Yep. Another one of those entirely subjective list of great media to check out from the preceding year. This small selection comes from a longer list of what I consumed over 2018, and I hope you enjoy(ed) some of these, too.
Honorable Mentions: IDLES’s Joy As An Act Of Resistance, Noname’s Room 25, S. Carey’s Hundred Acres, Frankie Cosmos’s Vessels
10. Vitriola by Cursive (15 Passenger)
9. Longwave by Bonny Doon (Woodsist)
8. Animal Companionship by Advance Base (Run for Cover)
7. Verdugo by Richard Edwards (Joyful Noise)
6. Be The Cowboy by Mitski (Dead Oceans)
5. Blood by Rhye (Loma Vista)
4. Bark Your Head Off, Dog by Hop Along (Saddle Creek)
3. Future Me Hates Me by The Beths (Carpark)
2. Now Only by Mount Eerie (P.W. Elverum and Sun)
1. Sugar & Spice by Hatchie (Double Double Whammy)
10. Barry (Season 1)
I enjoyed this show, but not as much as a lot of others. The show is a dark comedy, but it never quite hit the right balance between wanting to be Breaking Bad and/or The Office for me. The writing felt uneven because of that, but the story is good and Bill Hader gives a performance I didn’t know he had in him.
9. GLOW (Season 2)
Betty Gilpin stole the season with her performance. GLOW’s episode inside an episode format (in episode 8) was one of the television highlights of the year. Kia Stevens also gave one of the performances of the year in the episodes based around Tammé’s trip to Stanford.
8. Maniac (Limited Series)
I had a lot of friends that loved this show, and I liked it. I had some issues with the pacing of the story and some of the general writing. Emma Stone and Jonah Hill each gave phenomenal performances, but the shifting tone of the show, its ambitiousness (which didn’t play out), and general pacing had some issues. If you loved the show, go read a Haruki Murakami novel for an even better experience.
7. Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 2)
I haven’t finished the second season yet, but this show is pure entertainment for me. I don’t think season two is as good as season one, but I just love being in this narrative world.
6. The Haunting of Hill House (Season 1)
Netflix created a worthwhile television version of the increasingly popular “intellectual horror” film genre of the past few years (Hereditary, The Babadook, etc.). The show struggles with pacing later in the season, but the overall journey sure was fun.
5. Daredevil (Season 3)
While this season of Daredevil struggled with pacing like most of Netflix’s Marvel shows, this is the best season of Netflix Marvel show since season 1 of Jessica Jones.
4. Succession (Season 1)
What happens when people become entirely consumed by capitalistic greed? This show. If you want a compelling character drama where you’re rooting for someone, stay away. If you want a satire that makes you want to burn it all down while laughing? Watch it now. Kieran Culkin steals the show with the most laugh-inducing moment of the year for me in the final episode.
3. The Great British Bake-Off (Season 9)
Amanda and I love this show, and this was easily my favorite season. Rahul is my favorite contestant the show’s ever had.
2. American Vandal (Season 2)
I can’t believe this show got two seasons, and I’m so glad it did. What a wild parody.
1. Killing Eve (Season 1)
Few shows grabbed me as quickly as Killing Eve. Beyond being a smart, I found it to be instantly fun, which doesn’t happen often.
THEY SHOT THE WHOLE THING ON AN IPHONE.
There have been plenty of movies that have taken place entirely on a screen at this point. This is the first one that has succeeded in my opinion.
8. Black Panther
This wasn’t my favorite movie of the year, but it was one of the most important movies of the year. Sure, it still falls into Disney’s rule over everything in media, and the pessimistic side of me sees it as a corporation profiting off cultural conversations happening around systematic injustice. Representation still matters though, and Black Panther rules because of that.
7. Sorry To Bother You
I don’t have anything to say about this movie. Just watch it. Go for a ride.
6. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
I don’t think interactive film or television will take over as the new norm or revolutionize media in any way. That said, Netflix’s Branch Manager system shows promise for future entries into this type of programming, and I’ll be generally excited to do one or two of them a year. I’d prefer to keep having people make storytelling decisions for me.
5. Isle of Dogs
It’s a Wes Anderson movie about dogs. Of course I loved it.
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story
I’m a huge Star Wars fan. This movie felt like pure fan service, and I was thrilled with it.
3. Eighth Grade
I couldn’t believe how much this film transported me back to middle school. Stellar performances all around.
2. First Reformed
Well acted, written, and deeply affecting. The questions the film raised have stuck with me, and the movie has some of the most memorable final moments in recent memory. This movie hit every beat for me.
1. Call Me By Your Name
I couldn’t believe this movie had a wide release in 2018. It feels like it’s been an essential watch for more forever. Similar to First Reformed, Call Me By Your Name had one of the most memorable moments closing moments of a movie I’ve seen. That said, it also had some of the most memorable moments of any film I’ve seen period. There are four or five moments in the film that set this film far above most things I’ve seen.