The Trends That Lived and Died in 2016
In the future, they will google this article to find out what 'Pokemon Go' was.
It's normal to do a round-up of the big trends of the year. But 2016 wasn't a normal year, and while it did produce a load of new phenomena, trends and crazes, it also had a tendency to kill them off within minutes of their coming into existence. Not since junior school have fads been so transient, new heroes so quickly out of vogue. As such, here are all the things that happened in 2016, and then very quickly stopped happening.
January: Oh my god, Serial's got a second season!
Now: I feel like the guy's name was Bo something?
The most sucessful podcast of all time returned at the end of last year, and people were hyped. Serial's suspenseful first season, full of cliffhangers and real crime, had raised expectations. But the story in this season, of Bowe Bergdahl's desertion in Afghanistan, was already widely known, and while the journalism Koenig and her team did was thorough and thoughtful, it was also super boring. Show me anyone who made it to the last episode, and I will show you a liar.
January: Jack Garratt is the Sound of 2016 and Brits Critics' Choice
Now: No one in Britain can name a Jack Garratt song
At the start of the year Jack Garratt was heralded as the great new hope of British music, winning the BBC Sound poll and the Brits Critics; Choice award, effectively doing the music industry "double" when it comes to big music tips. People felt certain about him because he was a bit soul-y and a bit electronic-y, but then his debut (and only) single peaked at number 67 and his album dropped out of the charts after a month.
He wasn't the only one, though – other big tips like Izzy Bizu and Frances also had very poor commercial performances this year, suggesting that basically no one in the music industry or music press has any idea what they're talking about.
February: Britain gets a new newspaper. Print is saved!
Now: Britain lost two newspapers. Print is dead!
In February, the publishers behind the Mirror announced they were launching a new newspaper – not like those other stinking newspapers with all their gloom and reality; this was going to be a good newspaper that gave people what they wanted: a break from all that bad news, just the nice stuff – a New Day! Except it turned out this wasn't what they wanted and, after a huge TV ad and marketing campaign, circulation fell continually. The paper folded in May, joining The Independent, which also went online only this year.
May: Leicester City is the most successful team in Britain
Now: Leicester City isn't even the most successful football team in Leicester
In a normal year, we'd probably all still be talking about Leicester's 5000-1 Premier League triumph. In the spring, it seemed physically impossible for them to lose a game, eking out victories over opponents big and small. Flash forward to now and they're stuck between Burnley and Middlesborough, 15th in the league. At this point they could learn a thing or two from Leicester Road, the amateur team round the corner from the club. They're currently first in Division One of the Midland Football League.
July: Pokemon Go was going to move us into a new era of augmented reality.
Now: Pokemon Go is a thing you deleted off your phone some time ago
Remember the news stories? Pokemon Go wasn't just an iPhone game, it was a world event: people were getting run over, robbed, leaving the house for the first time, overcoming their agoraphobia. Everyone was talking about this being the video game to change everything, to turn the world into a kind of Tron-like megaplex where everything you saw and touched could win you points. And then? Well, the gameplay was clunky and rinsed all your battery, and within three weeks Pokemon returned to being a thing for adult nerds who haven't fully processed some kind of childhood trauma.
October: Ken Bone is the one good thing about the US election
Now: Ken Bone is weird dude
During the US election, as a brief respite from the normalisation and eventual election of a misogynistic, racist demagogue hell bent on dragging America back several decades, everyone on the internet got rather excited about Ken Bone, a member of the public who asked a question at one of the debates. They liked him because he was squidgy and wore a silly red jumper. After the debate the world went Ken Bone crazy – there was a "sexy" Ken Bone Halloween costume, he was offered a role in a porno, Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers even inquired whether he was single. Hahaha, what fun.
It was all going so well until Bone did a Reddit AMA and users dug up his Reddit history – where he said the killing of Trayvon Martin was "legally justified", admitted to looking at the leaked photos of Jennifer Lawrence and called pregnant women "beautiful human submarines" in a subreddit called "PreggoPorn". Suddenly cuddly Ken turned into just another flawed human and was left to hang.
Tough break, but as we were reminded in 2016: that's life. You're riding high in April, shot down in May (or in Ken's case, riding high in October, shot down in October).
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