By Max Godnick
With just a few days left in the year, Cheddar decided to take a look at the best and worst of what 2018 had to offer.
The year was filled with headline-grabbing moments and stories that played out on the big, small, and streaming screens. A star was born, the world caught another case of royal wedding fever, Disney got Foxy, and Megyn Kelly proved she is definitely not a morning person. With more content at audiences' fingertips than ever before, Hollywood entertained and intrigued throughout what could wind up being a watershed year for the industry.
Here are our favorites.
#5. Rosambien: In March, ABC's reboot of "Roseanne" drew ratings the likes of which are rarely seen on traditional broadcast TV anymore. The premiere episode drew 18.2 million viewers ー a four-year high for any network comedy ー and convinced the industry that the secret to recapturing 1990's-sized primetime audiences was pandering to television's neglected demographic: Trump supporters. And then, Roseanne took an Ambien. Two months later, the show was off the air, after its star compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape on Twitter. Barr tried to explain the gaffe away by saying she was under the influence of sleeping pills at the time ー but Bob Iger had heard enough. On May 29th, the network officially cancelled the hit series that had briefly seemed poised to put broadcast television back on the map. Now, the reboot is back on the air, only without its titular star, and still earning strong ratings. But Roseanne's biggest legacy is the [full-on reboot revival] (https://cheddar.com/videos/hollywoods-reboot-revolution) it inspired ー Murphy Brown sends her regards.
#4. Mr. West Goes to Washington...and Beyond: What a year it was for Kanye West, who was equal parts rapper, politico, and prolific Twitter beefer in 2018. Two years after promising a 2020 run for the White House, the musician turned designer realized the man he'd be running against might actually be his biggest fan. What started with 240-character endorsements of the president on Twitter quickly turned into MAGA hat photo shoots, TMZ meltdowns, and the most talked-about Oval Office encounter since 1998. Along the way, West released an album to at-best tepid reviews, made the rap world choose sides between him and Drake, and welcomed the newest addition to the West-Kardashian-Jenner dynasty. Notably though, it was his wife, Kim Kardashian, who made the real political impact this year ーsuccessfully lobbying President Trump to grant clemency to a 63-year-old woman serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug conviction.
#3. The Streaming Wars Get Serious: Netflix's spending spree continued, Amazon entered the ranks of prestige TV, and Disney set out to turn the digital world into its own Magic Kingdom. The streaming wars reached new heights in 2018, as Hollywood continued to awkwardly grapple with what counts as a "movie," even as the streamers' march to the awards podium seems more and more inevitable. This year, Netflix broke HBO's 17-year-streak as the most-nominated network at the Emmys, but it was Amazon that won TV's biggest night when "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" swept the major comedy awards. But Ted Sarandos has loftier goals ー which is why he finally made the controversial decision to release original movies in theaters to better their chances at the Oscars. Now "Roma" has the look of a Best Picture frontrunner just one year after the Cannes Film Festival banned the platform from competition. But Netflix ($NFLX) won't have much time to chill. Disney unveiled its Disney+ service one year ahead of its late-2019 launch, and Apple ($APPL) continues to drop star-powered press releases announcing upcoming shows and movies by the day. But when or where we'll actually get to watch those projects ー we still have no idea.
#2. Inclusion at the Box Office: Wakanda Forever ... and ever, and ever, and ever. "Black Panther" is now the ninth highest-grossing movie of all time ー a far cry from one year ago, when industry forecasters were skeptical about a lesser-known superhero getting his own standalone movie. But any doubt quickly dissapeared when the film became a legitimate cultural phenomenon that challenged industry preconceptions about blockbusters, franchises, and who counts as a bankable leading man or woman. Now the movie is the first surefire Oscar contender to come from the realm of capes and cowls. But "Black Panther" was only one part of a year-long renaissance of diversity on the big screen that saw "Crazy Rich Asians," the first Hollywood film with a majority-Asian cast in three decades, make $238 million on its road to reviving the romantic comedy. Now a mixed-race Spider-Man is swinging his way to the top of the box office in "Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse," with female-led superhero movies and "Black Panther" sequels ready to save the day in 2019 and beyond.
#1: #MeToo: One Year Later: Oct. 5 marked one year since The New York Times published its Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé into dozens of sexual harassment allegations made against Hollywood super producer Harvey Weinstein. The story launched a movement that proves to be as strong as ever heading into its second year. More powerful men in the entertainment industry saw their empires crumble following claims sexual misconduct claims ー none more notable than Les Moonves, the now-former CBS chief, who became the latest entertainment titan to be taken down by Ronan Farrow's investigative journalism. The year also saw some of the men accused in 2017 make clumsy attempts at comebacks. Louis C.K. returned to the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village, New York to a chorus of critics, some of whom walked out of his multiple performances. Almost one year to the day after the birth of the movement, the referendum reached its climax when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of Congress against now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, putting the movement on a global stage for all the world to see.