2018 has come and gone! While we have massive events such as Avengers: Endgame, the return of Mr. Robot and the new core Pokemon RPG to make this year an awesome one, this is the perfect time to reflect on what I thought was the best of the past 12 months!
Which film did I most enjoy? What was the best book I read? Which show on Netflix was my go-to binge? What TV show made a massive impact to me away from the online giant? These questions and more are about to be answered in the First Annual Singing Whovian Awards For Excellence And Quality!
Best Film – Avengers: Infinity War
This was not easy! 2018 brought us such gems as Black Panther, Creed II, Mission Impossible: Fallout and Bohemian Rhapsody which I am sure will all do well when it comes to the award season in the US. But, for me, the culmination of ten years in the MCU being presented in this epic movie could not be ignored.
Beginning with Thanos taking down the Asgardian refuge ship and killing half of those on board, we see him begin his quest to wipe out half of all life as he sacrifices everything to achieve this goal. Iron Man, The Guardians Of The Galaxy and the other Avengers all come out to fight in this film which truly is bigger than any other that has come before it.
Could you get a more sympathetic yet terrifying antagonist than Thanos? Has there truly been a better film series which has managed to bring together such a huge list of characters that fans have loved over the past decade? Anthony and Joe Russo show that Marvel Studios can not only create a brilliant film, but have truly made the biggest shocker since Luke Skywalker found out his Dad was Darth Vader!
Best TV show – Better Call Saul
Well, who thought this would happen? Could it be possible that the spin-off to one of the most successful TV shows of all time may actually be just as good or maybe even better than its predecessor? The tale of Jimmy McGill took possibly its most dramatic step this year as Jimmy has to deal with the loss of his brother and try to get his licence back to practice law.
With Season Four taking the biggest time jump so far, we see Jimmy and Kim slowly grow apart as the lives they live continue to divide them as the Saul Goodman persona begins to emerge as a force to be reckoned with. Kim tries to support Jimmy the best way she can, but can she possibly save him from the man he is destined to become?
While the couple may be on the rocks, we also get to see Gustavo Fring as he begins to grow his empire with the help of the fantastic Mike as he has to deal with the operations and tie up the lose ends. Also, as the series prepares for its fifth season, will we see the show eventually come up to Breaking Bad or even fully embrace a more sequel-based setting? I would like to see the show meet a satisfying conclusion with the chance to tie up all storylines for the man we have come to know as “Slippin’ Jimmy”.
Best Netflix Film – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
2019 may be the year we will get the new series of Black Mirror emerge on Netflix, but I can’t see many people would have expected this to emerge. A late Christmas present from the streaming giant was definitely welcome when Netflix announced that Bandersnatch was to premiere on the 28th December…but the biggest surprise was yet to come.
When the film premiered, it was later discovered that you could choose the path that the episode was to follow. Whether it was what cereal that central character Stefan would start his day with, what cassette would be blasting from his Walkman or even how you would finish a fight scene, Charlie Brooker has given us yet another classic.
While we may be waiting till later in 2019 for a full Season Five of the hit show, I can safely say that this special will keep many people entertained for hours while they attempt to get all the endings.
Best Netflix TV Show – BoJack Horseman
Can you believe we have already had five seasons of this fantastic series? BoJack Horseman is the perfect show to blend comedy, drama, speak about everyday issues such as anxiety and depression and also involve anthropomorphic animals who inhabit the world that is so similar to our own. If you’ve never seen the show before, its main star is a Horse-Man who used to star in a sitcom which was a big hit and he now gets by each day as a semi-functioning alcoholic with more mummy issues than Norman Bates.
Will Arnett continues to shine as the troubled star who has to not only deal with his own personal demons, but he also has to get through the loss of his mother in what is possibly one of the finest episodes of TV that I have ever witnessed. The supporting cast all bring their best performances in this season, whether its Alison Brie as Diane begins to deal with her split from Mr. Peanutbutter or even Rami Malek or Stephanie Beatriz for their roles as the workforce behind BoJack’s new series called Philbert.
I honestly could not have thought anything would have beaten season four of this fine show, but Arnett and the rest of the stars are all on top form. BoJack Horseman continues to tackle themes that many other shows would never touch, yet we seem to take it in just as much with these animated creations as we would if the people were real. Bring on Season Six!
Best Playstation 4 Game – Spider-Man
The PS4 has been possibly the greatest console to come out from Sony, with many games that push the boundaries of what we would consider the standard. In the last few years we have had Bloodborne terrify the masses, The Last Of Us bring people to tears and even the latest God Of War show that it just gets better and better.
Truly, the best of all these in my opinions is Spider-Man! The 2018 game which reinvents all we know about the wall-crawler and provides possibly one of the tightest and most enjoyable gaming experiences ever. The game looks visually amazing and it handles almost as well as a certain caped crusader and his series of games set around the famous prison based in his world.
While not the most original idea brought to the console, the execution of the title character and his world is just stunning. The story is indeed a unique one to any Spider-Man canon that has come before it and I am sure there will be millions of people eagerly awaiting the sequel when it his the Playstation 5 in the future!
Best XBOX ONE Game – Dragonball FighterZ
This is not a console exclusive, its not the biggest title of the year and it may actually not have sold super well compared to others, but I really really really loved this game. Taking on a more hand-drawn style that reflects the anime has really gone in FighterZ favour to produce the most exciting figher of the year.
While it has come out on the PS4 and also amazed me on the Nintendo Switch too, it is the XBOX ONE which sees it really shine with the 4K visuals on the XBOX ONE X and just bringing back the greatest memories of watching the show. When you get such seemless gameplay and beautiful art design like this, how could you not love it?
Including some great multiplayer options and a story mode from original creator Akira Toriyama is indeed the greatest strength of this game. It takes what has come before from titles in the Budokai and Xenoverse series and really puts you into the action in a way that has never been possible before.
Best Nintendo Switch Game – Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Was there any other choice? Octopath Traveler was a deep tale with some of the best music in video game history, the Bayonetta 2 port was so much fun to play through and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu was a fun nostalgic trip to Kanto and I loved throwing all my Meltan into the park. While these games scored high for me, I got my biggest joy from bashing buttons as I took either Kirby or Richter Belmont to victory against the 70+ challengers over them 100+ stages.
When this game was first announced, my only experience in the Smash realm was with the Wii edition in the late 2000’s. But with each Nintendo Direct, the excitement just kept getting higher. The idea of throwing these characters from countless franchises to see them fight it out on these wacky stages shouldn’t be so appealing, but it does work well.
Whether you play alone, with friends or with that pro online who kicks your arse every single time, you can’t help but love this game. It’s simple and complex at the same time. It is visually beautiful and straightforward to play.
Best Book – The Walking Dead Vol. 30: New World Order
I will admit, I haven’t read a lot of books that actually came out this year. The Walking Dead comic series has got a book edition every six months and never fails to succeed in terms of storytelling, intrigue and character development. For a comic that has been going for over 15 years, the concept is still as fresh as ever and the latest chapter has been indeed ambitious.
As Eugene leads the group to Ohio, the survivors are invited to a community that has many people within its walls, approximately 250,000. While the gang begin to learn about the people in Ohio, Michonne discovers that her daughter has come to this settlement and may still be alive.
Like any Walking Dead story, you find that it is the living characters that are dangerous and unpredictable. Where the story will surely only develop further in the next volume, it is good to see more characters enter the fray such as the unhinged ‘Princess’ and the Commonwealth’s governor Pamela Milton (not another Governor!!!!!). Bring on book 31!
That was my list, did you agree with any of my picks? Are you upset that I didn’t include Red Dead Redemption 2 on my list of games or that I left Venom out of the running? Let me know.
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove