A Recap of Pop Culture in the 2022-2023 School Year



A collage of different influential people in the media from the past year.

Riley Emanuel, Editor

“And with that, the 2022-2023 season comes to an end.”

As the school year is coming to a close, it’s time to recap the year’s most remarkable things that occurred since August. It’s been a great year for the world of pop culture– from different award shows, celebrity drama, the Met gala, singers’ tours, and even upcoming movies. Starting off strong in August, the highly anticipated Marvel show, She-Hulk released. A spin-off from The Game of Thrones titled, House of the Dragons, came out on HBO Max as well. Viewers had a lot to say regarding She-Hulk because of the CGI throughout the show. Some claimed she didn’t look “natural” or it just looked choppy. As far as House of the Dragons goes, people gave it an overall rating of 9/10 on IMDb. The MTV music awards were hosted on August 28, 2022, and included many singers performing, such as Nicki Minaj, Dove Cameron, Bad Bunny, Jack Harlow, etc. The most memorable moment from the night was when Taylor Swift won an award for All Too Well 10 Minute Version. She sent her fans for a loop when she announced her upcoming album, Midnights, which would release on October 21. 

Moving on to September, the month was full of new TV shows and drama between a popular YouTube group. Tying back into August, the Marvel fandom created a new toxic blanket over the She-Hulk show. When it was released in the previous month, people were skeptical but ultimately let it slide. As episodes progressed, the lack of CGI decreased, which resulted in fans having a lot of negative things to say. In other news, Ryan Murphy released an announcement via social media about a new series titled Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, which follows the story of the well-known serial killer, Jeffery Dahmer. It was released on September 21 on Netflix. The following weeks included major mixed reviews. Many said the show felt “too real.” So real, the family of Dahmer’s victims said they didn’t feel comfortable with their names being used. They also claimed Murphy was exaggerating the story. Lionel Dahmer, the father of the Milwaukee Monster, made a statement that he was considering suing Netflix for releasing the show. In the YouTube world, a famous group known as the TryGuys, had a falling out with one of their members, Ned Fulmer. This was due to allegations of him cheating on Ariel, his wife, with a colleague of his. For a bit, the rest of the group was silent about the topic. All they did was unfollow Fulmer on Instagram. TryGuys made a video regarding Fulmer’s departure in early October. 

In October, the month was full of controversial opinions about popular superhero movies, the release of Taylor Swift’s recent album, Midnights, and the anticipated movie that ends the Michael Myers franchise, Halloween Ends. Fans were looking forward to the film, Black Adam, ever since 2007! Back in November 2007, Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) signed on to play the DC Comics character. After that, not much was talked about regarding the film up until nearly 10 years later. Then in 2020, production was put to a halt due to COVID-19. It started back up again on April 10, 2021. From then till its initial release, snippets of photos and videos were released via social media. Most likely with the purpose to hype up the movie. It was technically in production for 15 years. When it was released on October 21, it didn’t live up to people’s expectations. It received a 6.3/10 on IMDb and according to Sportskeeda, Black Adam was a box-office failure. Another thing that was released on October 21 that wasn’t a failure was Taylor Swift’s album, Midnights. Based on people’s opinions in the media, her album was a success. It broke countless records within 24 hours. Within hours of its release, it became Spotify’s most listened-to album. 

As November rolls around, many people have started early Christmas decorating, due to Mariah Carey’s influence, Taylor Swift announcing her new tour, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. On November 1, Mariah Carey posted her yearly announcement that something is coming that Winter season. It became a trend over the past few years. Usually, around the time of Halloween, social media will begin making memes that Mariah Carey is “defrosting” due to her hit song, All I Want For Christmas Is You slowly making a comeback on the charts. It’s become a worldwide thing that she is known as “The Queen of Christmas.” She began doing it on TikTok in 2019, where she posts a video announcing that it was time. She’s done it every year since then and it’s well-known that she’s aware of her influence during the holiday season. She also began a hashtag titled #MariahSZN. Also on November 1, Taylor Swift announced her new tour that would begin in spring 2023. She explained through Good Morning America and social media that her sixth tour would be titled: The Eras Tour. She did this because she wasn’t able to have a tour for the last five years. She described it as a musical journey through the eras of her career. As the month progressed, Macy’s announced who would be in line during the parade. Fun fact: our very own Bourbon County band had the opportunity to march during the parade last year. Many celebrities performed such as Lea Michele, Mariah Carey, Lion King’s Broadway performers, the Rockettes, Big Time Rush, etc. 

As 2022 came to a close in December, not much happened. The sequel to Avatar (2009), Avatar: The Way of Water, was released. As well as the holidays. But other than that, it was a pretty uneventful month. Majority of pop culture things were just recaps of the year and what people hoped to see in the new year. 

In the new year, January included many things such as The Last of Us premiering, the Mandalorian season three trailer releasing, and the horror film M3GAN coming out. Firstly, the drama TV show, The Last of Us, was released on January 15, 2023. When it was released on HBO Max, it received a cumulative audience of 30.4 million. This was their biggest hit on the streaming service since the final season of Game of Thrones was released in 2019. Moving on to the Mandalorian trailer release, audiences were very pleased with the result of the content of the upcoming season. In the comments, some mentioned how excited they were to see where they were going with Pedro Pascal’s character. When the trailer for M3GAN was shown in late 2022, it went viral on TikTok. To be specific, it was the dancing scene. The marketing and advertising were phenomenal for the film which in the end brought in many viewers. 

In February, one of Disney’s most beloved characters was re-introduced with a brand new trailer, the annual Super Bowl took place on February 12, and an anticipated movie regarding a bear who had too good of a time, Cocaine Bear, was released on February 24. Peter Pan has been a character in Disney lore ever since the 1950s and it was decided that a new live-action adaptation would be released. Originally, fans were skeptical of this idea due to many other adaptations of the original 1953 film. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons people weren’t completely into this idea was because of the casting. Specifically, the performers who were cast as Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. Long ago, in 1985, a bear was found dead with immense pounds of cocaine around the area of the corpse. Many years later, a movie adaptation of this disturbing story was brought to the big screen titled Cocaine Bear. This year in the world of sports, the Super Bowl is something many football fans love to tune into. This year, it was the Cheifs vs the Eagles. It was a close game with the Cheifs taking the win 38-35. For the majority of the game, the Eagles were in the lead, but toward the end of the game, the Chiefs turned the tables, shocking everyone. 

Moving on to March, spring has arrived. The most anticipated Disney live-action remake finally released its official trailer and Gwenyth Paltrow faced a jury due to a past skiing accident. Ever since September 2022, at D23, they showed a teaser for the upcoming Little Mermaid film starring Halle Bailey, and fans wanted nothing more than a trailer. There were speculations that the trailer would be shown during the Super Bowl commercials back in February, but fans were proven wrong. Disney announced that the trailer would be released during the Oscars on March 12. Later that month on March 24, Gwenyth Paltrow entered the courtroom in Utah to face accusations against a man who sued her due to a major skiing accident back in 2016. According to court documents, Terry Sanderson suffered from a brain injury and four broken ribs due to Paltrow skiing uncontrollably. In the end, she won the lawsuit and won the 1 dollar she requested. 

In April, many things regarding pop culture occurred. Some things include streaming service, MAX ordering a new Harry Potter series, Coachella, and beloved talk show host, James Corden ending his show. Fans of the beloved witch and wizard film series Harry Potter were very pleased to see when an announcement was made on Instagram regarding a brand new series being made to re-tell the stunning story with each season being about each book. It’ll be spread out throughout a decade with new faces and new details being added. Although, sadly, fan favorites like Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe will not be returning, fans are interested in where this show will go. In other news, the annual music festival, Coachella, was hosted in California with nearly 250,000 in attendance throughout the two weekends. Sadly after 8 years, James Corden’s late-night show, The Late Late Show with James Corden came to a close. Since his show was set in Los Angeles, it resulted in his children having to grow up in California. The main reason the show ended was because he wanted his children to experience growing up in London. 

Closing out the school year in May, it was an incredible year for the world of pop culture. It seemed like every couple of weeks something occurred. Although the month hasn’t concluded just yet, we’ve already gotten to experience Anna Wintour’s, Met Gala. Fans of pop culture are very excited to see what the rest of May will include.