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The Best and Worst of 2022


In the year 2022, the world started to sigh relief that the end of the Covid pandemic was about to end. Movie theaters began to reopen, but without the usual amount of finished pictures to show. A 55-year-old TV series still held strong. TikTok became more popular than ever. Babies were born. The queen died. And then there was that slap at the Academy Awards…Here are just some of the best and worst highlights of 2022.

Best Performing Movie

Ironically, the best performing movie of 2022 was a sequel. Top Gun: Maverick, sequel to 1986’s Top Gun opened on Memorial Day and stuck around much longer than people thought possible. Selling more than 78 million tickets across the nation, the film had a big budget of 170 million. But making the Tom Cruise film proved to be worth it as it grossed over $717,748,000.

Worst Performing Movie

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Amsterdam had an $80 million dollar budget but made around $31.2 million worldwide. Though packed with star power including Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Zoe Saldana, Chris Rock and even Taylor Swift, the film failed to impress. Amsterdam holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 33%. Morbius, or what some people have referred to as “Marvel’s worst movie yet” has a 15% score but made $167 million vs. a $75 million budget so go figure. Oh, and Liam Neeson’s $43 million film Blacklight was real flop scoring a 10% “rotten” score making just $15.9 million globally.

The Best and Worst Movies Reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes

Speaking of Rotten Tomatoes, at least 11 films were released in 2022 that received 100% fresh scores, but chances are you never heard of any of them. The films were Saint Omer, No Bears, Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down, The Pez Outlaw, Descendant, Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues, The Janes, Aftershock, Free Chol Soo Lee, The Quiet Girl and All That Breathes.

The movie with the 2022’s lowest Rotten Tomatoes score goes to the horror film, The Legend of La Llorona receiving a 7% “rotten” score. However, the audience is much higher – 36% rotten.

The Banned Words of 2022

Creating a list of banned words and/or phrases has been a tradition of Lake Superior State University since 1976. The list of words/phrases not to be uttered in 2023 include: “absolutely”, “amazing”, “Does that make sense?”, “gaslighting”, “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time), “Inflection point”, “It is what it is”, “moving forward”, “quiet quitting” (a phrase used for an employee who completes the minimum requirements for a position and nothing more) and “irregardless”, which is not a real word to begin with.

The #1 Song

TikTok is partially credited for the success of “Heat Waves” by the British band Glass Animals. The album, Dreamland came out during the summer of 2020, but “Heat Waves” became a viral sensation on TikTok introducing the band to a wider audience. The song sat on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 91 weeks with five of them in the top No. 1 spot for five weeks in 2022.

Most Popular YouTube Video

A 23-year-old Minecraft content creator known as Technoblade already had a large fan base, but sadly, it was his last YouTube video that got the most views of the year. After dying of cancer, it was his father who posted his last video on June 30 which has received over 97 million views. Technoblade’s last words to his fans were “so long nerds.”

Celebrities Who Passed Away

In 2022, we said goodbye to many including Kirstie Alley, Angela Lansbury, James Caan, William Hurt, Leslie Jordan, Ray Liotta, Barbara Walters, Howard Hesseman, Sally Kellerman, Sidney Poitier and Mickey Kuhn (the last surviving credited cast member of Gone with the Wind) among others. TV stars like Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols, Leave it to Beaver’s Tony Dow, The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s Stephen “tWich” Boss, Sesame Street’s Emilio Delgado (“Luis”) and Bob McGrath (“Bob”) will be missed. Comedians who left us include Louie Anderson, Gallagher, Gilbert Gottfried and Bob Saget. No longer will we hear the voices of Pat Carroll (Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid), Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman) and Peter Robbins (the original voice of Charlie Brown). Singers who left us include Irene Cara, Aaron Carter, Naomi Judd, Jerry Lee Lewis, Loretta Lynn, Christine McVie, Meat Loaf, Oliva Newton-John, Bobby Rydell and Tracy Braxton. We also lost film directors Peter Boganovich and Mike Hodges, stop movie animation director Jules Bass, MLB All-Star pitcher Gaylord Perry and Queen Elizabeth II.

Weird Food Trends

2022 saw a bunch of weird food trends, many of which have been shown on TikTok. These include:

  • “Cloud Bread” was originally made popular with the Atkins Diet but is now popular with the gluten-free crowd. The “bread” consists of egg whites, sugar and cornstarch.
  • “Healthy Coke” is a combination of balsamic vinegar and carbonated water. Some has said that the drink mimics the look and flavor of Coca-Cola with a lot less sugar. (Umm, no, it doesn’t.)
  • “Sleepy Chicken” is the weirdest of them all to pop up on TikTok. Although a bit overblown, a few youngsters decided that marinating chicken in NyQuil was a good idea. TikTok responded by removing all “Sleepy Chicken” videos from its website.

Most Watched TV Series

According to Variety, the Season 4 finale of Yellowstone has the distinction of being the most-watched, non-sports and non-Oscars telecast of the year. The Paramount Network show which stars Kevin Costner averaged 13.1 million viewers. Meanwhile, the 55-year-old TV series, 60 Minutes still manages to get ratings holding eight of the year’s most-watched telecasts. And nobody will be surprised to learn that Super Bowl LVI: Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati was the most-watched show of 2022. Airing on NBC, the football spectacle saw 99,659,000 viewers.

Most Talked About Event on TV

The 94th Oscars celebration was a huge improvement compared to recent years, but it wasn’t the top movie (Belfast) that everyone was talking about. Instead, it was slap heard across the world that stole all of the attention. While Chris Rock was about to read the nominees for Best Documentary Feature, he took time to joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head due to alopecia areata. His comments comparing her to “G.I. Jane” did not sit well with husband Will Smith who made his opinion known in the form of an open-palmed slap across Rock’s face shocking everyone. A few minutes later, Smith won the award for Best Actor for King Richard.

Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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