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Pop culture saved us in 2020. Memes, crooked tiger-obsessives and iconic celebs helped us express ourselves throughout lockdown, at a time where being tied to our sofas binging the latest TV series replaced going out.
Michaela Coel made us rethink what we value about good TV with I May Destroy You, Kylie dropped an album and sounded more relevant than she has in decades, and Gemma Collins served us with countless meme moments.
It’s been a year. And while we’re not sad to see the back of it, here are some of the entertainment moments are worth carrying forward (in present form).
Kylie’s back and she’s riding the wave of the disco renaissance spurred on by Dua Lipa earlier this year. Her new album’s a banger, and if you love it as much as we do, you can celebrate with a rather fancy tote bag (or gift to a friend, of course).
The ultimate pop culture present has to involve memes, and this game – naturally called What Do You Meme – sums up the most iconic. They’ve helped us express ourselves as we’ve fought through this incredibly tough year – so this game is a way to keep spirits up over Christmas.
I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel Framed Art Print, Redbubble, £63.50
We’re all about the healthy fandom, and we think this pastel-toned print of I May Destroy You Star Michaela Coel captures her style and sensibilities well. This was one of the most popular (and important) TV shows of the year. A second series seems unlikely, so fans may like to ride the show’s wave through to 2021 with some fresh wall art.
Disney + Subscription, Disney, £5.99 a month
Disney released Disney + this year – one day after lockdown was announced – offering exclusive first access to new films like Mulan – as well as all their classic movies. New documentaries also feature, including a nerdy yet addictive six-part deep-dive into the history of the Disney theme parks. Go on, your Disney-obsessed pal will love it.
The GC is no stranger to merch, obvs. Her latest triumph – posted on Insta and now deleted – was a t-shirt which read ‘I don’t que’, which we assume was a typo and should’ve read ‘I don’t queue.’ It’s no longer available to buy, but there’s this iconic lockdown-themed tee that your GC-loving friend will enjoy.
Personalised Celebrity Message, Cameo, Various Prices
Services like Cameo offer the completely bonkers service of getting your favourite celebrity to pretty much say whatever you like: so long as you pay them, of course, (sometimes vast amounts of money, sometimes a tenner). Names that’ve signed up to the service are pretty A-list, like Lindsay Lohan and Caitlyn Jenner. Others, erm, less so. Prices start from as little as 90p, but you probably haven’t heard of those guys. Be prepared to pay the big bucks for a well-known star.
James Bond Film Ticket (In Gift Voucher Form), Picturehouse, £20
The biggest film of the year has been delayed twice due to the virus, and now there are talks it may get sold to a distributor like Netflix. Even if it does, it’ll almost certainly still end up in the cinema. Cinemas have struggled during the pandemic, so buy tickets for you and a Bond-loving mate to watch the new film somewhere fancy – like the Picturehouse. You’ll be supporting the future of cinema, too (when the film eventually hits screens in April).
In this companion to Netflix’s ridiculously popular series The Crown, the show’s historical consultant, Robert Lacey, takes you through the real history that inspired the drama in this book. It’s full of a lot of research, as well as beautifully-reproduced photographs, so is a great gift for any lovers of the TV series.
Sorry to ruin this, but you can’t actually buy Connell’s chain. His accessory spawned an entire culture movement this summer when fans rushed to replicate the simple silver chain look from BBC’s Normal People. Plenty of merchants are trying the old rip off treatment by selling chains for extortionate prices, but there are some simpler chains for reasonable prices which do the trick, like this one.
This exotic-in-colour, Joe Exotic-in-theme tee marks the entertainment symbol of lockdown #1 – and Christmas will be a good time to revisit the series. If you know a fan, get them this (even if it’s for a joke).
We’ve all got Netflix subscriptions, so there needs to be some fresh thinking when it comes to gifting Attenborough fans. His documentary this year – David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet – went down well. Of course, a donation to the World Land Trust he represents is a good way in, but another, altogether sillier way, is to gift your friend a big cushion with a mural of Attenborough standing in front of the sun, holding a small goat. You’re welcome.
Selling Sunset Tee, Etsy, £19.50
Are you team Christine or Chrishnell? Whether you’re into it for the property porn or the cat fights, Selling Sunset has been the reality show to grip the nation in 2020. This clean, pastel T-shirt riffs on the names of all the Hollywood estate agents and, just a note of warning, will probably mean your friend is stopped in the street by fans and asked which team they’re on.
RuPaul Life Size Cut-Out, Amazon, £44.94
The pandemic slowed production on Drag Race UK Season 2 – so the air date is delayed until next year. Is your pal is tired of waiting? So are we. Which is why we insist you buy them a life size RuPaul cut-out to serve sass all-year-round from their living room. It’s all about posture and poise: and this fabulous pink cut out has both in droves.