10 things we’re thankful for in 2016

To say 2016 has been a crapshoot would be an understatement. In a year full of notable celebrity deaths, natural and political nightmares, we’ve been through a lot, but as we embark on our holiday season, we would like find the positive and look to the few things that made us smile if even for a brief moment in 2016.

List compiled by Catherine Gonzales and ChinLin Pan

Return of “Game of Thrones” (specifically Jon Snow and “Battle of the Bastards”)

With the end in sight, we are clinging on to the last of this series tightly. Season 6 brought Jon Snow back into our lives and brought us the Emmy Award-winning episode “Battle of the Bastards.” I honestly think I watched this more times than I should’ve while at work. “Game of Thrones” is at the top of its game right now, and the fact that we have to wait a little longer for the return in season 7 is worth the wait. We’ve been through hell and back in 2016, a year with “Game of Thrones” is something I can look forward to.

Pokemon Go

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Oh, Pokemon Go! The game that got all our fat asses out of the house and made us all look down at our phones surrounded by strangers in public places. The phenomena of Pokemon Go spread across the world and people of all ages were captivated by the gaming app that made them get out of the house and catch Pokemon. Of course, this fad faded away as fast as it came, but it still brightened our day while we saw people bump into things while trying to catch that rare Pokemon. Maroon 5 even parodied the game in their “Don’t Wanna Know” music video. Watch it here

“Gilmore Girls” revival

Netflix and the powers that be decided that we needed the Gilmores back in our life and they couldn’t be more right! How did they know?! We need some speed talking wittiness and Luke’s coffee this Thanksgiving. Who will Rory end up with? What is everyone in Stars Hollow up to? This will definitely be a much needed escape while eating turkey leftovers in our pajamas on Friday,and forgetting 2016 for the span of four episodes.

SXSW 2016

Shuffle Team (Left to Right) ChinLin, Catherine, Dana, Patrick
Shuffle Team (Left to Right) ChinLin, Catherine, Dana, Patrick

We had the pleasure of covering SXSW 2016 for the first time and to say it was a blast is an understatement. We were up on our feet early in the mornings and down to bed late at night for pretty much the entire festival. We brought you various coverage through our YouTube and Twitter. To reminisce (or prep for next year’s SXSW, however you want to view it), take a look at our film interviews, reviews, red carpets, interactive articles, and photo galleries here.

Emma Watson

Emma Watson never ceases to amaze me: this woman is an incredible activist and feminist, as well as an amazing role model for young ladies today. Not only she is taking up the iconic role of Belle in Disney’s live-adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast,” but Watson has participated in countless projects outside acting to better the lives of others. Recently, she put many copies of Maya Angelou’s “Mom & Me & Mom” in the underground subway stations in London and New York City.

#WhiteWashedOut, #StarringJohnCho, #StarringConstanceWu

The Academy has been under fire for lack of nominating talent of color, notably in the acting and directing categories. The hashtag #WhiteWashedOut depicts how white actors are cast in stories about people of color or simply roles of characters who are people of color. Alongside this, the Asian American community on Twitter created hashtags #StarringJohnCho and #StarringConstanceWu to shed light on the the lack of diversity in Hollywood films. Specifically, the masterminds were combatting the age-old Hollywood excuse that Asians weren’t hired for leading roles because they couldn’t picture any Asian actors in those roles. So, the crowdsourced Twitter users Photoshopped John Cho and Constance Wu onto movie posters.

Hayao Miyazaki’s back to create one more film

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Everyone’s favorite animated Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki recently announced that he’s coming out of retirement (again) to create one more film with Studio Ghibli! We’re all so excited but so far we don’t know any details about the film. Knowing Miyazaki and his work process, it will be a few years before the new (and last) film releases.

Tesla and SolarCity team up to power island with solar energy

This just in: the small island of Ta’u in American Samoa is completely powered by solar energy, courtesy to Tesla and SolarCity. Can we get a “woohoo!” for the environmental cause? According to TechCrunch, the project involved creating “a SolarCity panel array made up of over 5,300 panels capable of generating 1.4 megawatts of solar capacity, combined with a Tesla Powerpack commercial battery storage facility with 6 megawatt hours of reserve capability across 60 Powerpacks.” The grid can provide three days of power for the island’s 600 residents at max capacity, and it recharges after seven hours of sunlight.

Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series and break the infamous curse

It’s like the universe knew we needed a notable comeback sports story infused with Bill Murray to bring us all together. The infamous curse was finally broken and everyone lost their shite, Murray included! Whether you’re a sports fan or not, you can’t help but smile when you see the smiles of all the Cubs fans who have been the butt of pop culture for as long as we can remember. Joke will have to fall onto another team now! Hey, Cubs won the World Series and the Dallas Cowboys are 9-1, anything is possible in 2016.

Nintendo NES Classic Edition

Growing up on the classic Super Nintendo and classic games like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Kart and more, I was beyond excited when Nintendo announced the miniature version of the 1985 Nintendo NES system. Now all the youngsters who were born into XBOX and Playstations can experience the glory of the system that started it all! And for $60, it’s not only affordable but the must have for the holiday season. You can find more details here.

We wish everyone a great Thanksgiving and holiday break. May it be filled with friends, family and lots of turkey or no turkey, whatever your thing is. Let us know what you’re thankful for this year in the comments below or tweet us @ShuffleOnline.

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