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It’s not easy saying goodbye to 2012. Whether we were cheering at The Avengers, dancing Gangam style, or tracking the bad guys on Homeland, this was a wild year for entertainment — and we’ve captured all the excitement for posterity in EW’s 2012 Best & Worst issue, on stands now. Want to debate the year’s greatest hits? Our critics’ annual top ten lists spotlight all the best movies, TV, music, books, games, and stage, from the edgy genius of FX’s Louie to the sugar-rush high of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. We’ve also come up with our list of Great Performances, honoring the artists — Jessica Lange in American Horror Story, Javier Bardem in Skyfall, Jennifer Hudson remembering Whitney Houston at the Grammys — who made 2012 so unforgettable. And we didn’t forget the jeers either: Our lists of 2012’s worst include clunkers like Christina Aguilera’s Lotus and Clint Eastwood’s Trouble with the Curve.

But don’t just take our word for how great 2012 was. This issue also includes special celebrity guest essays, including Magic Mike‘s Matthew McConaughey on baring it all onscreen, The Walking Dead‘s Andrew Lincoln on killing zombies, and Zero Dark Thirtyactress Jessica Chastain on playing the CIA agent who hunted down Osama bin Laden. Add we dish on all the most memorable moments in style, from Brad Pitt in that brain-bending Chanel No. 5 commercial to Lindsay Lohan in Liz & Dick.

To read EW’s full end-of-year coverage, pick up your copy of our 2012 Best & Worst issue, on stands today.