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Harry Potter fans can blow their New Year's Day watching the whole series on HBO

New Year’s Eve is all about getting dressed up, putting on a sparkly hat, and getting so drunk that you don’t mind watching several hours of Anderson Cooper or Ryan Seacrest on TV, but New Year’s Day is about groggily rolling out of bed, pushing aside all of the previous night’s detritus, and either going for a…

“19 years later,” Harry Potter’s biggest legacy is how it shaped modern fandom

Like many people, some of my favorite memories from high school are of road tripping to concerts with my friends. Only in my case, we were driving to suburban libraries and the musicians were “wizard rockers”—Harry Potter-themed bands who half-ironically, half-sincerely sang about J.K. Rowling’s wizarding series to…

A titanic, bittersweet symphony: 35 pop-culture windows into 1997

Two years after warring electronics companies competing to develop high-capacity CDs declared a truce, their compromise format, the DVD, first went on sale in the U.S. in March of 1997. (Twister, The Mask, GoodFellas, and The Road Warrior were among the first batch of titles.) DVDs didn’t hit major retail chains like…

What does Harry Potter mean to you?

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…

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Good lord, people are out here writing Hillary Clinton fantasy fan fiction

In the days after Trump’s election, the majority of Americans who opposed him were looking for something, anything, to feel comfort. And so it was nice to see that picture of Hillary Clinton, seemingly fine, hanging out in the woods in upstate New York—to see that after all of the indignity of the campaign, and after…