The Interview Editors Reminisce on the Glory of the 2010s

Published December 31, 2019

The 2010s were, well, something. There were twenty-one Marvel movies released, not one, but two royal weddings, four Rihanna albums, and and innumerable amount of thinkpieces about how millennials are killing the housing market with avocado toast. In the 2010s, the movie theater moved into our homes, and so did Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Bixby. Game of Thrones erupted across televisions, and then went up in smoke. Drag and ASMR went mainstream. And for several weeks in 2012, everyone was obsessed with a galloping-style dance made popular by a Korean rapper’s song about the Soho of Seoul. Here at Interview, we had not one, but two interviews with Grimes, we marched with the climate strikers, asked Billy Porter and Christina Ricci to review some coats, and learned that Cate Blanchett would rather feed her chickens and read Proust than make any more movies. Oh, we also celebrated our 50th anniversary with a shiny new coffee table book and launched a YouTube channel. Below, our editors reflect on their favorite moments from the last decade, from the good to the bad to the truly perplexing.



“This is probably in bad taste, but I low-key loved when that woman was stabbed with an X-Acto knife at Art Basel in Miami Beach, and everyone around her thought that it was a performance art piece. Someone even clapped, I heard. There are wild pictures of the victim (who is totally fine now, by the way), her white oxford soaked in blood, sitting on the floor next to her Michael Kors bag, texting. It’s inspired me to write a stage production called ‘Art Basel: The Stabbing: The Musical.’ (This is not a joke, so please don’t steal this idea. I’m serious.)”



“The Tesla Cybertruck. Whilst not having a ton of love for Elon Musk, I am still thankful he walks the earth. We live in a dreary age where few dare to step outside the limited codes of whichever echo chamber they chose to inhabit. As a result, culture feels timid in 2019. There wasn’t much decent art made this year. The fashion was so-so. Music is inching forward by rehashing the past at increasing speeds. Books are written only for the reviews (and to be optioned by Netflix), whilst movies and TV tell the same stories over and over, mollifying us in the same way we’re stupefied by social feeds of the same pictures served to us over and over and over. In recent years we have been able to rely on tech for liminal shifts in thinking, but outside of TikTok (which wasn’t new) and Airpods Pro, tech gave us little this year. So into that void steps the Cybertruck. An iconoclastic, ugly hulk of barely bent eco-metal which looks like nothing else around it. It feels optimistic in a time of doom. Joyful in an age of cynicism. A confident, rallying cry that we can still invent new stuff. It’s fun, stupid looking, doesn’t make sense. It’s a singular vision in an era of groupthink. It’s a reminder that culture isn’t just a cycle of inward looking repetitions, iterations, committees, learnings. Screw it, it’s a work of art. Would I want one? No of course not. But I love that I live in a world where 250,000 do.”



Jaden Smith announcing he and Tyler the Creator were dating. I need a follow-up on that in 2020. Honestly, I can’t remember much past two years ago. When the decade started I was 10.”



“The Vogue video with Celine Dion where she bites off the face of a mannequin head. Also, this specific compilation of Nicki Minaj verses.”



One month after the election of Donald Trump, in celebration of Bob Dylan being recognized with a Nobel Prize, Patti Smith stood in a balcony at the Stockholm Concert Hall, flanked from below by a sea of presumably highly esteemed individuals in their finest tuxedos and evening gowns. She began, gently, to recite ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,’ Dylan’s mournful, oracular vision of the future, penned in 1962, but brought to Stockholm’s grand hall perhaps as an elegy by the punk poet for our country and for whatever stability and goodwill that could remain between the world’s nations. About two minutes into the song, Smith abruptly sputtered into silence. ‘I’m sorry.’ She smiled meekly. She tried to step back into it, but again faltered. Red-faced and still smiling, she addressed the crowd. ‘I apologize. I’m sorry, I’m so nervous.’ The audience, seemingly quite moved already, responded with a warm ovation. Smith’s courage found herself again, and she moved inward, finding the song again with renewed emotion. The performance was a flash of humanity in an evening of pristinely manicured pomp and circumstance. For a long time, I thought it might be one of the last good things to ever happen. In the years since 2016, we’ve come to see clearly, with terror, ‘the deepest black forest/Where the people are many and their hands are all empty/Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,’ but we’ve also seen the enduring resilience of the human spirit that Patti Smith embodied in that moment, the tenacity to forge forward when the safety of certainty seems far from us.”



Lady Gaga’s ‘G.U.Y. – An ARTPOP Film’ featuring god of pop culture Andy Cohen in the role of a smiling sun looking down on his army of goddesses, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 4 cast. In pure Gaga style, the Oscar-winner was ahead of the culture and decided to cast the Housewives in the music video for one of the best songs in her catalogue. Plus, she designs le parfait man. Her mind!”



“Even though it’s set largely in the ’80s, Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street will go down as one of the greatest screeds against the capitalistic avarice that has laid waste to many of our institutions. Oh, and the movie is goddamn hilarious. Not only is this the most rewatchable scene of any movie I’ve seen over the last ten years, in what might be my favorite movie of the last ten years, but it also features the last decade’s most durable movie star leaving everything he has on the floor.”



“Perhaps no other slice of 2010s pop culture serves as a better time capsule of the decade than one that harkens back to the prior one. In a decade that saw the unthinkable revival of flip phones, Juicy Couture, emo rock, and the cultural and political reign of the reality TV star, it seemed only one television show could accurately nail all that the mid-aughts represented in merely one song: Bojack Horseman‘s ‘Generic 2007 Pop Song.’ The show, which is inarguably the most insightful talking horse animated depression streaming comedy of the decade, features a brilliant bottle episode that takes place entirely in that fateful year. The result is a T-Pain autotune-laced descent into a Los Angeles rife with Uggs, Four Loko, and financial crisis foreshadowing. ‘Generic 2007 pop song, why do all the voices sound weird?’ sings a fedora-topped cat Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) as she drives down a Sunset Boulevard flanked by billboards for fro-yo, Wii remote straps, and ‘Fall Out Koi.’ The tune is something like a hybrid of Fergie’s ‘Glamorous’ and Kesha’s ”Die Young,’ both anthems of late capitalist debauchery, before capitalism became uncool and Fergie botched the National Anthem. If the 2010s taught us anything, it’s that everything old is new again, no matter how egregious, impractical, or distorted by reality. Only time will tell if they bring us the same perverse joys the next decade around.”