Here's everything we loved, and a few things we hated, in 2016.

2016 WAS THE YEAR...

The 90s came back with a vengeance:

So much of 2016 was like a weird retake of the 90s. Suddenly everyone was playing

Pokemon

again and the movies were full of questionable throwbacks, including the reappearance of

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Independence Day, Absolutely Fabulous, Zoolander, Big Fat Greek Wedding

and

Bridget Jones

. Nelly, Blackstreet and a tonne of 90s hip-hop artists came on tour again for no apparent reason, and even the Spice Girls made a comeback, with three of them releasing a new song together. Between all of that and the resurgence of choker necklaces, dark lips and overalls, let's just be thankful that at least Myspace stayed away. For now.

Eddie and Patsy were just two of the 90s icons to resurface in 2016.
Eddie and Patsy were just two of the 90s icons to resurface in 2016.

Of disappointing New Zealand dramas:

The rest of the world may be in a golden age of television, but it seems to have passed New Zealand by. This year we saw money wasted on the gross, pointless

Filthy Rich,

before

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Dirty Laundry

quickly faded away (with TVNZ screening double episodes in a bid to make it disappear more quickly). Adding insult to injury, NZoA agreed to fund a second season of

Filthy Rich

next year. Ouch.

Filthy Rich was slammed by critics and struggled to find an audience.
Filthy Rich was slammed by critics and struggled to find an audience.

But good New Zealand movies:

On the other side of the ledger, local cinema was in top form this year. Bouncing back from several slow years, we saw

Tickled

and

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

become international success stories, boosted by film fest darlings

Poi E

and

The Rehearsal

in a much needed resuscitation of our local film industry. And next year the good times are set to keep rolling, with the local remake of

Goodbye Pork Pie

already earning Hollywood buzz.

Julian Dennison was the breakout star of 2016, leading the cast of Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
Julian Dennison was the breakout star of 2016, leading the cast of Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

We spent crying over legends:

2016 kind of sucked from the beginning, with David Bowie passing away in early January. After that it seemed to just be hit after hit: Alan Rickman, Prince, Anton Yelchin, Phife Dawg, Gene Wilder, and Leonard Cohen all passed away this year, and that short list is just the tip of the iceberg. RIP you beautiful souls, and thank you for everything you gave us.

Music fans farewelled David Bowie in January.
Music fans farewelled David Bowie in January.

Of Yeezy:

Kanye West was everywhere this year.

The Life of Pablo

came out, the latest Yeezy fashion line launched, people queued for Yeezy kicks, the videos for

Fade

and

Famous

made headlines and his beef with Taylor Swift was legendary. Now his family's in trouble after Kim was robbed in Paris and Ye suffered a mental breakdown, but if the rumours are to be believed, it won't impact the music as the rapper was reportedly trying to work even from his hospital bed.

Kanye West was everywhere in 2016.
Kanye West was everywhere in 2016.

Lorde went AWOL:

She kicked off the year teasing us with the title of her new album, and we've had sporadic updates ever since. Yes, she's finished writing it. No, Joel Little isn't producing it. Yes, it's got an album cover. No, it's unlikely to feature a cameo by Psy. But where exactly is Lorde's second album, the follow-up to her chart-topping 2013 debut

Pure Heroine?

As yet, we still don't know. "I can hardly stop myself from typing out the name," she wrote in November. We're still waiting Ella. We're still waiting.

Lorde attended some of Hollywood's most exclusive parties this year, while promising fans her second album is on the way. Photo / Getty
Lorde attended some of Hollywood's most exclusive parties this year, while promising fans her second album is on the way. Photo / Getty

Breakfast TV went to war:

Paul Henry launched his assault on breakfast television last year but the battle reached fever pitch this year when newsreader Hilary Barry quit TV3. Rumours soon swirled she was switching sides before TVNZ finally confirmed what we all knew - Hilary would take over the

Breakfast

couch in September. After unceremoniously dumping Rawdon Christie and Nadine Chalmers-Ross, Hilary and Jack Tame had no sooner unpacked their shiny new white desk before Paul Henry dropped his own bombshell: He too was quitting. Game over.

Hilary Barry dealt a major blow to MediaWorks when she switched sides to TVNZ.
Hilary Barry dealt a major blow to MediaWorks when she switched sides to TVNZ.

Zombies died and AI arrived:

Five million viewers have bailed on the latest season of

The Walking Dead

in the US, and spin-off

Fear the Walking Dead

isn't doing much for us either. Zombies are yesterday's blood-splattered news. What's replacing them? Robots. This is the year we fell in love with realistic bags of nuts and bolts. From the slowly awakening wild west gang of 'bots on

Westworld,

to the marauding troublemakers on the still great

Humans,

we're loving all the metal mickeys shaking up our screens. Bring on more of them in 2017, please.

The robots of Westworld have replaced zombies as our latest dramatic intrigue.
The robots of Westworld have replaced zombies as our latest dramatic intrigue.

Virtual reality arrived:

It's not cheap, but it sure is thrilling. Yes, 2016 will go down as the year virtual reality arrived en masse, thanks to Samsung's Gear VR, PlayStation VR and the Oculus Rift. Immersive? Yep. Freaky? Uh huh. Disorientating? For sure. Downright scary? You betcha. Just look how much fun we had testing out

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood.

If this is our new reality, we're all for it.

We gave PlayStation's Virtual Reality headset a try, taking on Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. It was no leisurely walk in the park...Unless that walk includes terrifying killer clowns.

Pokemon made a comeback:

Let's not kid ourselves:

Pokemon

owned 2016. Outside of political dramas, nothing commanded the world's attention more than Pikachu and its friends.

Pokemon Go

was the perfect combination of nostalgia, exercise and distraction, a viral sensation and obsession that the world needed this year. It proved that even after 20 years, there's just no stopping this franchise.

Pokemon Go caused chaos on the streets of New Zealand - and around the world - when it launched in July.
Pokemon Go caused chaos on the streets of New Zealand - and around the world - when it launched in July.