My Best of 2018

This is completely subjective.

Is there anymore ire thrown at the rank ordered list of subjective responses to art? I’m going to throw my picks in here. These are not ranked and some of them didn’t even come out this year. I don’t care, so no need to point that out. I do wish I read more fiction, but hey that’s how it goes. Maybe at some other point I’ll do an academic reading list.

Big Mouth/Bojack Horseman

As I always say, I don’t watch cartoons because they are for children, until they are not. Bojack has always been good, and Big Mouth is very accurate about the trials of being on the cusp of teenhood. Both are pretty emotional, too.

Escaping NXIVM/The Gateway/Dirty John

I’ll take your murder podcasts and give you ones about cults surrounding wellness obsession. Oh, and one about a con artist.

Womp It Up!

It’s not worth explaining, but if you get it, you get it. This is a fictional podcast about spin off characters from another podcast. But it is genius.

Ruby Dixon (Ice Planet Barbarians)

I took a seminar on popular romance and while doing research, I came across this series and thought I would read it as a goof. Just as I was studying, the romance genre is not to be considered trashy or dumb, and these are some of the best sci fi books around. Sure, some of it is a bit contrived, like the only thing that survived on the ice planet from civilization is a chip that translates any language, and how the alien barbarians have anatomy specifically designed for human female pleasure but I’ll allow it.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

I love this book, it is about a horrible person, and she’s a woman, but the two are not related. Saying more about this book gives it away.

The Book of Etta

Not only was I lucky enough to read the first book, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, but we got a sequel. And I know the author IRL. If you are tired of dystopias about pregnancy, who cares, because this feels wholely original and is actually about queer people in post-apocalyptic times, which let’s be honest, will be true.

Eighth Grade

I can’t even THINK about this film without crying. It’s so painful and heartbreaking and a bit too close to home, and is their anytthing worse in life than being a thirteen year old girl right now.


Yes, it has flaws. Yes, the ending is ambiguous. But it was creepy and beautiful.


I’ve only watched the first two episodes, but it is everything I want in prestige cable. Mr. Rogers meets The Leftovers. Or something. Guess what, Jim Carrey is a great actor. And I am here for Catherine Keener in anything.


What the fuck is with kids these days? FIrst they think they run the town, then they uncover a prison scandal, open a speakeasy, and hunt down a serial killer. Not to mention the gang wars! It’s silly and stylistic and a great example of how a reboot or a reimagining should be: keep some camp value.

Destination Wedding

Finally, a romantic comedy starring people over 40 without jokes about how disgusting their bodies are. Mostly because it’s Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder who are beautiful, but it’s still nice. Also, Winona plays a “difficult” woman who is accepting for who she is and not made to change or feel ashamed. Also, I love a show that is truthful about how sex with someone for the first time can be quite awkward.


It’s a genre pastiche show disguised as sci-fi. I love the concept, I love the framing device, I love the pink lady supercomputer who wears lipstick.

One Day At a Time

I love a good classic style sitcom, especially one where the characters like each other.

Great British Baking Show

Prue Leith is a fashion icon.

Evil Genius

True Crime documentary about a very odd case and my only criticism is that they sort of exploit the woman’s mental illness, and constantly talk about how “she used to be beautiful.” Unlike other docuseries, they trim all the filler.

Andrea Long Chu

This was an academic that got caught up in the Avital Ronell scandal [read here] and emerged as an amazing writer and culture critic.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Duh. And justice for Shangela!

Ripannanicolesmith’s Instagram

Owensgranp’s twitter

American Horror Story

Everyone knows that Season 5: Hotel was the greatest, but I love this show through it’s worst, and honey, this season is a bit of a mess, but I’ll take this mess over anything about super powers.

Vanderpump Rules/SUP podcast

I’ve always loved the show, but then I discovered Lara Marie Schoenhal’s podcast and it’s what got me through rough times

Vice Principals

I love shows about teachers, but not about the actual teaching. Just when things get weird, they double down. I am here for any Danny McBride/Jody Hill combo.

Very Cavalleri

I live for a reality show where someone is supposed to be running a legit business and fails miserably. (See also: Tom Tom).

Before you tell me I am missing anything crucial, there is a LOT that I have missed this year, so here are things that I know people think I would like but haven’t yet seen:

Death of Stalin




The Favorite

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All content reflects my individual views and is not associated with any university, department, faculty, or students. Names and situations mentioned have been changed.