80 Hours staff members pick their 2012 favorites

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 13, 2012 6:30 AM

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What is the best thing to happen in 2012?

That's a rhetorical question, maybe. We from the Daily Iowan 80 Hours staff found it too difficult to answer that question with one answer, so we didn't. Instead, we complied a list of our favorite entertainment from this year. Take a look, reminisce with us, and if you see anything you're not familiar with, check it out before it becomes culturally irrelevant.

Don't Miss: Broadway Shows — by Justus Flair

1. Once — The Musical
Based on a 2006 Irish indie film, the show stars Guy and Girl, two musicians who "make beautiful music together" and change each other's lives.

2. Peter and the Starcatcher
This prequel to Peter Pan is based on a novel written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson in 2006. The show won numerous Tony Awards, including lighting, sound, scenic, and costume design.

3. Nice Work If You Can Get It
Imagine a classic Broadway show with showgirls, beautiful voices, and catchy songs that you just can't get out of your head. Set all this in the 1920s Prohibition, and you have Nice Work If You Can Get It.

Best of: Albums — by Emily Burds

1. One Night: Timeflies
Cal and Rez have done it again, bigger, better, and badder than before. The young duo rose to Internet fame and swept the music world, taking the No. 1 album spot on iTunes fewer than 24 hours after the album's initial release. These guys know how to drop a beat. And they are amazing in concert, too.

2. Night Train: Jason Aldean
Aldean stays at the forefront of the music scene with his latest album. Not only does he embody country music, but he has brought it to the rest of the world as well. Any song on this album will treat you right, including his latest hit single "Take a Little Ride."

3. The Truth About Love: P!nk
P!nk is once again strutting her stuff and showing her ultra sassy side she is so well known for. Belting out some power ballads about bad breakups, love gone wrong, and crazy drunken nights, this album is sure to get you rocking out in your car's driver's seat.

Best of: Pop Culture Moments — Samantha Gentry

1. London Olympics
For one month, the London Summer Olympics took over network television to show all of us back home how well our athletes were doing. The event kicked off with an extravagant opening ceremonies in which "Queen Elizabeth" jumped out of a plane with James Bond. For the fifth-straight Summer Olympics, the U.S. took home the most medals —102, 44 golds.

2. The Royal Family is Expecting
After about only a year since the royal wedding, Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton are once again in the tabloids. It has been confirmed that the two are expecting a "royal baby," as it has been pegged. The most interesting thing about the future birth of this baby is that whether it is a boy or girl, it will be third in line to the royal throne.

3. Gangnam Style
Who would have thought a South Korean pop song would become a phenomenon in the U.S.? Gangnam Style has become a hit across the country ever since Korean rapper PSY's video became the "most-watched YouTube clip" of all time with more than 805 million views — a title Justin Bieber used to hold with his song "Baby."

Must Play: Video Games — by Sam Stewart

1. Journey — PS3
It isn't often that you find a game that is unlike anything else you have ever played. Journey is that game. No tutorials, no objectives, no dialogue, Journey leaves you to figure its world out for yourself, or with a partner if you play online. The catch is that partners are paired up randomly, so you can only play with strangers. It is a hard game to explain, but maybe that's for the best, because you should go see for yourself.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles — Wii
Most RPGs are content to stay within the norms and repeat the formulas that have worked for years. Xenoblade Chronicles dares to step outside the boundaries and single-handedly reinvent the genre. Inspired by MMORPGs, Xenoblade has a massive world, a unique battle system, and an amazingly emotional story.

3. The Walking Dead: The Game — PC, PS3, Xbox360, iOS
If games were rated by the maturity of their stories rather than the amount of blood spilled, The Walking Dead would earn its M with a gold star. While there is plenty of zombie gore, it's the story and characters that will make an impression on you. More of an interactive show than a game, your choices make you responsible for everything that happens. You will have ups, you will have downs, and you are likely to regret many things. But hey, that's life.

Don't Miss: Television shows — by Audrey Dwyer

1. "American Horror Story"
This season's "American Horror Story" series takes viewers to a scene of a church-run asylum for the criminally insane. A nun with a troubled past, Sister Jude, runs the asylum, which is full of Nazis, serial killers, mutants, aliens, and more. This sexually driven horror mystery show takes the audience into different realms of the characters' insane minds.

2. "Grey's Anatomy" new season
After a traumatizing season, of a plane crash with the show's main surgeons at Seattle Grace Hospital, Grey's Anatomy has made a comeback. The cast members cope with the loss of beloved coworkers from the plane crash; as a result, many of the characters in this season are changed forever. 

3. "White Collar"
"White Collar" takes solving crimes to a new level with the suspense and mystery of an unlikely pair. This new show has gained widespread popularity during its first couple seasons. The series takes many unexpected turns in an upscale neighborhood of New York City as a FBI agent poses as a rich New Yorker to catch so-called "white-collar" criminals.

Must See: Films — By Emma McClatchey

1. The series opener: The Hunger Games
Arriving just in time to satisfy of fans mourning the end of the Harry Potter and Twilight series, the adaptation of the best-selling Hunger Games book premièred to massive midnight audiences and positive critiques. Katniss, Peeta and Gale will return for Catching Fire in November 2013.

2. The series closer: Dark Knight Rises
Audiences bid Batman farewell in July with the last installment in Christopher Nolan's epic Dark Knight trilogy. Although it lacked the show-stealing villain of its predecessor, the addition of Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Tom Hardy left many fans satisfied.

3. The series collision: The Avengers
What do you get when combine six super heroes from four film franchises? Apparently, the third highest-grossing film of all time. Providing a fun blend of action and amusing dialogue, Marvel's The Avengers has been hailed as one of the best superhero films of the age.

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