When 2018 started—roughly 300 months ago, by our personal counts—it was with a certain air of trepidation. “How much worse can this get?” was the question reverberating off our Pedialyte-soaked brains at 10 a.m. on 01/01/2018, keeping us company as we stumbled out into the hideous light of day. And lo, but the year was kind enough to answer with a swiftness, offering a series of ups-and-downs that probably weren’t objectively any worse than a lot of the stuff that’s come before, but which carried a certain surreal edge to them that made the whole thing feel just a little bit more extreme.
But hey: You made it! If you’re reading this, we’ve successfully all converted yet another precious year of our lives into a sense of vague, occasionally painful optimism, a half-remembered litany of bad Kanye tweets, and probably way more opinions about pop culture than is 100 percent healthy for a happy human brain to cultivate. To celebrate, we’re taking today and tomorrow off (barring some kind of emergency, or a truly pressing demand to cap off this stupid year by thinking too much about Louis CK’s final, triumphant transformation into the world’s shittiest, loudest, drunkest uncle), all the better to recharge our batteries for 2019, which will probably be, you know, fine.
If you find yourselves missing us, though, you’re in luck: We’ve compiled a whole bunch of 2018's highlights (and occasionally also its festering craters of suck) into our year-end coverage, allowing us all to bury our heads in the cool, blissful sand of film, music, TV, games, books, and just general cultural assessment for yet another year. Cheers, and never forget that y’all are a big part of what made the last 364 days bearable for those of us tasked with trying to keep tabs on it. We’ll catch you back here in 2019.