The 17 Biggest Pop Culture Comebacks of 2015
The Year's Biggest Comebacks
From pop stars and heartthrobs to fan favorite shows and film franchises, 2015 was filled with familiar faces making their way back into the spotlight.
It’s been almost a decade since JoJo had to "Leave (Get Out)" of our lives due to label disputes, but she came back stronger than ever in 2015 by releasing a collection of three, mature R&B tracks in a “tringle” entitled III. Though she's put out a few songs and mixtapes since the 2006 release of her second studio album The High Road, the singer has finally come back to the mainstream spotlight with new songs and videos in 2015, proving she still has one of the strongest voices around.
For almost all of the ‘90s, The X-Files ruled TV as one of the most beloved supernatural shows ever. Sadly, it was cancelled in 2002, and although fans did get a movie in 2008, it’s been years without Mulder and Scully. However, in 2015, Fox announced that The X-Files will be back next year for a six-episode event. The truth is still out there!
The X-Files wasn't the only fan favorite show to get a revival announced in 2015 — everyone's favorite fast-talking mother and daughter duo will be back on television next year as well. Eight years after the series finale, Netflix announced that they would be releasing four new exended episodes of Gilmore Girls in 2016.
The Mad Max franchise
In 1979, a dystopian film about insanely over-the-top vehicles introduced the world to Mel Gibson. Mad Max remained a major movie franchise throughout the first half of the '80s, but then ended after three films. However, Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron revived the franchise in 2015 with the acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road.
She had us at "Hello." After her album 21 topped the charts and critical lists in 2011, Adele took a lengthy break from music to focus on herself. Towards the end of 2015, she surprised everyone by releasing one of the most beloved singles of the year, "Hello," and a record-breaking new album 25. Next year, Adele will continue her reign with a European and North American tour.
Wet Hot American Summer
The absurdist summer camp parody film Wet Hot American Summer was jam packed with megastars without even knowing it back in 2001. Although the film became a cult classic, nobody would imagine that that superstar cast — including Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Meloni, and more — would ever be able to get back together after all establishing themselves as highly sought-after actors. Thankfully, Netflix did what we all thought was impossible and got the cast back together for an eight-episode prequel series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day At Camp.
Unlike most of the others included on this list, Biebs never really left the public eye for all that long. Rather than a comeback from obscurity in 2015, the year actually gave Bieber a comeback to respectability in the eyes of many. For the past few years the singer has been a tabloid magnet for his bizarre antics and legal battles, but he took a step back and reinvented himself this year. Beginning with a celebrity roast on Comedy Central, the singer purged all the negativity of his past and moved from the tabloids to critics' lists with the release of his chart-topping album Purpose.
After a life-threatening car crash put comedian Tracy Morgan in critical condition last year, it was unclear whether he'd ever be able to make the world laugh again. Thankfully, the Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock funnyman recovered from his coma in 2015, and wasted no time showing everyone that he's still one of the greats by hosting SNL, announcing a stand-up tour, and even being named one of Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating People of 2015.
Who would've thought that Full House would be "everywhere you look" 20 years after it ended? Not only did Lifetime air The Unauthorized Full House Story in 2015, but Netflix also announced the revival of the beloved '90s sitcom with a new series starring almost all of the show's original cast. If you're keeping track, this is the third instance on this list of Netflix reviving a classic show or movie.
Sure, all the Full House stars are having a comeback thanks to Fuller House, but none more so than John Stamos. In addition to the Netflix reboot, Stamos has returned to his network sitcom roots in the new Fox comedy Grandfathered. Although he's had some recurring television roles in the past few years (and of course those Greek yogurt commercials), 2015 marked a notable return to the spotlight for Stamos.
The Jurassic Park franchise
The Jurassic Park movies took a huge bite out of the '90s, giving a dino-obsessed public one of the most beloved sagas ever. At the beginning of 2015, there hadn't been a Jurassic Park movie since 2001, but Jurassic World proved that the franchise was far from fossilized. The 2015 installment grossed over a billion dollars internationally, and the success has already spawned a fifth film to be released in the summer of 2018.
Okay, yeah — Madonna never really went away for too long. As an icon spanning decades in the entertainment industry, the pop star never stopped being a household name, but she did step back from the limelight after an incredibly busy 2012. And three years without Madonna is basically an eternity. In 2015, Madge stormed back to prominence by releasing ther thirteenth album Rebel Heart and taking on yet another world tour.
It's the little cult comedy that could. As early as its third season in 2011, Community fought NBC tirelessly against cancellation. Thankfully, the show made it to six seasons (but not yet a movie) against all odds in 2015. NBC cancelled the series after season 5, but Yahoo! stepped in to save it, bringing it back for one more season.
Before this year, Hilary Duff's last major TV role had ended in 2004, and her last studio album was released in 2007. But Duff burst back into the public eye in 2015 with a new album and new TV show. Duff's fifth album Breathe In. Breathe Out. debuted this summer with singles "Sparks" and "All About You." She also landed a lead role on TV Land's new comedy Younger alongside Sutton Foster.
Who would have thought it would be Kanye West and Rihanna to introduce a legendary Beatle to a whole new generation of fans. Paul McCartney has given frequent performances and has continued to release albums into the 21st century, but it wasn't until he collaborated on two songs with West in 2015 that he got the public to pay much more attention to him. The pair's first collaboration "Only One" was released on the very first day of 2015, but it was their genre-bending "FourFiveSeconds" with Rihanna that became a massive hit.
Christian Slater was one of the biggest movie stars in the late '80s and early '90s, but at the turn of the century, he was getting much less work. He continued acting in smaller roles, until he finally made another big break in Mr. Robot, one of the most acclaimed new series of 2015. The role earned him his first ever Golden Globe nomination.
Mad Max and Jurassic Park weren't that only major movie franchises to get new life in 2015. Ghostbusters (1984) is considered one of the most beloved comedies ever made, and inspired the sequal Ghostbusters II in 1989. It's been over a quarter of a century, but in 2015, Paul Feig revealed his cast for an all-female Ghostbusters film due out next year: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.