Some of the biggest pop culture moments of 2022, in pictures – Mashable

2022 was a year for the books, at least when it came to entertainment, pop culture, and those viral moments that Twitter obsesses over for at least 48 hours.
Across TikTok, television screens, and music, there were instances of significance and evolution, the latter being an underlying theme of the year. Things have certainly shifted since the start of the pandemic, and as the world grapples with these changes, pop culture encountered a parallel shift.
Visually, there were a handful of moments that stood out – and photographers captured a fair few. Getty put together a year in review, a collection of some of the standout photographs. Here’s a roundup.
One of the most infamous incidents of 2022 was the Will Smith-Chris Rock slap. Smith, just before winning an Academy Award, went to the stage and slapped comedian Rock across the face, in retaliation for making a joke about Jada Pink Smith’s baldness (the latter has autoimmune disease alopecia). Rock declined to file charges against Smith, who apologized the day after the slap. This was a moment that spewed countless stories that the world couldn’t stop reading.
There’s nothing new about our collective fascination with celebrity couples. A certain pair – who are no longer together – took the spotlight in 2022. Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson were covered not only by tabloids but by the internet, with people engrossed in the relationship between the reality star and the Saturday Night Live comedian. At the Met Gala last year, pictured above, they garnered particular attention, especially seeing as Kardashian donned a dress once worn by Marilyn Monroe.
OK, anyone who spends even a portion of their time Online will know this one. Don’t Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde’s second film, featured as much theatrics off-screen as it did onscreen. The film featured a star-studded cast: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Nick Kroll, and Gemma Chan. Behind-the-scenes, there appeared to be a flurry of production drama that had the Internet going wild. Here’s our full explainer on everything that took place. Oh, and Wilde’s very-apt response to the kind of attention her project was garnering.
Queen Elizabeth II died, aged 96, in September of last year. The monarch held the longest reign ever, celebrating her Platinum Jubilee just three months before her death. This was the first time a British monarch’s death was discussed and documented in the age of the Internet, which also meant a lot of people found out about her passing in strange, Very Online ways.
Ted Lasso, the charming football-themed television show, scored twenty nominations at the 2022 Emmy’s – and also won big. Jason Sudeikis, the star, took home Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – and celebrated with his ecstatic castmates in the shot above.
The sophomore season of Euphoria, HBO’s “dark portrait of modern adolescence”, sprouted discourse, memes, and a general frenzy. The show’s influence seeped into everything from fashion to TikTok, a testament to its burgeoning fanbase – who developed an overwhelming love for Zendaya, the performances in the show, and its brutally honest portrayal of reality.
What can we say about Taylor Swift in 2022? The artist made history once again with the release of Midnights in October. She broke two Spotify records in just 24 hours, provided TikTok with now-ubiquitous sounds, and had Twitter in mayhem. This is without forgetting that the sale for her Eras Tour broke Ticketmaster. It was a big year for Swifties, no doubt.
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Meera is a Culture Reporter at Mashable, joining the UK team in 2021. She writes about digital culture, mental health, big tech, entertainment, and more. Her work has also been published in The New York Times, Vice, Vogue India, and others.

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