The (Onion) A. V. Club presents "From Train to Star Wars electronica, this is 2016’s least essential music" [more inside]
After a year of tense anticipation, the day of reckoning is finally here. GWAR turns in a special Election Day contribution to the AV Club Undercover series, taking on AC/DC's "If You Want Blood, You Got It." This year's performance interpolates Boston's "Foreplay" as an intro, as well as two special election-themed guests. NSFW: extensive silly costume gore, some nudity, general bombastic ridiculousness. (previously)
With Halloween right around the corner, and Horrors Weeks in full swing, The A.V. Club is counting down the scariest, creepiest, and most nerve-shredding opening scenes in horror-movie history. Bonus: Karin Slaughter recommends 7 thrilling, disturbing mysteries written by women.
Dark, confusing times have come to America. Times of turmoil. Times when difficult choices must be made. Times when the latest entries in two surprisingly long-lived actress-centered undead-fighting action series—both due in theaters next January from the same fucking studio—can release new trailers on the same day, both featuring their respective heroines on motorcycles.
A poem, in tweets, about Marge Simpson by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, show runner and co-creator of Bojack Horseman.
It's 1996 week over at the AV Club, and they're taking a look at the year alternative rock died. In non-AV Club news @bestalbum95 has rolled over a year and has started polling for Best Album of 1996 - the first face-off being Belle and Sebastian verus John Parish and Polly Jean Harvey.
"There’s no way to know whether Kitty is feeling something or simply manipulating her audience into feeling something, and whether that distinction even matters becomes arguable at a certain point—precisely what Infamous is about. " - for Scene Routes, Mike D'Angelo talks about the opening scene to Infamous.
One of the most infamously bad NES licensed games ever released, Friday the 13th is known for its obtuseness and difficulty. Still, there's many who see an interesting design buried beneath Pack-In Software's incompetence, even inspiring an action figure based on its odd Jason Voorhees sprite, and it's for those people that YouTube filmmakers TripleZeroFilms created a 50-page, full-color, illustrated strategy guide (with its own trailer video!) for this unpolished gem in the extremely rough. [more inside]
Hobbes and Me: an obviously unauthorized, yet surprisingly true-to-the-original, live-action Calvin and Hobbes by Rafael Casal and featuring Daveed Diggs.
Comedy Central turned 25 years old on April 1st. The AV Club commemorates the anniversary with an oral history of the network that brought us South Park, Jon Stewart as a serious pundit, and an ongoing revolution for women in comedy.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union. AV Club is commemorating the occasion by having a "Cold War Week", which launches today with a Cold War Pop Culture Timeline.
“if he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.” That's what Jerome K. Jerome said about bagpipes in Three Men in a Boat. But here's 16 Songs Actually Improved By Bagpipes according to A.V. Club.
The truth is out there.
You're the Worst does not suggest depression can be defeated. It suggests, instead, that it can be lived with. Todd VanDerWerff, Culture Editor for Vox as well as AV Club reviewer, explains why the show You're the Worst understands the relationship between him and his wife.
The (Onion) A. V. Club continues its annual tradition by announcing the least essential albums of the year. While many of them are bad, the purpose is not to highlight the most awful music but the music which has the flimsiest justification for being made. [more inside]
"Thanksgiving weekend in the United States is a four-day festival of overindulgence: Giant meals, giant balloons representing pop-culture favorites, giant savings at the big box store on Friday morning. As we did in 2013, The A.V. Club aims to contribute to this tradition of extreme consumption with a guide to some TV shows worth tasting, snacking on, or straight-up devouring this weekend."
What was it like to be a Nintendo game play counselor? The A.V. Club interviews three former Nintento Hotline gameplay experts.
"There's a snideness about it that is in keeping with the experience and the inner life of being a certain kind of teenager. It's very anti-earnest. There was a moment after the period where that song came out where everything was humorless and grotesque. But after that, it seems like what happened was that everything got pretty earnest." Why Harvey Danger's '90s alt-rock hit "Flagpole Sitta" endures. [more inside]
The slowed-down Chipmunks are brilliant and terrifying... The "original" Chipmunks cover of Call Me vs the slowed-down version
It's GWAR's turn again for the AV Club's Undercover and this year they're hitting the only Cyndi Lauper tune on Tipper Gore and the PMRC's filthy fifteen; folks, I present GWAR covering "She Bop"
"Ask horror-movie buffs to name their favorite decade for the genre, and you’ll likely receive a variety of answers. The ’30s had several of Universal’s classic roster of monsters. The ’40s had Val Lewton. The ’70s had zombies, and giant sharks, and Texas chain saw massacres. (The ’70s is a good choice.) But at the risk of speculating wildly, it seems safe to assume that not too many hypothetical fans would single out the current or previous decade as horror’s finest. Classics take time to solidify, reputations take a minute to build, and hindsight is 20/20. Plus, you know, Uwe Boll." [more inside]
Three weeks ago, The AV Club quietly launched Film Club, a conversational weekly review show hosted by film editor A.A. Dowd and critic / former At the Movies host Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (previously, previously). New releases covered so far include The Visit, Transporter: Refueled, and Black Mass and Sicario. [more inside]
If you like Return Of The Jedi but hate the Ewoks, you understand feminist criticism - (slavc) An article by Caroline Siede at the A.V. Club. [more inside]
How Many Men Did The Golden Girls Sleep With, Exactly? Refinery 29 claims to have tallied up the numbers. (A quick summary courtesy of Jezebel.) [more inside]
A fan created video combining the far superior and punk-as-fuck Screaming Females cover of Taylor Swift's Shake It Off with the original video. The cover was part of the sometimes amusing, often surprising AV Undercover series.
If you're like me, you're still kinda recovering from the abrupt dissolution of The Dissolve earlier this week. This morning over at the AV Club, they posted a new entry in their series "Scenic Routes", which may be the best Movie-centric feature AV Club runs. And at this moment of recovery for dedicated movie geeks, it's a great opportunity to review some of their more memorable entries over the years. [more inside]
"Child actor-turned-maligned-Star-Trek-character-turned-geek-icon Wil Wheaton has been fairly open about his struggles with mental illness and depression. But for those who haven’t heard about that side of his life before, Project UROK spoke with the actor/writer about the way his anxiety affects him and why he eventually chose to seek help. We’re debuting that interview exclusively here on The A.V. Club." By Caroline Siede; direct YouTube link. [more inside]
“Jesus Christ, it jumps out of the speakers,” he said. "Only in hindsight did 1985’s Back To The Future seem destined to be a hit. At the time, it wasn’t entirely obvious the movie would be any different than the rest of the sci-fi tilting teen comedies of the era, even if it was directed by Robert Zemeckis (who was fresh off Romancing The Stone), starred Michael J. Fox (Alex P. Keaton of TV’s Family Ties) and was produced by Steven Spielberg. However, Back To The Future had a trick up its sleeve that eventually gave it bulletproof leverage: Huey Lewis And The News’ “The Power Of Love.” "
AV Club has recently completed a series of articles on kids shows that parents won't hate: The Pre-K Years, K-1st Grade, 2nd-3rd Grade and, finally, 8 kids shows to avoid at all costs.
As a contrast to this thread, here's an article on what it's like to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.
What's it like to be one of the Jeopardy! clue writers? The A.V. Club interviews Billy Wisse, who has worked at Jeopardy! as researcher, proofreader, and writer since 1990, and as head writer since 2011.
We got it all on UHF: An oral history of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s cult classic. By Sean O'Neal (SLAVClub)
AVclub.com asked Weird Al Yankovic, "If a deli named a sandwich after you, what would be on it?" His answer:
I’d say a fire-roasted eggplant, some roasted red peppers, diced heirloom tomatoes, some thin-sliced red onions—maybe double up on the onions and have some caramelized onions on top of the sliced onions. A little basil, some arugula, some chopped and marinated mushrooms, maybe a slice of fresh avocado, some alfalfa sprouts, a dose of hummus, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and put it on a warm toasted French roll lovingly sprinkled with some truffle oil.Challenge accepted.
Tom Petty knows what many don’t—that appropriation and originality can’t be separated.
Chicago's own Jan Terri offers up her version of "Ave Maria" paired with an interpretive video for your Xmastime enjoyment [more inside]
For their annual contribution to the AV Undercover series, GWAR has their way with Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls". New singers Blothar and Vulvatron (the ass-kicking, blood-spewing-from-her-bosom new female face of GWAR!) then transition the song into a weirdly moving, personalized take on Jim Carroll's "People Who Died" in tribute to fallen comrade, Oderus Ungerus, aka founding member Dave Brockie. [more inside]
The closest a film has ever come to adapting King’s internal-horror aesthetic is a film King himself has publicly lambasted: Kubrick’s version of The Shining. It’s the most artful, scary, and beautifully directed of the King adaptations, and even excludes some of the novel’s more overt (and potentially silly) visual elements, such as the hedge animals that come to life and stalk the family in the yard. Yet, the film never tackles the serious human horrors that infect Jack Torrance throughout the novel, specifically his alcoholism, along with the themes of cyclical abuse and mounting financial pressure. King’s criticism of the film is that Torrance, as played by Jack Nicholson, is portrayed as unhinged right from the start, whereas the novel slowly unravels the man’s sanity, the haunted house he occupies pushing him deeper into madness and violence. [more inside]
William Hughes writes movingly about the death of his partner and how it has changed how he reacts to the portrayal of death and resurrection in media.
"Longings and Desires", a Slate.com book review by Amanda Katz:
[Sarah] Waters, who was born in Wales in 1966, has carved out an unusual spot in fiction. Her six novels, beginning with Tipping the Velvet in 1998, could be called historical fiction, but that doesn’t begin to capture their appeal. It is closer to say that she is creating pitch-perfect popular fiction of an earlier time, but swapping out its original moral engine for a sensibility that is distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car.[more inside]
Her books offer something like an alternate reality—a literary one, if not a historical one. There may have been lesbian male impersonators working the London music halls in the 1890s, as in Tipping the Velvet, but there were certainly not mainstream novels devoted to their inner lives and sexual exploits. Waters gives such characters their say in books that imitate earlier crowd-pleasers in their structure, slang, and atmosphere, but that are powered by queer longing, defiant identity politics, and lusty, occasionally downright kinky sex. (An exception is her last novel, The Little Stranger.) The most masterful of these books so far is Fingersmith, a Wilkie Collins-esque tale full of genuinely shocking twists (thieves, double-crossing, asylums, mistaken identity, just go read it). The saddest is The Night Watch, a tale told in reverse of a group of entwined characters during and after World War II. But among many readers she is still most beloved for Tipping the Velvet, a deliriously paced coming-of-age story that is impossible to read in public without blushing.
A hypnotic video merging every actor who's played Doctor Who into one average face. [SLYT] (Laughing Squid via)
A.V. Club compiles a list of 30 foreign series that need immediate legal import to the U.S.