Saturday Night Live, Jessica Chastain, and more this week on The A.V. Club
New this week
Our Sundance coverage started today with a film in which Michael Cera takes a wild, drug-filled odyssey. If that’s a sign of things to come, you’ll want to check back every day from now until next Friday, January 25.
- How did the world’s worst New Year’s Eve broadcast come to be? That’s a question My World Of Flops was made to answer.
- Inventory’s here to help you through the weekend with 19 bizarre sketches from Saturday Night Live’s last 10 minutes and 15 pop-culture presidents behaving unpresidentially. It’s okay to wish Futurama’s Nixon was taking the Oval Office on Sunday.
- We shared our favorite musical sequences in non-musicals, from Community to Young Frankenstein.
- Find out why the seventh Sandman collection is Oliver Sava’s favorite.
- Todd VanDerWerff tried to figure out why A Different World was the last black sitcom to be a hit in 100 Episodes.
- “David Lee Roth is one of the shittiest singers to ever clutch a microphone.” Jason Heller explained why “Runnin’ With The Devil” works in The Single File.
- Bunheads creator Amy Sherman-Palladino told us how running Gilmore Girls empowered her enough to set a dance sequence to They Might Be Giants.
- We celebrated a bullied classmate with The Mountain Goats in Hear This.
- Tasha Robinson watched Safe’s commentary track and found a whole lot of smarts that don’t show up in the movie.
- Scott Tobias inaugurated Pump Up The Volume into The New Cult Canon. It’s much more exciting than the real inauguration.
- Zero Dark Thirty spawned more great discussions this week, as it does. The first explored how its use of the lone-wolf protagonist makes it more conventional than it seems. The second looked at Kathryn Bigelow’s film history and offered up a few starting points. Yes, including Point Break.
- Genevieve Koski checked in with Roseanne to gather 10 episodes that reveal the show’s heart. Sounds like marathon material.
- Did Erik Adams only start writing about web series so he could one day write about Yacht Rock? You’ll never know, but you can probably guess.
- “We still have this hanging over our heads, in our lives, like some sort of cancer.” Damien Echols talked with us about West Of Memphis and his quest to find closure.
- Great Job, Internet collected some rather excellent videos this week, from an unaired Paul Thomas Anderson–directed pilot featuring Elliott Smith to a sneak peak of Michael K. Williams performing as Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Catch up with it all here.
- “I think they’re the crappiest, most overrated shit band of all time. And I fucking can’t stand them.” Find out just how much Matt Pike of Sleep and High On Fire hates Aerosmith.
- Death threatened romance in Conan The Barbarian #12, the latest in Oliver Sava’s Big Issues.
What are we arguing about this week?
The most commented article this week is Noel Murray’s exploration of how pop culture is changing the perception of nerds and of autism, a worthy topic of discussion for a site devoted to nerd culture.
See: We never expected this to happen, but we’re going to go ahead and put The Last Stand here, with a few reservations. We have less reservations about Mama, but be prepared for something truly scary.
Read: George Saunders may be the greatest short-story writer of our time, so now would be a good time to check out Tenth Of December, his new collection.
Listen to: Yo La Tengo proves old age won’t slow them down with Fade, and Free Energy proves there’s still room for ’70s Trans-Am rock on Love Sign.
Watch: Take a moment to remember all the shows that were deemed too weird for network TV before watching this week’s American Horror Story. It’ll make it that much more amazing. Girls was also on this week, returning with a solid episode. But you folks don’t have anything to say about that show, right?
This week on The Onion
“Diamond” Joe Biden needs some cash fast. The Onion’s best Trans Am-driving creation has a new Kindle single The President Of Vice: The Autobiography Of Joe Biden. You can pick it up for $2.99 in the Amazon store, and you will probably enjoy it. If you don’t, Uncle Joe has ways of making it up to you.