8 cultural institutions we said goodbye to in 2013
In many ways 2013 was a year of birth and renewal. The Catholic Church selected a new Pope, the first from South America. Will and Kate welcomed little Prince George. And Justin Bieber grew a mustache.
But 2013 was also the year we bid farewell to many franchises, musical acts, television shows, and more.
Here are eight cultural institutions that won't be around in 2014:
The final season of AMC's hit drama came to a close in one of the most talked-about series finales ever. On Sept. 30, millions of viewers tuned in to say goodbye to Walter and Jesse — which was perfect timing because it gave them a month to mourn and perfect their Heisenberg Halloween costumes. Fans who still haven't quite recovered from burying Breaking Bad can look forward to a spin-off in 2014; Better Call Saul, which follows Walter White's wonderfully skeezy lawyer, is in development.
After a near 30-year reign, the video rental giant officially closed last month. Like choker necklaces and Beanie Babies, Blockbuster had come to feel like an antiquated relic of the 90s, before finally crumbling under the weight of streaming video.
Film's longest love story
In May, Before Midnight, the closing chapter in an unlikely trilogy, premiered to great critical acclaim. Before Sunrise debuted in 1995, introducing two young lovers, and picked up again with Before Sunset in 2004, several years later in the storyline. The staggered pacing of the three films let audiences follow a romance from its exciting inception to its complicated denouement.
The Jonas Brothers
In October, the Jonas Brothers announced their split after 10 years of Disney-propelled success. The band canceled their tour and posted online four studio recordings from their never-to-be-released album, V. In a revealing interview, Joe Jonas told New York, "I didn't care about the money; I just wanted to figure out the right, healthy way for us to be good as a family."
The Amazon of illegal drugs
The FBI shut down the highly advanced — albeit short-lived — online black market in October. Silk Road went live in 2011 as an anonymous marketplace where users could purchase illegal drugs with the virtual currency Bitcoin. FBI agents arrested Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind, who operated under the pseudonym the Dread Pirate Roberts.
In May, viewers said goodbye to The Office after nine seasons of laughs, awkward moments, and "that's what she said" jokes. The Emmy-winning series actually tanked its first season, but by the following season it had become NBC's highest-rated scripted series. It even managed to survive for two seasons after Steve Carrel's exit in 2011.
My Chemical Romance
The emo pop-punk band announced their breakup in March after 12 years and four studio albums. The split seemed to be amicable. Lead singer Gerald Way wrote in a break-up letter, "There was no divorce, argument, failure, accident, villain, or knife in the back that caused this, again this was no one's fault, and it had been quietly in the works, whether we knew it or not, long before any sensationalism, scandal, or rumor."
The McDonalds Dollar Menu
On Nov. 4, the Dollar Menu as we knew it ceased to exist. Despite inflation (and the fact that you have to do some pretty suspect things to sell a burger for 99 cents) McDonalds had maintained the Dollar Menu since 2002. But the champion of the "value menu" strategy officially put the model to rest, replacing it with the "Dollar Menu & More," which offers items from $1 to $5.