Staff Picks: The Best and Worst of 2015

2015 was a big year in entertainment. From highly anticipated albums, box office hits and memorable celebrity moments, this year had several highs and, equally, many lows. The Current staff listed their favorite and least favorite arts and entertainment moments of 2015.

Best of 2015

Nicole Cocuy, co-editor-in-chief, said

“No No No” by Beirut

I fell in love with Beirut, an indie band from Santa Fe, when it released “The Rip Tide” in 2011, and I never thought anything could ever top that album. But the group of six multi-talented musicians led by the prodigious Zach Condon proved me wrong when it dropped “No No No” in September. Like in its previous albums, “No No No” pairs an eclectic collection of random instruments that I’ve never even heard of, like glockenspiels and flugelhorns, with sweet, delicate indie vocals to create classic Americana with a traditional eastern European folk vibe. However, “No No No” is much more polished than its predecessors and features a minimalist approach. Previous albums were random, funky, folky sounds and melodies piled on top of each other in a way that still managed to be cohesive; in “No No No,” Beirut gives each melodic riff air to breathe and masters the inclusion of brief milliseconds of silence. Nonetheless, “No No No” is the happiest and most creative I’ve ever listened to and is definitely the best album of 2015.

Li Cohen, co-editor-in-chief, said
Shia LaBeouf’s motivational speech
Nike’s slogan seems like a distant memory now that Shia has adapted the popular phrase “Just Do It.” The actor posted a hilarious speech on YouTube telling people to “just do it” while standing in front of a green screen, prompting people all over the world to upload their own renditions of his speech. The simple slogan transcended from a checkmark on a shoe to a checkmark on our hearts in 2015, and for that, we couldn’t be in more in love with our favorite former Disney Channel star.

Jazmyn Brown, copy editor, said

“Orange is the New Black”

The 2015 season of “Orange is the New Black” was released a day early for a reason: it’s just that good. Perhaps one of the only shows in which the side characters’ story lines are more interesting than the main character’s, “OITNB” manages to be equal parts hilarious and poignant. The 13-episode third season is short but so bittersweet and ends on a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers, bringing you right to the edge before yanking you back. Uzo Aduba, who plays Suzanne Warren or “Crazy Eyes,” is the only actress to have ever win Primetime Emmy Awards for comedy and genre in the same role. The third season of “OITNB” has definitely set the bar for next year’s episodes.

Destinee Hughes, arts and entertainment editor, said

Beyoncé’s Global Citizens Festival

Oddly, 2015 didn’t too much for me in regards to thriving entertainment, which is why I’m taking the safe route and relishing in Beyoncé’s Global Citizens Festival in September. As always, Beyoncé delivered in the most stage-worthy, regal way. Who cares if she was performing songs from her last album that dropped two years ago ― sometimes even with the same dance moves we all saw back in 2004. The point is Beyoncé performed, and it was amazing.

Erin Herbert, sports editor, said

“1000 Palms” by Surfer Blood
I’m the kind of person who firmly believes that my favorite band can do no wrong, which is why for me, Surfer Blood’s newest album “1000 Palms” was the best album of 2015. This album is a lot more mature than the band’s previous work and features a number of love songs but is still catchy enough to sing along to in my car. “1000 Palms” has become one of those albums that I could listen to repeat for days and never get tired of hearing, and it is, without a doubt, one of the best albums of 2015.

Roddia Paul, opinions editor, said

“Mad Max”
Call me cliché for loving the female role in this movie, but Charlize Theron, you did your thing, girl. Being someone who has never seen any of the “Mad Max” movies, I was a little skeptical about seeing this movie because I was worried about not knowing the back story and being confused. My mother somehow still got me to go with her to see it. The way my mom described the movie to me, I thought it would be centered on Max, but I soon learned that wasn’t the case. Action-packed from start to finish, you see the story behind a one-armed female warrior unfold. Not only was it racy, but the story line behind the female lead was also so intriguing and powerful. I’d like to thank my mom for talking me into this one, again.

Tiffany Smith, contributing writer, said

“Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” by Ashlee Vance

By many, Elon Musk has been dubbed the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. This biography is about an up-and-coming innovator and entrepreneur who, against all odds, capitalized on his dreams to redefine industries as we know them. Ashlee Vance takes a unique look inside the life of someone who put everything on the line, even his own finances, to see his shuttle launch into space and the first electric luxury sedan rock the market. Musk’s biography takes the reader through his upbringing in South Africa to his adventures in Silicon Valley. It’s the perfect book for business minds, hungry innovators and just about anyone who is ready to be inspired by this prominent figure.


Worst of 2015

Nicole Cocuy, co-editor-in-chief, said

Season 11 of “The Bachelorette”

I have a confession to make: I am addicted to garbage reality TV. My mom and I watch “The Bachelor” and similar shows together to bond and to complain about how terrible it is afterwards. Every season, we vow to never watch it again, but I somehow always get dragged back into watching it. These shows are generally pretty terrible, shallow and degrading. However, this season of “The Bachelorette” was particularly sexist. While “The Bachelorette” is still incredibly sexist, at least women were put in power for once to decide their own partner while the men fought over her attention. This year, though, they included a special twist: two Bachelorettes were selected and the men, the ones who would have otherwise been on the chopping block, stripped these poor girls of their power and autonomy by voting on essentially which one they thought was hotter on their first night. I didn’t think “The Bachelorette” could have gotten worse, but it did. Fortunately, I think I am cured of my bizarre, unhealthy addiction.

Li Cohen, co-editor-in-chief, said

Jon Stewart leaving “The Daily Show”
If I were to admit to being in love with any man whom I’ve never met, it would be Jon Stewart. He’s the guy who has spent just about every night in my room, has endlessly talked to me about politics and has never failed to make me laugh whenever I see him. “The Daily Show” was one of the only shows I would dedicate time to watch, and even though it has continued on without Jon’s presence, it is not the same as it once was. Jon was the “something special” that show needed, and without him, the humorous depiction of current events will never be the same.

Jazmyn Brown, copy editor, said

Donald Trump

Where to begin with this monster — or man, to be politically correct. Married to a Czech-American, Trump not only wants to build a wall to stop “criminals, drug dealers and rapists” from coming from Mexico, but his proposed surveillance program on Muslims and his Syrian immigration policy eerily resemble Hitler’s gold Stars of David and the time just preceding the Holocaust — all to “make America great again.” I don’t know if this man understands that this nation was built on immigration, that the founding fathers, who are surely turning over in their graves, escaped to North America to freely practice their religion. If he isn’t pulling an elaborate, long-term fast one on us, the worst of 2015 is surely the third incarnation of the Antichrist, right after Napoleon and Hitler. It baffles me that this man could actually become the next POTUS, the most powerful individual in the world.

Destinee Hughes, arts and entertainment editor, said

Kylie Jenner’s lips

There are plenty things that can be labeled as “worst” when referring to the Kardashian-Jenner and affiliates clan. Like the Glamour magazine “America’s First Family” issue, the Kanye West for President incident and even when Kim proved to us how “selfish” she really is when she cropped out poor baby North in one of her Instagram pictures. But the worst thing this family could have done in 2015 in my eyes is approve of Kylie Jenner’s Botox-filled lips. They’re horrible. And the fact that she tried to deny it makes it even worse. We’ve seen your before and after pics, girl; you’re not fooling anyone.

Erin Herbert, sports editor, said

Miley Cyrus’s music video for “Dooo It!”
Between the twerking and questionable costume choices, I thought I had seen the worst of Miley Cyrus. But I was horribly wrong. Watching Miley’s music video for her single “Dooo It!” was one of the most horrifying things to watch in 2015. Watching anyone vomit glitter for four and a half minutes is disgusting, but add in Miley’s odd tongue gestures and atrocious music, and you’ve pretty much created my worst nightmare.

Roddia Paul, opinions editor, said

Raven’s comment on skin color
Can we please just acknowledge for the last time before the year ends how Raven Symone disowned her own skin complexion. Not only did she say she does not identify as an African American but that we shouldn’t refer to her as black but instead “dark white.” Raven, I am appalled and a little hurt by your statements. As an avid “The Cosby Show” and “That’s So Raven” lover , two shows with predominately black cast members, I never would of thought you’d have such self-hate. I even owned a “That’s So Raven” Barbie doll as a child, and I remember being so proud of my black and beautiful playmate. I was so wrapped up in Raven that I thought I could see the future. Well, Raven, I didn’t see this one coming.

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