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The Overlords Pick Their Single Favorite Pop Culture Things of 2018

By Dustin Rowles | TV | December 31, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | December 31, 2018 |


The assignment? Name your favorite movie, show, episode, moment, article, tweet, YouTube video, or sporting event of 2018. This is what the Overlords arrived at.

Kayleigh Donaldson — In a year where there was so much TV to watch and so little time in which to watch it, I still found myself re-watching season 2 of Big Mouth as if it was an Olympic sport. Crude, deeply hilarious, delightfully progressive and jam-packed full of the year’s funniest television moments. Maya Rudolph saying ‘bubble baths’ shall go down in legend.

Ursula ScullyKilling Eve is perfect. A female intelligence agent chasing a gorgeous psychopathic killer? Sold. But having Sandra Oh’s character, Eve, attempt to calm a dying Polish murder witness by whispering “będzie dobrze” to her (Polish for “everything will be okay”)?! That was absolutely gut-punchingly brilliant. Nothing else this year comes close.


Kristy Puchko — With a killer wardrobe and an alarming charm, Villanelle (Jodie Comer) was the perfect gift to women who harbor a dark love of true crime. She wears a smile that’s a threat, a literally killer hairpin, and a big pink dress that’s a big (and cute!) “fuck you” to the patriarchal controls that would confine her. She’s the brilliant, bold, beautiful, and brutal epitome of female rage so many women needed in 2018.

Roxana Hadadi — BEARS were perfect this year. Paddington, of course, delightful and optimistic and thoroughly convinced of the goodness of humanity. Tuunbaq in AMC’s underrated The Terror, a monstrous polar bear tied to the Inuits who were dismissed and disrespected by British explorers, and who exacted increasingly bloody revenge upon them for desecrating their lands. And, the one that gave me the most nightmares — the soul-stealing bear of Annihilation, my favorite film of the year, the one who keeps what it kills. Spooky shit! I’m creeped out right now!

Mieka Strawhorn — How about 3 words. Zendaya is Meechee.

Dustin Rowles — The more I think about it, the more I appreciate how incredibly well-executed the sequel series to 1984’s Karate Kid is. Robert Mark Kamen took an iconic film villain and without fundamentally changing the character, made him hugely sympathetic simply by providing him with depth and dimension. Cobra Kai turns Johnny Lawrence into the underdog but does so without assassinating Daniel LaRusso’s character, and along the way, it weaves in a new generation of characters. While every other reborquel feels like a glorified remake, Cobra Kai uses the same formula to tell a completely different story. I love it, and while it may be sacrilege to say this, I think I like Cobra Kai better than the Creed movies.

Kate Hudson — I truly enjoyed that the truth is finally reaching the general masses. For too long, my friend Jason, the people we know on certain sub-sub-subreddits, and I have been steadily building the case that there is a world beneath our oceans, where giant sharks roam free, and where they are not subject to the natural order of things. When the Meg finally unleashed the truth this summer, we cheered. While I was disheartened to note it wasn’t treated as a scientific movie, I’m glad someone finally exposed what’s really going on in the ocean.

Hannah Sole — Was there a better character arc this year than that of Gareth Southgate? The England football manager went from ‘that guy who lost a penalty in the Euro 1996 semi-final’ to full-on national treasure status with his polite, kind-hearted approach to management — whilst single-handedly reinvigorating the waistcoat industry, inspiring legions of grown men to sing an Atomic Kitten song in the stands, and demonstrating the purest of all platonic hugs: the Southgate Hug (patent pending).


Dan Hamamura — The Martin Tidy scene in Patriot starts 17:50 into the third episode of season two (“The Guns of Paris”), and is six minutes of absolute perfection, despite being comprised mostly of Michael Dorman walking through Paris and a song (which is also called “Martin Tidy,” and sung by Dorman). Each viewing of the scene brings with it a new detail missed previously, or a new layer to a joke, which is why I may have watched this scene many, many times. A standout moment in an absurd, brilliant, hilarious show. (Seconded by Lord Castleton and Seth Freilich)

Seth Freilich — Because Dan has already covered my true favoritist entertainment thing of the year, I’ll veer in an entirely different direction. The death of Anthony Bourdain was a fucking gut punch to many of us, and was one of the few celebrity deaths (along with Freddie Mercury and Adam Yauch) that hit me in the deepest core of my being. Of the many great pieces that were written in the wake of his suicide, this one by Drew Magary (get better, man!) is probably my favorite non-Pajiba internet writing of the year. It’s a fitting tribute to a man who seemingly led the life we all wanted, yet couldn’t outrun his own demons. The Last Curious Man

Joelle Monique — There’s rarely an opportunity to know you’re experiencing history as it happens. But I knew sitting in a theater next to my little brother, whom I introduced to comics, in front of an 84-year-old veteran, who read the first issue of Black Panther while serving in a war, surrounded by hundreds of fans in elaborate costumes, beautiful gowns, and assorted African garb, that we would all remember the first time we saw Black Panther.

Jodi Smith — It should come as no surprise to anyone that Deadpool 2 is my pick. It took the idiocy, the crudeness, and ridiculousness of the first movie and jammed a downed electrical wire into its ass. Long live Wade Wilson and let me know when the third movie is on its way.

Petr Knava — 2018 was a year of culminating misery and rising fire. We all took comfort in whatever scant joy we could scavenge in the desolate wasteland. For me, that happened to be a YouTube channel Lost in Vegas , featuring two articulate, hilarious, insightful dudes exploring the broad, twisted landscape of classic rock and metal that I hold so dear. Whatever you do, George and Ryan, you keep those Black Sabbath reactions coming. I’m gonna need ‘em in 2019.’

Brian Richards — There are many things to say about Sharp Objects, but the one thing it demanded, not asked, of you is that you pay attention. To Camille, as she struggles with every demon she’s been carrying since childhood that continues to leave scars on her, in the literal and figurative sense. To her mother, who expresses love and affection as only she knows how, which only causes nothing but pain and suffering. And to Amma, who is determined to show her family and the town she lives in that she’s a good and innocent girl, when the truth is that that she’s anything but. The final scene between her and Camille, as well as the mid-credits stinger that shows us a brief glimpse of Amma’s true face, continues to chill me to the bone long after I’ve seen it, and if you had any doubts that Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson are two of the very best actresses on the planet, prepare to have those doubts silenced.

Lord Castleton — The final dash of the women’s team sprint freestyle cross-country skiing competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang is a moment I’ll never forget. Americans Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins held their own throughout the race, but when Diggins took that final turn, neck and neck with perennial powerhouses Sweden and Norway, there was an electricity in the air. The US had never won a medal in cross country — ANY medal — but on that day, they reached down into a place only great athletes can and brought home the gold. It was a shocking and glorious victory and a testament to the beauty of underdogs, the power of discipline and preparation, and a reminder of the enduring magic of sport.

Tori Preston — Whenever the continuing 2018-ness of 2018 really got to me, only one thing helped: pulling up .gifs from Janelle Monáe’s “PYNK” video. Whether it was the dancing pussy pants, or Monáe birthing Tessa Thompson from those pussy pants, or that butt shot, or all the women’s middle fingers raised in triumph, that video was an entire MOOD for me — a mood that was easily distilled into bite-sized moments of sheer perfection.

TK Burton — What if I told you that there exists a strange, fascinating, chaotic nexus where negro spirituals and black metal meet? That a bizarre future exists where slaves turned to the Devil instead of God and overthrew their masters? These are the questions and the future posited by Stephen Gagneaux, the brains behind Zeal & Ardor, and their 2018 album Stranger Fruit is one of those riveting works that can change the way you think about music. It’s a wild, complex, gritty and exhilarating dive into genre-bending and easily my favorite album of the year.

Emily Chambers — LeBron’s walking out GIF.


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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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