a poster for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Pop Culture in Review for the Year 2007

2007 was ahub of cultural mutation and social change. While the war in Iraq sent the country down another economic recession, people continued to be driven by the craze that Harry Potter and Hanna Montana created. The polarized political scenario was a highlight in every American’s life as voices against unequal pay scales, an influx of Muslims and Mexicans, and the deployment of troops in Iraq echoed throughout the nation.

There were technological advancements in the shape of smartphones, faster internet, and the success stories of NASA. The Facebook culture was now taking real shape and getting incorporated into people’s lives. Let’s put our time traveling hats on and have a bird’s eye view of the year 2007 was.

Film

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh

New Releases

Within the fantasy worlds, Johnny Depp captivated audiences with At World’s End, while J.K Rowling’s magical Hogwarts became dark with the release of The Order of the Phoenix. Both the movies made their mark and remained popular throughout the year. In came Marvel’s third installment of the Spider-Man trilogy, setting up records that were broken only years later.

The star-studded Ocean’s Comedy trilogy ended on a high note with the Ocean’s Thirteen. In animation, Chris Miller’s Shrek the Third was the third installment of the year.

Judd Apatow’s Films

Being the Director of two fan-loved butterflies-in-the-stomach romantic comedies in a single year which enjoyed critical acclaim and hit Box-office performances, Jude Apatow was soon a brand. Knocked Up kept our knack for rom coms going, and though Superbad reminded us of the American Pie, it turned out to be one of the best comedies of the decade.

Some Major Hits

Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum got the highest-grossing movie with his name in the lead. The movie went on to win all three of its nominations at the Academy Awards for the Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing.

The non-fictitious Zodiac was loved by critics in all departments, being nominated for various awards.

The ever-twisting mind-bending Coen Brother’s No Country for Old Men went on to win 76 awards out of 109 nominations and created a legacy matched by few.

Television

Oprah Winfrey

Reality-TV

Reality TV shows provided people a platform to live their dreams and see them take shape. Shows such as Dancing with the Stars and American Idol enjoyed massive success and unparalleled viewership ratings. The fact that one could see their friend or a family member on TV was a big thing and provided a connection with the show that other TV programs seldom offered.

The Oprah WinfreyShow continued to be the number one talk show in the country and kept on being a reality check for most people.

Two and a Half Men

The jaw-achingly hilarious comedy offered by the trio in Two and a Half Menkept everyone in love with the show. The movie revolved around Charlie, Alan, and Alan’s son Jake. The show offered the audience an insight into two different ideas about life; the bachelor’s life and its freedom vs. the responsibilities of a divorced father. The show became the talk of the country.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Whereas on the one hand,CSI revolutionized the image of forensic science forever and is a major reason why we expect so highly of DNA analysis today. On the other hand, it was facing a hard time from the Parents Television Council.

CSI was criticized for its sexual content and repeated portrayal of sexual fetishism on a show that ran in a prime-time slot and was supposed to be for the family. However, despite all the lawsuits filed against the show and the complaints launched to stop it from airing, the show boasted of a whopping 73 million audience and was a big success.

Radio

Air American Radio

Mark J. Green and his brother helped Air America restructure, moving Sam Seder to Sunday afternoons and hiring Michael William LeBron, more famously known as Lionel, from WOR Radio Network for Air America Radio.

A Controversy

The talk show host Don Imus was in hot waters when he referred to a Universities Women’s Basketball team as “nappy-headed hos’ on-air during show Imus in the Morning. The act was seen as a violation of the rights of free speech and resulted in Imus being fired from the show.

Music

Beyoncé

Female Singers Dominate Billboard

While Beyoncéled the race with her powerful vocals and was Irreplaceable by any other artist that year, Rihanna kept the entire nation under her Umbrella. The two female performers enjoyed stardom unmatched by others and kept the country in a music frenzy, followed by Fergie,whose release Big Girls Don’tCry, and Tailor Swift’sTeardrops on My Guitar inspired the young generation.

Akon’s World

Probably the most popular male artist in the country that year was the Senegalese National Akon, featuring in 6 songs, 4 of which were in the top 20. It was Akon’s world, and everyone was just living in it.

Rap Music on the Rise

Artists like Eminem, T-Pain, Timbaland,and Shopboyz made the rap genre popular among teenagers and offered new improvisations in the music field. It was particularly Eminem’s Smack that was on every lip and is still one of the most popular songs of all time.

Literature

front cover art for the book City of Bones

People Stand in Ques for the Deathly Hallows

J.K Rolling was on top of the world with another bestseller from the Harry Potter series. The series was the bread and butter for every teenager, and people waited all night outside bookstores to get their hands laid on the new sequel as soon as possible. The book was a huge success and marked the end of the Harry Potter saga and left many fans heartbroken.

Twilight Saga

With the new release in the twilight fantasy romance, Eclipse continued to mesmerize the readers with this weirdly beautiful tale. Although the series was not as famous as the Harry Potter, it was just a matter of time before the country was obsessed with vampires and love stories all over again.

City of Bones

Cassandra Claire came up with this urban fantasy, and the book soon became the 2nd most read in the country.

Technology

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs and His Master Creations

Steve Jobs and his Apple came up with a wonderful product that changed the way everyone ever talked and felt about a mobile phone. The iPhone was miles ahead of its competitors. It offered a touch screen with a built-in Wi-Fi, its own music through iTunes, and a software interface that ran faster than any other phone available in the market.

Despite its $599 price tag, the product sold one million units in less than three months. The country was also swept off their feet when Apple announced the release of its MacBook and its sleek model, better specifications, and a color that was pleasing to the eye.

Netflix Is Launched

Netflix’s launch in 2007 changed the way movies and TV shows will ever be viewed now. It provided a new way of streaming shows with your family, offering a variety of genres and shows for all ages. It was the start of a culture that would go on to revolutionize television and movies forever.

NASA Conquers Mars

NASA completed its successful landing on Mars when its spacecraft The Phoenix touched Martian soil in 2007 and carried out various experiments on its atmosphere, soil, and the possibility of life on the planet.

Race for Electric Cars

Tesla won the race by producing the first most efficient electric car the world had ever seen, calling it the Tesla Roadster.

General Motors came up with their Chevy Volt, the first hybrid car that offered us a new range of cars.

Fashion

Avril Lavigne

Low Rise Jeans with Crop Tops

From teenagers to adults, low rise jeans with crop tops were the new normal. Cropped vests popularized by fashion icons such as Selena Gomez became the most sought-after fashion wear. Women felt more confident and outgoing by 2007, and a mini denim skirt with a crop top was now not too outlandish.

Accessories

We all remember the neon accessories we were obsessed with. From belts to shoes, everything was either green, pink, or orange.  Colored hair extensions were famous after AvrilLavigne wore them consistently during her concerts. Women went with rosettes on their clothes. Louboutin started the fashion with red shoe soles, and it has since been a fashion statement.

Levi’s with its Matchstick

Levi’s launched its new collection of men’s wear called the matchstick jeans that started the trend for skinny jeans and ended the fashion of baggy denim. Men were seen with scarves around their necks all around the year, and it was a popular fashion statement.

Sports

Serena Williams

Tennis

The Swiss maestro Roger Federer was at the peak of his powers, claiming his 4th consecutive US Open title defeating Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

Tennis fans in the country were over the moon when Venus Williams won her 4th Wimbledon making the country proud of its daughter.

Serena Williams completed her revenge against the Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova by defeating her in the final of the Australian open and clinching the title.

Legends Out of American Soil

Tiger Woods continued to dominate the golf world, winning his 13th championship making sure the world recognized the legend he had become.

The world-renowned American swimmer Michael Phelps broke his own record in the 400m individual medley, winning his 7th gold medal at the World Championship in Melbourne, Australia.

NBA

The 62nd Season of the National Basketball Association was won by the Boston Celtics as they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers by 131-92. LeBron James was the player with the highest points earned per game for his team, and Kobe Bryant was the most valuable player.

Arts

a poster for Nightwatching

Salander-O’Reilly Galleries

Once one of the most famous galleries in the world, this Manhattan gallery was forcefully shut down. Various lawsuits were filed against Lawrence Slander, who promised people money, collected their art, and never paid them once it was sold. Investors complained they owed huge sums to the accused artists and were never compensated for the investments they made into the gallery.

The gallery was shut down on the evening of a major Caravaggio exhibition and was the cause of much commotion in New York City.

Notable works

A bronze sculpture of Martin Luther King by the American sculptor Edward Dwight was installed in Hermann Parks McGovern Centennial Gardens in Houston, Texas.

Stephen Kettle created the Alan Turing statueto honor the long-forgotten war hero and the greatest mathematician the country ever produced.

Peter Greenway honored the Dutch Artist Rembrandt, one of the greatest visual artists, by directing a movie called the Nightwatching based on Rembrandt and his creation.

Dance

the cover art for the single Cupid Shuffle by the artist Cupid

The Cupid Shuffle

The ‘cupid shuffle’ was the new dance form people were adopting back in 2007. The dance form was popularized after the song Cupid Shuffle, which gave instructions as to how the moves were supposed to be carried out.

Hip Hop

Hip hop was the more common dance practice and would see everyone move their bodies on the dance floor in this dance style. Hip hop became famous once Rihanna started moving her body in this way, and it was soon adopted by every male and female as the go-to dance form.

Cyber culture

Mark Zuckerberg; CEO of Facebook

The Rise of Social Media

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter saw a huge rise in their popularity. By the end of 2007, Facebook was being used as a marketing platform with more than one hundred thousand pages. The company that started three years back in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm was now worth one billion dollars. Myspace was worth $65 billion,and there little competition against it.

Twitter became an independent company in April 2007, and the same year it turned tables when during the SXSWi conference, it was used to send 60000 tweets in a day, which was 40000 more than their last high. Twitter won the festival’s Web Award prize and the famous line “We’d like to thank you in 140 characters or less. And we just did!” made twitter immortal in history.

Good reads and Kindle

Otis Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler launched Goodreads in January 2007. The social cataloging website had 650,000 members by the end of the year, and over 10,000,000 books were available on its database.

Jeff Bezos launched the Amazon Kindle that changed the way we read books all our lives. People began to download e-books on the kindle device and read at their convenience.

Blogging

Blogging was at its peak in 2007, and with Tumblr‘s launch came a new way of microblogging.

News

the murderer Seung-Hui Cho

Killing Spree

The Virginia Tech campus was bathed in blood on April 16th when Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 of his fellow students in a killing spree. It started a national debate on the topic of selling arms, and anti-gun groups became more active and vocal. The killer had acquired the firearms legally despite having a history of medical illness.

Terrorism was close again

On June 2nd, a terrorist group was caught before they could blow up the JFK International Airport in New York.

Conclusion

2007 was a year that saw the rise of the social media culture and brought the world closer in a new way. It was also the year that marked the rise of left-wing politics. The country was locked in wars at different fronts, suffering an economic recession but still technologically always evolving and facilitating the way a common person could communicate with the outside world.

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