Best Of 2018

Best Of 2018: POLITICS

Politics can be Man’s highest calling or the dirtiest business known to Man … and sometimes it can be both. In 2018, we saw the heights (and depths) to which politics (for Man is a Political Animal) can ascend (or descend) to. Indeed, this was a whirlwind year for domestic, international, and local politics. In the political arena, each citizen has a voice — and during 2018, all our voices were raised as one, together in an American chorus, singing that old familiar tune: DEMOCRACY.

It’s pretty interesting, when you think about it: Politics is the art of the possible, and any citizen can make a name for him- or herself by entering politics. Does that mean the art of the possible lies dormant within each of us? Sounds hard to believe, but it’s true. And that’s why, no matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, at the end of the day, we’re all Americans and we love politics … because who knows what’s possible? Everybody can get along if they have the same values.

So in the spirit of Democracy, let’s put aside our partisan difference, come together, and cast our ballots unaminously for the TOP TEN POLITICAL STORIES OF 2018:

10. Stunning political developments

9. Political outreach

8. Bipartisanship

7. Voting

6. “According to my thesis, the tax cut plan will effect the economy in many ways”

5. Let’s put aside our politics

4. (TIE) “The President will make an announcement” / House of Representatives on C-Span

3. Can we find a solution?

2. Inspiring political stories

1. “Ask not what about your country” 

Best Of 2018: TELEVISION

From breaking news to prestige cable dramas, if 2018 was the Year Of The Television, then what a year it was! Television is, more than ever, how we connect with each other, all of us cast as recurring characters in the syndicated episodic series known as life … the most expensive show ever made, because it literally costs as much money as all the money currently in existence! (Just being silly while I kick of my lists, but it’s interesting to think about.)

In all seriousness, the TV Industry continued to show strong signs of growth this year. We saw industry leaders like CBS and FOX repeatedly make gains, while upstarts like NETFLIX and ROKU elevated a once-humble medium into a cultural and commercial juggernaut. Artistic boundaries were expanded, even while bedrock principles remained steadfast: “Entertain the audience;” “Let’s use TV cameras;” “If we can get a new commercial sponsor, our show will be profitable.” 


Some say we are living in a Golden Age of Television. After giving this my full consideration, I tend to agree. Think about it: Some TV shows are even more complicated and frustrating than movies, while other TV shows help us see outside our own experience so we can understand what it’s like to be somebody we don’t want to be. All these elements add up to a new era defined by something I have decided to call Televised Excellence. We shouldn’t take this new era (“Televised Excellence Era”) for granted … because if we do, it might slip through our fingers — like a remote control when our fingers are greasy from eating POPCORN!

Let’s celebrate the year that was in Television without any further commercial interruption. Here are the TOP TEN TELEVISION SHOWS OF 2018:

10. Sci-fi shows

9. Sitcoms

8. Murders

7. Live televised events

6. (TIE) Incredible dramas / Shows about animals

5. Educational programming

4. High-budget shows

3. “Did you see that TV show everyone’s talking about?” “Yeah it was pretty good.”

2. Binge-worthy shows

1. The Emmys


10th Anniversary Of My Year-End Lists: A Comprehensive Essay


Here are my year-end lists for each of the past ten years:

Best of 2008

Best of 2009

Best of 2010

Best of 2011

Best of 2012

Best of 2013

Best of 2014

Best of 2015

Best of 2016

Best of 2017

(For each page, read from the bottom up)


Simple question: Do you remember what you were doing ten years ago?

Another simple question: Ten years ago, did you change the world?

I’m proud to say that I can — and always will — answer “Yes” to both these simple questions.

Simply put, ten years ago, in December 2008, I began a tradition unlike any other. A new tradition that has since stood the test of time, gone toe-to-toe against other traditions … and left them gasping for air with blood streaming out of their noses. A tradition that has made the internet a better place than ever before.

Ten years ago, I started my year-end lists! 


I must admit that I did not invent the tradition of year-end (sometimes called “year-in-review”) lists. Indeed, I have admitted this before, in a now-classic essay on the matter that I wrote exclusively for my web site. However, in the ten years I’ve been making these lists, I have elevated this humdrum practice into a higher form of intelligence. In fact, I have yet to see ANYONE or ANY PUBLICATION do a better job than the job I am doing when it comes to summing up the highs and lows of a year via lists.

BestOf2018_sickOnion A.V. Club year-end lists? Forget about it. They SUCK

Time Magazine year-end lists? Funny you should ask: They SUCK

Pitchfork Music Website year-end lists? Press “mute” on your speakers …. because they SUCK

New Yorker Magazine year-end lists? Don’t make me laugh … or even SICK … because they SUCK

New York Times year-end lists? Hmm, so I guess you wanted to see me barf after all

In fact, I would put my WORST year-end list up against a major publication’s BEST year-end list and wager my list would come out on top. That’s how confident I am in my lists.

It feels good … to make something you’re proud of. And therefore it feels good … for me to make my lists.


“Has it already been ten years?” Think about how different our online world was back in 2008. There wasn’t youtube probably. And twitter maybe had started but wasn’t as popular as it is now. Facebook was around, but who cared? Same with Roku (TV) and iPhones (Apple computer phone). Blogs were the king of content, and many bloggers looked to me as a game-changer. (Granted, this was not simply due to my lists; there was also a general excellence factor that I was happy to promote and embody.) It was within this media ecosystem that I began my lists in 2008, with a simple list of the BEST FOODS OF 2008:

1. Broccoli
2. Cheese
3. Flour (I was loving flour this year!)
4. Beets
5. Eggs
6. Popcorn
7. Yams
8. Spinach
9. Ice cream (DUH! Still one of the greatest foods)
10. Animal legs

 Things only got better from there, as I spent the next DECADE paying close attention to every element of society, culture, politics, trends, and the human experience in order to definitely quantify them at the end of every year. With ironclad judgment and a brilliant mind, I was able to transform the overwhelming, unmanageable chaos of reality into easily digestible lists that could be read exclusively on (my web site). And that, my friends, is wonderful … I don’t need to put it on a list, you know it’s true in your gut.

For example, take a look back at this list of the BEST PALINDROMES OF 2012:

10. “Obama, mama I’m mad-O!”

9. “Boehner’s taxes ax a hen’s orb”


7. “2012’s sis is 2102″

6. “Olympics legend dealt gel to pics o’ Mylo”

5. “Lady Gaga is googoo for Coco Puffs, a gag ydal”

4. “Mars Rover drove to rams over Ma’s oven”

3. “POOP”

2. “Kim Kardashian annihilates darkish milk”

1. “Joe Biden is just bidin’ his time”

Reviewing this list now, we notice that the entire year of 2012 has been simply and elegantly captured in these palindromes which can be read backwards and forwards.


imagesAs I have proved above, my lists are the best. It has been said by poets and historians that “The Best Will Someday Not Be The Best Anymore,” but it’s my hope and intention to prove that false in the highest degree. How will I achieve this? By continuing to bring my readers the highest-quality lists on any media platform, without fear and without favors, focused only on celebrating the best elements of each year (in a given category that will be the focus of each respective list). “Have I got your attention? Good. Now PAY ATTENTION EVEN MORE” because what I’m going to say may surprise you: I have no intention of stopping or not doing my lists every year. I realize that these lists are a holiday tradition unlike any other, an extreme form of joy and release for many of my readers — perhaps even you! A wise man once said, “With great problems come great responsibilities,” and since the problem of my lists are that they are so enjoyable, the responsibility that I have is, simply, to make more enjoyable lists.

Why is this significant? Because we live in a world of flux. A world of change and disruption. What is here today, may be “gone tomorrow.” Amidst this every-flowing landscape, my lists will stand tall, like cliffs above a churning sea. 

And so, without any further ado, it is my great pleasure to once again bring you my year-end lists!


David Rees

“The King of All Lists”