Best ___ Of 2015: Some Really Specific Superlatives

2015 is over, and so is vacation. For a lot of us, this is the first day back at work for a week or two, and I, for one, am not ready. How not ready? I’m just going to bury my head in the sands of time and think about 2015 for a few more minutes. By now all of the year’s Best Of lists are out – best movie, best new television show, and so on. However, I think a few categories were left off the lists. From best Ham4Ham performance to best original song by a fictional artist, there’s a lot more of 2015 left to enjoy*.

*There isn’t, though. It’s over. Better get back to work after this. Yuck.

Best Ham4Ham performance of 2015: Love For The Techies Day

We aren’t going to talk about the best musical of 2015 – there’s no need, because I think we all agree here (#WeAreAHamiltonBlogNow). So how about the best performance from Ham 4 Ham, the Hamilton lottery? There are a lot of excellent contenders and you could make a solid argument for a handful of them, but I’m going with one of the more unorthodox performances: Love for the Techies Day. The whole company performed the Ten Duel Commandments, but it wasn’t just amazing because the entire cast was there. The stage manager called out all of the cues, and when you realize that he does that for the entire show, every day, you’ll be blown away.

Best dance craze of 2015: Whip & Nae Nae

… and NOT because it’s a good dance, but because it has followed the classic Dance Craze trajectory. It is easy enough that anybody can execute it, though maybe not well. It started as a reasonably “cool” thing to do, then trickled down to the elementary school set. From there, it has traveled way up the age bracket, and there’s a good chance that your mom or aunt has learned it at a wedding (possibly from a child). In a lot of ways, the nae nae is like the Macarena of 2015. Complete with annoying song that we’re all sick of.

Best viral video with a puppy in it: Drunk Girls Get Surprised With Puppies

This was not an easy choice, and I am fully open to more puppy video suggestions because I can’t get enough. I am particularly partial to puppies making friends with other species. But this one basically summed up my internal monologue when I see a puppy, so I’m going with it. Also my favorite puppy/horse video is from 2014, anyway.

Best viral video with a kitten in it: Meet Koko’s New Kittens

Koko always wanted a baby, but she got kittens instead. Apparently when a human does that it’s “sad” (whatever) but it sure is adorable when a gorilla did it. The gorilla is so gentle I want to cry.

Best new Netflix series – comedy: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

The magic starts with the theme song and just keeps going. Master of None is a close second, but I’m not considering it a full-out *comedy* (we’ll explain).

Best new Netflix series – drama: Jessica Jones

I don’t know if this makes my opinion more or less valid (probably less?) but I’ve never seen a superhero show before. What I like is that it’s plot- and character- driven (and I realize that most superhero dramas are…) and there aren’t too many action sequences unless they actually move the story forward. Gratuitous action sequences are just something that tends to make me lose interest and avoid the genre. As a character study alone, I’m pleasantly surprised by how good this show is. [Full disclosure: real life got a little too real and I haven’t seen the last 3 episodes yet but I heard they’re excellent.]

Best new Netflix series – documentary: Making a Murderer

This isn’t the last you’ll hear from us about Making a Murderer, so I won’t say too much now. We both love how this filled the Serial-shaped hole in our lives (the new season of Serial is still good, but different).

Honorable mention for best documentary: Master of None, because I know it’s a comedy but it was also the REALEST thing I’ve seen in a while.

Best 90s television reunion: Saved By The Bell on Jimmy Fallon

This was 100% more Bayside-like than that weird school in the Lifetime movie about Saved By The Bell. I wonder at what point Mark Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez will stop looking exactly like 1993-era  Zach Morris and A.C. Slater given the right hair and wardrobe.

Best 2000s television reunion: Gilmore Girls 

And not just because we were there.  It’s not often that the entire cast of a show will reunite like that, and it’s even better now that we know that the series will be getting the sign-off it deserved.

Best original song by a fictional artist: Drip Drop – Hakeem Lyon on Empire

We love original songs by fictional artists so much that we did a whole playlist on the topic, but if we did that today there’s a chance it would just be Drip Drop ten times. Just think, a year ago at this time we had no idea what Empire was going to unleash on all of us.

Best children’s movie for adults: Inside Out

It’s great for kids, too, but something about this one really grabs most adults, plus a lot of the references to things like art and psychology are geared toward the grown-ups, anyway. Fair warning: this is also 2015’s Best Children’s Movie To Cry During, based on an informal survey of … us. We both cried.

Best uncanny resemblance between a  celebrity and a presidential candidate: Larry David/ Bernie Sanders

Many of the best impressions are performed by people who look nothing like the subject they’re impersonating. Still, there’s something so exciting when a politician has a ready-made celebrity doppelgänger (see: Tina Fey and Sarah Palin). It looks like we’ll all be feeling the Bern for at least a while longer, so let’s all hope that Larry David is willing to reprise his spot-on, no-effort impersonation.

Best surprisingly heartwarming pop culture moment: Shia LaBoeuf watches the Even Stevens movie


I don’t know how I feel about Shia LaBoeuf, but I DO know how I feel about Even Stevens: that it’s an essential part of my childhood television cannon, and when I say childhood I mean that it aired when I was in high school and was made for 8-year-olds. Shia’s latest performance art piece, #AllMyMovies, involved him… watching all of his movies. Yet when I watch all of Shia LaBoeuf’s movies, it’s not performance art, it’s just a weird Saturday. Anyway, his reactions to Even Stevens were actually precious.

Things I’m Willing To Believe About 2015

Almost everything that is going to happen in 2015 has already happened. That means we’ve reached the point where you can sit back and reflect on the year that was … not. None of the following things actually happened in 2015, but the way the past year was, I’m willing to believe all of them.

  • The fastest-rising baby names were Temerity (girl) and Elfin (boy), springing from the trends toward word names for girls and names ending in “n” for boys.


  • Middle schoolers across the nation frightened their parents by “kale-ing” – snorting dried kale chips to enjoy the chill buzz of toxins leaving their systems.



  • The most-downloaded Youtube video in the U.S. was “oops-shite,” in which a British preschooler drops an ice cream cone then shouts “oops! SHITE.” YouTube Grand Master Martin Fillburgh called it a “perfect storm” of a child swearing combined with a non-American accent.


  • A Today show segment about a popular pair of sweat-wicking socks caused demand to skyrocket; they were selling for up to $15 a pair on eBay by Christmastime.


  • The most popular Google search was “how to hide political posts from Facebook.” The most popular Yahoo search was “how computer work.” The most popular Yahoo Answers search was “if I am pregnett with baby can baby get pregnett too yes or no.”


  • A detailed forensic analysis proved that at least two of Shakespeare’s worst sonnets as well as Timon of Athons were, in fact, written by his cousin, Trevor Shakespeare.


  • The least-attended panel in Comic-Con history was the reunion of Wild West C.O.W.-boys of Moo Mesa, an early 90s cartoon about a community of mutant old-west cows that formed after the prairie was hit by a comet, which I know existed because I watched it every week. Con planners are said to have “seriously misjudged” the pull of 90s nostalgia.


  • An entire chain of spin studios had to close when a serious strain of ringworm infected up to 70% of the patrons, many of whom didn’t really mind because at least that meant people could tell that they work out.


  • When pressed for a description of Minecraft, the creator explained “there’s like… these blocks, right? And you make a farm, sort of? But maybe like there are… wars… at times?” He then pulled a nine-year-old child from the audience to explain it better.


  • Archaeologists at Colonial Williamsburg believed that they had uncovered a 250-year-old time capsule. They scheduled a public opening, where it quickly became clear that it was actually a box of stuff a Colonial man didn’t want his wife to find.


  • At least seven flights were grounded when the combined GPS signals of the passengers’ Fitbit devices overpowered the plane’s navigation system.


  • People younger than you started a massive dance craze based on a 1970s Chilean novelty song.


  • Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, Goop, began selling amazingly ineffective cashmere towels for $475 a piece.


  • Your favorite show ended.


  • Somewhere in the United States, a teenager told a friend that they were singing a “song from an old musical” for an audition; it was from Rent.

America, at the end of the millennium.


  • The National Institute Of Health released a report entitled Everyone Is Fat And We’re All Going To Die: An American Epidemic.


  • Emily Patton, a 22-year-old recent NYU grad, launched #Married, a business that creates custom wedding hashtags for couples; each hashtag comes with a guarantee that the tag will not be used for any photos not associated with the wedding for up to 6 months after the event.


  • For the first time ever, 100% of the models in New York Fashion Week were born after 1990; over 10% were born in this millennium.


  • Someone you went to college with got a pug. And I bet it’s really cute, too.


  • Ariana Grande placed a drive-through Dunkin Donuts order that she had to repeat 13 times, as the girl CANNOT ENUNCIATE.
  • The latest hit social network: Mrow, described as “like Vine but for cats, on more of a Twitter interface.”


  • The fastest-growing subscription box company of the year was Flounce. Once a month subscribers get a box to fill with clothing they already own; it is mailed back to them with minor embellishments like lace ruffles, embroidery, or a bow.


  • A three-day convention called Handsome, Clever And Rich celebrated the bicentennial of Jane Austen’s novel Emma along with the 20-year anniversary of Clueless. Festivities were held in Surrey and Beverly Hills. Events included speed dating and makeovers; it was described by attendees as well-intentioned but a little shallow.


  • A Go Fund Me account has raised over $500 for Pizza Rat and his or her children.