Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and a bunch of British comedians got their start on an obscure TV show

Here at The A.V. Club, we’re pretty big on the movies director Edgar Wright has made with star and co-writer Simon Pegg—so much so that all three of them appear on our list of the best film comedies since 2000. And many of our readers might know that the duo first attracted attention with Spaced, the cult…

What’s your favorite pop culture from 1996?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

3-D dreams and 2-D extremes: 1996 in video game music

19XX was simultaneously the end of Capcom’s 1942/1943 shooters and their salvation. Trading in the deeply awkward World War II setting for a fictional war where twin-engine planes can shoot walls of plasma and fly endlessly into the horizon, it recast the ’80s arcade series in heavy metal tones for the ’90s. The old…

The Telecommunications Act Of 1996 gave us shitty cell service, expensive cable

When Congress passed the Telecommunications Act Of 1996, it didn’t seem like a big deal. An act that was meant to save consumers money on cable bills and phone service, the Telecom Act passed through Congress with flying colors, earning yea votes from 91 of the 100 senators, and about 95 percent of the House Of…

Read This: Was The Simpsons’ Poochie inspired by a failed Olympic mascot?

One of the most infamous characters in Simpsons history might be partially inspired by one of the most infamous mascots in Olympics history. At least that’s a theory espoused in the article “Joke Origins: Poochie, The Whatizit?, And The ’96 Olympics” posted on fan blog Flim Springfield. The blog, maintained by two …

Super Mario 64 introduced the camera as a friend and foe in video games

When the Nintendo 64 launched in the United States in September of 1996, players had just two games to choose from: a flight simulator called Pilotwings 64 and the latest entry in one of the most popular series in video game history. Super Mario 64 dragged its titular plumber into a fully realized three-dimensional…

Doctor Who: The Movie makes a good first impression the second time around

Usually when I tell a fellow Doctor Who fan that my first real foray into the fandom was the 1996 TV movie, I get a look of revulsion, confusion, or sympathy. Some people are amazed I would give the show another chance after such an ignominious introduction, while others think they’re wasting their time talking to a…

As 3-D found its footing, Capcom’s 2-D games reached new heights

In 1996, 3-D video games made good. Super Mario 64 and Tomb Raider weren’t alone in the land of three-dimensional games. Sega, Namco, Nintendo, and others had been releasing games made of polygons—the triangular graphical objects that are molded together to make your myriad racing cars or bug-eyed anthropomorphs—for…

In 1996, TV-to-movie adaptations reached saturation point—and a creative peak

It may be difficult to remember now that big-ticket superhero movies arrive on a near-monthly basis, but back in 1996, it was TV adaptations, not comics-based movies, that were considered the creative scourge of the decade. In ’96, there were about a dozen such adaptations, while the year’s single superhero offering…

Nickelodeon grew up and blew up in 1996

“It was just a normal Saturday, like the 51 other Saturdays that year.” So begins the 13th episode of the third season of The Adventures Of Pete And Pete, aptly titled “Saturday.” Like the other 38 half-hour episodes of Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi’s suburban fantasia, it’s a mundane setup that takes approximately…

This new video will give ’90s kids some intense Fiona Apple flashbacks

Music fans who came of age during the era of Monica Lewinsky, Pearl Jam, and Friends may experience a strong sense of déjà vu while watching “Hooking Up With Girls,” the latest video from Brooklyn alternative rock band It Was Romance. It’s a newly made clip for a newly released track, yet something about it seems so…