2018 Culture Review: the best of TV, Books and Music

Here’s my succinct cultural review of 2018. I have completely failed you regarding film this year though. My local independent cinema is my idea of church and I usually visit it several times a month, but for one reason or another- I just haven’t made it there for half the time I normally would. So, it just wouldn’t be fair to say which I think are the best films from this year. Onwards with music, books and TV though. I’ve been fully engaged with all of those as per.  There’s a longer playlist at the end of over 70 of the best singles and album tracks from the year for y’all.


Best Books I’ve Read This Year

5. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

4. This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay

3. Animal by Sara Pascoe

2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

1. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon 



Best TV Programme

10. Better Call Saul (ALWAYS excellent. Question is, is it now better than Breaking Bad?)


9. Save Me (You can tell Lennie James wrote this as his character has sex with three different women in it. It also happens to be very good)


8. Sharp Objects (All 3 of these actors are fantastic in this. Incredibly gripping. And the post-credits ending…)


7. The Good Place (Just lovely, heart-warming fun with a strong cast. Plus Ted Danson- 100% would.)


6. The Assassination of Gianni Versace (Darren Chriss’s chilling portrayal of Andrew Cunanan is phenomenal in this)


5. Glow (nothing but glorious 80s fun)

image (1)

4. The Bodyguard (I may have had a mini nervous breakdown watching this. Outstanding.)


3. Sally4Ever (not to be watched if you’re easily offended. However, if you’re not then this is essential viewing. Cringeworthy performances by an excellent cast)


2. This Country (perfect British comedy with a touch of vulnerability. KERRRRRRRRRRY! WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?)


1. Killing Eve (give both of these actors ALL THE AWARDS)



Best Album

5. The Blue Hour by Suede


4. Rebound by Eleanor Friedberger

Eleanor Friedberger_Rebound

3. Ruins by First Aid Kit


2. Chris by Christine & the Queens


1. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae


Top Ten Tunes

10. All My Dreams by Roisin Murphy


9. Dancing by Kylie Minogue


8. no tears left to cry by Ariana Grande

7. Girlfriend by Christine and the Queens


6. Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae

5. Paradise by George Ezra


4. I Am Woman by Pink Martini


3. Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now by Amanda Palmer & Jasmine Power


2. Edge of Town by Middle Kids


1. Missing U by Robyn


Honorary mention & best music video: This is America by Childish Gambino. At times shocking and difficult to watch, the symbolism used in this video and Donald Glover’s artistry and social commentary are exceptional.

So, you know the score. Which song, album and/or TV programme are your favourites from this year? And please, please let me know which have been your favourite films that you’ve seen this year. I have a lot of catching up to do.

And here’s an extended playlist of my favourite songs from 2018.

See you next week for my Top Ten Tunes from 1972!


  1. thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany · December 28, 2018

    The first time I watched the video for Mr Weinstein will see you now, I couldn’t stop ugly crying. It was, and still is, so very profound and moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really haven’t heard much new music this year so going to give your 2018 playlist a listen! Read three out of five of your recommended books though, and agree with loads of your top tv (although I’d put Haunting of Hill House, Westworld and the Halloween Inside No 9 in there too 😆)

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · December 28, 2018

      Oh yes Haunting is on my list to watch and dammit I think I missed that No. 9. Also, now on my list 👍🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My Mashed Up Life · December 29, 2018

    Very happy to see Roisin Murphy in your list – her singles this year have been amazing! Oh, and Janelle Monae is touring the UK in 2019… have you managed to grab tickets?

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · December 29, 2018

      She’s released some brilliant stuff this year, hasn’t she? Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to catch Janelle next year and I would so love to see her live too.


  4. fancypaperblog · December 29, 2018

    George Ezra and Killing Eve are my tops. Book- Elinor Oliphant was amazing. Save me was wonderful- I need to see more though

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · December 30, 2018

      I’m so glad you loved Elinor Oliphant too. I loved that character so much. I know, what you mean, there’s always SO much more TV to watch. I always feel like I’m behind and I watch a lot!


      • fancypaperblog · December 31, 2018

        They just keep making It!! (Thank god!). I loved Harold Fry too. Just finished The Cactus – did you recommend it to me? I cannot remember. I loved the main character, very like Elinor.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · December 31, 2018

        No, I didn’t, but sounds like that’s another I need to add to my tbr pile!

        Liked by 1 person

      • fancypaperblog · December 31, 2018

        I liked It!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. rachaelstray · December 29, 2018

    Killing Eve is on my to watch list. Sharp Objects was really good – have you read the book?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Manu Adams · January 1, 2019

    Thank you for the suggestions. Many are new to me. Will definitely check them out.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. After The Party · January 4, 2019

    I need to get into some of these TV shows- I don’t have the best attention span for movies, yet I can stay in bed and binge watch two seasons of a good show. Makes no sense! Also, there a few books on your list I need to pick up. 🙂 PS: I love everything Ariana Grande is doing these days. I don’t necessarily want to like it, but I just can’t help it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · January 4, 2019

      Ooh glad this list might be useful for you. Oh and I secretly (or rather not so secretly now), love a bit of Ariana.

      Liked by 1 person

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