Things I’m grateful for: This year in pop culture


Late-night comedians Desus and Mero

Story by Esperanza Garcia, Reporter
Photo courtesy

Shout out to…

Desus and Mero, first and foremost, for being the inspiration for how I was going to set up this article—but also for helping change the face of late-night comedy shows. The face of late-night television has been changing through time, but there still isn’t quite another show like “Desus and Mero.” Covering a broad spectrum of subjects from sports, pop culture, to politics, the Bronx natives give a new face and a new voice to the things we see going on in the news and on Twitter. 

Hasan Minhaj, for being one of the few people of color on the political satire scene. He’s been covering issues that can be seen in other, possibly more popular shows, as well as issues and topics that probably won’t get covered by other shows. Who else is going to tell you about the impact of streaming hip-hop? Another thing to be grateful to him for? most, if not all,  of the episodes of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” are available on YouTube, and the language that he uses is also very conversational, making the show and its contents accessible in more than one way. 

Omar Apollo, for a) being from the midwest, b) being 1st generation, c) being a Mexican from the same state my family is from, which also makes him one of the few representatives I have in pop culture. His songs are self-produced and self-written, so it’s nice —”nice” is an understatement, but “swell” and “lovely” just sound so corny —to see his art start to get some recognition. While he’s been releasing music for the past two years, his music made my commute to my last summer job and studying for this semester far more bearable. 

Megan Thee Stallion, for being one of the best in the rap industry right now. Seeing her go from doing freestyles to performing on nightly talk shows and being featured in Vogue has been invigorating, and seeing a woman be on her way to be at the front and center of a male-dominated industry is always so refreshing. Also, if brands could stop co-opting Hot Girl Summer that would be great.

Chungha, for being the pop girl that every other pop artist thinks they are, for releasing banger after banger this year, for keeping my playlist lively and for always giving a performance. I’m not one to believe in the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality, but it’s always so gratifying to see people that work hard, especially in an industry as condensed as hers.    

Rihanna, because even though she’s been away from the studio for a while, she gave us one of the most inclusive fashion shows this year, proving that fashion is an art for anyone, and not just for a specific race, gender, or size, as the fashion industry has conditioned us to think in the past. And for continuing to create a space for herself, and a path for other women to follow. 

Honorable shout out to…

Parasite, for being one of the most original and refreshing thriller films I have seen this year. This year has been loaded with either remakes or franchise continuations. A huge shout out for making me feel pretentious after I saw it because I understood most of the themes. For the thought, vision, and work that went into the scenes, for the way that the cast executed the story, and for making me feel like it was the first time I had seen a movie even though I’m 21. 

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