Winston Churchill said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." He's right, in most cases. But for these amusing failures, we wish they would've quit while they were ahead.
Enjoy this light-hearted look at nine pop-culture fails of 2017.
Dallas restaurant Hot Joy? Not hot
Hot Joy had so much potential. The original restaurant in San Antonio was named one of Bon Appetit’s best new restaurants in 2014. When it launched a second restaurant in Dallas in April 2017, it seemed nearly impossible to fail. It was even located in the hot neighborhood of Uptown Dallas, and it was marketed as a temporary pop-up, which meant diners would have to go -- now! -- for fear it would close at any time. How’s that for buzz? Then came the buzzkill(s): It wasn’t well-trafficked, the food was hit or miss, and the Dallas Observer slammed it for its “cultural cluelessness.” Hot Joy was just not. It closed after three months. --Sarah Blaskovich
Starfest, the most infamous music festival to never happen in D-FW
Throwing a music festival is not easy, even for veterans of the biz. That’s why when Starfest, a new Plano music festival promising “A-list” headliners, announced its existence five weeks before the event was slated to take place, I had healthy skepticism. Starfest’s unorthodox “pop-up” approach included keeping the lineup a secret until the day of the event and charging more for those who wanted to be closer to the stage. Taking zero cues from the festival forebearers before it, Starfest’s potential was sucked into a black hole and it was canceled. The event will forever live in local infamy. --Tiney Ricciardi
Buzzfeed needs a Texas geography lesson
In April, Buzzfeed's new Austin office posted an illustration they claimed was a "100% accurate map of Texas." It wasn't. For one thing, the map didn't include Dallas or Fort Worth. The map placed Arlington in East Texas and Waco where Dallas should be. Austin-area attractions seemed to take up half the state, and a less-than-accurate drawing of baby Beyonce gave us nightmares. It had some cultural blind spots in South Texas and West Texas and left us all scratching our heads. We're glad Buzzfeed has decided to put down roots in the Lone Star State, but their first impression with that map wasn't the best introduction. --Charlie Scudder
Starbucks: Stop doing the frappuccino thing
Name a dumb pop culture trend and a Starbucks barista will make it into a frappuccino. No, don’t name a trend. We will:
The Zombie Frappuccino, a cloying, tart, green and pink drink that came out around Halloween that we called “truly scary”
The Unicorn Frappuccino, an offense to unicorns everywhere
The Fruitcake Frappuccino, which technically launched in 2016 but was stuck in our teeth until 2017. We’re counting it, cuz we’re still mad about how awful that thing was.
Starbucks, stop it. --Sarah Blaskovich
McDonald's wacky antics
McDonald’s tried a lot of clever PR stunts in 2017, and while they mostly succeeded in getting attention, they disappointed us in terms of value. It wasn’t just their controversial decision to bring Szechuan sauce back in (very) limited quantities as part of a Rick and Morty promotion. They also had the STRAW ("Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal"), a hook-shaped piece of plastic that was supposed to improve your experience when drinking a Shamrock Shake. (It didn’t.) There was also the frork, a “french fry fork” that made the act of eating fries more tedious. Hey, McDonald’s? In 2018, we’ll just settle for food. --Britton Peele
Morrissey, you’re a jerk
By the time Morrissey finally performed for us here in Dallas on April 15, he had canceled two consecutive concerts in the previous few months. His voice was lovely and his band was powerfully spot-on. And it's not that we were surprised, necessarily, by his formulaic anti-Trump preaching, or even the horrific footage of cattle slaughtering and police brutality. After all, much of this was Morrissey simply being Morrissey. Who knows, if he had bothered to offer a simple "I'm sorry about all the canceled shows, Dallas," maybe we would feel differently, but he didn't. So, leave it up to Morrissey to bury a fiery, majestic musical performance beneath a mountain of self-righteousness to the point where we almost wish he had cancelled on us a third time in a row. Almost. --Kelly Dearmore
Thanks, Texas legislature
“The Gifted,” an altogether serviceable Marvel Comics show on Fox, was supposed to be here. In and around Dallas, happily filming while we happily watched every week to see what parts of our city would show up. Alas, it was not to be. After shooting the pilot in Dallas, the production decamped for other, more hospitable (read: profitable) places. Blank face. The final indignity? Watching the pilot as obvious-to-us Dallas Police Department cars were dressed in Atlanta clothing. Look what you did, state legislature who refused to allow more incentives like filming-rich Georgia. Look. At. What. You. Did. --Dawn M. Burkes
Dallas' apparent gas shortage
The destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey affected Dallas in a lot of ways, one of which was that everyone fretted over gasoline. Yes, fuel was in shorter supply than normal, but the volume at which drivers rushed to the pumps to fill up made things a lot worse (and a lot crazier) than they might have otherwise been. At least we got some funny social media posts out of it, though. --Britton Peele
Central Track's State Fair slam
OK, we get it, Central Track: There's nothing cool or hipster about going to the State Fair of Texas, and that's the only thing that matters to you. But 24 articles dedicated to ripping apart one of Dallas' most beloved annual institutions seemed like overkill, especially when you end up sounding whiny instead of persuasive. And your readers noticed -- but hey, as long as you're getting those pageviews, right? Keep wasting your time writing slam pieces; the State Fair of Texas will keep giving out free tickets to the rest of us. --Sarah Kramer