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The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


Pop Culture Sensations of 2021


Image from Getty Images.

2021 was a crazy and long year, and some major things happened in the realm of pop culture. So in case you forgot, here is a 2021 pop culture account of the year. 

Since their wedding in 2014, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have continually blessed the internet with a variety of content, but sadly, on Jan. 5, 2021 Kardashian filed for divorce, which was an end to an era. In the music realm, Olivia Rodrigo rocked the world with the release of her song “Drivers License.” The song was the first song released in 2021 to hit 1 billion streams, and by the end of the year, the song had become the most streamed song on Spotify in 2021. Marvel came out with “WandaVision,” their first miniseries to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 2021 memes started off strong with a now iconic moment from the inauguration of President Joe Biden. Everyone’s twitter feeds were flooded with memes about the senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who was seen sporting knitted mittens and a windbreaker while scowling in the cold. In late January, major hedge funds were betting on GameStop’s failure, which didn’t sit well with many gamers. These gamers decided to buy stocks in GameStop, and enough stocks were bought to keep the company afloat, causing the people who placed bets to lose a lot of money. On Jan. 29, a film titled “Nomadland,” directed by Chloe Zhao was released, and proceeded to be number one of the highest rated films of 2021 on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Bernie Sanders started off 2021 by giving social media viewers from all over the world a laugh about his knit mittens. Image from Getty Images.

In February, Chiefs fans were ecstatic to be going to the SuperBowl for the second year in a row, but were wildly disappointed to lose 9-31 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who claimed the win. The halftime show performer was The Weeknd, and he received many mixed reviews from viewers. The Weeknd was not allowed to perform on the actual field, due to the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic, breaking a Super Bowl tradition. 

In March, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked the world in their interview with TV show personality Oprah Winfrey. In this interview, both Markle and the prince opened up about some shocking news. Markle shared that she was faced with racism both from the internet and the royal family. The pressure and public attention received by Markle also caused her to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. DC Comics released Zach Snyder’s “Justice League,” a four and a half hour film that’s darker than the original “Justice League” movie released in 2017. 

On April 25, 2021, the annual Academy Awards took place. “Nomadland” won Best Picture as well as Best Actress, awarded to Frances McDormand for her role in the film. Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor for his role in “The Father.”

Ariana Grande shocked the internet when she dropped the bomb that she had gotten married in May to Dalton Gomez. Olivia Rodrigo dropped her highly anticipated album, “Sour,” which very quickly became the longest number-one album in 2021 by a female artist. The six lead actors from the hit 90s sitcom “Friends,” reunited for the bittersweet “Friends: The Reunion.” Comedian Bo Burnham created and produced his own movie throughout the course of a year and released it in May of 2021. The hilarious film, “Bo Burnham: Inside,” discusses important topics such as climate change as well as others through a comedic lens. The songs from the film quickly went viral on social media, especially TikTok. 

“Keeping Up With The Kardashians” (KUWTK) has been airing since 2007, and in June of 2021 aired its final episode, the end of an era of treasured content from the world’s favorite family. Speaking of TV shows, while KUWTK saw its end, “iCarly” aired their reboot of the beloved 00s show filled with childhood nostalgia. New Zealand pop singer Lorde found her way back into the spotlight with the release of her hit album “Solar Power,” after taking a break from releasing music after her 2017 album. The biggest headline of June was Britney Spears testifying to end the conservatorship that controls both her and her income. While the conservatorship ends later in the year, #FreeBritney flooded social media platforms with angry fans demanding an end to the conservatorship. 

The Summer Olympics held in Tokyo were the main talk of July. People throughout the world were able to see firsthand what the Olympic village was like via Olympians such as Ilona Maher, representing the United States, who documented many aspects of the Olympic village and uploaded them on TikTok. Maher and many others made sure to include reviews about the cardboard beds that people across the world had questions about. Simone Biles withdrew herself from three Olympic events due to concerns about her mental health. Biles demonstrated her strength while also the importance of mental health to the entire world. Marvel also released the highly anticipated film “Black Widow,” to which fans had very mixed reactions. The movie was the last one of the original six Avengers to be given their own movie.

Throughout 2021, we saw a revival of some of the best 2000s trends, as well as a return of Bennifer, a couple of the 2000s. Bennifer is the couple name for actor Ben Affleck and singer Jennifer Lopez who last dated from 2002-2004. Kanye West finally released his highly anticipated album, “Donda,” after missing multiple release dates. “Donda” broke the streaming records and claimed the second biggest Spotify debut.

Music was a very important part of 2021, including The Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime show. Image from Getty Images.

In September everyone was in a “Squid Game” craze. The South Korean survival show is the most watched Netflix show ever, and in the first 28 days had 1.65 billion streams globally. It seemed like in the month of September, the only thing people posted about was “Squid Game.” The show dominated social media content: everything from TikToks to tweets to Instagram posts flooded everyone’s feed. Marvel released one of their highest anticipated films of the year, “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” This movie was the first Marvel movie starring an Asian protagonist (played by Simu Liu) as well as a predominantly Asian cast. 

Movie viewers across the world were pleased with the highly anticipated release of “Dune,” starring Timothee Chalamet alongside many other well known actors and actresses like Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, and many others. “Dune” became the 11th highest grossing film of 2021. Many fans of Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid were saddened by their break-up and the circumstances surrounding it. The couple broke up after Malik got into a dispute with Hadid’s mother, Yolanda Hadid, which turned physical at some point. 

Taylor Swift fans rallied on the internet against actor Jake Gyllenhaal following the release of a ten minute short film directed by Taylor Swift herself. The film was titled “All Too Well (Ten Minute Version),” starring Sadie Sink as Taylor Swift and Dylon O’brien as Jake Gyllenhaal. Viewers saw the two fall in love and eventually fall out of love, like the two experienced in real life. People have loved Princess Diana since she first came into the public spotlight, and after the release of the hit film “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as the beloved people’s princess, many people began to talk about Diana again. 

Every December, Time magazine gives the title “person of the year” to someone they think stood out that year, and in 2021 they gave it to Elon Musk. Most notably of Musk’s accomplishments in 2021 was the successful launch of his space program: SpaceX. Marvel released their final and arguably biggest movie of 2021: “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” The film featured villains from previous Spider-Man films alongside the current Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, and fans were shocked to see former Spider-Man actors Tobey Macguire and Andrew Garfield star in the movie as well. Sadly, the beloved Betty White passed away due to a stroke just short of her 100th birthday on Dec. 31, and the news devastated many, as people from all generations loved the actress. 

From hit films to hit shows and new relationships to break-ups, 2021 was quite the year with many ups and downs. 

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Brand
Evelyn Brand, Writer
Evelyn Brand is a junior and is excited to start her first year working on Publications. She’s always enjoyed reading past Rampage articles and can’t wait to now be a part of it. She looks forward to an amazing and productive year on Rampage.