The Year That Was, 2013 is far to large of a topic to tackle all at once, even when only focusing on the pop culture aspects. Breaking things down month-by-month feels like the smarter call. We'll be working our way through the year one month at a time, remembering the songs, films, TV, and other fun/horrifying stuff that we may well have already forgotten.

We're going to start at the very beginning. A very good place to start (oh, we'll get to The Sound of Music when we arrive at December, don't worry).

January 2013

The #1 Song

January brought us the best Sting song that Sting never sang in Bruno Mars's "Locked Out of Heaven." A mish-mash of burpy guitars, chopped up synth, gristly fragments of the Police, and some nostalgia for Sting helped this song dominate the four weeks of January. The only explanation we have for how Bruno Mars can sound just like Sting is reincarnation ... which is obviously impossible since Sting is alive. Though, has anyone seen both Sting and Mars at the same place at the same time?  Transcendental meditation can do some really crazy things.

The #1 Movie

This was a crappy month for movies. January's big winner was the not-great Mama — a horror story which received a 66 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. January is kind of notorious for releasing all the crappy movies that the studios don't want to promote too heavily, so they sneak them out the door while budgets and attention are being paid to Oscar campaigns. So if you never saw Mama —or the month's other big winner, the critically un-acclaimed Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters—it was probably because you were seeing Zero Dark Thirty or something.

The Month in Television

If aliens looked at January 2013 a million years from now, they would see people throwing money at bad movies and living out a Sting regression, and they wouldn't think too highly of us. "This is why those guys died out — heh," one alien, the snarky one, would tell his friends while surfing the alien/future equivalent of YouTube. 

All hope that future generations won't think us troglodytes, therefore, rest on television. And television delivered. January saw some great TV, including the series finale of the well-loved 30 Rockthat episode of Downton Abbey, and the return of The Good Wife (remember Maddie Hayward? ).

Also...

January brought the announcement that Sarah Palin would be leaving Fox News (which didn't last long). But hey, baby steps, right? 

The Golden Globe Awards were once again held in Los Angeles, and the stars in attendance were alternately charmed by the tandem hosting of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, amused by the faux-(or faux-faux-)drunk antics of Glenn Close, and bewildered by Jodie Foster's DeMille Award acceptance speech, wherein she finally came out of the closet as a private person.