A&E’s top ten of 2018

Movies, albums, brussels sprouts — and everything in between.

by Maddy Folstein

2018 was the year of Ariana Grande’s chart-toppers “Sweetener” and “thank u, next,” blockbuster hits like “Black Panther” and “Incredibles 2,” buzzy TV shows like “Killing Eve” and so much more. In other words, it’s hard to summarize the year in just ten cultural moments, but we’ve done our best. 

Here are A&E’s favorite things we saw, listened to, wore and even ate this year — in no particular order:

Samir Ferdowsi’s picks: 

A BATHING APE’s 25th Anniversary collection

Crazy to think that the Japanese brand has been around for so long — and they’re only going to rise more. Their “BAPE XXV” collection pays homage to their home in Harajuku, Tokyo and other stores around the world. That is why the collection is fire. Integrating the classic camo pattern with cities like “Seoul” and “Los Angeles” makes for a unique and historic piece of streetwear.

Head in the Clouds” by 88rising

The most underrated album of the year — and my personal summer go-to. With popular acts like Joji and Rich Brian, the tape has clout. But with underground (at least in the U.S.) acts like NIKI, Higher Brothers and Keith Ape, the record label features predominantly Asian artists and shines for it. “Beam” is my go-to single on the album, but just hit shuffle and your ears will definitely be on cloud nine.

Maddy Folstein’s picks:


Of all the movies I saw this year, the underrated “Annihilation” has stuck with me the most. Based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, the trippy film follows a group of female scientists who are sent to explore the Shimmer, an iridescent, cosmic form that has taken over a section of a coastline. What unfolds inside is terrifying — and hauntingly unexplained by the end. 

Be the Cowboy” by Mitski

Mitski’s latest album, released in the waning summer weeks, is full of heartache and longing. Still, “Nobody” is so easy to dance to that it’s almost easy to forget that Mitski is singing about being alone. “Be the Cowboy” is a glittering, complex collection of songs, one so personal that you’ll want to hold it close to your heart. 

Ksenia Gorinshteyn’s picks:

High As Hope” by Florence + The Machine

This album was the soundtrack of my summer. I was never an avid Florence + the Machine fan, but I took a chance on the album and it transformed me. I would listen to it during my commutes, when I read or did anything around the house. The songs “June,” “Sky Full of Song” and “No Choir” beautifully combine Florence Welch’s poetic lyricism and the band’s full orchestral sound, making you feel like an actual forest fairy.

Hysteria” by Crooked Media

The “Hysteria” podcast is a candid and humorous take on political news each week. The show is hosted by Erin Ryan and a rotating group of women who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. Each episode is about an hour long, and it’s a great way to catch up with the week’s news. They always make sure to end on a positive note with a segment they call “Hills I’ll Die On.”

Liv Martin’s picks:

“Beautiful Boy”

In 2017, Timothée Chalamet wooed us with his mad acting skills and charisma in “Call Me by Your Name” and “Ladybird.” I didn’t think it was possible to be more impressed by the 22-year-old actor. Then, I saw “Beautiful Boy.” I went to the theater with the knowledge that the film would be heartbreaking, but I did not anticipate bawling through a good 75 percent of it. The acting felt so real, and the love and pain portrayed felt so pure. I can’t think of another film that left me so emotionally drained yet so fulfilled. Go. See. It.

“Dirty Computer” by Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe is the musician our generation needed and deserved. She is a fearless queer feminist and above all, an incredibly talented musician. I will always love two music videos accompanying her “Dirty Computer” album: the videos for “Pynk” and “Make Me Feel.” As a woman, seeing “Pynk” for the first time felt revolutionary. Monáe was not afraid to show imagery about vaginas and sing about self-love, sexuality and power. Her video for “Make Me Feel,” which shows her dancing with both male and female suitors, truly pushed the envelope and was a strong message for women to embrace their sexuality.

Sophia Vilensky’s picks:

Stormi Webster

After a rough December/January refreshing the Instagram pages of many a Kardashian, reprieve came in a YouTube video: “To Our Daughter.” Stormi Webster was born February 1, 2018 to parents Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner. Did you see the photo of her at the Target Center last week? A national — and now local — treasure.

Restaurant Brussels sprouts

We have no data for this, but 2018 was the year of Minneapolis restaurants hopping on the Brussels sprouts train (or the year of us discovering them). The Blue Plate restaurants’ brussels with goat cheese and local honey, World Street Kitchen’s caramelized sprouts with fish sauce, the charred brussels sprout salad at Martina and Tilia’s ham and walnut variety were among the best.