A Year in Review: 2012

So it turns out those darn Mayans were wrong about that whole apocalypse thing.

As 2012 comes to a close, I’m thankful for some amazing experiences: After wanting to visit the continent for years, I finally made it to Europe where I stumbled upon the Diamond Jubilee in London (and saw Hogwarts!), the Olympic torch in Dublin (and nature’s beauty!) and the EuroCup festivities in Berlin (and amazing museums!).


The Berliner Dom in Berlin // Photo by Christina De Nicola
The Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland

// Photo by Christina De Nicola

My friends and I conquered rides and ate true Nathan’s hot dogs at Coney Island in August. I walked the Brooklyn Bridge for my “Edge of Glory” moment and met J.K. Rowling in October.

Since 2013 has my favorite number in it, there’s no pressure at all, any higher powers that be. Below is a list of my five favorite bits of pop culture in 2012.

I visited Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station in London. // Photo by Christina De Nicola

I visited Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station in London. // Photo by Christina De Nicola



1) Showtime’s “Homeland”

For the second consecutive year, “Homeland” makes my list. After an amazing debut in 2011, the creators took the show places viewers never could’ve imagined. SPOILER: From killing more than 200 members of the CIA in the finale to a blossoming Brody and Carrie romance over the course of the season, every episode left people guessing.

Instead of dragging out story lines, something that plagues other shows (ie: “Downton Abbey”), “Homeland” provided shock value without going too unbelievable.

If that weren’t enough, it got the spoof treatment in a hilarious SNL skit featuring Anne Hathaway. It’s hard to find someone on any social media platform not talking about it. How much longer until Season 3?

2) “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” movie

If you called it the best adaptation of a novel, you probably wouldn’t rouse much argument. Author Stephen Chbosky took his original material and not only wrote the screenplay, but also directed an amazing coming-of-age film.

The trio – Logan Lerman (a heartbreaking Charlie), Emma Watson (a lovable Sam) and Ezra Miller (an entertaining Patrick) – lead this film with superb performances that portray very real teenagers. A great soundtrack, particularly the use of Dexys Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen,” transports the viewer into a time of nostalgia and fun.

3) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Call me crazy. Why? I actually read Little Women (452 pages), Anna Karenina (754 pages) and Les Misérables (908 pages) consecutively. But you know what? It was worth it because I’m a sucker for the classics.

The latter two were translated onto the screen this year and provided admirable adaptations. Anna Karenina, the novel, was my favorite of the year (Crime and Punishment, another Russian piece, took the honor in 2011) because of its blend of politics, ethics and romance. The juxtaposition of Levin’s and Anna’s fates could not have been done any better.

4) Good music hitting the airwaves 

Sure, there are still songs on Clear Channel that you hate to sing along to because the lyrics are horrible yet the tune is catchy (I won’t say names).

In 2012, the year also welcomed musical fare not usually heard by the masses: Ed SheeranGotye, The Lumineers. The Black Keys’ “Gold On the Ceiling” seemed to appear in countless trailers. Maybe there is hope! Then again, the hipster fad became a thing, much to the chagrin of this sorta hipster.

5) The neon lights on Broadway

I had the pleasure of seeing three amazing shows this year: “Once,” which won the Tony (and seven others) for Best Musical; “The Heiress,” with Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain; and “Peter and the Starcatcher,” which was nominated for nine Tony awards.

The latter, sadly, closes in a few weeks despite amazing writing – I’ve never laughed more during a play. It tells the story of Peter Pan before Wendy and co. came to Neverland. “Once” easily did justice to the film of the same title, while also adding innovative elements to theatre. “Falling Slowly,” the most memorable number, gave me chills. “The Heiress” proved to be an ambiguous tale of love and deceit with great acting performances.


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