Sunday, 26 December 2010

Yesterday once more

As Sandy Denny once sang, "Who knows where the time goes?" Maybe she also spent the Christmas holidays in a drunken fog, just outside of Sheffield. Either way, that's the reason that p0pvulture has been quieter than the output of Cheryl Cole's microphone for the last few days. But now we're up and running again, and counting down to the New Year.

So with that in mind, I thought it might be a good idea to review 2010 and take stock of the weird and wonderful things that the world of popular culture has thrown our way over the last 12 months. I've done my best to document it all, so now let's take a look back and see what went on. Well, if it's good enough for Clive James...

Hollywood was abuzz about two movies as 2010 kicked off. Avatar was packing them in, with its promise of eye-watering visuals and eye-straining 3D effects. Further exploring the technology's ability to damage eye-sight, the porn industry decided to take a leaf out of James Cameron's book, by applying an extra dimension to its own Pandora's box of tricks.

Cinemagoers always had the option of checking in with everyone's favourite detective instead, as Guy Ritchie shared his vision of the unique relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Unfortunately, many people found their mano-a-mano relationship to be a little too heavy on the mano, making it feel like a two-hour game of soggy biscuit.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail was busy getting its bully on, taking potshots at the underdressed, the overdressed, and the wombling free. And it wasn't just the women who found themselves squirming under the spotlight, Cristiano Ronaldo's ad campaign for Armani underwear showed off his distinctive tackle.

Jennifer Love Hewitt spoke proudly about her confidence in using a glue-gun on her unmentionables, whereas Heidi Montage revealed the results of her extreme makeover, which were just, well, unmentionable. Lady Gaga inspired a whole bunch of video tributes, Taylor Momsen showed off a personality as dark and messy as the shit around her eyes, and Bear Grylls rinsed his out with a makeshift enema.

GMTV was also focused on cleaning house, as it turned the world's cosiest sofa into an ejector seat. As viewers placed bets on which presenters would face the axe, the show's hosts attempted to smile through their upset, much like Boyzone, who reformed for the world's most morbid pop video.

Rather predictably, February followed January like Kerry follows Jordan. And so we plunged head-first into the eighth and final season of 24, to see Jack Bauer working through more rubber hose than an out-of-town B&Q. Sadly, Jack's love of torture seemed to catch on, as a military man was found to have waterboarded his step-daughter in order to 'encourage' her to try harder in school. As an aside, she may also have confessed to an attempted plane hijacking in 2007.

Jack wasn't New York's only problem this year, as the race for the Governor's office saw a notorious Manhattan madam starting up her own campaign. In fact, February seemed to be all about the change of pace, as Dennis the Menace finally went soft, and the Pope turned wannabe DJ, with his recommendations for the best rock albums of all time. Even Desert Island Discs decided to change things up, by taking a more populist approach in selecting its guests. Listeners complained that this was the radio equivalent of mutton dressed as Spam.

But the most shocking image overhaul of the year took place on the golf course, as one of the world's most celebrated sportsmen showed an entirely different side to his personality. It turns out that countless women had enjoyed a Tiger in their tank, and as a result none of his former sponsors wanted to see Woods for the sleaze.

Ashley Cole didn't fare much better here in the UK, as he broke the heart of the Nation's Sweetheart by cheating on her with a bunch of BOGOF slappers. We all knew that he'd done it, because he didn't have the brains to cover his tracks. It probably didn't help matters that he'd sent a bunch of incriminating pictures and texts either.  If only he'd watched the highly publicised live episode of EastEnders, which finally revealed that Stacey was Archie's murderer - a secret that the show's producers had managed to keep for months.

Another long-suppressed secret from within the corporation's vaults finally saw the light of day, as it was revealed that the makers of Doctor Who occasionally used political subtexts in their storytelling. The Daily Mail was delighted that it had finally found the smoking gun sonic screwdriver it needed to prove the BBC's long-standing left-wing bias. Unfortunately, the rest of the world had simply rolled its eyes and moved onto the Sarah Jane Adventures.

But perhaps the most momentous event in February, was the first birthday of this blog. Although it sometimes feels like an albatross made of binary code and hyperlinks, it's actually grown into something I'm quite proud of. It's an outlet for my frustrations, and a forum for discussing the things that capture my imagination. And I'm thankful that I have a handful of committed readers who bother to check in every day. Tomorrow, March and April fall under the microscope.

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