Diversity — and some confusion — at the Oscars
#OscarsSoWhite? This time around, not so much. After a two-year drought, people of color were once again nominated in the Academy Awards’ acting and directing categories, and "Moonlight," "Hidden Figures,” “Fences” and “Lion” were among the best-picture nominees. Still, the contenders weren’t truly diverse, just “blacker,” according to the creator of the social-campaign hashtag. Next year, the slate may be even more homogenous. And let’s not forget about the finale of the show, when the 2017 Oscar for best picture went to — well, it wasn’t “La La Land.” Thanks to a screw-up on the sidelines, folks who tuned out immediately after the wrong title was read woke up the next day to headlines full of “Moonlight,” the actual winner. An anti-climactic ending, for sure, unless you were rooting for “Moonlight.”
Melissa McCarthy helps make ‘SNL’ ratings great again
As former White House spokesman Sean Spicer on “Saturday Night Live,” Melissa McCarthy slammed her lectern into the open arms of a public obsessed with POTUS 45. “SNL” ratings spiked and love for the funny lady flowed. Alas, when “Spicy” made a cameo as himself come Emmys time, it wasn’t nearly as amusing.
Deborah Borda leaves L.A. for New York Philharmonic
As chief executive of the L.A. Philharmonic, she opened Disney Hall, brought Gustavo Dudamel to Los Angeles and oversaw operations as it became the most progressive major symphony orchestra in the world. Then Deborah Borda was lured back to the New York Philharmonic in a move that caught the arts world by surprise.
‘Wonder Woman’ fights like a girl and rescues the box office
‘Dear Evan Hansen’ the big winner at the Tonys
The Tony Awards were all about “Dear Evan Hansen,” a young-adult musical that explores teen suicide through the story of an awkward, anxious high school nobody whose lie gets caught up in a social-media chain reaction. The show took home a half-dozen trophies (after nine nominations) during a broadcast hosted by a pre-scandal Kevin Spacey.
No more buy-a-bride auction at Pirates of the Caribbean
Presciently, the Pirates of the Caribbean crew found itself among entertainment’s most evolved men after Disney announced in June that it would bring on a female pirate and swap out the ride’s buy-a-bride auction for a more forward-thinking scene of villagers queuing up to surrender their belongings to the conquering horde.
Los Angeles succumbs to ‘Hamilton’
Shonda Rhimes’ move to Netflix is a gut punch to ABC
Drama queen Shonda Rhimes (and we mean that in the best way possible) took her “Scandal”-spinning showrunner skills to Netflix over the summer, reinforcing the growing influence of streaming services. In jumping ship, the prolific producer delivered a gut punch to ABC, her former network home.
Taylor Swift wins in court — and tops the chart
Taylor Swift made a buck the hard way in 2017: via federal court. A jury awarded the pop star a symbolic $1 judgment after determining that yes, a former radio personality had groped her backside during a photo opp. Then Swift’s “Reputation” brought in big bucks the old-fashioned way as the year’s best-selling album.
Wait, what? Doctor Who is a … woman?
In a groundbreaking casting move, the 13th actor chosen to play “Doctor Who” was, well, an actress. “Whovian” fans, who had apparently wanted a lady Doctor for a while, celebrated online after Jodie Whittaker got the gig.