2022 was an incredible year for entertainment. From box office successes to Emmy-worthy television, 2022 was the year for this star-studded industry.
Grace’s Music Review:
2022 has been an exciting year for music, as social media’s influence on popular releases is more prominent than ever. A new trend for musicians is releasing a single multiple times, with different versions playing with tempo and speed. Artists are releasing slowed and reverbed or sped-up versions of songs in hopes of becoming the next Tiktok sensation. This trend is not specific to new releases either: artists like Demi Lovato and Michael Bublé have rereleased old hits after social media resurrection.
The opposite can also be said: Tiktok and other social media platforms have catapulted smaller artists into the mainstream. If an unsigned artist goes viral online, it can gather millions of streams on Spotify and other streaming services, which can garner recognition from record labels. Tiktok has partnerships with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, which makes a career in music much more accessible to up-and-coming artists on the platform. Musicians like Steve Lacy and Noah Kahan blew up this year, with their viral clips resulting in sold-out tours and global recognition. Thanks to the power of Tiktok’s algorithm, artists can find a loyal fan base online which can lead to major success.
Bad Bunny ruled the streaming world, according to reports from Spotify and Apple Music. The Puerto Rican singer has been named the most popular artist of 2022, as he topped the global most-streamed artist list for the third year in a row on Spotify (the first artist to reach this achievement). “Un Verano Sin Ti”, was the #1 most streamed album globally, and it recently made history as the first completely Spanish release to be nominated for album of the year at the Grammys. Bad Bunny is part of the reason for the explosion in popularity of Latin music this year. This year, Latin music and its subgenres have been reaching far wider audiences through streaming and concert sales, and it’s not going away any time soon. According to Spotify, half of its users stream at least one Latin song each month. On the popularity of Latin music, Jbeau Lewis of United Talent Agency said, “I don’t think that pop culture really has borders or language barriers anymore. I don’t know that a fan necessarily draws a distinction between BTS, Taylor Swift, or Bad Bunny”.
Speaking of breaking down barriers, a surplus of popular music has crossed into multiple genres and charts this year. Artists like Zach Bryan have brought country music into the mainstream by blending genres like folk, Americana, and pop. As a result of this crossover in the industry, Spotify and Apple Music have promoted playlists that are less focused on genre, but rather a lifestyle, mood, and aesthetic. This allows audiences to diversify their music tastes and discover new musicians and genres to enjoy.
This has been a very interesting year for music as a whole, and I’m excited about the direction it’s going in. My hope for 2023 is that the industry continues to promote and celebrate groundbreaking artists, provide accessibility to younger musicians, and break down the confinements upheld by industry standards.
Will’s Movies Review:
MOVIES ARE BACK BABY! Well, sort of. The box office has been…interesting, but the quality this year seems like we’re returning to some sort of equilibrium. The key word is “some.”
“Top Gun: Maverick” is everything I want from a blockbuster. Hits every quadrant, checks every box and touches every heart. It brought everyone back to the cinemas at a time when I, the optimist, was preparing for the death of all theaters. It brought me hope and I love it for that. Military propaganda aside, I loved “Top Gun: Maverick”.
On the opposite spectrum, original movies like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” “Elvis” and “Nope” and a few select others made actual money at the box office. I only like two of those movies, but hey, they put up a fight this time so I’ll take what I can get at this point.
The Sight and Sound poll came out too! The British Film Institute ranks the greatest movies of all time every decade since 1952. The pool of voters has expanded a ton to bring in new voices and diverse voters which gave us maybe the most interesting poll to date. “Do the Right Thing” FINALLY makes a first-time appearance in the Top 100 at #24. David Lynch’s masterpiece, “Mulholland Dr.” clocks in at an astonishing #8. Much like that film, we have a record-shattering amount of recent movies. In the past, it was rare for a movie under 15 years old to make it even close to the top 100. Now, we have “The Gleaners and I”, “Tropical Malady”, “Parasite”, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, “Moonlight”, “Spirited Away”, and “Get Out”.
Rolling into Awards season we’re looking pretty solid. With “Tár”, “RRR”, “Banshees of Inisherin”, “The Fabelmans” and more, I’m quite happy with 2022. I’d say that looking back at this past year will be pretty nice as opposed to 2021 and 2020. So I think that’s a win.
Liz’s Television review:
2022 was a fantastic year for television. To start, “Euphoria” released its long-awaited second season after two years after the release of season one. Season two roped in 13.1 million viewers per week compared to the 6.6 million per week for season one. Besides viewership, the show dominated social media. TikTok is the main culprit of this. From trending sounds to conspiracies, users could not get enough of the “Euphoria” content.
Moving on to a more light-hearted show, Amazon Prime released season one of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” which is based on the book trilogy written by Jenny Han of the same name. The show overcame the young adult audience and had fans of the books, as well as those who had never heard of the series, enraptured in the teen drama. With its incredible sound design and production design “The Summer I Turned Pretty” was destined to be a success this year and fans can get excited for season two coming to Amazon Prime in the summer of 2023!
Stranger Things 4 came out this May of 2022, and fans were ecstatic to see television’s favorite friend group take on the horrors of their home in Hawkins, Indiana. Stranger Things 4 is a prime example of how a show can get better and better with time. Season four brought back all the 80’s nostalgia with songs such as “Running up that Hill (A Deal With God)” and “Pass the Dutchie” back onto the Billboard charts. With its fifth and final season confirmed, 2022 was an exciting year for Stranger Things fans.
Everyone’s favorite family, the Kardashians, returned to television this year with their new show “The Kardashians”, the reboot of their wildly successful predecessor “Keeping up with the Kardashians”. After “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” ended in June of 2021, fans were dying for more. The new series serves up all of the drama and comradery of the original series with more of the family’s insights on their personal life which fans find incredibly endearing to see.
Ella’s Industry Review:
2022 has featured the triumphant return of many things: the cinemas, concerts, the US in the World Cup, and a network television show dominating the Emmys nominations. It’s like we’re back in pre-COVID times! In the cinema world, the biggest box office success this year was undoubtedly “Top Gun: Maverick”, bringing in a massive $1.5 billion worldwide gross, which is only expected to grow as it was re-released in theaters this December. A24 also had a great year with the immaculate success of “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once”, as it picked up two Gotham Awards (one for Best Feature) and became the highest-grossing A24 movie of all time. Plus, December hosted an amazing roster coming to theaters, with films from Steven Spielberg, Damien Chazelle, and of course the long-awaited “Avatar: The Way of Water”. One of the best years for movies is not slowing down any time soon.
The return of original, non-franchise films dominating the box office means that the once-dominant Marvel Studios is on a down-turn. Marvel used to turn out multiple billion-dollar movies a year. This year, none of its 2022 releases have been able to accomplish that. With the ever-growing “Superhero Fatigue”, the controversy around how poorly Marvel treats their VFX artists, and scathing comments from Quentin Tarantino, it seems the masses are starting to shift away from the heroes like Captain America that defined cinema for a decade in the 2010s.
Speaking of Captain America…
In the live television world, US Soccer is finally getting its flowers. The Black Friday match between the US Men’s National Team and England that ended in a draw amassed 20 million viewers. While it’s not the Super Bowl, it’s still the most-watched US men’s soccer match of all time. It even drew in higher viewership numbers than the 2022 Oscars, which only drew in 16 million viewers (a huge increase from 2021’s 10 million viewers). Live TV has become used to taking hit after hit with the rise of streaming in recent years, but with the success of the USMNT during the FIFA World Cup, the massive 112 million viewers during the Super Bowl, and the amazing ratings and critical success for ABC’s hit sitcom “Abbott Elementary”, it’s not done yet.
Streaming shows have also never been better. HBO has had hit after hit with “Euphoria”, “House of the Dragon”, and “The White Lotus” all doing numbers, with “House of the Dragon” averaging 29 million viewers per week. Even after the disastrous ending to “Game of Thrones”, the world still has a soft spot for Westeros. Netflix also had a record-setting year, with “Stranger Things” becoming the biggest English-language debut on the platform, which was beaten by “Wednesday” a mere 7 months later. Apple TV+ also found success at the Emmys again with the beloved comedy “Ted Lasso”, as they continue to make a name for themselves in television.
Besides the fall of Kanye West, by far the biggest wake-up call to the music industry was the Taylor Swift “Eras” Tour Ticketmaster Disaster of 2022. From the 4-hour wait times to buy tickets, crashes, frustration, and the general on-sale being canceled, no one, not even Swift herself, was happy with how it turned out. The social media outrage has carried to the United States Congress, which will be holding a hearing to determine how this happened. Congress members, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have called for the monopoly Ticketmaster and Live Nation have on the live music industry to be abolished, and to investigate the absurd fees audiences have to pay and rules artists have to follow. In 2023, all eyes in the music industry will be on Ticketmaster, and how their downfall will change the live music scene as we know it.
2022 was a crazy and unpredictable year for the Entertainment Industry. Who on earth would have predicted a sequel to “Top Gun” would be better than the original? Let’s hope 2023 keeps the good things going.