“It’s harder than ever to hear music in a vacuum,” write Hannah Giorgis and Spencer Kornhaber. “In this info-swamped era, the sound coming out of the speakers will be processed in the context of broad stories (uh oh, is this song about Robert Mueller?) and personal ones (uh oh, is this song about my ex?).” The most indelible television shows, films, podcasts, and books of 2018 are colored with that same bleed of political and cultural significance.
50 best podcasts From a series about the history of conversion therapy in the United States to the jaw-dropping story of the neurosurgeon nicknamed Dr. Death, to a return to the events that led to then–U.S. President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998, these most well-crafted shows of 2018 will keep your road-trip playlists spinning for a long time. → See the full list.
17 best films “While 2018 was not a big year for big films, it was a big year for smaller ones. Yes, A Star Is Born was a major hit, and deservedly so. But the bulk of the movies on our two critics’ lists were not Hollywood Oscar bait but intimate fables meticulously told.” → See the full list.