finally - finished the last season of Seinfeld.  Seinfeld was another one of those pop culture biggies that I had turned a blind eye on.  I was a Friends girl, and from the snippets I saw over the years when it was actually on TV, I didn't "get" Seinfeld.  Didn't find it funny, didn't understand why it was so big, didn't get why many said it was the greatest TV series of all time.  But in recent years, I decided it was time to give Seinfeld a shot, and borrowed the seasons from my Seinfeld-lovin' brother-in-law.  Now, I still will always rank Friends ahead of it on my list of all-time favourite TV shows - but I am glad I finally watched it.  I think maybe I got the humour better now than I would have in my teens anyways, so it was probably a better time for me to catch on to Seinfeld.  And it's nice to finally "get" the many Seinfeld-isms that still get dropped on a regular basis.  "No soup for you!"  "Yada yada yada" "These pretzels are makin' me thirsty!" "Festivus for the rest of us!" ... I'm officially in the know, and I can appreciate it now.  

And the last check mark that I'm going to discuss today?  Billy Joel.  OK, I'm not a complete ding-dong, I know who Billy Joel is and I love "Piano Man" as much as the next guy.  But when Jimmy Fallon had him on his show last week, I was struck with the realization that aside from "Piano Man", I didn't know much about him.  I was wowed by his duet with Jimmy doing the Stones' "Beast of Burden", I loved the clip of the impromptu doo-wop sing-along that broke out during a commercial break, and then he performed "Scenes from an Italian Restuarant".  I had never heard of that song.  Jimmy seemed so excited about it, and I was just like, "huh?  Why not Piano Man?  No one knows this song..."  As it turns out... I loved it.  And it got me wondering... how many other amazing Billy Joel songs are out there that I don't know about?  I spent Sunday afternoon looking up lists of his greatest hits, downloading and making playlists, and becoming a fan.  I have been listening to Billy Joel all week and I'm amazed.  Definitely a long-overdue pop culture discovery that I'm happy I've finally made!

There's still so much out there that I need to catch up on.  For instance, news of David Bowie's death rocked the world on Monday morning, and the only real connection I could make was through Jimmy Fallon.  I mean, he does a pretty good impression, and he joked last week that Bowie had stolen his signature "Thank You Note" writing move in the new video for his song "Lazarus".  Of course, I know a handful of songs:  "Changes", "Heroes', "Golden Years"... the one that goes "This is ground control to Major Tom"... But with the outpouring of shock and sadness from so many in the wake of his passing, I felt, once again, like I'd missed out on something.  I now need a David Bowie education.  I need to understand better what so many are mourning this week.

So yes, in 2016, I plan to broaden my pop culture horizons... explore some of the big "hits" that I've missed out on.  From music, to TV, to movies, to books,  I'm excited about spending more time learning and growing when it comes to pop culture.

Oh, but I do have one excpetion:  Star Wars.  Never seen it, don't get it, don't care.  That one's not gonna change. ;)

Do you have any pop culture biggies that you've missed out on and want to get "in the know"?  Music?  Movies?  TV?  Books?  Share in the comments!!  You might just give me some more ideas!!


Anonymous said...

I really like Billy Joel and I think it's because I used to take my parents' tapes and explore them. They had all of his albums so I discovered a lot of his songs that weren't played on the radio.

I won't berate you for not having seen one of my all-time favorite trilogies but seriously, BTTF is the best! It's kind of campy but overall, a well-written time travel epic! Glad you finally saw it. ):

Sarah said...

I have never seen any of the old Star Wars movies, but I did go see the new one, in Imax 3D, and it was one of the best movies I have ever seen in my whole life!!! The graphics, the action scenes and there is even a love story. Trust me, the new one is worth a try!!! Broaden your pop culture! LOL But I definitely recommend 3D!!
Did you see Avatar and like it? Go see Star Wars in 3D, then you can make a decision as to whether to or not to watch the old ones! :) Maybe you will like it, and will want to watch the new one next December! lol

Nancy said...

Definitely see Star Wars in 3D. I hadn't seen them all, and am thinking I want to see the one before the new one. Billy Joel is an icon to me. David Bowie's death shocked, and saddened me. I grew up listening to his music with my brothers. He explored sexual identity in a way that made it seem fun, and acceptable. I thought he was incredibly sexy. This is poor quality, but I remember watching this live on TV. I saw Bowie in is Glass Spider tour at Lansdowne. Epic night.

The Lovely One said...

I used to have a major crush on Billy Joel (like 30 years ago).

I do like the classic star wars movies (The Empire Strikes Back is a romance!) but I was never interested in episodes I-III. I hear the newest one is amazing and can stand alone.... we'll see!

I never got in to Twin Peaks... or Lost... or 90210. Those were before DVR and I didn't tape a lot of programs, and it's hard to get emotionally attached to a series when you're not home every week to watch it!