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CNN Special Reports

"All the Best, All the Worst 2021." Aired 7-8p ET

Aired December 31, 2021 - 19:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The new film is Carole King and James Taylor "Just call out my name". Frank Marshall, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.

FRANK MARSHALL, AMERICAN FILM PRODUCER: My pleasure, Anderson, great to talk to you. Thanks for having me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And again, CNN will premiere Carole King and James Taylor "Just call out my name" Sunday at 9 p.m. Thanks for joining us. Don't miss CNN's recap of the year with "All the Best, All The Worst Of 2021" starting right now.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN HOST: It's been a long time, a lot of waiting, uncertainty, anxiety, but we are back. It's time to look at the whole year of while news, unhinged politics, music, movies, sports and more, more, more with our guests.

Welcome back American Comedian Flame Monroe, CNN's John Berman and Donie O'Sullivan, NFL Free Agent R.K. Russell, Political Commentator S.E. Cupp and Comedian Helen Hong. It's a grand reopening for all the best, all the worst 2021.


FOREMAN: I'm Tom Foreman. Welcome and congratulations! We all survived a tough 12 months packed with upheavals, conflicts, difficulties, and yet also victories hope and happiness. That's saying something considering we were up against a raging pandemic and the deepest social divides the United States has seen in decades. So how did we make it through? Let's sort that out by starting with the biggest news.


FOREMAN (voice over): Worst story of the year, the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol by people angry over Joe Biden winning the last presidential election.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The idea that 2021 was going to be better I think probably lasted for about exactly six days.

HELEN HONG, COMEDIAN (on camera): The January 6, insurrection was straight up crazy.

FOREMAN (voice over): The losing candidate then President Donald Trump, stokes the fury with the big lie that he had won.

DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: They rigged it election they rigged it like they've never rigged an election before.

S.E. CUPP, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: It was really traumatizing and tragic to see the people's house overtaken by American citizens.

FOREMAN (voice over): Police were beaten Congress ran people die, hundreds would be arrested. The best response, lawmakers came back within hours and certified Joe Biden's victory.


FOREMAN (voice over): The country was still reeling from COVID with a worse new arrival on the way the more transmissible Delta variant and now Omicron too, with more than 800,000 fatalities in the U.S. The worst question is how many more?

FLAME MONROE, COMEDIAN: You know I just had an experience with COVID. And it shook me to the bone because I wasn't sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wear by towel to -- school free and unmasked.

FOREMAN (voice over): The worst response all those people who refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated.

HONG: I love how anti vaxxers are like my body is a precious temple. I'm not willing to inject my body with this suspicious COVID vaccine but horse de wormer. I'll take that.

JOHN BERMAN, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: I think you can say objectively that a large part of what happened with the spread of the Delta variant is because of the unvaccinated.

FOREMAN (voice over): The best neighbors, the overwhelming majority of Americans who by year's end had received their shots.

R.K. RUSSELL, WRITER: I am all for people making their own choices and making informed decisions. I just want them to be informed decisions from actual scientists from actual doctors from medical professionals.

FOREMAN (voice over): Healthcare workers and people in the service industry were rightly applauded for their tireless work.

CUPP: It's a sad way to become a hero. But I have immense, immense respect for them.

FOREMAN (voice over): The best unsung heroes no kidding gives it to all the pets that kept us company for the hard months.

MONROE: I used to think that was a joke, Tom. I found out the hard way. I realized now why people have emotional support dogs because dogs are truly loyal to you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't still -- it's all going to get worked.


FOREMAN (voice over): Still tensions ran high as people tried to get back to normal on airplanes absurd fights broke out as some passengers raged at restrictions.

HONG: If you're going to punch out a flight attendance I feel like flight attendants have every right to open the emergency doors and toss you out.


FOREMAN (voice over): The pandemic economy was mixed with soaring gas prices inflation.

O'SULLIVAN: I have noticed in the store I think sometimes - I'm like, this seems like a pretty expensive jar of tomato sauce.

FOREMAN (voice over): And some shortages spurred by the worst traffic jam. All those ships parked offshore with goods from overseas.

BERMAN: People are buying stuff. People want stuff. People haven't bought stuff for so long. They want it. They want stuff in all this pent up demand is what's creating this supply chain back up.

FOREMAN (voice over): But the stock market hit new highs. Most of the jobs lost had been recovered. Sure some folks don't want to go back to the office.

MONROE: I think people are framing now like you know what? I'm safer at home than I am going anyway.

O'SULLIVAN: I think we're all still on edge that's why I've been drinking so much whiskey. That's the reason.

FOREMAN (voice over): But for all that --

BIDEN: Even after accounting for rising prices, the typical American family has more money in their pockets than they did last year.

FOREMAN (voice over): Once again, a variety of tragic events plagued the nation from fires, storms and floods.

RUSSELL: Just random events of catastrophe were happening at the most random time.

FOREMAN (voice over): Two manmade horrors 10 people dead after a crowd surge at a concert in Texas.

BERMAN: This is the type of thing that never needed to happen.

FOREMAN (voice over): Six run down and killed it at Christmas parade in Wisconsin. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We actually had a squad and barricades up and he drove right through the barricades and the officers.

FOREMAN (voice over): And almost 100 people killed in that condo collapse in Florida.

CUPP: One minute a building was there and the next it was gone. And you just didn't think of America as being a place where that would happen.

FOREMAN (voice over): Beyond the United States, there was tension along the border with Mexico. A coup shook Myanmar rear protests erupted in Cuba, violence broke out between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Russia rattle sabers over Ukraine again. And China tested what could be a game changing hypersonic missile and denied they were testing hypersonic weapons at all.

O'SULLIVAN: China is yes, without sounding like Donald Trump, China is something we should be paying our attention to.

FOREMAN (voice over): Also still not getting as much attention as scientists say it should.

RUSSELL: Another climate crisis is a very real thing and something that we all have a part in, in helping in reversing and addressing.

FOREMAN (voice over): Drug addiction continued to ruin and take American lives at a staggering rates and gun violence took a terrible toll. Mass shootings at schools and other locations filled headlines. So did a death on a movie set where Alec Baldwin was holding a gun that went off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you never pull the trigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, no, no, I would never point a kind of anyone and pull a trigger at them never.

FOREMAN (voice over): And gun rights activist kept pushing hard against any new restrictions.

BERMAN: When you don't do anything to fix a problem you're making a tacit admission that you're OK with the way things are.

MONROE: That Americans want to do what they want to do and they don't care what nobody think does or says.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why were you trying to get to the police?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said I didn't do anything wrong. I defended myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find the defendant Kyle H. Rittenhouse not guilty.

FOREMAN (voice over): The acquittal of a young man who shot three people killing two during a protest in Wisconsin, the conviction of three men charged with chasing down and killing Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging in Georgia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just behind us you were hearing people saying we got justice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finding the defendant guilty.

FOREMAN (voice over): And the conviction of the former cop who killed George Floyd.

CUPP: I don't think we got justice in the conviction of Derek Chauvin. But we got accountability.

FOREMAN (voice over): All that along with attacks on Asian Americans fit concern about the worst social trend, rising racial intolerance and violence.

HONG: I've spent hundreds of dollars on buying pepper spray for my elderly parents. America we should be embarrassed.

RUSSELL: That's a human problem. That's our entire problem. That's a societal problem. And it's something that was really put on display in 2021.


FOREMAN: There is much more ahead. Coming up, we will check out the worst in politics, the best in sports, music movies, and look up in the sky. Is that a bird, a plane or a billionaire? Give us some space all the best all the worst 2021 roars on.





FOREMAN (voice over): In the whole long year of movies for raw cinematic power, Marvel was in a class of its own with Spider Man "No Way Home", Eternals, and Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings battling for best action movie.

BERMAN: I saw one movie in the theater and it was Shang-Chi and that was it that I liked it.

FOREMAN (voice over): But this was the best year in a while for grand adventures all over the silver screen. And the latest installment of the venom series called to "Black Widow" to "Godzilla versus Kong". Fast car chase F-9 the fast saga.

HONG: Fast and Furious 9 in three words Pontiac in space.

FOREMAN (voice over): For Old West action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't particularly enjoyed violence. FOREMAN (voice over): The best sleeper was the harder they fall.

MONROE: That movie was great. It was a movie about black cowboys in a very positive light.

FOREMAN (voice over): Worst movie to stay awake through the beautiful but super long --

O'SULLIVAN: Dune I want to go see Dune.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He ever asks us to bring peace to - house traders accept.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: James Bond: License to Kill".


FOREMAN (voice over): Worst goodbye to the guy many consider the best James Bond; Daniel Craig ended his run as double oh seven with a whopping finale.

HONG: No time to die has the longest runtime of any Bond movie in history. It was almost three hours long, so there was like plenty of time to die maybe too much time to die.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My Marvel scrolls --

FOREMAN (voice over): With a few notable exceptions such as "Power of the dog" and "Belfast" it seemed a week year for sure drama and for animation too.

CUPP: You saw that? It's not for me.

FOREMAN (voice over): Hollywood's worst problem coast to coast was the way the pandemic made it so hard to pack theater seats once again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm making this is Christmas. I can see that.

O'SULLIVAN: I went back to the movies for the first time last week to see the - Anderson movie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The French dispatch.

SULLIVAN: And you know I enjoyed the popcorn more than I enjoyed the movie.

FOREMAN (voice over): Still plenty of new movies connected with their audiences.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Careful, they can smell fear.

FOREMAN (voice over): Best unexpected find.

CUPP: I thought - was music.

FOREMAN (voice over): Best reboot dogs and all. HONG: I'm a strong and fantastic Cruella. I actually like was rooting for Cruella.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Monday's is right show?

FOREMAN (voice over): Best way to get away from it all free guy.

MONROE: I love everything about - this was one recreational drugs feeling.

RUSSELL: He's just a good dude. And he's a very handsome white boy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody in there?

FOREMAN (voice over): Best ways to give yourself nightmares --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm coming for you Michael.

RUSSELL: Halloween - I love Jamie Lee Curtis.

FOREMAN (voice over): It was an exceptionally good year for horror films.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people have finally given up hope.

RUSSELL: I think we were looking to be scared by something other than real life.


FOREMAN: Thank goodness, even when we could not make it out to our favorite cinema. The music business flooded our homes, headphones and ear-buds with some pretty great tunes to pass the pandemic.

With one song and one unforgettable TV concert, the best moment in music came down to one name.

RUSSELL: Adele is back. Like that's all we need to say from music.

CUPP: I think it's Adele's world and we're all just crying in it, right?

FOREMAN (voice over): Her fourth studio album shot up the charts paving the way for her new residency performing in Vegas.

BERMAN: The one thing I'm always struck by is oh my god, what a voice she has. It was a very good year for music. New Orleans own John Matisse dance to the front of the Grammy nominees while the best song of the summer could have gone to Olivia Rodrigo or Ed Sheeran in his bad habits.

O'SULLIVAN: I do like Ed Sheeran.

FOREMAN (voice over): But we'll give that honor to Dodger Cats kiss me more.

RUSSELL: --is amazing. Her visuals are great.

FOREMAN (voice over): Best bar sing along that sounds a lot like a jingle goes to Walker Hayes and Kesha. Best vintage sound goes to Silke Sonic -- the collaboration between Bruno Mars and his one-time opening act, Anderson pack.

MONROE: It was calm. It was beautiful. And I don't care what you were doing when that song came on. You just get a mellow mood.

CUPP: So I love Silke Sonic and in the same vein as like black Pumas, which had a great year.

FOREMAN (voice over): Most unstoppable force, BTS the Kpop sound and the army of dedicated fans following their every move.

RUSSELL: The Kpop "Craze in Phenom" is completely beyond me. I was like wait, what's happening?

FOREMAN (voice over): Also making a big noise this year so we laid it down.


HONG: You may not know that sweetie is half Asian and I freaking love a potty mouth Asian so we laid it down. You may not know that sweetie is half Asian and I freaking love a potty mouth Asian woman.

FOREMAN (voice over): Brandi Carlile worked it out in a hot new album.

CUPP: Everyone is finally realizing the American treasure that is Brandi Carlile.

FOREMAN (voice over): Taylor Swift was re-recording two of her original albums with new versions of some hits thrilling the Swifties but not everyone.

O'SULLIVAN: I don't enjoy the online hype. Swift it's too much for me to handle.

FOREMAN (voice over): Mask Wolf kept rolling with a hit from late last year.

MONROE: A long list of some of this is going to make me angry. I have three keys for that good guy.

FOREMAN (voice over): But our reigning king of cool.

RUSSELL: 2021 was the year of little - he seems really funny and like a really nice guy.

FOREMAN (voice over): And he keeps breaking out great tunes like no one else.


FOREMAN: We are moving along in just a moment brace yourself for full contact politics and a little later tee it up drop the puck and play ball. We'll be looking at the best in sports the goat that got greater in the shows that lit up our living rooms. Keep your hair on all the best all the words we'll be right back.




FOREMAN (voice over): Bitter box backstabbing political turmoil flooded into American lives far and wide this year. And while some repeatedly called for cooler heads, the riot at the Capitol underscored how others are not even close to moving on defeated in the fall election.

CUPP: The mission Donald Trump was on to turn American against America.

FOREMAN (voice over): Insisting he was cheated.

TRUMP: Make no mistake, this election was stolen from you from me from the country.

HONG: Just because you keep repeating something over and over and over. It's not going to make it true.

TRUMP: Most corrupt election in the history of our country.

FOREMAN (voice over): Donald Trump spent his last week as president impeached again, this time over the chaos that engulf the Capitol.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): President Trump is practically and morally responsible.

FOREMAN (voice over): Republicans even some who blamed him blocked conviction. But Trump still refused to take part in the inauguration of the new President Joe Biden.

BIDEN: I'm Joseph Robinhood Biden --

FOREMAN (voice over): Joins further scorn.

MONROE: The first thing that the aliens would come here and say was takes me to your leader. We're looking at one of the leaders that we had good guy.

TRUMP: We never forget 2020 just in case you have any questions, we're not forgetting.

FOREMAN (voice over): But since then --

BERMAN: I think the adherence to the big lie hasn't just lingered. I think in some cases, it's grown.

FOREMAN (voice over): Despite ending his term with one of the lowest approval ratings of any modern president, and no evidence to back his claims of election fraud, polls show Republicans remain overwhelmingly on Team Trump.

O'SULLIVAN: I think an unfortunate new normality is that firm, millions possibly tens of millions of Americans don't really have face and you know American democracy because they view the 2020 election as a sham.

FOREMAN (voice over): Accusations and suspicions between right and left invaded school board meetings drove deep wedges into Congress and even divided families.

CUPP: You know both sides believe the other is deranged and delusional. And that's incredibly dangerous.

MONROE: We're not a third world country. We are also not a dictatorship. But this is something else. And this is scary.

FOREMAN (voice over): Of course, the new administration, including Kamala Harris, the first female U.S. Vice President ever had other issues to tackle. There was the pandemic to manage the economic fallout and Democrats vowing to turn things around which was not so easy.

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, I mean, I, the Democrats are kind of blowing this moment.

KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: On this vote. The yeas are 69, the nays are 30. The bill as amended is passed.

FOREMAN (voice over): A rapidly developing rift between progressives and centrist nearly scuttled one of the best wins for the White House, the infrastructure bill.

RUSSELL: Sometimes simple decisions are made hard by other baggage that we bring into a situation or what's going on.

BIDEN: I was not extending a forever exit.

FOREMAN (voice over): And that came well, after the worst stumble by the new White House the calamitous exit from Afghanistan, following 19 years of war.

BERMAN: People agreed on getting out by and large, but I think they wanted to get out well.

CUPP: Joe Biden is not done. And one of the things he promised coming in was that unlike Trump, who would listen to experts and his generals, and he didn't, and I think we saw the results.

FOREMAN (voice over): Worse numbers for the president in a political sense, he's plunging approval in the polls amid what some see his mistakes, economic struggles and fierce attacks from Republicans, many calling his presidency illegitimate.

O'SULLIVAN: If you're seeing that on your social media feed every day, eventually, as it continues to wash over you some of its going to sink in.

FOREMAN (voice over): Plenty of elected officials also bought into or refuse to call out even the most outlandish conspiracy theories.

HONG: It's one thing when people are popping off with insane theories on Facebook, and it's another thing when those people are now elected officials.

RUSSELL: Social media is a scary place.

FOREMAN (voice over): Most unsociable behavior that goes to Facebook for saying it would do more to control the flow of fake stories and hateful postings the company changed its name to Meta but left many who wanted more unsatisfied.


O'SULLIVAN: Because we heard from the Facebook whistleblower Francis Hogan, on how the company really knows a lot of the ugly stuff that can happen on its platform.

FOREMAN (voice over): Facebook said the whistleblowers' claims were misleading.

RUSSELL: There's freedom of speech, and people don't want to be muted. But hate speech is not free speech.

HONG: I swore off Facebook and I was so proud of myself and then I learned that they also own Instagram and I was like, damn it.

FOREMAN (voice over): The left right wars played out over a rapidly changing battlefield as coast to coast Republicans leaned on redistricting plans to favor their party. Democrats do it too. But the GOP holds a majority in more states.

BERMAN: That means all things being equal, they will regain control of the House just on redistricting alone. That's the power they have.

FOREMAN (voice over): The GOP also pushed a slew of efforts to combat virtually non-existent election fraud to sharply curb abortion rights to resist mask or vaccination mandates and to punish even lifelong Republicans who balked at riding the Trump Train.

CUPP: The party has completely flipped on things like protectionism and family values and lowering the debt and the deficit. All the things that used to orient the Republican Party now don't matter at all, because of one guy.

FOREMAN (voice over): Many are watching the Supreme Court closely to see how it might rule on some of these issues. As Democrats in Congress tried to force testimony from GOP insiders about how the insurrection came to be none of it is making Biden's job easier.

BERMAN: However, once you're president, you're president. And as time passes, you've got to own the situations and the challenges that come up. FOREMAN (voice over): And many political analysts say the next challenge could well be a fresh attempt by Donald Trump to run again to take back the presidency he lost.

TRUMP: We will make America great again.


FOREMAN: When we come back the worst kind of quarterback sneak the best run into the open and don't touch that remote.




FOREMAN (voice over): In the big world of sports, the best news for everyone sick of Tom Brady winning Super Bowls with the New England Patriots came when he took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. The best quarterback now 44 has so many championship rings, he's running out of fingers.

BERMAN: It's honestly insane. It's not normal. And there are just no superlatives that can describe what he's done in football.

RUSSELL: He's a living legend. He's an icon. I mean, he's doing something that in my lifetime will probably never be done.

FOREMAN (voice over): Worst fumble we could give it to all those packed college stadiums roaring with COVID denial.

O'SULLIVAN: At some point over the suburb I think a lot of people said as Chris, and you know the world got back to normal for a lot of folks.

FOREMAN (voice over): But the award goes to Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, who was asked if he had been vaccinated?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm immunized.

FOREMAN (voice over): Then months later admitted he had not received a COVID shot and let into his critics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I realize I'm in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now.

FOREMAN (voice over): He sort of apologized but --

CUPP: Yes, fame and money don't make you smart.

FOREMAN (voice over): Raiders coach Jon Gruden was rocked by reports of improper emails. In a statement he said I never meant to hurt anyone. But he resigned anyway.

HONG: Rule number one if you're going to be a trash person, don't put it in writing.

FOREMAN (voice over): Best irony, Raiders defensive in Carl - have made history as the first openly gay active player in the league.

RUSSELL: I loved them. Yes, he's a football player. Yes, he's playing at the highest level. Yes he's dang good. And he's also gay.

FOREMAN (voice over): In baseball, the best team was the Atlanta Braves hammering the Houston Astros in the World Series. But the best play at the plate came from Ohio give it to the Guardians who aren't the Cleveland Indians anymore.

HONG: I mean it it's about freaking time.

FOREMAN (voice over): In hockey worse way to miss the net Canada got a team to the finals for the first time in a decade only to have the Tampa lightning mop the eyes with the Canadians taking the Stanley Cup way down south.

BERMAN: You know if there's one thing that I think we know about Florida is it's hockey.

O'SULLIVAN: Ice Hockey is OK because people are beating each other up in their head. Basketball, basketball, I think is the most entertaining of the sports in America.

FOREMAN (voice over): And speaking of the NBA, the Phoenix Suns brought high hopes to the finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, but --

MONROE: I was glad to see the underdog come on out and shake it up.

BERMAN: And Milwaukee needs to win because I can't think of any other reason I would be talking about Milwaukee right now.

FOREMAN (voice over): The Summer Olympics were the best.

O'SULLIVAN: It was nice actually have that I think big sporting events to follow along with.

FOREMAN (voice over): And they were the worst too.

MONROE: I thought the stress that they put on those athletes was unbelievable. We were in the middle of a pandemic.

CUPP: I didn't watch any of it. It made me anxious.

FOREMAN (voice over): The pandemic wreaks havoc on the grand plans.

HONG: I felt so bad for Tokyo. They built all these new venues and arenas and then nobody could go it was like Jake Gyllenhaal not showing up to Taylor Swift's 21st birthday party.

FOREMAN (voice over): Best way to strike a balance. Legendary Gymnasts Simone Biles bowed out of the Olympic finals over mental health concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't want to risk the team a medal kind of my scrubs.

FOREMAN (voice over): Echoing a similar move by tennis star Naomi Osaka at the French Open.


RUSSELL: I applaud it not only for her but for all athletes to know that hey, it's OK to take a step back from the sport that you love so much, you are more than just what you do.

FOREMAN (voice over): Most disturbing mystery what's really going on with that Chinese tennis star who accused a former Communist Party official of sexual assault? And the best athletes still grinding after more than a century give it to 105 year old Julia Hawkins of Louisiana who ran 100 meters in just over a minute, a new senior world record.

FOREMAN (on camera): When we weren't watching sports, the pandemic drove many of us to spend more time watching everything else. It was a very big year on the small screen where TV was getting its game on worst idea for a series in the pandemic which made for some of the best TV squid game.

HONG: Squid Game was the proudest that I have been to be Korean. And that is kind of messed up.

FOREMAN (voice over): The creepy survival series had a mixed reception.

RUSSELL: Visually it was stunning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not for me too dark.

FOREMAN (voice over): Both the show was a hit anyway.

BERMAN: It turns out a lot of people die in Squid Game. It wasn't the feel good story I was expecting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Ted last a Welcome Wagon has arrived.

FOREMAN (voice over): On the other end of the spectrum, best series of the year, the wonderful happy rollicking Ted Lasso.

HONG: The Ted Lasso has done more for soccer in the U.S. then David Beckham's but, and that is saying a lot.

O'SULLIVAN: I don't think somebody is nice as him would be tolerated in the world of English football. I'll just say that.

FOREMAN (voice over): Best reboot of a long ago favorites. The Wonder Years Kevin and his crew were out a whole new family was in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was 1968 the year I turned 12.

CUPP: I just love that concept. Because what was so great about The Wonder Years, which I grew up on, was that it was every family. It could have been any family and yet clearly it wasn't. FOREMAN (voice over): The best new season about the worst kind of people succession.

BERMAN: I don't watch succession. I don't need that.

FOREMAN (voice over): Other fan favorites.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does it feel to be the other woman plus yourself?

MONROE: I'm a big Queen Sugar fan. I like to hear the untold stories of just a common man. And you'd be like wow, and then you realize that we are so much more alike than we are different.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go down there and look around for clues you want to come.

O'SULLIVAN: I enjoyed only murders in the building. It was my kind of show.

FOREMAN (voice over): Curb Your Enthusiasm came back to enthusiastic reviews. You had a great run. So did sweet tooth. Cobra Kai, I may destroy you. And sex education.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm fine. Honestly.

BERMAN: I do think one of the trends on TV that I love is that being decent can be popular and being decent can be funny. I love that I need it.

FOREMAN (voice over): Reality TV continues to hold its own.

CUPP: I don't know if you know this about me, but I have a PhD in Bravo. And it was quite a year for Real Housewives in, in many ways.

FOREMAN (voice over): Best dramatization of a real life calamity, dope sick.

O'SULLIVAN: I feel like it's now we're really starting to learn the impact and understand the effect of this drug. And you know how it tore communities apart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The East Town Police department received a call reporting the dead body in creative Creek.

FOREMAN (voice over): The best show about people dealing with the worst news was Mayor of East Town.

BERMAN: The characters were just so compelling.

FOREMAN (voice over): Worst idea which worked out anyway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things change just like --

FOREMAN (voice over): Young Rock.

CUPP: We're all so obsessed with the rock that we will watch a fictionalized version of how he became the rock.

FOREMAN (voice over): Best idea that turned out even better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is our home now I want us to fit in.

RUSSELL: Oh my God, I have to talk about one division. It gave you moments of old time sitcom film mixed with kind of like this marvel fantasy spin. It is amazing.

FOREMAN (voice over): And best pandemic project of them all. Bo Burnham's wildly inventive inside. That alone may have been enough to justify the best or worst trend depending on how you see it the wild proliferation of streaming services taking over the TV universe.

RUSSELL: Right now I have Hulu, Disney Plus and Netflix, Amazon Prime Paramount Plus peacock HBO Max Apple I pretty much have all of them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you know I think that's the wave of the future we had to adapt to the future.


FOREMAN: Our future still holds plenty. Stay with us and hang on tight for what's coming up. We'll be taking a trip far away; checking in on Britney's Great Escape and watches this ship. It's all the best although worse.



FOREMAN (voice over): The billionaire space race tops are looking at big moments in science, technology and culture with SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin all carrying private passengers up and back. It was the best for some.

CUPP: I cried every time and I had my six year old watch with me to see just how amazing this is?


FOREMAN (voice over): For others.

RUSSELL: I have no feelings on billionaires whatsoever.

BERMAN: Space is undeniably cool but sometimes I wonder - I wonder if we're making more of it than we should.

O'SULLIVAN: Welcome back to the world Jeff Bezos. We missed you for those 90 seconds you're gone. FOREMAN (voice over): Meanwhile, a NASA rover landed on Mars and another robotic probe prepared to ram and asteroid, take that humans. Back on Earth the worst failure to launch was Jeopardy search to replace the late great Alex Trebek. After a lot of guest hosts, the executive producer chose himself to host the syndicated version, then stepped aside in the uproar after offensive comments of his resurfaced.

HONG: What is a dumpster fire for 300?

FOREMAN (voice over): Also stepping aside from each other, - although their celebrity divorce seems uncertain at this point.

MONROE: The only thing I can say about that is good. What took you so long, good God?

FOREMAN (voice over): Best escape from the worst situation after 13 years of court freed Britney Spears from the oversight of her father.

CUPP: I think the free Britney movement which has ended well at least in terms of ending that conservatorship was also important and making us reconsider how we treat our especially female celebrities.

FOREMAN (voice over): Oprah takes the prize for best Q&A for her sit down with the Former Royals Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex.

PRINCE HARRY: I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side.

MONROE: I admire her for taking the reins and controlling his family and controlling his destiny. But unless you know that that black girl magic is real.

FOREMAN (voice over): Worst hash-tag hot back summer.

CUPP: Way I'm married and be I still doesn't want anyone to touch me or to be near me. So no, no, it was not hot back summer for me. It was still stay the hell away from me.

FOREMAN (voice over): Best way to stay away from others; the booming video game industry, which was expected to generate between 175 and 180 billion in revenue this year. That's much more than movies or music.

RUSSELL: I think technology was very much geared towards what we could do inside and at our homes that we normally maybe went outside for.

HONG: Video games were like the only way we could socialize.

FOREMAN (voice over): Worst joke, Dave Chappelle's comments about trans people which sparked an outcry even as some came to his defense, especially after he agreed to meet his critics.

MONROE: People will make mistakes, we're human, you will make a mistake. FOREMAN (voice over): Worst club meeting, the QAnon crowd that gathered in Texas expecting the return of John Kennedy and John Kennedy Jr.

O'SULLIVAN: A lot of this stuff does boil down to loneliness. And there is a really grace warm feeling if you think that you understand something and you have insight into something that nobody else understands.

FOREMAN (voice over): Most popular baby names Olivia and Liam.

BERMAN: I'm sure Olivia is after Olivia de Havilland. As far as Liam goes I guess Liam Neeson. I guess people forget how bad Phantom Menace was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is the path, the dark side.

FOREMAN (voice over): Merriam Webster's word of the year was Vaccine. Our number of the year is 332 million. That's about the U.S. population and it's growing with a death every 11 seconds, but a birth every nine seconds.

The worst eight, the eight hours an average American kid now spends in front of a screen each day. That's double what it was before the pandemic and worse number for many Americans trying to stay fit 39 that's the percentage who gained weight amid all the COVID limitations and irritations too.

MONRO: Angry, frustrated, stuck in house. May disgruntled Karen fan joy; it was a lot and then all these crazy Karen's coming out.

FOREMAN (voice over): The worst and best thing to combat all of that this year TikTok.

HONG: People have created entire new careers off of TikTok and I am here for it.

FOREMAN (voice over): And the best worst parking job of the whole year that ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal backing up global trade.

CUPP: Everybody jumped in with a suggestion like have you tried baby oil? How about prune juice that stuff really gets things moving?

O'SULLIVAN: Look the guy had one job. He had one job.

FOREMAN (on camera): Our job here like 2021 is about done but sticks around as we go over one last important item our wishes for next year.



FOREMAN: As difficult as this year has been so many of us have held on to hope that the pandemic will fade, our differences will ease our future will brighten. So to close it out, we've asked our guests their wishes for the coming year. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HONG: My wish for next year is that it's nothing like the last two years, please, we can't take it anymore.

O'SULLIVAN: I wish for 2022 maybe just people calm down, maybe calm down a little bit.

RUSSELL: My wish for America is to end racism.

CUPP: I wish for less politics. I don't think politics in fusing everything is making us smarter, happier, healthier, or better people.

BERMAN: My wish for 2022 is an end to the exhaustion that we just wake up refreshed from the ridiculous chaos that we've now been through for basically two years.

MONROE: Acceptance and understanding will make this America the greatest country that it has ever been. Those are the two things that are needed right now. So accept me and understand me because I accepted and understand you.


FOREMAN: That is indeed at least something to strive for. Thanks to all of our guests and thanks to you for watching for the entire team at "Anderson Cooper 360" and CNN worldwide. I'm Tom Foreman, wishing you all the best and none of the worst in 2022.