Monday, January 1, 2018

The Best and Worst of 2017

In the blink of an eye, another year has come and gone but before we move on to our New Year’s resolutions, let’s take a moment or two to acknowledge the best and worst that past year gave us:

WORST: Celebrity Deaths
While few are mourning the loss of Hugh Hefner, other famous faces we lost (but not limited to) include Tom Petty, Mary Tyler Moore, Erin Moran, Rose Marie, Dick Enberg, Jim Nabors, David Cassidy, Della Reese, Earl Hyman, Mel Tillis, Liz Smith, John Hillerman, Fats Domino, Robert Guillaume, Monty Hall, Richard Anderson, Jay Thomas, Jerry Lewis, Chuck Barris, Chuck Berry, Glen Campbell, Mike Connors, June Foray, J. Geils, Sue Grafton, Barbara Hale, John Hurt, Martin Landau, Roger Moore, Bill Paxton, Don Rickles, Sam Shepard, George Romero, Adam West and The People’s Court original judge, Joseph Wapner.

(Luscasfilm/Disney)
BEST: The Most Successful Movie
The fact that Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the top-grossing movie of 2017 ($517,359,228 and growing) isn’t all that surprising. What is surprising (at least to some) is that Disney’s live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast came in second ($504, 014, 165). These were followed by Wonder Woman (#3), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (#4), Spider-Man: Homecoming (#5), It (#6), Thor: Ragnarok (#7), Despicable Me 3 (#8), Logan (#9) and The Fate of the Furious (#10). Four of the top ten were based on Marvel franchises while only Wonder Woman represented DC Comics, (Justice League came in 11th). According to Money magazine, Get Out was the most profitable movie of 2017 which was made for $4.5 million but grossed $252,434,250 worldwide.

(Open Road Films)
WORST: The Least Successful Movie
And with every silver lining there is a gloomy dark cloud nearby. At the other end of the spectrum, the Russian film, The Student (#715) has been reported to be the movie that made the least amount of money ($138) in the U.S. during 2017. But according to Biz Journals, the biggest flop goes to The Promise which made $8 million worldwide …. Against a $90 million budget!

(Universal Pictures)
BEST: Animated Movie
While Despicable Me 3 was the top-grossing animated movie of the year, I personally thought that Disney/Pixar’s Coco was the best for the year. Honorable mentions go to The Lego Batman Movie and Cars 3 (which in my opinion is the best of the three).

BEST: Faith-Based Movie
Lionsgate’s The Shack did financially the best of all the faith-based films of 2017 and starred Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer and Tim McGraw. Sony Animations The Star did well during the Christmas season as well followed by Pure Flix’s The Case for Christ.

WORST: Unhealthiest Airline Food
While no airline receive really high marks for their in-flight food, Reader’s Digest reports that Hawaiian Airlines is serving up the unhealthiest food of any American airline. According to Dr. Charles Platkin, director of New York Food Policy Center says that the average meal contains about 971 calories.

(ABC)
BEST: New TV Series
One of my favorite new series that aired this fall was the CBS heart-warming Me, Myself and I which centered on one character through the past, present and future. Unfortunately, the series didn’t receive good ratings initially and has been pulled from the network’s schedule and is rumored to become cancelled. CBS’s Young Sheldon is also a favorite with a huge tonal shift from the series (The Big Bang Theory) which it is based from.

WORST: New TV Series
ABC had two really stinkers this fall with Marvel’s Inhumans and Ten Days in the Valley. The former was just dumb and the latter lost my interest after two episodes as it was confusing, oddly paced and didn’t feature any characters to care about.

(The CW)
BEST: Most Watched TV Series
According to Nielsen, the top TV series for 2017 was ABC’s freshman drama, The Good Doctor (an average of 17.4 million) followed by NBC’s This is Us (16.4 million), CBS’ Young Sheldon (16.4 million) and NBC’s America’s Got Talent (16 million).

WORST: Least Watched TV Series
According to TV By the Numbers, The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Valor tied for the lowest rated TV series of 2017 (95th place). They were in good company with CW’s other shows, the remake of Dynasty and Jane the Virgin. The next lowest? ABC’s The Toy Box.

BEST: Most Charitable Celebrity
DoSomething.org’s “Celebs Gone Good” list for 2017 reports that Chance the Rapper has made the top of the list which recognizes celebrities who use their influence to affect social change in the world in the areas of mental health, education, gun violence, sexual assault and more.

BEST: Most Admired Person
Barack Obama won the title for "Most Admired Man" for 2017 according to Gallup's poll of 1,000 people. He beat out Donald Trump, Pope Francis, Rev. Billy Graham and John McCain. Incidentally, Graham has been featured in the top ten list of Most Admired people since 1962. Hillary Clinton won the spot for “Most Admired Woman” followed by Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Warren and Angela Merkel.

BEST (or WORST): World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities
Forbes announced that musician Sean Combs is the #1 highest-paid celebrity of 2017 earning about $130 million. Singer Beyoncé Knowles came in second making $105 million for the year and author J.K. Rowling earned $95 Million.

WORST: Hollywood Scandal
In October of 2017, both the New York Times and The New Yorker reported that many women have come forward to accuse film producer, Harvey Weinstein, of sexual harassment or worse. To date, that number rest at more than 80. Soon the hashtag #MeToo was used by people stating that they had also been sexually harassed by others. Then the fallout continued with new accusations against actor Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., NBC Today show’s Matt Lauer and others which left each of them without work.

BEST: Most Popular YouTube Video
After hundreds of independent videos were produced this year for YouTube this past year, the one video which rose to the top for being the most popular according belongs to “Until We Will Become Dust – Oyster Mask” from the TV series, The Mask Singer. It has received over 203,331,000 views so far.



Second place was Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” song presented by the Kyle Hanagami Choreography (over 126,000,000 views)



and Dude Perfect’s “Ping Pong Tricks 3 (over 99,892,000 views)



BEST: Top Song
According to Billboard, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” made the #1 song for 2017.

BEST: Top Christian Song
According to Pop Vortex, the most downloaded Christian song on iTunes for 2017 was Crowder’s “All My Hope” featuring Tauren Wells. This is followed by MercyMe’s “Even If,” Elevation Worship’s “O Come to the Altar” and Tenth Avenue North’s “Control (Somehow You Want Me)”

(Pixabay/White Session)
BEST: Highest Paid Jobs
According to Careercast, the highest paid job for 2017 was surgeon who make about $409,665 a year. Of course, the road to get there is steep. The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that a year of tuition in a doctoral program averages about $36,000. “That totals upwards of about $150,000 in medical school debt upon entering the workforce – and that does not take into account costs incurred during undergraduate studies.”

BEST: City to Live In
According to U.S. News, the best city to live in the U.S.A. is Austin, TX. Apparently, about 50 people move to the city every day.

WORST: City to Live In
247 Wall Street gave Detroit, Michigan the “top honor” out of the 50 worst cities to live in for 2017. With 677,124 people living there, the poverty rate is almost at 40% and the median home value is $42,600.

(Pepsi)
WORST: TV commercial
Pepsi made a horrible decision to use Kendall Jenner to promote the soft drink while also speaking out against police violence. Instead of the feel-good “we are the world” type vibe the ad was going for, Pepsi received much criticism for trivializing an important social issue by showing Kendall sharing a Pepsi with a cop and suddenly the world is at peace. Pepsi pulled the ad just days after it first aired and Kendall laid low for a few weeks.

WORST: Company Spokesman
For year, founder and CEO John Schnatter has been the spokesperson for his Papa John’s pizza chain, but in 2017, he told shareholders in November that the NFL was doing a poor job with blocking its players from kneeling during the games’ national anthems. He blamed the players on his chain’s slumping sales. Before the end of the year, Schnatter found himself out of a job.

BEST: Most Popular Toys
Heavy.com reports that the three most popular toys sold this past year were WowWee’s Fingerlings (“interactive baby monkey toys that are selling fast since their debut”), the Nintendo Switch (“There’s just something so unique about Nintendo’s handheld/console hybrid that gives it an undeniable charm. And with its growing catalog or both old and new games, it has become much formidable than it was at launch.”) and Laser X Laser Gaming Set (“[Kids] can now create their own laser tag experience at home.”
BEST: Fad Product
The fidget spinner became the biggest, low-tech and low-priced stress relieving “toys” in the market during 2017 and were super popular with children, college students and adults who turned to the devices to help them focus on more important tasks.

WORST: Bad Year for Fake News
While some may cry “foul” or “fake news” when someone reports some unflattering news about them, the internet sent waves of really fake news that were reportedly shared thousands of times. The #1 offender according to Buzzfeed News. The biggest story of the top 50 featured involved a woman who stole a baby. That story was “copied by at least 30 websites” which “generated just under 90,000 Facebook engagements, while the original earned 1.3 million.”

(Amazon.com)
BEST: Most Popular Item at Amazon
Amazon has proved to be a force to be reckoned with knocking down the brick and mortar competition. This year, the company reported that the top-selling item sold this year during “Prime Day” (July 11th) was the Amazon Echo Dot. “The product is a small puck that offers a built-in speaker and access to Amazon's smart voice assistant, Amazon Alexa, which can be used to inform users of the weather, sports scores, to order goods, play music and more. The Dot offers many of the same features as the far more expensive standard Echo, though with a lower-quality speaker.”

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