When you really think about it, the summer months are pretty much as bad as it gets. It’s oppressively hot, most great TV shows go on a hiatus, and if you don’t live near a natural body of water, your days are likely spent staring blankly as your air conditioner cools you until autumn. However, despite the scorching temperatures outside and the endless Friends marathons playing on TV Land inside, the 24-hour news cycle never stops, and this summer gave us a handful of stories that we’ll be talking about until we’re putting up the Christmas tree.

Between scandalous politicians, a royal baby, and the death of a TV legend, the past four months have been filled with highs and lows that got water coolers buzzing and social media chirping. So as we fire up the grill, break out the hoodies, and say goodbye to the summer over this Labor Day weekend, we’re taking a look back at the season that was by thinking about What We Learned from Pop Culture this Summer.

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