The 35 best TV performances of 2016 (and one worst)

With more scripted television programs in production than ever before, it follows that there are now a wider range of opportunities for television actors. Looking back at the performances that caught The A.V. Club’s eyes in 2016 confirms that hypothesis: While some of our favorite character actors found new facets of…

Richie sees dead people and other assorted clichés on a still engaging episode of Vinyl

Am I right in assuming that most of you figured out Ernst was dead (or at least imaginary) from the moment Richie started talking to him? I say that not to flaunt any kind of intellectual superiority—I’m a very gullible viewer—but to point out how tired a device it is: the concept of a mentally unstable character with…

Vinyl’s Richie Finestra flirts with both the light and the dark in the show’s second episode

When Richie Finestra returns to the American Century offices after the events in the first episode of Vinyl, his rock ‘n’ roll rebirth extends far beyond a renewed cocaine habit. First, he abruptly cancels the buyout with Polygram. When his partners protest, he draws inspiration from the Bruce Lee films he’s spent all…