2020, amirite? That’s it, that’s the article.
I’m kidding! But seriously, have all years just gotten progressively worse, or does it only feel this way because of the 24-hour news cycle and advent of social media making it impossible to escape or stop talking about the bad news? Or is this the inevitable byproduct of capitalism, racism, environmental injustice, and fascism going unchecked and reaching a boiling point? Too deep for this article? Too deep for this article. If you thought the “Trump is going to tweet us into WWIII” phase of 2020 felt like forever ago, allow me to send you off the deep end by taking it a step further and reminiscing on huge cultural events that seem like they happened in another lifetime, but in fact, only took place in 2019. Get ready to go off a proverbial cliff.
Jordyn Woods Went On Red Table Talk
I remember it like it was both yesterday and 17 years ago: we were all in the office (a physical office, can you imagine?), gathered around the flat-screen TV, watching Jordyn Woods go on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith to discuss her alleged tryst with Tristan Thompson. It was the kiss heard ’round the world: Jordyn, BFF of Kylie Jenner, smooching the baby daddy and ex of Kylie’s sister? It was a wild time. The memes. The jokes. The memes again. I miss it more than I miss some of my actual friends whom I haven’t seen in months.
Colton Jumped The Fence
Back when Colton Underwood was merely boring and not f*cking scary, we all waited with bated breath for the night he would finally vault himself over a fence in order to chase down the love of his life, Cassie Randolph. In retrospect, perhaps that should have been a sign this man did not exactly have a healthy attachment style. Anyway! Back in March 2019, The Bachelor viewers finally saw that long-awaited fence jump that Chris Harrison had been teasing out all season. Can’t believe we were actually looking forward to this at one point in our lives. But if I could somehow fence jump myself out of this universe, I definitely would.
Area 51 Raid
What I wouldn’t give for aliens to come to abduct me right now and take me away from this hellscape, tbh. This time last year, thousands of people RSVP’d to a Facebook event expressing their intent to storm Area 51. Nobody really did, because the event was made as a joke—although a few people did show up. What happened to them? Has anyone followed up or were they just wiped away from existence by the government? Anyway, looking back on it, I think we should have just gone for it and raided Area 51. Honestly, it’s not too late! Whatever could happen surely can’t make things any worse, right?
Justin & Hailey’s Wedding
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It feels like these two have been married for decades, what with their constant Instagram PDA and general parent-like wardrobe aesthetic, but you would be wrong in thinking this marriage has been on the books for that long. That’s right, friends, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin only actually had their wedding in September 2019 (though they did have a courthouse wedding exactly one year before that, in 2018). When time is a complete social construct, it’s easy to forget that I have cans of black beans in my pantry that are older than this marriage.
College Admissions Scandal
Ah yes, remember a time when rich people would actually be punished for their crimes? It was not actually so long ago, merely the faraway time of 2019, when Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, et. al. got busted for participating in an elaborate (and if you ask me, stupid) scheme to get their kids admitted to colleges under false pretenses. The charges were made public in March of 2019 and the sting was called Operation Varsity Blues. We got so much from this, including Olivia Jade’s fake rowing pictures, Lori Loughlin’s every attempt to justify her very much illegal actions, Felicity Huffman’s joke of a jail sentence, and probably the inevitable Netflix and Hulu documentaries. Do you think Olivia Jade will play herself in the fictionalized adaptation for HBO?
Bradley & Gaga’s Oscars Performance
Okay, to be fair, A Star Is Born was big in 2018 technically, since The Oscars take place in February. But still, who else can barely remember a time when you could have 100 people in a room, regardless of whether or not 99 of those people believe in you? I shudder at the thought now. As does the time Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga basically had sex on stage with their eyes while performing the breakout hit from the movie they starred in together. It feels like 5 years ago, but it was really more like one and a half.
Series Finale of ‘Game of Thrones’
Yeah, the series finale of Game of Thrones completely sucked, but you know what’s even worse? The series finale of American democracy. I really wish the biggest thing we had to complain about was investing years in a TV show that completely sh*t the bed on its ending. Even though Game of Thrones only ended in May 2019, I for one have enjoyed this extremely blissful period in which I stopped having to pretend like I cared at all. Honestly, I wish it had ended sooner.
Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth’s Divorce
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…And Miley’s subsequent Hot Girl Summer journey. We have yet to see anything like the utter messiness of Miley and Liam getting divorced after basically pulling a decade-long “will-they-won’t-they” on the general public, and then Miley gallivanting around Italy with Kaitlynn Carter, who had just divorced from her ex, Brody Jenner. It was a media circus that we were all living for. Ugh, those were fun times.
The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Won The World Cup
Jesus f*cking Christ, look at how much can change in a year. In July 2019, the U.S. Women’s Soccer team won the 2019 FIFA World Cup, and we were all “girl power!” and “goals!” and “Megan Rapinoe is bae “. Now, we’re all “Make The Handmaid’s Tale fictional again” and “please don’t confirm a Supreme Court Justice who basically walked straight out of Gilead” and “should I get an IUD?”
Trump Was Impeached
Yeah, that only happened in December 2019. And thank goodness it taught him a much-needed lesson on not overstepping your power, denouncing white supremacists, and gracefully conceding should he lose the general election come November. Oh, wait.
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Images: DFree / Shutterstock.com; Giphy; haileybieber, mileycyrus / Instagram; Ed Herrera / Getty Images
I think we can all agree that the 2019 Oscars were kind of boring this year. We lost a host, but what we lost in jokes we more than made up for in time. I’m not mad about that, because this year’s awards felt pretty quick, at least in comparison to the Grammys, which aged me 45 years. That being said, the 2019 Oscars were low on controversy and shocking moments—in fact, the most unpredictable part of the Oscars were the many times my live stream would randomly cut out. When my internet connection is more uncertain than the winners of the awards, we know we’re not in for a riveting night. All things considered, though, I’ll take it. I’m overall pleased the Academy decided to make this as quick and painless as possible.
Some Oscars have highs and lows. The 2019 Oscars had more like, slight variations in a plateau. It was like the equivalent of taking a Xanax or watching Great British Baking Show—or taking a Xanax and then watching Great British Baking Show.Then again, there’s something to be said for not being over-the-top just for the sake of it. So I’m breaking down everything you missed at the 2019 Oscars.
Instead of a host this year, the Academy just decided to show extra long clips of each movie, which worked out because if you hadn’t seen any of the Oscar movies this year except Black Panther and A Star Is Born (hi), all you had to do was tune in to the ceremony to see the nominated films in their entirety. Half the presenters felt like they were short-listed for host. I feel like this is how the Oscars is trying out the hosts for next year—this way it saves money because they don’t have to hold auditions. The other half consisted of random people answering Craigslist ads. Like, we had Barbra Streisand—movie legend—but then we also had Jennifer Lopez, who I’m surprised she even wanted to show face after her Grammys Motown tribute.
Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and Amy Poehler presented for Outstanding Supporting Actress and they were who everyone wished was hosting. This was kind of fucked up, it would be like if you got catfished and then the guy whose pictures the catfish stole showed up to your date to be like “hey I’m not your date and sorry you’re gonna be forever alone.”
Jason Mamoa and Helen Mirren were there to recreate The Shape of Water or something while promoting Best Documentary Feature.
Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry presented Best Costume in silly costumes, cause at that point the Oscars were desperate for anyone to enjoy this.
JLo and Chris Evans presented for Achievement in Production Design, leading us to wonder how the hell they go about pairing people to present. We’re pretty sure The Academy just took a Buzzfeed quiz, “Pick Your Favorite Side Dish And We’ll Tell You Who to Present With At The 2019 Oscars” and that’s how they chose all these random pairings.
Emilia Clarke was presenting Jennifer Hudson, because they truly did this via Mad Libs.
Then they had Serena Williams talk about Ally Maine, who is not actually a real person, just the main character of A Star Is Born! The Academy knew they had to give us some Lady Gaga content every 10 minutes, or else we would tune out. It was proof that all of my vision boarding actually worked.
Keegan Michael Key flew in to introduce the song from Mary Poppins with Bette Midler singing. Well, either Bette Midler or Emily Blunt is going very unfiltered these days.
Me showing up to the pregame already drunk #oscars pic.twitter.com/g1dlQ1ZStz
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) February 25, 2019
Trevor Noah presenting Black Panther and also shading piece of sh*t Mel Gibson was exactly what I needed to not fall asleep.
Kacey Musgraves talked about a song we’ve never heard from a movie we’ve never heard—further proof that she doesn’t even go here.
John Mulaney and Awkwafina stood on stage awkwardly and talked about their panic attacks, which was hands-down the most relatable portion of the night. It just went to show us that there were so many options for people available to host this show. Like did they just not have anybody’s number except Kevin Hart’s? Chelsea Peretti was literally sitting in the audience the entire time, could they not have called her??
Sarah Paulson and Paul Rudd presented Best Visual Effects, but the winner of that award should have been whatever face cream Paul uses that has made him stop aging for the past 20 years. That goes double for Angela Bassett, who, I’d like to remind you, is SIXTY.
Samuel L Jackson and Brie Larson presented Best Original Screenplay, and they most likely smoked together right before the show. Seriously, what was up with those two?
Tessa Thompson and Michael B Jordan aka mom and dad presented for Best Original Score, which Black Panther won. I thought you couldn’t present for awards your movie was up for? Whatever. Not mad.
And finally, Julia Roberts presented Best Picture, and she seemed like she had gotten the call to do it about 10 minutes before. They had probably chosen someone old originally but then realized they didn’t want any chance that the person reading out the card would f*ck it up.
Let’s be honest, the only performance anybody watching the 2019 Oscars cared about was Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper doing “Shallow”. If you try to say otherwise, I will call the police. The performances were good but also served better as bathroom breaks. I think the entire show was just The Academy knowing how much they sucked so they just were trying to be super non-polarizing. You know how the saying goes: if you have nothing nice to say, just bring Kacey Musgraves out to present a banjo duet for a song called “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings”, which was incidentally the original name of Andy Dwyer’s song commemorating Lil Sebastian.
Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson performed to remind us that the American Idol reboot is more of a sh*tshow than the Oscars. Sorry, but there is nothing anyone can make me do to get me to watch a show that should have died in 2007.
Jennifer Hudson performed in an actual Supreme Court setting for the main song for RBG, looking like a bill sitting on Capitol Hill. We love J Hud, but some of those high notes did not get hit—kind of a metaphor for the show overall, actually.
Bette Midler did great performing some song from Mary Poppins that truly no one knows the name of, but it was no “I Put A Spell On You” #JusticeForHocusPocus
But truly, all of these performances paled in comparison to “Shallow”. It literally needed no intro. They just panned to the piano and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper got up from their seats and walked onto the stage. It had been two hours and I still wasn’t ready.
Me waiting for Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper to perform Shallow #Oscars pic.twitter.com/3z4S8rnQlX
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) February 25, 2019
The performance was so emotional—on Gaga’s end, at least. Bradley, on the other hand, looked like he could not be happier to stop having to spend 24 hours a day with a woman who’s obsessed with him. Gaga looked like she was about to kiss Bradley (which, for the record, I was rooting for). Irina Shayk was in the audience sweating. She and Bradley probably had a fight when they got home.
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Hands down the best part of the “Shallow” performance were the memes.
Not far from the shallow with my taste in men #Oscars pic.twitter.com/5Gx69geVs0
— sarafcarter (@sarafcarter) February 25, 2019
yup #Oscars pic.twitter.com/zNy8QJz8jQ
— Ryan Schocket (@RyanSchocket) February 25, 2019
Truly, none of the awards seemed like upsets except for Best Picture, and even that was one we could all live with because at least it wasn’t some dumb movie about a human f*cking a fish.
Regina King won best supporting actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. For the Golden Globes she brought her son, and this time around she brought her mom. I guess it’s for the best this is the last award show of the season, or else we’d see her posing with her cousin’s daughter’s roommate from BU on the red carpet. Regina King was the real winner of the night, because by winning the first award, she could spend the next three hours getting wasted.
Free Solo won for Best Documentary over RBG, proving that white men still run the world. Seriously, a movie about some dude rock climbing over one about a historic Supreme Court justice??
Black Panther won Best Costume Design, which is the only time I’ve ever cared about Best Costume Design. Black Panther won AGAIN for Best Production Design, so every white person is gonna be posting “Wakanda Forever” on their Facebook statuses today and saying stuff like “I would have voted for Obama a third time”.
At only 40 minutes into the show, three black women already won awards. I might be bored, but at least I’m not mad!
Bohemian Rhapsody won Best Sound Editing, probably because of how good everyone involved with the movie edited out the sounds of people asking questions about their abusive director … or because Rami Malek didn’t sing at all for the movie.
Bohemian Rhapsody won Best Editing for editing out all the gay sex scenes.
— Gonzalo Cordova (@GonzaloRCordova) February 25, 2019
Bohemian Rapsody also won Best Sound Mixing, and I’m still figuring out the difference between those 2 awards. Every year, I tell myself I’m finally going to look it up. Maybe next year!
Roma won Best Foreign Language film, and if you didn’t get that right on your ballot you don’t deserve to be watching The Oscars.
Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for Green Book, his time winning that award in the last three years. Always the best supporting actor, never the bride. He wore a mix between a beanie and a Russian hat, which I guess we’ll be seeing in KITH next month, and some 1970s creeper glasses. I guess nobody told him he was going to the Oscars, not serving fair trade coffee in Bushwick.
Bao won Best Animated Short Film, which like we never knew was a category but happy for them and also we’re hungry now. Some movie about periods won Best Short Documentary, so men will be clamoring that sexism is officially dead. Please see: Solo vs. RBG.
“I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything” – me except I end up getting my period 2 days later #Oscars
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) February 25, 2019
Best Screenplay went to Green Book even though it was exclusively not a good film.
BlackkKlansman won Best Adapted Screenplay, finally nabbing Spike Lee an Oscar after like, 30 years of making movies. He gave a speech that included a call to action for the 2020 election and ended with, “let’s do the right thing—you know I had to get that in there” as a “fuck-you” to the Oscars for snubbing him for Do The Right Thing. God bless Spike Lee.
I cared more about Best Original Song than I did best picture TBH. If Shallow didn’t win I was ready to riot. I love that Gaga’s speech was inspired from “I get knocked down, but I get back up again.”
“I’ve worked hard for a long time.” – Lady Gaga winning at the #Oscars, also me after doing 10 minutes of cardio
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) February 25, 2019
Rami Malek won Best Actor for Bohemian Rapsody… but it should really be for acting like those horrible veneers were even the slightest bit not ridiculous!
Glenn was so Close to an Oscar win. Olivia Coleman won Best Actress and it was such a Kacey Musgraves Album of the Year moment. Has a single person seen The Favourite? Speak now, I want names. But Olivia’s speech was so charming and cute and the best part of the night, so it made up for the fact that probably nobody was rooting for her to win. Legit the most entertained I have been all night. Wait, should she host next year?
Green Book won Best Picture? Okay, time to say goodnight ‘n go. To the uninformed, having a segregation-era movie about a talented black piano player who tours the south in the company of his white driver, who befriends him and learns about tolerance in the process, sounds like a win for progress. In reality, Green Book is a movie where the director used to flash his penis on set “as a joke” (sure, Jan), one of the writers tweeted anti-Muslim comments, and to top it all off, the story illustrates the white savior complex and is kind of inaccurate! This is so typical Academy/white people in general—doing what’s easy to try to seem better and more progressive, when in reality being just as bad as before, if not worse.
Well, another award show where Amy Adams got dressed up to not win something. I hope they give her and Glenn Close a punch card—maybe six Oscar nominations can translate to a Critics Choice Award or something?
To sum up, Black Panther did really better than everyone expected which was great, while Bohemian Rapsody and Green Book sweept the awards people were praying would go to maybe a movie that didn’t remove the plot of AIDS or was racist. Another tragedy? There were like NO CUTS to Lady Gaga during the show and I’m kind of shocked we didn’t just have live feed just on her. The real winners of the night were Spike Lee, who had the best time out of anyone (including any of us watching), and women and immigrants, who got a shout-out in basically every speech. Hot take: nobody in Hollywood wants the wall. Now if only they could use their money and influence to do something about it?
All in all, this awards show basically felt like watching one of the Best Picture nominees: it was a little too long, a little boring, but I guess there’s worse ways to eat too much popcorn. So, congrats for surviving the Oscars and we’ll see you next awards season!