Welcome to the first installment of Everybody's Freaking Out About... Since everything these days is either a spin-off or a reboot, we thought we'd do the same with our What's Everybody Mad About This Week?! series. We're here to give you a look at all the things fans were freaking out about over the past week. Strap in!
We're digging into the things that really stuck in fandom’s collective craw — the things that had fans all-caps-key-smashing in anger, joy, excitement, or some combination of those things. There were probably tears. No, scratch that, there were definitely tears.
This week, for instance, people really cared about Joaquin Phoenix's acceptance speech for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama at the Golden Globe Awards, but not enough, I think, for me to write too much about it here. No, there are other matters afoot. Much more intense matters.
This week, everyone's freaking out about: Some fun new Pokémon announcements, The Good Place's triumphant (final) return, American Horror Story's not-so-miraculous renewal, and the Ben Solo Challenge. Let's go, gang!
Woo boy! New Pokémon! You heard me! New! Pokémon!
These Pokémon came alongside an expansion pass announcement for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, which will allow players to explore other locations and catch other Pokémon old and new! This announcement was welcomed by many long-time fans who'd originally criticized Pokémon Sword and Shield for its lack of older Pokémon. Past versions of the game had a much more extensive roster of playable Pokémon, so this latest installment was a bit of a disappointment to many.
But now that might be changing!
With this upcoming expansion pack, players will get the Pokémon that didn't appear in Sword and Shield, new locations, new versions of older Pokémon, and, get this, new Legendary Pokémon.
What I’m most excited about, though, was the thing that had everyone talking: The return of the Legendary birds Zapdos, Moltres, and Articuno. They've had some makeovers, but they’re still very much as epic and beautiful as they were before! Nostalgia!
(Related side note: The Galarian Slowpoke is everything to me. That's all.)
The Good Place returns
We're in the endgame now… for The Good Place, NBC's hit comedy series about a group of bad humans and their demon friend learning how to be good alongside a not-girl, not-robot being named Janet.
I won't be giving away any real spoilers here for the fourth-to-final episode since it only premiered on Thursday night, but please just know that the internet is losing its mind over this show leaving. We'll likely write about its departure in the next few weeks in this column because, again, everyone is melting down over The Good Place going away.
And that's okay! Not all good things can last. We can enjoy what we have and know that it was fun at the time. We'll have more on this in the near future.
Until then: Timothy Olyphant. Thank you.
AHS renewed (again)
So. Okay. American Horror Story was originally thought to be ending with Season 10. But we learned this week that FX has officially renewed AHS through Season 13, which means we will be getting at least three more seasons of insanity.
Sure, it makes good business sense. As FX noted in its official statement about the series, AHS is the network's most successful show. And while its overall cultural clout has lessened as other shows with similar horror vibes have risen in popularity, there’s no doubting its fanbase's hunger. People who love American Horror Story really love American Horror Story. The same can be said for people who feel the opposite.
The Ben Solo Challenge
I leave you with a short bout of insanity, my friends. If you've seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, then, like me, you probably screamed over Ben Solo's Han Solo-esque shrug after Rey hands him the Skywalker lightsaber through the Force and before he takes out the Knights of Ren. I definitely screamed. It's currently my favorite GIF. So casual, so self-satisfied, so full of power.
A bunch of other people like it, too. Search #BenSoloChallenge on any form of social media and you'll likely find a ton of wonderful dorks reenacting that moment. Full meme meltdown. Ben Solo stans could not be happier.
What had you melting down this week? Let us know in the comments!