It’s December and you know what that means. This is the time of year where we star seeing 2017 recaps. Best this or that, biggest scandal, so on and so forth. This year, though, things seem to happen in a much denser capacity. November was a hell of a month in the pop culture world, so naturally the month needs a recap. Let’s get to it!
There was a bit of a scandal
The Harvey Weinstein story broke in October, but the ripples extended all through November. In November we saw Kevin Spacey removed from House of Cards, prominent Hollywood agent Adam Venit was named as the perpetrator against Terry Crews, Louis CK admitted to sexual misconduct which led to a movie and tv show being scrapped, and Matt Lauer got fired for harassment claims. To say the Weinstein story opened the floodgates would be an understatement. I’m sure we will continue to see further effects in Hollywood and beyond as time goes on, but it seemed like everyday in November led to a new revelation.
It’s painfully obvious that there are some deep-rooted issues regarding attitudes toward sexual behavior. It’s not just in Hollywood, sports, or politics, but in everyday life. I certainly don’t know any sort of fixes for a problem as big as this, but at least people are recognizing that a problem does exist. If there is one thing this ordeal taught us, it’s the power of speaking out, so if you’ve been the victim of anything like that, let someone know. Here’s the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs’ website if you’re looking for some resources.
Grab your pitchforks, we’re heading to EA
On November 12, a Redditor made a post about having to pay extra to unlock Darth Vader in the new Star Wars: Battlefront II game. Unfortunately for EA, the company making the game, one of their representatives responded with a ridiculous answer about “sense of pride and accomplishment” or whatnot defending the game structure. The backlash, of course, was swift and the EA Reddit response became the most downvoted comment in Reddit history, receiving several hundred thousand downvotes. If you’re not a Reddit user, this means that over 600,000 people gave the post a virtual “thumbs down” and led to a torrent of negative comments.
If you’re not familiar with the game and why this is an issue, here’s an analogous scenario. Imagine buying the new NBA video game and being told you have to play 30+ hours before you can unlock the Cleveland Cavaliers or Golden State Warriors. Oh, you don’t want to do that? Here you go, you can buy these extra teams (though they’re not actually extra teams, they’re part of the NBA) and bypass the hours of playing by just paying more money. Essentially EA is making it so time-consuming and tedious to unlock characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker that they’re banking on people paying an extra amount to unlock them instead. The issue with the Reddit comment, though, was that the EA rep said the company wanted players to feel “a sense of pride and accomplishment” by grinding out those hours to unlock their favorite Star Wars characters. That comment would’ve probably been received more favorably had they not put a price tag on that “pride and accomplishment”.
Net Neutrality: To be or not to be
Another issue which shook the online world was the topic of net neutrality. I’m not about to dive down that political rabbit hole of whether or not the internet should be subject to government regulation or be controlled by corporations. This became a huge issue when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the FCC would roll back the net neutrality rules which have been in place since 2015. People were quick to pick sides and a ton of misinformation was whipped out in record time. In my opinion (uh-oh, here we go), the net neutrality issue is one of the issues that will directly affect your day to day life. I think the internet has (for better or worse) become a fairly essential part of life in 2017 and for the foreseeable future. How the internet is managed, whether by the government, free market, corporations, or whatever, is worth paying attention to. If you feel compelled to choose a side, please do so with well-researched information.
The Movies Were Lit
November is traditionally a strong month for the box office, and this year proved to be the same. Despite 23% drop from last 2016, this November was the third best box office month of the year so far, led by Thor: Ragmarok and Justice League. Five of the top ten box office draws earned a Rotten Tomatoes score of 85% or hire (Coco, Wonder, Thor: Ragnarok, Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Overall, it was a pretty good month at the box office.
The interesting aspect of the November box office is the head-to-head look between the Marvel and DC cinematic universes. Anybody who keeps up with the two comic powerhouses’ movie performance knows that Marvel is light years ahead of DC when it comes to movies. Back in May and June, the tide seemed to potentially even out a little when Wonder Woman outperformed Guardians of the Galaxy 2 at the domestic box office. The surprise success of Wonder Woman gave a glimmer of hope to DC fans that things were turning around…until Thor crushed that hope with the swing of Mjolnir. Justice League opened with $93 million, which was good for number one that weekend. Unfortunately, it was the fifth worst DC opening (out of five DC releases) and will be lucky to crawl past Suicide Squad to take the third spot on the list. On the other hand, Thor was quite a bit more successful. With an opening weekend of $122 million, Thor has already climbed up to tenth on the Marvel movie list (out of 17 movies). Thor is also in the top 80 (79) in all-time domestic releases and is closing in on $300 million in domestic box office revenue. With the release of the new Avengers trailer last week, it’s safe to say the comic movie battle is still definitively one-sided.
Those kids from Love Actually got engaged…according to the internet.
Obviously that isn’t the case, but after the last month I’d believe just about anything.