A year of guilty pleasures



This year, Hollywood reminded us of one long Kanye West rant – somewhat intelligible yet completely nonsensical; intriguing but annoying; and something you wanted to ignore but just could not look away.

How else to describe the feeling we had after watching West and Kim Kardashian simulate the conception of their daughter North West with the video Bound 2? Or hearing about another profane Alec Baldwin meltdown? Or watching Lady Gaga and
R. Kelly grinding up against each other on Saturday Night Live? Or digesting the news that Simon Cowell will be someone’s father?

It was bewildering, off-putting, jarring – yet entertaining at the same time. As bad as celebrity antics were this year, they remained our guilty pleasure. We’ll never admit it, but these are the moments that had us riveted in 2013.

Isn’t the cover of US Weekly enough?

Kanye West had many righteous things to rage about this year, from the fashion industry not giving him credit for brilliant, life-changing designs like leather jogging pants, to not getting respect from President Obama. But nothing seemed to upset him more than Vogue’s apparent refusal to put his baby mama, Kim Kardashian, on the magazine cover. He likened her to this generation’s Marilyn Monroe, called her the most beautiful woman on the planet, and scoffed that two-time Vogue cover girl Michelle Obama couldn’t Instagram a selfie photo of her nearly bare backside like Kim and cause the stir that Kardashian did. We see a rant about an IRS audit coming in 2015.

At least he got out of the Kardashian Christmas card

Khloe Kardashian called it quits with troubled basketball star Lamar Odom after four years of marriage and months of endless tabloid headlines juicier than anything we’d seen in their reality show. The last straw for Kardashian allegedly came after video surfaced of a shirtless Odom and a male friend rapping semi-incoherently about smoking weed and scoring with lots of women. It doomed their marriage, but is a pretty good pilot for another Odom TV show.

We stopped Bieb-lieving a while ago

What happened to our favorite teen moppet? Over the past year, Justin Bieber went on a world tour of mayhem, from speeding in the streets of Los Angeles, to suggestions of smoking weed to spraying illegal graffiti in Colombia to stepping on the Argentinian flag (he said he meant no offense). We expected more from a young Canadian lad. Let’s hope Toronto mayor Rob Ford hasn’t become his new role model.

Best performance on film


Goes to Reese Witherspoon. Unfortunately for her, it was on a police video cam, not a movie screen. Witherspoon made headlines when she was arrested for drunkenly interfering in an officer’s attempt to arrest her husband on a DUI charge. In the video, Witherspoon immediately went into character development, telling the officer she was pregnant (an admitted lie). She also trotted out that well-worn line of fading stars: “Do you know my name?” Given the box-office performance of her last few films, she should have expected that he wouldn’t.

We’re cringing on purpose


Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s Accidental Racist, designed to be an ode to racial understanding, united people of all colors: We recoiled together after hearing lines like “If you don’t judge my do-rag/I won’t judge your red flag” and perhaps the topper, “If you don’t judge my gold chains/I’ll forget the iron chains.” Paisley said he’d only wanted to try and have an honest conversation about race relations (and vowed never to have Paula Deen write his lyrics again).

Paying tribute, Al Jolson style


Julianne Hough’s decision to don blackface for Halloween to portray her favorite character from the Netflix show Orange is the New Black sparked an uproar, and drew an eventual apology from the actress, who said she never intended to hurt anyone (and that’s the last time she’ll let Paula Deen come up with her costume).

Talk about watching your mouth


Michael Douglas caused a stir – and in some circles, perhaps a panic – when, in an interview, he was quoted suggesting that he got his throat cancer from oral sex (though he later backtracked). We’re hoping it’s just a coincidence that he and Catherine Zeta-Jones announced a trial separation a few months later.