When we reflect, sometimes it's easier and more fun to look at the negative side of things.
What's wrong with a little negativity? If we're going to truly appreciate the best art produced every year, we are obligated to reflect on the worst so the best shines just that much more. Or maybe we have become a masochist society that loves to hate things and tortures ourselves with bad entertainment because "it's so bad, it's good."
Either way, some bad things came out of 2021, and Culture Desk does not intend to ignore them.
"Fancy Like" by Walker Hayes
If I don't hear this on Tik Tok, I hear it in commercials on TV and ads on Youtube simply because you cannot escape it. I knew the minute I heard my mom singing it, it was over for all of us.
"Obsessed" by Addison Rae
I feel like she is an easy target, but that still does not make this listening experience permissible. Was this produced by the Forever 21 clearance section and a poor soul in the intern department at TikTok?
"BIG PURR (Prrdd)" by Coi Leray ft. Pooh Shiesty
This song does not make sense to me. Like why is Coi Leray trying to do an impression of Dababy and Pooh Shiesty is trying to sound like Dej Loaf. Truly awful 2/10 song.
"This Has Gotta Stop" by Slowhand and Van (Eric Clapton and Van Morrison
This ridiculous song has at best a mediocre saxophone solo and at worst gives validation to the conspiracy theorist claiming COVID-19 was a “plandemic.” 1/10 for a mediocre saxophone.
"Skinny Dipping" by Sabrina Carpenter
This song just sounds bad. Carpenter is having a conversation with someone for the majority of it and you just hear her talking. This technique is one many artists have used successfully before but Carpenter was unable to execute it properly. The singing parts are good, if there was more of that this song may not have ended up on this list.
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I used to be a huge fan of them back in middle school when we all ate up those fake deep lyrics and had our emo phase, and it was so much better than this. This is giving me the vibes of an Old Navy catalog or retail store playlist on repeat. What happened to the angry screamo and can we please bring that back instead of this? It's actually laughable if you compare their discography from a couple of years back to now.
"Justice"by Justin Bieber
This album does not do what it wants to. I’m not sure what purpose Bieber has in the industry anymore after his prime hair-flipping and "If I was your boyfriend"-era. It’s probably not this. Or it shouldn't be.
"The Battle at Garden's Gate"by Greta Van Fleet
I find that most of Greta’s music requires time to grow on me. Their music ages well, but at first listen is not great. That being said, this was not the worst album, but certainly could have been far better. It is inconsistent and I think perhaps would have benefitted from a couple of extra months in the oven.
"Certified Lover Boy" by Drake
Someone needed to say it. Every song sounds like Drake is trying to recapture the hype in “Big Rings” or the sensuality of “Redemption.” It is not a matter of whether the songs sound good, but if they sound original. And they do not.
"Nobody is Listening" by ZAYN
Zayn was right, "Nobody is Listening" to this album. It flew pretty much under the radar with the only good song being "Better" which also seems like it would be played in a coffee shop. The rest of the album didn't stand out with a mix of R&B and Pop, it seems like something that should've come out 10 years ago.
"Nine Perfect Strangers" on Hulu
This tried to be "Big Little Lies"with Nicole Kidman carrying the whole show on her back, but it could never be. There is a line between camp eccentricity and just confusing, and it teetered too close to the latter most of the time.
Another reality show that no one needed and will inevitability fade away. It's like "The Masked Singer" was made worse somehow and they still let it air?
"Arcane" on Netflix
Maybe I would like this if I played "League of Legends." But this show seems to run on the class-war tropes, which I would be there for, but it just seems like a more fleshed-out Martez Sisters storyline from Season 7 of "The Clone Wars."
"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"
Here I am, to make a counterargument that this show was not as good as everyone says. This was not good TV. It is just a mediocre six-hour movie where Sam and Bucky both kill people but when the five-o'clock shadow Captain America kills someone while being taped, that is when killing is bad. Also, no episode has a proper arc as a proper TV show should! The Dora Milaje fight was the coolest part. Make a show about them.
"Emily in Paris" Season 2 on Netflix
Season 2 of Emily in Paris came out on December 22 and it just reiterates that this show is a joke, at least it has to be. Emily is one of the most annoying main characters there is, trying to absolve herself of guilt after sleeping with her best friend's boyfriend. Her outfits are horrible and she truly does not fit in in Paris. The only good thing about this show is the side characters and being able to see clips of France.
"The Woman in the Window"
Amy Adams, blink twice if you are being held hostage by the mediocrity of mid-tier mystery movies. This was so anti-climatic and I wasn’t even upset because I stopped paying attention.
The interpretation of a person on the autism spectrum by someone who is neurotypical and the director’s best friend? Yeah, sounds deserving of the sevem percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
"He’s All That"
In my opinion, this was more of a comedy than what the movie originally intended to be. While the movie was not good–mostly because of the writing, acting and random dancing–if you do not take it seriously then you can still enjoy it.
"Godzilla vs. Kong"
I would not even say this was a bad movie because the monster fights were cool and I had a good time watching this movie. But also, all of the characters in this movie are weird and it culminates with the spirit of a dead monster taking over a robot Godzilla, and Godzilla and Kong team up to fight it … like most people predicted.
"Space Jam: A New Legacy"
Sometimes an original is truly all you need, which is why this movie paled in comparison. This movie tried to play into the nostalgia but instead, we really could've done without it.
We can complain about bad entertainment all year, but we all know it's more addicting to read bad than good reviews. Let's hope that within the next year, this list will shrink so we have room to appreciate the remarkable art that is to come in 2022.
We can all hope for the best, but meanwhile, we will be stewing in our hate for these until more bad entertainment surfaces for us to be angry about.
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