As 2019 rapidly approaches, the team at ComicBook.com came together to nominate our favorite creators and creations from 2018 in the worlds of comics, television, movies, games, and anime, recognizing the best of the best in each category. After condensing them to the five best nominees, we all voted on what we thought should be recognized in the top spot.
Ensemble casts are hard to juggle on television; with so many different characters and plot lines to establish and develop, some are bound to get lost in the shuffle. But some shows manage to get it right, having the perfect mix of talented actors with charisma and chemistry.
Fan favorites like the time-traveling heroes from Legends of Tomorrow and the survivors of Fear the Walking Dead have been party to many more great adventures this year, while relative newcomers like The Haunting of Hill House have also stood out. With so many great options, we all had a tough time casting votes. But only one could win.
And the winner of Best TV Ensemble Cast is…
Legends of Tomorrow!
The Legends are a ragtag group of antiheroes and flawed protagonists who were originally assembled by cobbling together a team of popular guest stars from Arrow and The Flash. In the course of its four seasons, though, Legends has added a number of new characters, all following the same "island of misfit toys" philosophy.
What makes the disparate parts work is the way the actors interact and the chemistry they seem to have. The show is careful not to spend too much time with any given pair or trio of characters unless there is a compelling reason to (a romance, shared subplot, etc.). Instead, almost every actor has had a significant number of scenes with almost every other actor, and the end result is that the crew of the Waverider feel very much like what they are supposed to: a group of people who live together.
From Arrow standout Caity Lotz and Superman Returns star Brandon Routh all the way through relative newcomers Tala Ashe (Smash) and Matt Ryan (Constantine), the cast is chock full of talented and charismatic individuals who, together, are greater as a unit than the sum of their individual parts.
Ashe, in particular, has been a key player in some of the series' most well-received episodes, bucking the usual trend that characters added later in a show's run have difficulty connecting with fans who are averse to change. This is likely in equal parts due to Ashe's undeniable talent and charm and her fairly seamless transition into being a part of the team.
And can we all, for a moment, appreciate the fact that Nick Zano finally got to stay somewhere for more than a season? He has killer comic timing and leading-man good looks, but for a few years there, it seemed like he was being cast exclusively in shows that were not going to continue.
Overall, Legends of Tomorrow works because the sharp writing is backed up by a cast that sells the "found family" angle that is so popular these days better than almost any other show on television. The actors are each individually compelling enough that you want to see more of them, and as a team they elevate the material by the way they interact and the genuine, positive energy that everyone seems to bring to the work.
To win, the Legends had to beat out a talented field that was dominated by Netflix's critical-darling original programming. The late, lamented Marvel series Daredevil and Luke Cage were both on our lists for their striking depiction of heroism on a street level as well as the talented horror-meisters of The Haunting of Hill House. Besides Legends, the only broadcast network to earn a nomination was Fear the Walking Dead, which repeated its nomination from last year.
That repeat-nomination might make Fear the favorite to win next year, since the only other nominee on this list that also earned a nod last time around was -- you guessed it! -- Legends of Tomorrow.
We'll be announcing more winners throughout the week, so be sure to check back on ComicBook.com to see if your favorites won. And don't forget to tell us who and what your favorites were on Facebook and @ComicBookNOW on Twitter.
List of Nominees:
- Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) [WINNER]
- Daredevil (Netflix)
- Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)
- The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)
- Luke Cage (Netflix)