2014 has been quite a year for One Direction. Nonstop touring, releasing a new album, another ridiculously long (and adorable) live stream, and, most recently, another appearance on Saturday Night Live that culminated in a dance party with Kristen Wiig. It's been way more impressive than my year, and I went to Disney World and Disneyland, so that's really saying something. Now that the year is over, though, it's time to grade One Direction. They've broken records, sold an insane amount of albums and concert tickets, and they're collectively the most adorable five people on the planet. Should be an easy A across the board, right?
Not so fast, because obviously creating a report card for One Direction is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. If I gave them good grades without merit, all of the other boybands would expect me to do the same for them, and that's just not fair. So I'm grading them in several different subjects: touring, their album, their dating lives, their tweets, their style, and their general adorableness. I realize they may be unfamiliar with report cards seeing as most of them dropped out of high school, but this is just the way it goes. The year ends, you get a report card. Sorry, boys.
Ready? Let's see how the guys did.
As someone who was lucky enough to attend one of their "Where We Are" shows — after spending an amount of money that is way too embarrassing to disclose on a ticket — I can give them an A on this subject after experiencing their tour firsthand. One Direction knows how to put on a hell of a show, including pyrotechnics and plenty of confetti being shot out of canons at the end. A highlight was Harry's awkward dance moves, which were ongoing for the entire length of the concert.
Now, let's talk numbers. Billboard reports that the tour made $290 million after 69 dates... meaning that 3.4 million fans got to see One Direction live and in the flesh this year. And that's amazing. Well done, boys!
As much as people truly loved Four, I did not. It just wasn't as good as their previous albums — especially not Midnight Memories, which is my favorite album they've ever done. Aside from the few songs I really did like, like "Act My Age" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?" the rest of Four was a total snoozefest and left me disappointed. Fortunately, One Direction cranks out CDs like iPhone updates, so the next one will be along shortly. Sales-wise, though, the album did awesome, as usual — it debuted at number one as expected and sold 387,000 copies in its first week... nothing to balk at, of course, but it's noteworthy that Midnight Memories sold 546,000. Yikes.
The dating lives of One Direction were relatively boring this year, but in my mind, boring is a good thing. I have this idea in my head that these guys are really solid dudes and would make awesome boyfriends, so I'm happy to see they aren't causing ~drama~. Zayn and Perrie Edwards are still (seemingly) happily engaged, and Liam is back together with his adorable girlfriend, Sophia Smith. And Harry? He's probably single, just the way I like him.
The tweets were OK this year — just not as funny as usual, and I'm sad about it. Fortunately, though, Harry was still happy to offer plenty of practical advice, like he did in the tweet above.
I'm so sorry, but because of everything Harry has been wearing this year, a D was unavoidable. What even is the shirt he's wearing in this picture? Also, way too much velvet in 2014. Way too much.
General Adorableness: A
They're One Direction. It's an A. What else can I say? Not only are all five of their faces nice to look at, but their personalities have a lot to do with it, too. And my fingers are crossed that they never change.
Visit our Year In Review Explore page for more stories about the best and worst moments in 2014, and enjoy the best sounds of the year with this Spotify playlist.
Image: Getty Images