THE 12 DAYS OF POP CULTURE!
ON THE 12TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
12 Star Trek Movies
There is a theory that certain Star Trek films (Wrath of Khan, Undiscovered Country, First Contact) are better than others (The Motion Picture, Generations, Insurrection). And though I don't really disagree, overall I would say this franchise has certainly made me quite happy (flaws and all!). And with the 12th Trek film (Star Trek Into Darkness) coming out in Summer 2013, I will certainly be one of the "Trekkies" standing in line on opening day!
ON THE 11TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
11 Disney Princesses
Growing up with Disney as a major influence in my life, I certainly cannot ignore the numerous Princesses they have in their film line-up. It was in the early 2000s though that someone in the Disney Marketing Department decided to turn these singing ladies into a diabolical money-making franchise. They started with six initially (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine). They soon added Pocahontas and Mulan to the mix (despite the former only "technically" a Princess and the latter not being one at all!!!). With the recent releases of The Princess and the Frog and Tangled, in came Tiana and Rapunzel. And now with the Disney/Pixar flick Brave, lead character Merida will be added to the group come the new year. (For those who agree with me and don't like counting Mulan, you can throw Enchanted's Gisele in her place despite that being mostly a live-action Disney film!)
ON THE 10TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
10 Seth MacFarlanes
It seems like Seth MacFarlane is everywhere now! He had a hit movie over the summer (Ted) and will be hosting the 2013 Academy Awards (censors be on guard!!!). And, of course, we cannot forget his immensely popular TV empire: his FOX Animated sitcoms Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show. Within this empire, MacFarlane himself voices 10 regular characters on all three shows together. On Family Guy, he voices Griffin family members Peter, Brian and Stewie along with neighbor Glenn Quagmire, Carter Pewterschmidt (Peter's father-in-law), newsman Tom Tucker and Quahog's resident physician Dr. Hartman. On American Dad!, he voices lead characters Stan Smith and alien Roger; while over on spin-off Cleveland Show, he voices neighbor Tim the Bear (if you've never seen the show, don't ask!). That's a lot of personalities for one man to have inside him (and yes, I know what I just said!).
ON THE 9TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
9 Christmas Specials
In my childhood, Christmas was a time to watch some great Holiday TV. And there were 9 Animated ones that were musts in my family. There was A Garfield Christmas and A Claymation Christmas Special that were new during my childhood. There were always the Rankin/Bass specials, of which 3 were the best: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town and Frosty the Snowman. There were two very important Animated versions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol: Mr. Magoo's and Mickey Mouse's. But the two that were the most important were Dr. Seuss' classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas (not the Jim Carrey one!) and the beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas.
ON THE 8TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
8 Harry Potters
He's protected a stone, escaped a secret chamber, hidden a prisoner, "gobletted" his way through a tournament, joined an order, studied a half-blood prince and even faced death itself. No matter how you cut it, we're just wild about Harry Potter! Though J.K. Rowling only wrote 7 books, the people at Warner Brothers decided to split the final book into two installments. Therefore, they gave audiences 8 chances to put the boy wizard with the lightning scar and his friends in film franchise history as the biggest money-making movie series of all time. However, this has now spawned a bunch of copycats in that they want to split a book (or a series' final book) into two or three films (see Twilight, The Hunger Games and The Hobbit!).
ON THE 7TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
7 Star Wars Movies
Growing up, George Lucas' first three Star Wars films (Episodes IV through VI, if you're counting!) were like a religion in my household (thanks to my brother!). And while the prequels have gone down as paling in comparison to the glory that is the original trilogy, I was still there on opening day of all three of those bastards! And even though the Animated Clone Wars film made me want to throw an Ewok off the Endor moon, I'm still excited by the possibility of yet another Star Wars movie now that Disney has picked up the franchise and future development rights.
ON THE 6TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
6 Different Bonds
I already spoke this year about my appreciation for the James Bond films. And on that list, there was at least one film of each of the six actors who have taken on the role of the superspy (especially in George Lazenby's case!).
ON THE 5TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
5 Muppet Show Seasons!
This one is fairly self-explanatory (and if it isn't, you can all brush up on your Googling!).
ON THE 4TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
4 Jack Sparrows
Who knew Disney could manage to make a lot of money and some pretty exciting films (though the fourth one is kind of a tedious vehicle!) based on a singular Disney ride? The popular attraction has now resurrected Johnny Depp as a bankable movie star and produced some very interesting characters (from Orlando Bloom's Errol Flynn-like Will Turner to Keira Knightley's lovely Elizabeth Swann or Geoffrey Rush's opportunistic Barbosa to Ian McShane's wicked Blackbeard!).
ON THE 3RD DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
3 Frodo Films
With the first of Peter Jackson's three Hobbit prequels out this month, I was greatly reminded of Jackson's brilliant trilogy which basically began the 21st Century. All three films got nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award in their respective years and the final installment triumphed in winning all 11 of the categories for which it was nominated (including Best Picture!).
ON THE 2ND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
2 Brothers Grimm
This one has a double meaning! It is true that there were two Grimm Brothers (Jacob and Wilhelm) who helped to popularize the classic folk and fairy tales for Western Culture. And it has been said that the two brothers were completely different in personality. It is believed that elder brother Jacob, the philosopher, had an affinity for the darker side of the tales; while younger brother Wilhelm had a yen for the romantic side of them (as Romanticism was becoming quite popular throughout Europe at the time!). And now it seems that things have come full circle as two extremely popular and extremely different drama series air on TV. On NBC, Grimm modernizes the tales and fits them more into a dark and gritty crime procedural that Jacob might have enjoyed. Meanwhile over on ABC, Once Upon a Time's modernization is mixed with the romanticism (and serial soap opera-style) of the fairy tale world that would have appealed to young Wilhelm.
ON THE 1ST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, POP CULTURE GAVE TO ME...
A Road Made of Yellow Brick!
And what Holiday season would be complete without a trip over the rainbow? During my childhood, L. Frank Baum's glorious and magical land of Oz was quite a favorite of mine. It was brilliantly showcased on the big screen in 1939's classic movie musical (a gem for all to see!) and has been adapted in several ways from books (novels and comic books!) to the stage (see Wicked!). Sometimes I feel all I need is a walk down a Yellow Brick Road to make me feel in good spirits. Perfect for any season (Holiday or no Holiday!).
AND SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!