Mike A. Bryan, A&E Editor
2018 was an eventful year, especially when viewed through a political lens. In the midst of the chaos, there were some entertaining gems that should be noted. From TV to streaming services to movies and music, here are some of the highlights of last year:
On TV, we were blessed with “The Good Place,” which as it turns out, isn’t about the “good place” after all. Led by Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, this comedy took many viewers by surprise and has continued to delight audiences new and old. “Atlanta” dominated and impressed viewers in its second season, and Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, managed to stay relevant with his hit single “This is America.” On the BBC, “Killing Eve” made huge waves and impressed watchers on both sides of the pond. Fans of “Breaking Bad” loved the spin-off “Better Call Saul,” while “Sharp Objects” on HBO thrilled and fascinated viewers. Of course there were many other shows, one of my favorites was “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” Not to be missed, “Brooklyn Nine Nine” made a surprise jump from Fox to NBC, pairing nicely with “The Good Place.”
In the streaming service world, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon created some incredible shows and movies. On Netflix, the movies “Bird Box” and “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” both got rave reviews, in addition to new episodes of the hit comedy “Bojack Horseman” and a new show about the lovely ladies of professional wrestling, “Glow.” Hulu didn’t disappoint, pleasing viewers with the original “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “I Love You America with Sarah Silverman.” Of course, Amazon had some hits as well, including “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “The Man in the High Castle.” Streaming services are becoming more and more common, with a number of new ones launching this year, including Disney and ESPN.
If you are a theater-goer, you may have enjoyed the Clint Eastwood movie “Mule,” his first outing in six years. Spike Lee made a triumphant return to the big screen with his controversial true story, “BlacKkKlansman,” a surprising tale worth watching. For action lovers, the “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” did not disappoint. If you are into drama, “A Star is Born” starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga was right up your alley. In the horror genre, “A Quiet Place” scared the noise right out of you. For comic book lovers, the sequel to “Deadpool” was just as funny and irreverent as the first. Suffice it to say, there was something for everyone in the theaters last year.
On the music side of things, Cardi B literally dominated the music industry in 2018, appearing on every possible album and soundtrack. Quavo from Migos had a similar year, recording multiple albums and guesting on tons of tracks from numerous artists. The Weeknd’s “My Dear Melancholy” enchanted his fans with a return to an earlier sound. Kanye West had a string of five albums, all released in the spring to much fanfare. In my opinion, none of the albums were that great, even though he managed to capture each artist’s style with whom he worked; “Daytona” by Pusha T seems to be the critics’ favorite. The albums may have had a better reception if Kanye had not been promoting Trump and saying stupid things like the “13th Amendment needs to be repealed.” Soundcloud rappers continued to dominate the hip hop scene, while Noname and Earl Sweatshirt put out excellent albums.
Overall, 2018 will go down in history as part of an ever-burning dumpster fire, but luckily artists and musicians were still able to put out some good work. If you missed any of the productions listed above, it is not too late to catch up, and we have some great things to look forward to in 2019. The movies “Captain Marvel” and “Toy Story 4” are sure to impress, while Chance the Rapper, Kanye West and Vampire Weekend all have highly-anticipated albums dropping this year. Keep an eye on The Current for up-to-date reviews of popular movies, shows and music. We promise to keep you informed.