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People You Need To Obsess Over In 2018

Okay people, we have got to stop sleeping on some of the greatest acting of our era. Here are some people who deserve all the props.

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Donna Lynne Champlin


I’m going to be completely honest here- if you haven't binged your way through Crazy Ex-Girlfriend yet… Get. On. The. Train. You’re massively missing out on one of the most unique shows in decades, complete with heart-stopping performances from stunners like Donna Lynne Champlin. She delivers the character of Paula with a breadth of emotion, making you sob and shake with hurt one episode, then sing about penises the next. Donna bleeds fiery familiarity with every word, stealing scenes and rightfully so.

Britney Young


Netflix’s GLOW is actually bursting at the seams with undeniable female talent, but when it comes to giving a voice to someone new, Britney Young nails it. Her character, Carmen "Machu Picchu" Wade, could have been a side-show note in a comedy filled charade, but instead Young shines and gives the audience every reason to love her. She’s an outcast that is so easy to back, mainly because Young feels like an old friend…maybe someone you went to high school with… and carries herself with the ease of actresses cemented in Hollywood for good.

Owen Teague


IT was the movie of the summer no doubt, and even for the brief moments he was on screen, Teague grabbed the attention of many moviegoers. His stark change from bully to victim (Whoops! Small spoilers) gave audiences a heartbreaking look into how things might go sour in a simple moment. You don’t want to pity him, but Teague is so convincing that I immediately turned from hatred to sorrow. It was a bit magical. And no big deal, he's also played a recurring role on the fan-favorite Bloodline and is appearing in the upcoming flick Every Day. And if you think he’s finished- oh no. Teague currently stars in the Jodie Foster directed episode of Black Mirror “Arkangel,” and I’m going to be honest, the already iconic episode would not be the same without his compelling presence.

Keala Settle


I cannot physically describe my excitement that Keala Settle is finally becoming mainstream. Every single musical theater nerd knows her name, for a reason! She’s a complete force. I mean, a hurricane of nothing but unadulterated personality and vicious talent. While The Greatest Showman is entirely excellent, I will sign a petition for a Settle-led spinoff (Zendaya and Zac get in on this too) because there needs to be fifteen albums in collaboration between Settle and Pasek and Paul. If there was any doubt of her outright amazingness, check out some live versions of “This is Me” and prepare to ugly cry at her pure power.

Noah Schnapp


Steve and Dustin are great, but if I’ve said it once, I will say it ten million more times: PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP TO NOAH SCHNAPP. The entire cast of Stranger Things is stupidly amazing, but Noah’s performance in Season 2 was nothing short of award-worthy. He didn’t just bring emotion, he supplied every audience member with a hand delivered slice of anguish. His portrayal of a- for lack of a better word- 'possessed' boy could have been run of the mill, but instead it was so fresh I think he permanently wounded something within me. I’ve not cried so hard since I binged watched soldiers surprising their families. *Cue Noah Schnapp standing ovation *

Yvonne Orji


Insecure is one of the few shows that captures what it is like to be a millennial woman from an authentic and uncensored point of view. Issa Rae is a magician, and one of her most phenomenal spells was casting Yvonne Orji as her onscreen best friend, Molly. Orji is absolutely unbelievable, or rather, so believable as a single successful woman trying to find ‘the one.’ The entire performance is captivating, and a bit close to home, which ultimately is eye-opening for every female professional. Orji is crass and fresh, like a sarcastic beach day. Orji is everyone's best friend, and yet, there is a uniqueness to her that could not be replicated by anyone else. Unabashedly and utterly brilliant.

Kalen Allen


Okay, just because Kalen Allen isn’t on television doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be. His reviews of bad recipes are side splitting. Seriously, I’ve never laughed so hard by myself. In fact, I’ve been attempting not to fall off my couch from giggle fits. Ellen is a fan, and if that isn’t a seal of approval, then I’m at a loss. His comedic timing is one-in-a-million, and his personal flair is nothing short of hysterical. If I was stuck on a desert island, I would leave every book, movie, and song at home as long as I can have Allen’s YouTube playlist on repeat. I’m calling it now- he’s going to be HUGE in 2018.

Alex Høgh Andersen


I probably could have written an entire article on how exceedingly incredible Alex Høgh Andersen’s acting is. Maybe I’ll publish a novel on it one day. As someone who watches the History Channel more than literally anyone I’ve ever met, I was terrified when Vikings killed off the pinnacle protagonist, Ragnar Lothbrok (my goodness, I have got to stop spoiling things.) My fears were soon quelled by the pure acceleration of Andersen’s Ivar the Boneless. The growth of this character, and Andersen's acting, is astounding and without a doubt the new magnet around which the show revolves. His believability has the power to make you feel as if he has taken every bone and sinew in your body and ground it into tiny pieces… which is apt considering his character’s qualifier. Beyond everything, Andersen has represented people with disabilities so thoughtfully and carefully, giving his character layer after layer of undiluted energy.

Kumail Nanjiani


As someone who rode the Chicago CTA every day to work, Kumail Nanjiani’s comedy was a godsend. His quick wit made an hour feel like five minutes, and it was often hard not to publicly burst out and belly laugh… though that would probably not be the weirdest thing that happened on the CTA. His performance in Silicon Valley only made me appreciate him more, as he delivered laugh after intelligent laugh. So when The Big Sick hit theaters, I was expecting a few great chuckles and a decent story. What came was so much more. Nanjiani nails it as a leading man, with a charming and couth/sometimes uncouth way of navigating a terrifying real life situation. I need eight more movies from him. Like-yesterday.

The Entire ‘Cast’ of Cheapest Weddings


Wait, wait, wait, hear me out. Netflix has once again produced the most cringe-worthy but BLOODY AMAZING six episodes of greatness you could have ever wished for. To begin, this was all I could talk about at my holiday parties, and my father had humor tears streaming down his face. The series, Cheapest Weddings, is completely well-meaning and has normal people just trying to get by on a budget. The couples go from super normal and adorable...cue an island wedding where the entire community helped out... to COMPLETELY BAT ASS CRAZY in all of two minutes with some LARP-ing, Valkyrie insanity. There was not an emotion I didn’t feel throughout my journey watching Cheapest Weddings, and if you’re looking for an overwhelming crowd pleaser in the air of The Christmas Prince, I’ve found it for you. If you’re braver than brave, just skip to episode four and question everything about your life, your children’s lives, and my life… because I’ve watched it roughly once a day for two weeks.

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