It’s safe to say that 2016 will go down as one of the craziest years in history. Looking at where we are now, it may be difficult to remember what exactly was good about this year, but believe it or not, there were many shining moments. Here’s a list of my 16 highlights from 2016. (Proceed with caution spoilers may be below.)
The third season of Jane the Virgin has lived up to its expectations and more. Whether you’re #teammichael or #teamrafael, the onscreen chemistry between Gina Rodriguez, Brett Dier, and Justin Baldoni is unprecedented (if anyone can take that word seriously anymore) and served as a beacon of light in 2016. Although the show is on a small break right now, it is set to return in January of 2017.
- The Raven King Release
The third and final book in Maggie Stiefvater’s trilogy, The Raven King was released in March of 2016. As an avid fan of the series, the conclusion did not let me down. Maybe I’m a little biased but seeing Ronan Lynch happy makes me happy. The Raven King served as a perfect mix of melancholy and hope that all pieces of work should have.
- Teen Wolf’s Final Season Premiere
It’s not a countdown from me without the mention of Tyler Posey, or Tyler Posey’s show. This summer at San Diego Comic-Con, the cast announced that its coming season (6) would be the final season. It is always nice to see something that you love go out on top. The Teen Wolf final season premiere (it still hurts my heart to say that) kicked off a pretty exciting season with a bang and reminded a lot of fans why they loved the show in the first place.
Starting as the little show that could, Atlanta thoroughly proved itself and was one of the only reasons I felt like smiling and laughing this year. With an all black writing staff, Donald Glover created a show viewers can’t wait to see more of.
- Mickey and Ian Reunion
I’ll admit, I gave up on Shameless last season because of their treatment of Mickey Milkovich. When I heard he was returning, I came running back, and it was well worth it. This season of Shameless has not only showcased how badass Fiona can be but has also brought back one of my favorite TV couples, Mickey and Ian.
- Queen Sugar
I started watching this because Ava Duvernay and Oprah were having a Q&A about it at a movie theater near me. I did not realize how BEAUTIFUL it was, especially watching it on the big screen. With an impressive cast of Kofi Siriboe, Rutina Wesley, and Dawn-Lyen Gardner, this show took the OWN network by storm.
Black Girls Rock is right. This was definitely Zendaya’s year to shine. Amongst other things, Zendaya started her own completely inclusive fashion line featuring sizes 0 to 22 and flew to three cities in one day going to her pop up shops.
As a huge musical theater kid, Hamilton has always been in my eyesight. I remember sitting and saying to my friend “I’ll never pay $300 for a ticket”. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to pay a small amount of $300 for a ticket now to be in the room where it happened. Lin-Manuel Miranda (writer of Hamilton) may be one of the only people on this Earth who had a seemingly, and well deserving, flawless 2016.
Is no longer just a drink, and that’s all that needs to be said.
- Bruno Mars
Holding onto his title as the King of Bop, Bruno Mars made this year great. Since the release of his album 24k Magic I have been on a nonstop Bruno binge. Not one beat on that album is out of place, and I aspire to be just as cool as Bruno in 2017.
- This Is Us
I don’t know how I got this far in life avoiding the mesmerization of Milo Ventimiglia (I never watched Gilmore Girls give me a break) but him, Mandy Moore and their three children (at all ages) served to be one of my favorite TV shows in 2016. Although I cried in every single episode, there was nothing else that I wanted to watch more.
- Jordan Fisher
A while ago, I interviewed Jordan Fisher as he prepared for his role as Doody in Grease Live. When I got finished talking to him, I said to myself “that guy is going to make it far.” After making everyone fall in love with him early in the year with Grease Live, Jordan released an EP showcasing his RIDICULOUS falsetto. To add to his hype, he recently joined the cast of Hamilton replacing Anthony Ramos as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton.
- Rogue One
I just watched this a few days ago, so it’s still very fresh in my memory, but it served as an excellent conclusion to an interesting year. Without saying too much because I know that many still haven’t seen it, I’d just like to note that it definitely makes the list and is one of my favorite Star Wars movies (even if there is no Jar Jar).
- Captain America Civil War
Is it possible that this movie is a better Avengers film than both Avengers films put together? I think so. Between Cap’s dedication to his best friend Bucky, T’challa’s bad ass fighting and Tom Holland’s age appropriate flawless Spider-Man debut, it’s going to be hard for the next Captain America movie to top this one.
- Chance the Rapper
He stops ticket scalpers himself and led the youth to a voting place after a free concert, Chance the Rapper came into the spotlight this year, and I am more than proud. With his vow to never sell any of his music, his album Coloring Book was the first streaming-only album to top the charts, and he continues to break records with it daily.
- BLONDE (or blond who knows with Frank Ocean)
I hold Frank Ocean very close to home, and I, like many other fans, had been waiting since his last album Channel Orange for him to release new music again. After months and months of teasing about an album on his Tumblr, Frank took to Apple Music to release the visual album Endless. If that wasn’t enough 24 hours later, he released his album Blonde which lived up to expectations and is still on repeat in my car today. When I look back at 2016, this will definitely be one of the main things that stick out from the year.
As I made this list, I found that maybe 2016 wasn’t so bad after all. Honorable mentions include 2016 Olympics, The Walking Dead Season Premiere, and the Spider-Man Homecoming trailer. Comment below if you think I missed anything, or what order you would choose instead!