EIGHINGER: Let's hear it for these highlights from 2012

Posted: Dec. 26, 2012 7:58 am Updated: Jan. 23, 2013 9:15 am

Now that Christmas has come and gone, that means 2013 is right around the corner. But before we throw that 2012 calendar away, let's glance back at some of the highlights from the past year:

• Best revelation: That the Mayans were not as smart as they thought they were -- thankfully.

• Best movies of the year: 1. "Skyfall," which continued to breathe extraordinary new life into the James Bond franchise. 2. "Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2," which wrapped up the vampire-werewolf-human love affair in perfect fashion.

• Best movie ending: "The Dark Knight Rises." Who saw the "Robin" thing coming?

• Best movie quote: "Fact is, the law says you cannot touch. But I think I see a lot of lawbreakers up in this house tonight," -- Matthew McConaughey in "Magic Mike."

• Best phenomenon: "Gangnam style," compliments of Korean rapper PSY, now nearing one billion views on YouTube.

• Best TV event: The London Olympics: Every time an Olympiad rolls around, I vow I'm not going to be glued to the TV set -- but I always am and love every minute of it.

• Most memorable Olympic performance: Oscar Pistorious, the South African double amputee competing in the 400-meter preliminaries.

• Best TV shows: I couldn't pick just one. There are some great programs on these days -- 1. "Suits" (USA Network), 2. "The Walking Dead" (AMC), 3. "American Idol" (Fox), 4. "American Horror Story: Asylum" (FX).

• Best dramatic performance in a TV series: Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter in "Suits." Hands down, the most charismatic figure on television today. The new season begins in mid-January.

• Best comedic performance in a TV series: Zooey Deschanel in "New Girl" (Fox). I just want to hug her.

• Best pop singer: Adele. It's been a long time since a CD has had the impact her "21" had.

• Most interesting pop culture figure: Nicky Minaj. "American Idol" could establish a record this season for most "bleeps."

• Most overexposed pop culture figure: Justin Bieber. Please, no more stories or pictures involving him for at least five minutes.

• Biggest loss: In a year when we lost way too many great performers and cultural icons, I have to say the premature death of Whitney Houston hit me the hardest. To see how she threw her life away the past two decades was painful. Among the others that left us too soon were Andy Griffith, Davy Jones, Dick Clark and Larry Hagman. The passing of former astronaut Neil Armstrong also triggered memories of July 1969, sitting in front a small black-and-white TV and watching him walk on the moon.

• Best name change: Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion.

• Best new baby name: Blue Ivy, the little girl brought to us by Beyonce and Jay-Z.

• Most memorable falls from grace: Lance Armstrong and the late Joe Paterno. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for alleged doping. Paterno's memory was forever scarred by his decisions to not to do more during the despicable Jerry Sandusky era at Penn State.

• Most memorable moment: President Barack Obama wiping away a tear when first addressing the nation about the unspeakable horror that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Add to this the effort he made to personally go to Newtown. Red states and blue states aside, that was a classy and much-needed move by the commander in chief.

Like most years, 2012 had its ups and downs. And also like most years, it was memorable.




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