Unconventional pop-culture presents: The A.V. Club’s 2018 gift guide

For the past three decades, Leonard Koren has been quietly publishing elegant, thoughtful books wherein he writes simply and directly about the often complex subjects of art and aesthetics. He designs his own books, including the typeface, and they’re special objects in and of themselves. What Artists Do, Koren’s…

In his season finale, John Oliver plays authoritarian bingo, warns we're on the verge of losing

“The world is dabbling with something very dangerous right now,” warned John Oliver at the conclusion of his last Last Week Tonight main story of the year on Sunday. No, not our near-universal obsession with Bradley Cooper’s new version of A Star Is Born. Sure, that’s hyperbolic and a little weird, but basically…

Bob's Burgers has familiar fun with its latest Thanksgiving episode

B

Thanksgiving is about families coming together, so it’s always appropriate when Bob’s Burgers treats us to a holiday episode featuring all five Belchers in the same story. This year’s entry takes aim at one of America’s most daffily nonsensical traditions, the annual presidential pardon of a turkey. As both Bob and…

Supergirl would like to remind you to fight hatred this Thanksgiving, especially when it carries a tiki torch

B+

There are plenty of adjectives you could use to describe the past three seasons of Supergirl: Inspiring, exhilarating, funny, earnest, and often times a little bit dumb. But there’s one adjective that’s never applied until now: Scary. Season four of Supergirl is genuinely terrifying, not just in…

RuPaul helps Marge find her confidence in a delightful, wise episode of The Simpsons

B+

I like being surprised. Maybe that’s because I’ve got a long and self-fulfilling tendency to expect the worst. Or maybe because of the fact that, for the last several years, I’ve been reviewing 20-plus episodes a year of two shows whose names, when dropped in conversation, invariably return some variant of “Ugh,…

In a compelling "Chapter One," Escape At Dannemora shows that there's more than one way to be imprisoned

A-

Escape At Dannemora could easily package itself as a stylish, well-pedigreed action tale and still be wildly entertaining—and it’s to the credit of writers Brett Johnson, Michael Tolkin, and Jerry Stahl; director Ben Stiller; and, of course, the brilliant trifecta of lead actors in Patricia Arquette, Benicio Del Toro,…

A disjointed episode of Charmed nonetheless taps into real human conflict

B+

Even though its storylines are a bit disconnected from each other, “Kappa Spirit” is an ideal episode of Charmed in how it layers in just enough deeper context and emotional storytelling underneath the more straightforward plot patterns. Yes, it’s a Monster Of The Week episode featuring a vengeful ghost, but “Kappa…

Outlander nails relationships, even when they go wrong

A-

“The False Bride” finally brings back Roger and Brianna’s storyline in 1970s America to widen the universe of Outlander’s fourth season. It’s also technically a mythology episode, building on some of what was already hinted at in terms of a slightly telepathic bond between Claire and fellow time travelers. But as…

The magic is back in the trailer for season 4 of Syfy's The Magicians

To the uninitiated, Syfy’s adaptation of The Magicians can be a pretty weird and baffling thing. The show will be coming back for a new season in January, and as laid out in this handy Deadline post about the latest Magicians trailer, the series is coming off of a third season that saw magic itself being shut down and…

D'Arcy Carden goes behind the scenes of her awesome Good Place bar fight 

Lately, the Good Place cast has been making it clear that their super-good show is also super-fun to make, with Jameela Jamil posting some behind-the-scenes videos a few days ago of her and the rest of the cast trying to teach Ted Danson how to dance, but D’Arcy Carden showed everybody how it’s done with a series of…

Bill Lawrence would make a Scrubs movie, but only if everybody gets really desperate

So far, it looks like Frasier is the only TV show that the original creators want to bring back but cannot, due to Kelsey Grammer’s inability to come up with a good justification for the return of Frasier Crane, but now we’ve got another older TV show that the original creator doesn’t want to bring back—at least until…

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