2018 was the year that time stretched long and thick like evil taffy. Maybe the crumbling of American democracy had some kind of cosmic effect on it, but it felt this year felt like three...and a half. Thankfully, the year was crammed with great television, movies and music. From Black Panther (yes it was released this year) to HBO's Succession to the return of Christina Aguilera, the entertainment got us through it.
With that said, Hollywood definitely tried it in too many ways, and here’s hoping they will stay in the endless nightmare-chasm that was 2018. Here are 8 entertainment trends that should stay in 2018...
Canceling Brooklyn Nine-Nine | Fox wouldn’t be Fox if it didn’t make shitty programming decisions. In May, it cancelled Brooklyn Nine-Nine--the Andy Samberg-led sitcom that’s an uproarious spoof on police movies. Not since Fox cancelled Pitch has such a cancellation felt like a swift kick in the stomach, because Nine-Nine is a brilliantly funny, diverse, and timely take police procedurals that that skewers the cliches of the genre as much if not more than it honors them. Samberg is a woke cartoon. And Andre Braugher’s Emmy-worthy work as Captain Raymond Holt has redefined the definition of the straight man. Thankfully, NBC swooped in and revived the show less than two days later. The new season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine premieres on January 10th at 9/8c. Bingpot!
Antiquated Soap Opera Writing | Call me old fashioned, but I’m a sucker for a good soap opera. It's great daily entertainment, melodramatic scenery-chewing performances, whackadoo plots and fabulous outfits. With only four soaps left on air, it’s admittedly a dying genre of television. The reason being is that the most soaps are still written with the same lady-swooning sentiment that it was when they were first conceptualized more than fifty years ago. Currently, on The Young And The Restless, matriarch Nikki Newman is in a coma, and even though her children on by her side, she was “saved” by the soul power of her philandering, rape-facilitating, law-breaking husband, Victor. And don't get me started on how ugly and ridiculous the male characters are acting because a women became the CEO of cosmetics company.
Things aren't faring much better on General Hospital. The great Jason Morgan (Steven Burton) returned to Port Charles after being held captive for five years, and hasn’t exhibited physical or emotional trauma from having his memory stolen or missing five years with his wife and now five-year-old son, save for some yelly, aggressive tantrums and action-movie antics.
Horrible things exist in the world, and it’s expected that characters will be good and bad, and everything in between. If only soap operas would embrace modern, messier times and how women navigate them while finding the power in love the way Outlander has managed to do despite taking place two centuries in the past, it just might resurrect the genre.
Not Giving Shine To Candice Patton | On The Flash star Candice Patton is the heartbeat of the show. The leader of Team Flash, Barry Allen's wife and a reporter in her own right, Iris gets shit done, (super)powered only by black girl magic. Sadly, The CW superhero show doesn’t fully take advantage of all of Patton’s talents. She’s the only member of the Team Flash without superpower, and even more strangely, the show never acknowledges that she is black (despite the racist bullshit the actor has dealt with since she was cast as the originally white character). As an actor, Patton is capable of so much more, and I’d love to see her talents fully on display in a smart Netflix rom-com or drama, something that fully acknowledges her beauty, fierceness, intelligence and black womandom.
Evil Snapping | Not since West Side Story has snapping been so trendy and ominous in entertainment. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos, the MCU’s dumbest villain since Ultron (Killmonger FTW!), snapped his ashy purple fingers, half of the universe disappeared, including my beloved Bucky, a begging (TEENAGED!) Peter Parker, and T’Challa. What has since been dubbed The Snappening rendered the last ten minutes of Infinity War one of the most emotionally devastating minutes of film since the End Of Watch. The Snappening has rippled through entertainment, and popped up in other shows, like the mid-season finale of Supernatural. Let’s leave the evil hand gestures in 2018, and stop traumatizing me.
Disrespecting Wakanda | Black Panther was one of my favorite movies of 2018, and one of the main reasons is because of the culture and spirit of Wakanda. It’s the only part of the world that’s been untouched by colonization. The spirit of Wakanda is one of inclusion, shared riches and a vibrant African culture. It's like Narnia, Hogwarts and Middle Earth for black folk! Of course the second Wakanda revealed itself to the rest of the world, evil shenanigans descended before they could even get a Panera. Wakanda and its citizens were besieged by evil aliens all because the Avengers wouldn’t kill their own...robot?. Now its king and its princess are missing. Wakanda happy ending is that? 2019 better be the year Wakanda is restored to its royal dopeness.
Remakes and Reboots | In September, I cringed and eye-rolled and rage-tweeted my way through an unnecessary remake of Magnum P.I and disturbingly corny and white reboot of Murphy Brown. With today’s technology, improved production values and increased ways to consume content, the need to constantly entire seasons of dated shows is ridiculous. This goes for movies as well. Disney has spent the last five years making live-action films of its old movies, which are just Westernized, sanitized of fairy tales. Recently, Entertainment Weekly previewed thelive-action remake of Aladdin, starring Will Smith as the Genie. It feels like a horrible spoof on a movie that holds such a special place in my heart, partly, because of the late Robin Williams’ legendary performance, but mostly because of the fried moppy mess they made of Mena Massoud’s gorgeous curly hair. Though I wouldn’t mind a badass remake of Highlander: The Series, I'm fully a member of Team NO MORE REMAKES.
Trying to Make The Real HouseWives Of Orange County Happen | The Real Housewives of Orange County is the flagship of the long-running franchise. However after 13 seasons--all of them with the vile, screamy hosebeast that is Vicki Gunvalson at the helm--it’s time to either abandon ship or recast...the masts. Sorry, there’s only so many sailing metaphors I know. The last two to three seasons of RHOC has need a combination of violent boredom and manufactured hijinks that renders the show nearly unwatchable, even for late Saturday morning standards. Soon-to-be Papa Cohen needs to either scrap the entire current cast or take a looooooooooong break. SSG recommends launching the long overdue Real Housewives Of Chicago to take its place.
Not Casting Tessa Thompson In Everything | One of the benefits of 2018 being so long is that it was the year of Tessa Thompson’s excellence. From Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer music videos to Creed II to Sorry To Bother You, Thompson has proven to be an uber-talented and stunning addition to any cast. Hopefully 2019 will find her reprising her role as Valkyrie in Avengers: Endgame, kick alien ass in the Men In Black: International reboot and stun in roughly 73 other movies and TV shows. With Viola Davis. And Joshua Jackson. Written by Shonda Rhimes. Directed by Ava DuVernay.
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.