The A.V. Club is an online newspaper and entertainment website featuring reviews, interviews, and other articles that examine films, music, television, books, games, and other elements of pop culture media. The A.V. Club was created in 1993 as a supplement to The Onion, despite having a minimal presence on its website in its early years. A 2005 website redesign placed The A.V. Club in a more prominent position, allowing its online identity to grow. Unlike its parent publication, The A.V. Club is not satirical.
|The A.V. Club|
|Type||Popular culture, entertainment, news, reviews, politics, progressive|
|Editor-in-chief||Laura M. Browning|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
In 1996, both The Onion and The A.V. Club made their internet debut. The A.V. Club was originally a sub-section of the main theonion.com domain name. It was eventually moved to its own theavclub.com domain name  before the 2005 acquisition of the shorter avclub.com domain name which coincided with a redesign that incorporated reader comments and blog content. In 2006 the website shifted its content model again to add content on a daily, rather than weekly, basis.
In December 2004, Stephen Thompson left his position as founding editor of The A.V. Club.
According to Sean Mills, then-president of The Onion, the A.V. Club website first received more than 1 million unique visitors in October 2007. In late 2009 the website was reported to have received over 1.4 million unique visitors and 75,000 comments per month.
At its peak the print version of The A.V. Club was available in 17 different cities. Localized sections of the website were also maintained with reviews and news relevant to specific cities. The print version and localized websites were gradually discontinued, and in December 2013 print publication ceased in the final three markets.
On December 13, 2012, long-time writer and editor Keith Phipps who oversaw the website after Stephen Thompson left, stepped down from his role as editor of The A.V. Club. He said, "Onion, Inc. and I have come to a mutual parting of the ways."
On April 2, 2013, long-time film editor and critic Scott Tobias stepped down from his role as film editor of The A.V. Club. He stated via Twitter, "After 15 great years @theavclub, I step down as Film Editor next Friday."
On April 26, 2013, long-time writers Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson, and Genevieve Koski announced that they would also be leaving the website to begin work on a new project alongside Scott Tobias and Keith Phipps. Koski also stated that she would continue to write freelance articles. Writer Noel Murray announced he would also be joining their new project but would continue to contribute to The A.V. Club in a reduced capacity. On May 30, 2013, it was announced that those six writers would be part of the senior staff of The Dissolve, a film website run by Pitchfork Media.
In April and June 2014, senior staff writers Kyle Ryan, Sonia Saraiya, and Todd VanDerWerff left the website for positions at Entertainment Weekly, Salon and Vox Media, respectively. In 2015, Ryan returned to Onion, Inc. for a position in development. Following his departure from The Dissolve earlier that month, Nathan Rabin returned to write freelance for the website in May 2015; this included the renewal of his regular column "My World of Flops". The Dissolve folded in July 2015.
On February 16, 2017 The A.V. Club's editor-at-large, John Teti, posted an article on the website announcing the upcoming release of a television series, titled The A.V. Club, based on the website. The series, hosted by Teti, began airing on Fusion on 16 March 2017 and ran for one season. The series featured news, criticism, and discussions about various popular culture topics and featured staff members from the website.
In January 2016 Univision Communications acquired "a 40 percent, controlling stake" in Onion Inc., the parent company of The A.V. Club. Later that year, Univision also purchased Gawker Media and reorganized several of Gawker's sites into the new Gizmodo Media Group, a division of Fusion Media Group. The site was subsequently migrated from Bulbs, an internal content management system developed by Onion Inc., to the Gawker-developed Kinja platform, deleting the comment section and audience reviews hosted on the previous site. In July of 2018, Univision announced they were looking for a buyer for the entire Gizmodo Group. 
On December 9, 2010, the website ComicsComicsMag revealed that a capsule review for the book Genius, Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth had been fabricated. The book had not yet been published nor even completed by the authors. The review was removed, and then-editor Keith Phipps posted an apology on the website. Leonard Pierce, the author of the review, was terminated from his freelance role with the website.
Starting in 1999, only lists written by individual writers were published. Beginning in 2006, The A.V. Club began publishing website-consensus year-end album and film rankings alongside lists for individual writers.
Annual rankings for television began in 2010.
|2006||The Hold Steady||Boys and Girls in America||United States|||
|2007||Arcade Fire||Neon Bible||Canada|||
|2008||TV on the Radio||Dear Science||United States|||
|2009||Phoenix||Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix||France|||
|2010||Kanye West||My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy||United States|||
|2011||Wye Oak||Civilian||United States|||
|2012||Frank Ocean||Channel Orange||United States|||
|2013||Kanye West||Yeezus||United States|||
|2014||Angel Olsen||Burn Your Fire for No Witness||United States|||
|2015||Kendrick Lamar||To Pimp a Butterfly||United States|||
|2016||David Bowie||Blackstar||United Kingdom|||
|2017||Kendrick Lamar||DAMN.||United States|||
|2018||Beach House||7||United States|||
|2006||Alfonso Cuarón||Children of Men|| United States
|2007||Joel and Ethan Coen||No Country for Old Men||United States|||
|2008||Andrew Stanton||WALL-E||United States|||
|2009||Kathryn Bigelow||The Hurt Locker|| United States
|2010||Debra Granik||Winter's Bone||United States|||
|2011||Terrence Malick||The Tree of Life||United States|||
|2012||Paul Thomas Anderson||The Master||United States|||
|2013||Richard Linklater||Before Midnight||United States|||
|2014||Richard Linklater||Boyhood||United States|||
|2015||George Miller||Mad Max: Fury Road|| Australia
|2016||Kenneth Lonergan||Manchester by the Sea||United States|||
|2017||Sean Baker||The Florida Project||United States|||
|2018||Lee Chang-dong||Burning||South Korea|||
|2010||Breaking Bad||AMC||United States|||
|2012||Breaking Bad||AMC||United States|||
|2015||Mad Men||AMC||United States|||
|2016||The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story||FX||United States|||
|2017||The Good Place||NBC||United States|||
|2018||The Americans||FX||United States|||
Adventure Time is an American fantasy animated television series created by Pendleton Ward for Cartoon Network. Produced by Frederator Studios and Cartoon Network Studios, the series follows the adventures of a boy named Finn (voiced by Jeremy Shada) and his best friend and adoptive brother Jake (John DiMaggio)—a dog with the magical power to change shape and size at will. Finn and Jake live in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, where they interact with Princess Bubblegum (Hynden Walch), the Ice King (Tom Kenny), Marceline the Vampire Queen (Olivia Olson), BMO (Niki Yang), and others. The series is based on a 2007 short produced for Nicktoons and Frederator Studios' animation incubator series Random! Cartoons. After the short became a viral hit on the Internet, Cartoon Network commissioned a full-length series, which previewed on March 11, 2010, and officially premiered on April 5, 2010.
The series drew inspiration from a variety of sources, including the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons and video games. It was produced using hand-drawn animation; action and dialogue for episodes are decided by storyboarding artists based off rough outlines. Because each episode took roughly eight to nine months to complete, multiple episodes were worked on concurrently. The cast members recorded their lines in group recordings, and the series regularly employed guest actors for minor and recurring characters. Each episode runs for about eleven minutes; pairs of episodes are often telecast to fill half-hour program slots. On September 29, 2016, it was announced that the series would conclude in 2018, after the airing of its tenth season.§ The series finale aired on September 3, 2018.
Adventure Time has been a ratings success for Cartoon Network and some episodes have attracted over 3 million viewers; despite being aimed primarily at children, it has developed a following among teenagers and adults. The show has received positive reviews from critics and won awards including: eight Primetime Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, three Annie Awards, two British Academy Children's Awards, a Motion Picture Sound Editors Award, a Pixel Award, and a Kerrang! Award. The series has also been nominated for three Critics' Choice Television Awards, two Annecy Festival Awards, a TCA Award, and a Sundance Film Festival Award, among others. Of the many comic book spin-offs based on the series, one received an Eisner Award and two Harvey Awards. Various forms of licensed merchandise, including books, video games and clothing, have been inspired by the series.American Dad!
American Dad! is an American animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman for the Fox Broadcasting Company. American Dad! is the first television series to have its inception on Animation Domination. The series premiered on February 6, 2005, following Super Bowl XXXIX, three months before the rest of the first season aired as part of the Animation Domination block, commencing on May 1, 2005.Creative direction of American Dad! has largely been guided by Barker (prior to his exit from the show in season 10) and Weitzman as opposed to MacFarlane, resulting in a series that is different from its counterparts. Unlike MacFarlane's other shows, Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, American Dad! does not lean as heavily on the use of cutaway gags, and is less concerned with conventional "setup-punchline" jokes, instead deriving its humor mostly from the quirky characters, the relationships between family members, and the relatively relatable plots. The show is not as heavy on pop cultural allusions as MacFarlane's Family Guy, and is more concerned with telling stories while maintaining the integrity and realism of the family members. While the core issues and resolutions are relatable in most episodes, the show nonetheless weaves in fantastical elements, pitching the tone of the show somewhere between observational comedy and farce. The plots are often absurd, but they are grounded by family stories and real-world issues.American Dad! has been nominated for numerous awards, most prominently four Primetime Emmy Awards and two Annie Awards. In June 2013, it was awarded as top television series by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Since its debut, American Dad! has broadcast 253 episodes (as of March 18, 2019). The total number of seasons and organization of episodes within these seasons are in dispute because of a discrepancy in how official sources report this information. One model suggests the first season of American Dad! comprises the first 7 episodes, while another model suggests the first season comprises 23 episodes.Beginning on October 20, 2014, TBS picked up the series for the 12th season following the final 3 episodes airing on Fox as the 11th season. American Dad!'s 15th season (4th on TBS) began with a Christmas special on December 25, 2017, and officially premiered with the 236th episode of the series on February 12, 2018.On January 11, 2018, TBS renewed the series for a 16th and 17th season.Arrested Development (TV series)
Arrested Development is an American television sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz, which originally aired on Fox for three seasons from November 2, 2003, to February 10, 2006. The show follows the Bluth family, a formerly wealthy dysfunctional family. It is presented in a serialized format, incorporating handheld camera work, voice-over narration, archival photos, and historical footage. The show also maintains numerous running gags and catchphrases. Ron Howard serves as both an executive producer and the omniscient narrator and, in later seasons, appears in the show portraying a fictionalized version of himself. Set in Newport Beach, California, Arrested Development was filmed primarily in Culver City and Marina del Rey.The series received critical acclaim, six Primetime Emmy Awards, and one Golden Globe Award, and attracted a cult following. It has been named one of the greatest TV shows by publications including Time, Entertainment Weekly, and IGN. It influenced later single-camera comedy series such as 30 Rock and Community.Despite critical acclaim, Arrested Development received low ratings and viewership on Fox, which canceled the series in 2006. In 2011, Netflix agreed to license new episodes and distribute them exclusively on its video streaming service. These episodes were released in May 2013. Netflix commissioned a fifth season of Arrested Development, the first half of which premiered on May 29, 2018, and the second half on March 15, 2019.Bob's Burgers
Bob's Burgers is an American animated sitcom created by Loren Bouchard that premiered on Fox on January 9, 2011. The series centers on the Belcher family – parents Bob and Linda and their children Tina, Gene and Louise – who run a hamburger restaurant. The show was conceived by Bouchard after he developed Home Movies. It is produced and distributed in association with 20th Century Fox Television.
While reviews for the first season were mixed, feedback for subsequent seasons has been much more positive. The series premiere, "Human Flesh", drew in 9.39 million viewers, making it the highest-rated series premiere of the season and finishing ninth in the ratings for the week it aired. Reruns began airing on Cartoon Network's late night programming block Adult Swim on June 23, 2013 and began airing in syndication on local stations in September 2015.
A comic book series based on the show, published by Dynamite Entertainment, began in September 2014 and a soundtrack album was released on May 12, 2017.In 2013, TV Guide ranked Bob's Burgers as one of the top 60 Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time. The series has been nominated for several awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program seven consecutive times, winning in 2014 and 2017.
On October 7, 2015, Fox renewed the series for the seventh and eighth production cycles. On March 27, 2018, Fox renewed the series for a ninth season, which premiered on September 30, 2018. A feature film of the animated television series is in the works and is scheduled for a July 17, 2020 release.On February 12, 2019, Fox renewed the series for a tenth production cycle.Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad is an American neo-western crime drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on AMC for five seasons, from January 20, 2008 to September 29, 2013. Set and filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the series tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling and depressed high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with lung cancer. Together with his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), White turns to a life of crime by producing and selling crystallized methamphetamine to secure his family's financial future before he dies, while navigating the dangers of the criminal world. The title comes from the Southern colloquialism "breaking bad", meaning to "raise hell" or turn to a life of crime.Walter's family consists of his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn), son Walter, Jr. (RJ Mitte), and daughter Holly (Elanor Anne Wenrich). The show also features Skyler's sister Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt) and her husband Hank (Dean Norris), a DEA agent. Walter hires lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), who connects him with private investigator and fixer Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) and in turn Mike's employer, drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). The final season introduces the characters Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons) and Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (Laura Fraser).
Breaking Bad is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time.
By the time the series finale aired, it was among the most-watched cable shows on American television. The show received numerous awards, including 16 Primetime Emmy Awards, eight Satellite Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Peabody Awards, two Critics' Choice Awards and four Television Critics Association Awards. For his leading performance, Cranston won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series four times, while Aaron Paul won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series three times; Anna Gunn won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series twice. In 2013, Breaking Bad entered the Guinness World Records as the most critically acclaimed show of all time.
A spin-off prequel series, Better Call Saul, starring Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks, debuted on February 8, 2015, on AMC. In November 2018, a film spin-off was announced to be in development.Ellie Kemper
Elizabeth Claire Kemper (born May 2, 1980) is an American actress and comedian. She played the receptionist Erin Hannon in the NBC comedy series The Office (2009–2013) and later the starring role in the Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015–2019), for which she has received two nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Kemper also appeared in the films Bridesmaids (2011) and 21 Jump Street (2012). In 2018 she published her first book, My Squirrel Days.Family Guy (season 10)
Family Guy's tenth season debuted on the Fox network on September 25, 2011. The series follows the Griffin family, a dysfunctional family consisting of father Peter, mother Lois, daughter Meg, son Chris, baby Stewie and the family dog Brian, who reside in their hometown of Quahog. The executive producers for the tenth production season are Seth MacFarlane, Chris Sheridan, Danny Smith, Mark Hentemann, Steve Callaghan, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild. The showrunners are Hentemann and Callaghan.
During this season, Peter becomes friends with Ryan Reynolds (guest-voicing as himself), the Griffins win the lottery, Meg falls in love with an Amish boy as Peter goes to war with his family, Stewie starts driving Brian's car and accidentally crashes it, Meg dates Quagmire on her 18th birthday, Chris dates a girl who looks like Lois (voiced by Ellen Page), Quagmire asks Peter and Joe to help him kill his sister's (voiced by Kaitlin Olson) violently abusive boyfriend (voiced by Ralph Garman), Peter befriends a dolphin (voiced by Ricky Gervais), Kevin Swanson (voiced by Scott Grimes) surprisingly returns to Quahog on Thanksgiving, Lois kidnaps Stewie's sick friend, Brian gets a blind girlfriend who hates dogs, James Woods makes a shocking return after being killed last season when Peter becomes an agent to Tom Tucker, Meg delivers a few home truths while scolding her family for all the abuse she personally suffered, and Brian and Stewie travel back in time to the premiere Family Guy episode.Also, the hurricane-themed episode, "Seahorse Seashell Party" that was scheduled to air on May 1, 2011 as part of the ninth season ended up being aired on October 2, 2011 as the second episode of this season and during a crossover called Night of the Hurricane with The Cleveland Show and American Dad!. It was put on hold because of the 2011 Super Outbreak, which killed an estimated 346 people in the Southern United States around the time of the planned original release date.The tenth season concluded with a one-hour broadcast of two episodes, which aired on May 20, 2012.Family Guy (season 11)
Family Guy's eleventh season began airing on Fox on September 30, 2012.The series follows the Griffin family, a dysfunctional family consisting of father Peter, mother Lois, daughter Meg, son Chris, baby Stewie and the family dog Brian, who reside in their hometown of Quahog. The executive producers for the eleventh production season are Seth MacFarlane, Richard Appel, Chris Sheridan, Danny Smith, Mark Hentemann, Steve Callaghan, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild. The showrunners are Appel and Callaghan, with Appel replacing previous showrunner Hentemann.
In this season, the Griffins decide to climb Mount Everest ("Into Fat Air"); Lois has a mid-life crisis ("Lois Comes Out of Her Shell"); Meg falls for a boy who turns out to like her brother Chris ("Friends Without Benefits"); and Brian and Stewie leap into action after they discover the company owned by Lois's dad, Carter Pewterschmidt, has found the cure for cancer ("The Old Man and the Big 'C'"). This season also features the 200th episode of the series.
Further episode plots were revealed at Comic-Con 2012. Quagmire accidentally marries a hooker ("The Giggity Wife"), Peter becomes a meth dealer ("Farmer Guy"), and Chris moves in with Herbert ("Chris Cross"). Also, Brian and Stewie travel to Vegas by teleportation, but instead the device malfunctions and ends up cloning them, where two pairs of Brian and Stewie both go on a road trip to Vegas, with each pair having different experiences, in another '"Road to..."' episode as part of the season finale ("Roads to Vegas").A Valentine's Day episode aired on February 10, 2013, in which Stewie rounds up all of Brian's ex-girlfriends, who take delight in pointing out Brian's flaws ("Valentine's Day in Quahog").The episode "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" was scheduled to air on December 16, 2012, but was replaced by a repeat of "Grumpy Old Man" out of sensitivity for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The episode aired the following week on December 23, 2012.Guest voices for this season include J. J. Abrams, Mark Burnett, Dick Wolf, Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Banks, Sandra Bernhard, Dan Castellaneta, Christina Milian, and Johnny Depp.The season concluded with two episodes that aired on May 19, 2013. On July 21, 2013, the season started on BBC Three in the UK.Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill Feldstein (born December 20, 1983) is an American actor, director, producer, screenwriter, and comedian. Hill is known for his comedic roles in films including Accepted (2006), Grandma's Boy (2006), Superbad (2007), Knocked Up (2007), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Get Him to the Greek (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012), This Is the End (2013), 22 Jump Street (2014), and War Dogs (2016), as well as his performances in Moneyball (2011) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), for which he received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
Hill ranked 28th on Forbes magazine's ranking of world's highest-paid actors from June 2014 to June 2015, bringing in $16 million. As a screenwriter, he contributed to the stories of 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, Sausage Party and Why Him?. In 2018, Hill starred in the Netflix dark comedy miniseries Maniac and made his directorial debut with the film Mid90s, from his own screenplay. In 2019, Hill will play Lewis in The Beach Bum.Michael Sheen
Michael Christopher Sheen (born 5 February 1969) is a Welsh actor. After training at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), where his classmates included Diane Parish, Richard Dormer, Caroline Catz and Sophie Stanton, he worked mainly in theatre throughout the 1990s and made notable stage appearances in Romeo and Juliet (1992), Don't Fool With Love (1993), Peer Gynt (1994), The Seagull (1995), The Homecoming (1997), and Henry V (1997). His performances in Amadeus at the Old Vic and Look Back in Anger at the National Theatre were nominated for Olivier Awards in 1998 and 1999, respectively. In 2003, he was nominated for a third Olivier Award for his performance in Caligula at the Donmar Warehouse.
Sheen has become better known as a screen actor since the 2000s, in particular through his roles in various biopics. With writer Peter Morgan, he has starred in a trilogy of films as British politician Tony Blair: the television film The Deal in 2003, followed by The Queen (2006) and The Special Relationship (2010).
For playing Blair, he was nominated for both a BAFTA Award and an Emmy. He was also nominated for a BAFTA as the troubled comic actor Kenneth Williams in BBC Four's 2006 Fantabulosa!, and was nominated for a fourth Olivier Award in 2006 for portraying the broadcaster David Frost in Frost/Nixon, a role he revisited in the 2008 film adaptation of the play. He also starred as the controversial football manager Brian Clough in The Damned United (2009).
Since 2009 and into the 2010s, Sheen has become known for a wider variety of roles. In 2009, Sheen appeared in two fantasy films, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and The Twilight Saga: New Moon, while in 2010, he made a four-episode guest appearance in the NBC comedy 30 Rock. He appeared in the science-fiction film Tron: Legacy (2010) and Woody Allen's romantic comedy Midnight in Paris (2011).
Sheen directed and starred in National Theatre Wales's The Passion. From late 2011 until early 2012, Sheen played the title role in Hamlet at the Young Vic. In 2013, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in Showtime's television drama Masters of Sex.Modern Family
Modern Family is an American television mockumentary family sitcom that premiered on ABC on September 23, 2009, which follows the lives of Jay Pritchett and his family, all of whom live in suburban Los Angeles. Pritchett's family includes his second wife, their son and his stepson, as well as his two adult children and their spouses and children.
Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan conceived the series while sharing stories of their own "modern families". Modern Family employs an ensemble cast. The series is presented in mockumentary style, with the characters frequently breaking the fourth wall.
The series was renewed for a tenth season on May 10, 2017, which premiered on September 26, 2018. The series was renewed for an eleventh and final season on February 5, 2019.Modern Family was acclaimed by critics throughout its first few seasons, although reception became more mixed as the series progressed. The show won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in each of its first five years and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series four times, twice each for Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell, as well as the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series twice for Julie Bowen. It won a total of 22 Emmy awards from 75 nominations. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy in 2011. Being on air for 10 years, it is currently ABC's longest-running comedy series.
The broadcast syndication rights to the series were sold to USA Network, the stations of Fox Television Stations, and various other local stations in other markets for a fall 2013 premiere. The success of the series led to it being the tenth-highest revenue-generating show for 2012, earning $2.13 million an episode.Mystery Science Theater 3000
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is an American television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Alternaversal Productions, LLC. The show premiered on KTMA (now WUCW) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 24, 1988. It later aired on The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central for seven seasons until its cancellation in 1996. Thereafter, it was picked up by The Sci-Fi Channel and aired for three seasons until another cancellation in August 1999. A 60-episode syndication package titled The Mystery Science Theater Hour was produced in 1995. In 2015, Hodgson led a crowdfunded revival of the series with 14 episodes in its eleventh season, first released on Netflix on April 14, 2017, with another six-episode season following on November 22, 2018. As of 2019, 217 episodes and a feature film have been produced.
The show initially starred Hodgson as Joel Robinson, a janitor trapped against his will by two mad scientists on the Satellite of Love, and forced to watch a series of B movies as a part of the scientists' plot to take over the world. To keep his sanity, Joel crafts a number of robot companions—including Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Gypsy—to keep him company and help him humorously comment on each movie as it plays, a process known as riffing. Each two-hour episode would feature a single movie in its entirety, sometimes with various shorts and educational films, with Joel, Tom, and Crow watching in silhouette from a row of theater seats at the bottom of the screen. These scenes were framed with interstitial sketches. The show's cast changed over its duration; most notably, the character of Joel was replaced by Mike Nelson (played by Michael J. Nelson) in the show's fifth season. Other cast members, most of whom were also writers for the show, include Trace Beaulieu, Josh Weinstein, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, Paul Chaplin, and Bridget Jones Nelson. The revival features a primarily new cast, including Jonah Ray as the new human test subject, Jonah Heston, along with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt as the mads and Baron Vaughn, Hampton Yount, and Rebecca Hanson as the bots.
MST3K's original run did not garner high viewership numbers, but the show's popularity spread through word-of-mouth over the Internet from its fans known as MSTies (or "Mysties"), frequent repeats and syndication, and home media offerings produced by Rhino Entertainment and currently Shout! Factory, who along with Hodgson now own the rights to the show and supported the revived series. MST3K was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME" in 2007, and TV Guide has noted MST3K as one of the top cult television shows. The show won a Peabody Award in 1993, was also nominated for two Emmy Awards in 1994 and 1995, and for the CableACE Award from 1992 to 1997. The show was considered highly influential, contributing towards the practice of social television, and former cast members launched similar projects based on the riffing of films, including The Film Crew, RiffTrax (ongoing as of 2018), and Cinematic Titanic. MST3K also brought to light several older movies that had fallen into obscurity or had received little or no public attention when originally released. Many of these films were subsequently identified as among the worst movies ever made, most notably Manos: The Hands of Fate.Nathan Rabin
Nathan Rabin (; born April 24, 1976) is an American film and music critic. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Rabin was the first head writer for The A.V. Club, a position he held until he left the Onion organization in 2013. In 2013, Rabin became a staff writer for The Dissolve, a film website operated by Pitchfork Media. Two of his popular featured columns at The Dissolve were "Forgotbusters" (looking back at films that were amongst the top 25 box office earners in their release years but have not had cultural or popular endurance) and "Streaming University" (reviewing documentaries that were available through sites like Netflix and Hulu).
On April 29, 2015, Rabin announced he had parted ways with The Dissolve. He has since returned to The A.V. Club as a freelance writer. Most recently he has been associated with articles on the Insane Clown Posse, Phish, "Weird Al" Yankovic and Sesame Street.
In April 2017, Nathan announced that The AV Club had canceled his long-running My World of Flops column, and that he was establishing his own Patreon-funded website, Nathan Rabin's Happy Place.Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation is an American political satire television sitcom created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The series aired on NBC from April 9, 2009 to February 24, 2015, for 125 episodes, over seven seasons. The series stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks Department of Pawnee, a fictional town in Indiana. The ensemble and supporting cast features Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins, Paul Schneider as Mark Brendanawicz, Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford, Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate, Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer, Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt, Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger, Jim O'Heir as Jerry Gergich, Retta as Donna Meagle, and Billy Eichner as Craig Middlebrooks.
The writers researched local California politics for the series, and consulted with urban planners and elected officials. Poehler's character, Leslie Knope, underwent major changes after the first season, in response to audience feedback that she seemed unintelligent and "ditzy". The writing staff incorporated current events into the episodes, such as a government shutdown in Pawnee inspired by the real-life global financial crisis of 2007–2008. Several guest stars, such as Jason Mantzoukas, Kathryn Hahn, Sam Elliott, Bill Murray, Megan Mullally, Louis C.K., Paul Rudd, Henry Winkler, Christie Brinkley, and Jon Hamm, have been featured in the series, and their characters often appear in multiple episodes. In addition, real-life politicians have cameos in later episodes such as former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, US Senators Olympia Snowe, Barbara Boxer, Cory Booker, Orrin Hatch, and John McCain, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and then-First Lady Michelle Obama.
Parks and Recreation was part of NBC's "Comedy Night Done Right" programming during its Thursday night prime-time block. The series received mixed reviews during its first season, but, after a re-approach to its tone and format, the second and subsequent seasons were widely acclaimed. Throughout its run, Parks and Recreation received several awards and nominations, fourteen Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including two for Outstanding Comedy Series, a Golden Globe Award win for Poehler's performance, and a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. In TIME's 2012 year-end lists issue, Parks and Recreation was named the number one television series of that year. In 2013, after receiving four consecutive nominations in the category, Parks and Recreation won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.The Departed
The Departed is a 2006 American crime thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by William Monahan. It is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg, with Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson and Alec Baldwin in supporting roles.
The film takes place in Boston. Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Nicholson) plants Colin Sullivan (Damon) as a mole within the Massachusetts State Police; simultaneously, the police assign undercover state trooper William "Billy" Costigan (DiCaprio) to infiltrate Costello's crew. When both sides realize the situation, Sullivan and Costigan each attempt to discover the other's identity before they are found out. The two characters are loosely based on famous gangster Whitey Bulger and corrupt FBI agent John Connolly.The Departed was a critical and commercial success and won several awards, including four Oscars at the 79th Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing; Mark Wahlberg was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor.The Good Place
The Good Place is an American fantasy-comedy television series created by Michael Schur. The series premiered on September 19, 2016 on NBC.
The series focuses on Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), who wakes up in the afterlife and is introduced by Michael (Ted Danson) to "The Good Place", a highly selective Heaven-like utopia he designed, as a reward for her righteous life. However, she realizes that she was sent there by mistake and must hide her morally imperfect behavior while trying to become a better and more ethical person. William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, and Manny Jacinto co-star as other residents of "The Good Place", together with D'Arcy Carden as Janet, an artificial being who knows all the information in the universe and can produce any item out of thin air, abilities which she uses to help the inhabitants.
The Good Place received positive reviews upon its debut and has since gained critical acclaim. It has been praised for its acting, writing, originality, setting, and tone. In addition, the first season's twist ending and the show's exploration and creative use of ethics and philosophy have been positively received.
The third season premiered on September 27, 2018, and concluded on January 24, 2019. In December 2018, NBC renewed the series for a fourth season.The Office (U.S. TV series)
The Office is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from March 24, 2005, to May 16, 2013, lasting nine seasons. It is an adaptation of the original BBC series of the same name and was adapted for American television by Greg Daniels, a veteran writer for Saturday Night Live, King of the Hill, and The Simpsons. It was co-produced by Daniels' Deedle-Dee Productions, and Reveille Productions (later Shine America), in association with Universal Television. The original executive producers were Greg Daniels, Howard Klein, Ben Silverman, Ricky Gervais, and Stephen Merchant, with numerous others being promoted in later seasons.
The series depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. To simulate the look of an actual documentary, it was filmed in a single-camera setup, without a studio audience or a laugh track. The series debuted on NBC as a midseason replacement and aired 201 episodes over the course of its run. The Office initially featured Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and B. J. Novak as the main cast; the series experienced numerous changes to its ensemble cast during its run. Notable stars outside the original main cast include Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, James Spader, and Ellie Kemper.
The Office was met with mixed reviews during its abbreviated first season, but the following four seasons received widespread acclaim from television critics. These seasons were included on several critics' year-end top TV series lists, winning several awards such as a Peabody Award in 2006, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe Award for Carell's performance, and four Primetime Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2006. Later seasons were criticized for a decline in quality, with many seeing Carell's departure in season seven as a contributing factor. However, earlier writers oversaw the final season and ended the series' run with a positive reception. The series finale was viewed by an estimated 5.69 million viewers, preceded by an hour-long series retrospective.The Onion
The Onion is an American satirical digital media company and newspaper organization that publishes articles on international, national, and local news. Based in Chicago, the company originated as a weekly print publication on August 29, 1988 in Madison, Wisconsin. In the spring of 1996, The Onion began publishing online. In 2007, the organization began publishing satirical news audio and video online, as the Onion News Network. In 2013, The Onion ceased publishing its print edition and launched Onion Labs, an advertising agency.The Onion's articles cover current events, both real and fictional, satirizing the tone and format of traditional news organizations with stories, editorials, op-ed pieces, and man-in-the-street interviews using a traditional news website layout and an editorial voice modeled after that of the Associated Press. The publication’s humor often depends on presenting mundane, everyday events as newsworthy, surreal, or alarming (such as “Rotation of Earth Throws Entire North American Continent into Darkness”). In 1999, comedian Bob Odenkirk praised the publication, stating, "It's the best comedy writing in the country, and it has been since it started."The Onion also runs The A.V. Club and ClickHole. Initially created in 1993 as a supplement to the parent publication, The A.V. Club is an entertainment and pop culture publication that contains interviews and reviews of newly released media and other weekly features. ClickHole is a satirical website from The Onion founded in 2014 that parodies clickbait websites such as BuzzFeed and Upworthy. In 2017 the site briefly became PatriotHole, parodying sites like Breitbart with a far right stance by running articles with an extremist view, though these articles were still fake. After a few days the site returned to its previous state, running PatriotHole as a sub segment as of May 2017.The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.
The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after his own family members, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After three seasons, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and became Fox's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–90).
Since its debut on December 17, 1989, 656 episodes of The Simpsons have been broadcast. It is the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running American scripted primetime television series in terms of seasons and number of episodes. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million. Then on October 30, 2007, a video game was released. Currently, The Simpsons is on its thirtieth season, which
began airing September 30, 2018. The Simpsons was renewed for a thirty-first and thirty-second season on February 6, 2019, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.The Simpsons received acclaim throughout its first nine or ten seasons, which are generally considered its "Golden Age". Time named it the 20th century's best television series, and Erik Adams of The A.V. Club named it "television's crowning achievement regardless of format". On January 14, 2000, the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many other later adult-oriented animated sitcoms. However, it has also been criticized for a perceived decline in quality over the years.
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