End of Year 2018: Favorite Live-Action Work


Favorite Live-Action Work

Last year you may remember we had 3 categories about moving images: movies , tv shows and anime. This time we thought it’d be better to combine and highlight the similarities that make these works shine.

For Favorite Live-Action Work, we mean it can come from any region of the world as long as it incorporates primarily live-action elements, or in other words anything with a focus on using real-world images and actors captured through photography. These categories expand beyond any single language or format, this category includes: TV shows, short films, films and web video spanning from Hollywood blockbusters to foreign indie productions. This includes shows that debuted in 2018 and returning shows with new episodes in 2018. We want to inspire discussion about a medium that uses our world as a canvas to tell stories.

Discussion Thread

This category is not involved in our nomination/voting process and instead is all about discussing your favs!

Be sure to check the Q&A section below if you have questions, otherwise feel free to reach out to one of us! We hope you enjoy this event and we’re excited to see what sorts of discussion each category inspires!


Q: End of Year? What's that?

A: I’m glad you asked! Just head over to our pinned topic if you need a catch up! You can also find details on the process for the event here.

Q: What is eligible to be discussed?

A: Though we’re still largely looking for discussion of things that released in 2018, given that this is a discussion thread separate from the nomination process we’re happy to be a little more lax on items that might fall into a grey area. You’re free to use your own judgement with that, and to reach out to us if there’s anything you’re not sure of.

  • Thank you to @Emily for the banner!

End of Year 2018: Waypoint Community's Favorites

I am going to employ the eligibility clause around work release in my own territory here – I really loved The Shape of Water, which started showing in the UK on February 14 2018. I am sure the Americans among us got their fill of it last year, but I found it to be a poignant, sentimental, and beautiful film – it brought me to tears both times I saw it in the cinema and a home release would do the same.


Annihilation was probably the most striking film I’ve watched all year. I haven’t watched Mandy yet though. I’ve been too poor to really see a lot of any kind of media. My favorite, though it has had some missteps, is absolutely the newest season of Doctor Who. Who knew the best Doctor would be the woman one?


Shirkers was one of those movies that came out nowhere and stuck with me. It’s a documentary about a teenager in 1992 Singapore who decided to make a movie. Just as they finished one of her collaborators ran off with all the film, and she didn’t see it again for 20 years.

It’s beautiful and tragic and made me sad/happy nostalgic about the 90s.
(slaps forehead) forgot to mention it’s on netflix


Shoutouts to Shoplifters and Paddington 2, but the film that has gnawed at my brain the most this year has been Burning:

I could talk about the weight of class hierarchy that hangs over the entire film or just the technical aspect of how the story is delivered but I think above all, it’s an affecting portrait of three incredibly lonely and alienated people trying to connect. I can’t stop thinking about it.


Hereditary is the most I have been left shook to my core by a horror film since the first time I saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.


Mandy deserves recognition as being not simply the most emminent vehicle for the full spectrum of Nicolas Cage’s brilliance as an on screen performer, but also being without a shadow of doubt the single best execution of heavy metal style and aesthetic to ever be put out in a visual medium. It is a brilliant mind fuck that borrows from everything from 70’s prog. epics to grindhouse style 80’s thrash pulp. It is a god damn masterpiece.


Thank you so, so, so, so much for posting about this. I had no idea it existed (because Netflix is terrible at publicising its own great originals, apparently?) but it’s exactly the sort of film I love (and, indeed, I did). This was great.

I’ve seen so many people saying this latest series was a disappointment, and yet imo it’s the best Doctor Who has been in a while (I was never partial to the wider arcs and stuff though, it should be said; I felt them over-complex for a show that really does not warrant that level of complexity [not at least on that level]).


I haven’t finished it yet, but nothing else this year on TV has struck me as visually as Homecoming. It’s based on a fiction podcast, remade for TV by Sam Esmail of Mr. Robot, and honestly it’s fantastic… This is Julia Robert’s dark horse return to drama, if you ask me.

The framing around past vs. present is a creative style I haven’t seen before. It’s not quite 4:3, and it’s not quite cell phone length. It just feels… Unnerving. It’s giving me some serious C4’s Utopia feels. If this is what Amazon can offer, then I am hyped to see what their remake of Utopia is going to be.


Glad I could spread the word!

Something else that unexpectedly charmed me this year was the South Korean show Busted!, also on Netflix.

It’s a little hard to describe, a variety/game show hybrid with South Korean celebrity contestants ranging from comdians to K-pop stars. There’s also a plot where they are all detectives with chips implanted in their brains that give them special sleuthing powers? They have to drive around South Korea, solve puzzles and sometimes do Takashis Castle style challenges.
A lot of awkward semi scripted improv moments that I liked, a very silly and fun show.


I find the critical reaction to the homecoming show pretty fascinating. I listened to the podcast, and it pretty much never went past “yeah, this isn’t too bad” territory. i know obviously esmail is a good director, and that adds a lot, but its always been a bit shocking the reaction to it.

As for me, probably the most high quality piece of live action work is Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette I don’t think anything else really captured 2018 for me. A depressing, sometimes silly, mostly sobering piece on why comedy sucks. A piece that feels to me like a microcosm of the horrors and the oppression going on in everyday society that we smear over with things to make us superficially feel good, even though its terrible when you think about it.

Its not fun, i don’t ever really want to watch it again. But best? Yeah, its the best thing i’ve seen all year.


Couldn’t agree more with Mandy, it’s brilliant. Second Hereditary also as it’s the only film that has ever left me feeling so fragile, the emotional turmoil is next level in that film, I cant wait whilst at the same time dread to see it again.

Best of the year has to be This is America though, whilst maybe nothing massively original (check out Vince Staples videos) it hit the mainstream in a way it had no right too.


Stand up is in such a weird place and I have so many mixed feelings from that “set”. On one hand, besides Hari Kondabolu’s really great Netflix set, it was the only stand up set with mainstream budget and appeal from this year I could get all the way through, but on the other hand every time I typed stand up I thought about wrapping it in scare quotes because I’m not exactly sure what to call it. It certainly wasn’t funny or comedy for the most part and I don’t think I’ll watch it again, but I really related to a lot of the gender discussion in the “set”.

Stand up comedy is in a weird place. Most of the mainstream comedians I watched a few years ago have outed themselves as super shitty (Aziz and Louis C.K.), or having a hard time coping with the hell world that we live in. I’d rather watch people do podcasts live these days than any stand up set, and Nanette felt closer to that than a stand up set. I dunno. I hope we’re seeing the format change with stuff like that and Street FIght Radio live sets.


Yeah, I tried the first few episodes of the podcast and it seemed ok. The show is on a whole other level, I think.

Plus I just love conspiracy fiction, so that’s a plus.


It was obvious to me the first time I saw it that Annihilation would be Movie of the Year. Nothing else has really even come within striking distance either. It’s a beautiful and terrifying SciFi tale about a cancer upon reality itself. The world mutates, the story mutates, the ending is a horrifying confrontation that is as weird and intense as anything in 2001. (Plus the bear attack, holy shit.)


Gonna slap down my agreement on Annihilation as being the most solid science fiction work of the year.

My other nomination would be Suspiria for general weirdness and headfuckery. God damn it’s pretty much this year’s Mother! in terms of building horror.

On Mandy however, I’m kinda going to have to disagree. Yes, it’s a well produced homage to grindhouse and metal, but it really lost my enthusiasm with its questionable tropes in the cult, i.e. sexual perversion and mental disability Swan’s queerness and the slack-jawed cultist.


Sorry to Bother You was definitely my favourite film of the year. Tessa Thompson, a killer soundtrack, seeing a film with blatant leftist politics in my little conservative bubble theatre. Loved it all around.

And my It’d Be My Guilty Pleasure If I Felt Any Guilt About It, Venom. I can’t decide if I kind of crush on Tom Hardy, or if he’s just one of my ultimate transition goals, but I was very into his performance in this film… and Venom, the tongue thing, it’s good. I also like seeing Riz Ahmed in just about anything.


It had a very limited theatrical run and i didn’t get to see it until very recently but Blindspotting should not be overlooked. Everyone is giving really powerful performances especially Daveed Diggs. That final scene (okay technically 2nd to last scene) is gonna stick with me for awhile.

^ [CW: Gun Violence and Police Brutality.] ^

Also check out Eighth Grade. It’s about a 13 year girl who’s socially awkward trying to navigate her final week of middle school. It’s very down to earth and relatable.

Better Call Saul and The Good Place remained really great all year but for new shows that i think are great are Killing Eve and Barry

Killing Eve because i love cat and mouse games. Especially between two women who are totally in love with each other despite that fact on is MI6 and the other is an assassin.

and Barry because the premise of a hitman wanting to give up the life of being a hitman once he stumbles upon an acting class and decides he wants to be an actor. but no matter how much he tries to leave his old life behind he can’t. It’s real dark comedy and i’m really curious to see where it goes.


I saw Blindspotting in theaters and was transfixed by it. I watched it again recently to confirm that it was really that good and it is. It’s the film that confronts white privilege in the right way. In a year full of great Oaktown movies (Black Panther and Sorry to Bother You to name a few), Blindspotting takes the cake. I consider it best film of the year.

The other standout to me is Searching. The gimmick is gimmicky as hell—the action takes place entirely on screens (laptop, phone, surveillance camera, etc.)—but their steadfast commitment to it makes the movie. John Cho has a fantastic performance as a frazzled and rapidly deteriorating dad and the Shyamalan-influenced twists unfold like layers in only the good ways.