HOLLYWOOD—This year has made me realize that the world is a very sad place and many people are dealing with so many things that we can’t even comprehend. People are walking around us/you/me, with the heaviest baggage, with so many issues that we will never understand. We need to be talking openly about our innermost problems, and we need to be checking in on those we love. With that said, let’s look back at some of 2022.

What will you remember most about 2022? Our pop culture is never short of pure moments of happiness, scandals, deaths and legal battles from Johnny Depp to the slap at the Academy Awards show. When everyone said the Academy should punch-up the Oscars ceremony, we’re certain they didn’t mean like this. Chris Rock made a joke on stage about the shaved head of Jada Pinkett Smith-who has alopecia-the actress husband Will Smith, approached the comedian and slapped him across the face. That was quite the show, however, Chris Rock managed to contain himself.

Harry Styles announced his new album, “Harry’s House,” three years after the success of “Fine Line.” He also ended up on the cover of the June issue of Better Homes & Gardens, A brilliant marketing strategy. It nearly broke the internet. The death of one of our country music stars, Naomi Judd stunned the country music world. The singer passed in April, died by suicide. Judd, who was 76, was very open about her mental health struggles throughout her life. The death of Bob Saget on January 9 sent a shock wave through Hollywood. Saget, 65, died in his sleep from a head trauma in a Florida hotel.

Who could forget the Johnny Depp trial? Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against ex-wife amber Heard began in April in Virginia, ushering in six weeks of live-streamed testimony and media mayhem. Depp sued Heard for $50 million over her 2018 Washington Post op-ed detailing her experiences as a domestic violence survivor. She didn’t mention Depp by name, but his lawyers argued that the references to him-and her previous public abuse allegations-were clear, claiming it damaged his reputation and career.

Both parties recounted gut-wrenching accusations of physical, verbal and sexual assault, as well as some bizarre anecdotes that involved feces and a severed fingertip. A jury ruled in Depp’s favor in June, awarding him $15 million in damages. Hollywood played a starring role in the case that warped the cultural discourse, with Paul Bettany, Ellen Barkin, Kate Moss and James Franco among the stars referenced in subpoenaed correspondence or called to the witness stand.

Who could forget Swifties vs Tickermaster? Taylor Swift has enough pop culture prowess to bring down the music industry’s most hated monopoly. Taylor’s first tour in five years, and the live debut for the whopping six albums she’s released since 2019, nobody expected securing a ticket to the upcoming Eras Tour to be an easy task. But between Ticketmaster’s online queues stretching from hours into days, scalpers inflating prices into the thousands, and presales eating up all available seats, Swift decided enough is enough-and so did the US government.

The U.S. Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation Entertainment which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010 about whether its monopoly seriously harms the music industry. Swifties long story short: “Look what you made me do.”

Bennifer 2.0, yes, they reunited and got married in 2022. Some 20 years after they got engaged, the decided to give it another go. Affleck and Lopez rekindled their romance in May 2021 following break-ups from Ana de Armas and Alex Rodriguez and announced their engagement this April. News of the Bennaisance immediately set nostalgic minds racing with hopes that those two kids lol could finally make it work again. Then we had the Kanye West controversy, which he finally dug a hole too deep even for even him to climb out of-first with his ex-Kim Kardashian then by swerving anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Rose’s Scoop: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John after delays due to COVID-19, took his final bow touring in North America in November, returning to Los Angeles Dodger Stadium.

Wishing everyone a Healthy, Happy, Prosperous New Year! Stay Safe everyone!