By Daley Wilhelm
Unpopular opinion: 2017 wasn’t actually a complete garbage fire. Despite a constant flurry of bad news, natural disasters and national scandals, there were some bright spots in the darkness, too. For the sake of positivity, let’s look back on some of the best moments of the year.
1. We live in the future
Sometimes we forget the incredibly technologically advanced times that we live in. It’s easy to take for granted that we have more computing power in our pockets than what NASA used to reach the moon. Interest in space travel has spiked once again under the advances made by companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and its rival in the newfound space race, Blue Origin, which is looking into being the first to supply the burgeoning demand for space tourism.
Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2017
Fly me to the moon … Okhttps://t.co/6QT8m5SHwn
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 27, 2017
The stars have never been closer.
2. Women are wondrous: getting abusers fired
Wonder Woman was an absolute inspiration for all those who saw it, but especially to women since it was the first superhero film with a heroine at the center of it’s narrative. Gal Gadot embodied Diana Prince with grace and integrity that translated both on the screen and off. Wonder Woman 2, an important title considering that the first film is the highest grossing DC film to come out in a while, will happen under the condition that Brett Ratner will not be involved with it’s production. Gadot, who had not yet been signed to the movie, stated that she would not work with Ratner because of the many sexual assault accusations against him.
In the current sleaze-ridden state of Hollywood, Gadot has taken a step further in preventing serial assaulters from having continued access to people to prey on. While I’m hesistant to say that there’s a good thing to come out all these sexual assault scandals, it’s important to note that people are being heard and that there are finally some consequences to be had.
3. Nintendo is killing it
This year we got the Nintendo Switch after so much anticipation. All the fantastic games created for their unique setup do not disappoint: 1-2-Switch, 2017’s Game of the Year The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the infinitely delightful Super Mario Odyssey have made for many wonderful memories for both longtime Nintendo fans and new players.
Nintendo is giving fans what they’ve wanted for a long time in opening up to third party, triple-A games for the Switch. Playing Skyrim on the go is an experience, but what’s even better is the indie library for the Switch. Stardew Valley is a personal favorite of mine, and has charmed both PC and console players.
But let’s face it: the Nintendo game that got us all hooked in 2017 was the mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
4. Music saved us
Bad times means good music. Music can be cathartic, can give voice to all the frustrations caused by a bad year. Green Day came back with a vengeance, proving that divisive political climates creates the best punk music. Eminem also returned to the music scene, performing an incredible cypher during the BET awards that garnered 42 million views.
Many of the best bops of 2017 were from old favorites like P!nk and Demi Lovato. Kendrick Lamar delivered in usual fashion yet another fantastic album in DAMN. He’ll finally be getting deserved recognition for it too, having been nominated for 2017’s Album of the Year at the Grammy’s this coming February.
There’s a lot of music that we would highly recommend for your New Year’s Eve playlist. Check it out here.
5. We had some movies that weren’t actually remakes
It’s a little sad when it’s become the exception to the rule that an original concept is made into a movie. 2017, like 2016 was and like 2018 will be, was filled with superhero sequels and poorly conceived anime adaptations and while those are sometimes good, great even, it’s nice to not be able to predict the end of the movie for once.
We had a lot of favorites, but in terms of originality films like Split and Get Out surprised us in the best ways. Pixar took a step away from its old formula to give us a whole new kind of tear-jerker in Coco. And Byte had a great time at the Heartland Film Festival, where originality was the rule.
Escapism was the name of the game this year, and the entertainment industry provided welcome distraction from the seemingly constant bad news 2017 had in store. If you want to wallow in the bad, you can remind yourself of all the reasons why 2017 was a dumpster fire here. Or you can stay here and look at this cat.
Daley is a Telecommunications (Video Production) major who also minors in Japanese. Through Byte she does graphic design, video editing, podcast hosting, visual effects, and most importantly writing. Daley does this through the scope of examining the impact pop culture has on our everyday lives.