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Sex, Gore and TikTok: The Most-Read Culture Stories in 2021

The scariest part was that people saw this scene outside a house in the M Streets and thought that it could be real. One artist's Halloween décor was (again) our second most-read story of the year.
The scariest part was that people saw this scene outside a house in the M Streets and thought that it could be real. One artist's Halloween décor was (again) our second most-read story of the year. Steven Novak
In 2021, most museums, galleries and theaters finally reopened, but Dallas culture was not defined by the fine arts this year. Instead, it was all politics, reality stars and sex news. At least, those were the subjects that most interested our readers, according to our most-read culture stories this year, which we've compiled below.

10. A Ranking of the Real Housewives of Dallas Husbands By How Much They Hate It Here by Paige Skinner
Writer and RHOD historian Paige Skinner ranked the Dallas Househusbands by how much they hated being on the show. These ranged from "He Understands TV" to "He Is Literally Missing," judging by the men's visible enthusiasm for the spotlight — or whether they just sat in a corner quietly eating guacamole as the drama unfolded. Luckily, Bravo announced the cringe-fest will not be continuing, so the husbands should be just as relieved as the three people who were still watching that it's finally over.

9. Ted Cruz Tweets in Defense of Gina Carano and Gets Owned by Star Wars Fans by Eva Raggio
The Mandalorian actress Gina Carano seems to be intent on beating J.K. Rowling's record for the most problematic tweets posted per month. But one February tweet by Carano got Disney so fired up it nearly unfroze Walt's body. Carano was fired by the network when she compared her imagined persecution of conservatives to the Holocaust. Enter Sen. Ted Cruz, who tweeted in Carano's defense, disrespecting survivors and Princess Leia in a few short words. As usual, Ted seemed to be Cruzing for a good roasting, and Star Wars fans let him have it.

8. Local Tiktokers Declare Dallas a Dating Dumpster by Desiree Gutierrez
In October, TikTokers took to the site to name-check Dallas as a dating wasteland overrun by fuckboys, and that was not a compliment.

7. Chip and Joanna Gaines Donated to a Campaign Aiming to Stop Critical Race Theory by Paige Skinner
One of the most divisive issues of the year was whether critical race theory should be kept out of school curriculums. In the mist of the controversy, reality TV designers Chip and Joanna Gaines made a donation to Chip's sister, who was running for the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD school board as an advocate against critical race theory. It was a typically shabby-chic look for the couple.

6. Texas Police Chief With One Wife, Two Fiancées and a Girlfriend Arrested by Texas Rangers by Eva Raggio
Jason Collier, a police chief for a Texas Panhadle town called Stinnett, loves cats and taking long walks down the church aisle. Collier got himself two fiancées and a girlfriend while still married to an unsuspecting woman and was so committed to his three- or maybe four-timing love fest that he allegedly forged official documents to prove he was widowed before getting arrested by the Texas Rangers. And TikTok says Dallas has all the fuckboys.

5. A Woman Mispronounced ‘Buc-ee’s’ and TikTokers Are Telling Her To Kill Herself by Eva Raggio
In December, a Nebraska woman became the subject of online harassment after posting a TikTok of her family's first visit to Buc-ee's at a stop in Fort Worth. In the video, she jokingly mispronounced the chain's name as "Busey's." Let's just say the joke didn't land.

4. North Texans Turn to OnlyFans for Empowerment, Connection and Lots of Cash by Tyler Hicks
The pandemic recession inspired many people to turn to new ventures for cash. Locals told us how they made bank by creating adult content for subscription-based site OnlyFans.

3. If You're Looking for a Disturbing Series to Watch, Try the Truly Sick Little House on the Prairie by Eva Raggio
We hate to break it to you, but Little House on the Prairie is probably nothing like the sweet, wholesome show you remember. We rewatched the classic series and found ourselves thoroughly traumatized by its violence and horror. Forget gory crime shows and Game of Thrones; this is the most brutal show in the history of television. But please, for the love of Michael Landon, stop emailing us about this story and read it until the end.

2. Comedian Erik Myers Killed in Amarillo Just Days Before His Scheduled Show at Hyena's by Danny Gallagher
Rising Florida comedian Erik Myers was on his way to a performance at Addison's Hyena's when he was killed in a car accident. Local comedians described his death as a huge loss to the world of comedy.

1. After His Halloween Décor Prompted Multiple Police Visits, Artist Steven Novak Is At It Again by Jamie Vahala
In 2020, artist Steve Novak made international headlines after we wrote (in that year's most-read story, by the way) about his East Dallas home's Halloween decorations, which were so realistic and elaborately gruesome that several neighbors called the police. This year, Novak tried to outdo himself and succeeded with a bloody display that included body bags, a wood chipper and a dead body on his home's roof. 
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Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio