News of the Week: The Best and Worst of 2015, People We Lost, and Cures for Your Hangover

Pop columnist Bob Sassone wraps up 2015 with a roundup of the year’s most liked and disliked books, music, TV, and movies; the rules for holiday gift returns; and where to find a special episode of Sherlock.

Hungover man

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The Year in Review​

A magnifying lens hoves over two puzzle pieces marked "Best" and "Worst".

So here we are at the end of the year, and that’s the time for list, lists, lists! Everyone likes lists! The best this, the worst that, the biggest this, the most disappointing this and that. Here’s a quick wrap-up of what pop culture writers liked and didn’t like in 2015:​

TV: The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum hates doing top 10 lists like I do, but here’s her list of the best shows of the year; Robert Rorke at The New York Post hated True Detective (like a lot of people); Vulture’s Matt Zoller Seitz picks the best shows, episodes, and performances of 2015; and Entertainment Weekly has the best and the worst picks from Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen.

Film: Over at The Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper picks his best and worst; New York Times critics A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis, and Stephen Holden give us their lists; and Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty picks the 10 best (and 5 worst) films of the year.

Books: The staff at The Atlantic picks their favorite books of 2015; Laura Miller at Slate picks hers; the writers at The Millions go over their Year in Reading; and here’s the Best of the Year from the critics at The New York Times.

Music: Wow, reading these lists of the Best and Worst Albums of the Year makes me realize … I’m now too old to know anything about current music. Tyga? Jamie xx? Father John Misty? Tame Impala? Hey, I’ve heard of Adele!


It’s hard to list all of the well-known people who pass away in a single year. There are just too many people and you simply can’t list everyone. But two outlets do a great job with their annual video tributes. The best is probably by CBS Sunday Morning, and another good one is courtesy of Turner Classic Movies:

And since those tributes were completed before the end of December, we have to add people who passed away this past week, like Harlem Globetrotters star Meadowlark Lemon, actress Patricia Elliott, and Twilight Zone/Star Trek writer George Clayton Johnson.

An IMDb member has created a list of people in show business who passed away in 2015, and it has over 3,500 names!

Rules for Holiday Gift Returns

Man looking perplexed at a giftbox he didn't want.

It happens to a lot of people at Christmas. There’s that one gift you get that you don’t like or it doesn’t fit or maybe you broke your arm using it or it exploded and caught on fire. This is the week that everyone returns the gifts they don’t want, and there are rules to follow.

Money has the five rules of holiday gift returns, and most of them are common sense. You should return the gift as soon as possible (don’t wait until Valentine’s Day), you should check to see if a website return policy is different than an in-store policy, and please note that Amazon doesn’t let you return wine. (Also: Amazon sells wine.)

I got mostly gift cards and cash, and, well, I’m not returning those.

Tonight: The Return of Sherlock!

I mentioned this several weeks ago, but this is a quick reminder that Sherlock returns tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern. The PBS series has been gone for a while (and the fourth season doesn’t even start filming until this spring), but this special episode has the master detective and Dr. Watson solving a mystery in 1890s London. And no, it’s not a dream sequence or time travel, they’re just going to be in 1890s London.

Predictions for 2016

We’re still trying to figure out what happened in 2015, but some are making some predictions about the year ahead.

Fortune looks into their crystal ball to make some predictions about the worlds of business and technology; Newsweek makes five completely random predictions for the year; and USA Today has 52 goofy and serious predictions for the world of sports.

I’d make a prediction about who our next president will be, but the way this election season is going I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Trump, Clinton, Sanders, Mitt Romney, Mark Zuckerberg, the ghost of William McKinley, or the kid who bags my groceries at the supermarket.

Hangovers and Resolutions

DID YOU IMBIBE TOO MUCH LAST NIGHT? Sorry, I’ll lower my voice. Did you imbibe too much last night?

If you need a hangover cure today, you could try everything from IV drips to eating snow, or maybe you’d like to try some cures that seem a little more normal, like drinking water and eating toast.

Note: The Saturday Evening Post cannot verify or endorse any of these remedies. I mean, if you want to try eating a deep-fried canary to get rid of your hangover, you’re on your own.

As for resolutions, I think I found a way to make sure I stick to at least one of the resolutions I make. I simply resolve to not stick to any of the resolutions I make. That way, I don’t have to stick to any resolutions, but I’m guaranteed to feel good about the one I actually did stick to. Though I guess by actually going through with that resolution I actually am sticking to one resolution, which destroys the logic of the whole exercise. Oh well.

Happy New Year!

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries​

President Theodore Roosevelt dies (January 6, 1919)

The Saturday Evening Post Archives Director Jeff Nilsson lays out an alternative of World War I and what would have happened if Roosevelt had been re-elected in 1912.

Common Sense published (January 9, 1776)

You can read the entire text of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet at

Baseball adopts the designated hitter rule (January 11, 1973)

Here are the pros and cons of the controversial rule, debated by Aaron Rimstadt and Kelsey Roan.

Batman TV series debuts (January 12, 1966)

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Adam West/Burt Ward series. My mom told me that my first word wasn’t “mom” or “dada” or even “binky.” It was “Batman.” Probably from watching this over and over and over.

Jack London born (January 12, 1876)

London wrote 18 stories for The Saturday Evening Post before dying at the age of 40. Here’s “A Goboto Night”.​

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