The biggest disappointments of 2012

All in all, 2012 has been pretty darn great. A significantly above average year. The type of year that the people who make those nostalgic year-you-were-born birthday cards must breathe a sigh of relief over (2003 was a head-scratcher, right guys?).  But rather than give you a column that just says YAY THE OLYMPICS next to a hand-drawn doodle of Clare Balding and Psy the Gangnam Style man sitting on a cloud, I’ve decided to go against the grain of the year and be all negative instead. So here you are – the most disappointing moments of 2012. Hurrah!   


As someone who aims to spend at least 18 hours a day consuming some form of visual media, the arrival of Netflix brought with it great promise. It was cheap, it was instant and it would herald an end to streaming things in stilted two-minute bursts, pretending that the juddering picture is artistic camerawork rather than my shonky broadband connection. The reality was the online equivalent of the dvd collection you get in rented holiday cottages. The Full Monty; Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion; a copy of Hornblower that was probably free with the Sunday Express. Enjoy.   

Draw Something 

It was the hilarious digital Pictionary app that gripped the nation! For three and a half weeks, before it was bought by mobile giant Zynga, everyone stopped playing it and the company promptly lost $5 million in a month.   


This was a disappointment not so much in the sense of expecting much and receiving little, but in the sense that your parents are “disappointed” in you when you make a clanging error in judgment and bring shame upon the family. They started off as a logical evolution of the slanket, an experiment to see just how much snuggly cosiness an adult human can withstand before it all becomes a bit cloying. Then they grew animal ears and were adopted as ironic partywear by the sort of people who jump up and down behind TV news reporters. Comfort has never been so irritating.   

The Olympics Closing Ceremony

Being British, we sat through the first half of the closing ceremony in tense, optimistic silence, willing it to suddenly get lots better, very quickly. Then George Michael decided to use a momentously historic occasion in front of 26 million people to plug his new, unknown single, and we all exploded, turned to each other and went “this is a complete pile of horse turd isn’t it?”  

From that moment on, it was all “Emeli Sande” this and “Jessie J’s crotch” that, and we were free to vent our frustration at the closing ceremony being every bit as rubbish as the rest of the Olympics was brilliant.

Viva Forever  

Being British, we sat through the first half of Viva Forever in tense, optimistic silence, willing it to suddenly get lots better, very quickly. When the curtain went down for the interval, a tumbleweed of dismal silence swept along our row.  “Um,” said someone, eventually. “I sort of thought the Spice Girls had more songs.”   

“And better songs.”  

It turns out we only thought they did, because we were nine at the time.   

The Mayan apocalypse  

It’s only Thursday, so I’m taking a punt on this one.