Live’s not dead: 21 great live albums from the 21st century

In May 1968, Johnny Cash released Live At Folsom Prison, a recording of a raucous, emotionally charged performance before a group of grateful inmates that went on to top the country charts, completely reinvigorating Cash’s career. Folsom wasn’t the first successful live album, obviously, but it quickly became a…

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Doing it wrong: 11+ deeply unsexy sex scenes

What’s that old saying about sex being like pizza? Even when it’s bad, it’s still good? There’s no such saying about bad sex scenes. It’s not uncommon for the movies to get sex wrong—to reduce it to a gauzily lit pantomime of pleasure, actors striking “passionate” poses beneath carefully positioned sheets, in some…

12 foods (and 1 unpleasant-tasting liqueur) forever synonymous with Chicago

Chicago gave America improv comedy, the notion of long-suffering sports franchises, Playboy, the meatpacking industry, the Ferris wheel, urban architecture, comic book gangsters, Wilco, the album art for Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Muddy Waters, and Barack Obama. The list can go on another 500 items. But it’s…

Attention, Ryan Murphy: 14 more true-life TV movies to inspire tomorrow’s prestige dramas

If you want to craft the compelling, hit drama series of today—the kind of show that feels like a can’t-miss cultural event—savvy showrunners know to look to the not-so-distant past. From FX’s The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story to last year’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, in the…

The January Canon: 16 good movies released during Hollywood’s worst dump month

Historically and annually speaking, January is a bad month for Hollywood movies. It’s a “dump month,” that time of year when the major studios offload the projects in which they have no faith. Sandwiched between the holidays and the Super Bowl, these four weeks are generally treated like a write-off season, as bad…

Let’s start again: 12 resolutions for pop culture in 2018

It’s a New Year, and with it comes the opportunity for a fresh start—to take a hard and unflinching look at the areas in our lives that could stand to be improved, then to immediately give up on that and start thinking about how pop culture can better distract us from our problems. In what has become an annual…

“A Festivus for the rest of us”: 23 holiday TV episodes to watch online

It’s December, so it’s time to dust off those Christmas movies, those Christmas movies that aren’t really Christmas movies, or whatever side of that wall you think Die Hard falls on. But what if you’re in a holiday mood but not up for the whole two-hour jaunt to Bedford Falls? Or want something classic and familiar,…

13 onscreen female presidents who would be better than Donald Trump

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the day that will live in infamy: the election of Donald J. Trump. On one hand, it feels like yesterday; on the other, it seems like 200 exhausting years have passed, full of Twitter rants and never-ending embarrassing moments by our ridiculous and dangerous commander in…

Oh… I haven’t seen it”: 15 deep-cut Halloween costumes from 2017 pop culture

Halloween draws nigh, and with it the annual parade of ghosts and goblins, trolls and Trumps, pumpkins and David S. Pumpkins, and other, equally obvious guises drawn from the well of contemporary pop culture. But you read The A.V. Club (or, at least, you scroll past it on the way to the comments). Your refined tastes…

The 22 best minor characters on TV right now

To the protagonists go the TV spoils: The spotlight scenes, the attention of award-giving bodies, the premium paychecks. And while a well-realized main character might hook you in to a TV show, that show isn’t worth sticking with unless its world is also populated by equally well-realized characters who support,…

The cosmic ballet goes on: 15 of our favorite pop-culture eclipses

The Simpsons has prominently featured a solar eclipse twice in its long run, but most memorably in the Season 20 episode “Gone Maggie Gone,” where Marge is stricken blind and Lisa goes undercover as a nun. Just kidding: Everyone actually remembers the eclipse from “Marge Vs. The Monorail,” in which the celestial event…

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The A.V. Club’s songs of the summer 2017 for indoor kids

The summer is upon us, and everywhere you go, you can expect to hear songs from Drake, Lorde, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and the like blaring from the stereos of convertibles bound for the beach, soundtracking backyard cookouts and sweaty dance floors alike, and generally heating things up wherever you find open air and…

Breaking the habit: A dozen-plus unconventional movie nuns

The women who dedicate themselves to the convent give up a lot for their lifetime of service; maybe that’s why their numbers are falling like a meteor plummeting to Earth. On the upside: Married to God. Downside: Vows of chastity, poverty, and worst of all, obedience. That trio of rules doesn’t leave much room for…

30 games Nintendo should include on the Super NES Classic Edition

As soon as Nintendo announced the NES Classic Edition, its miniaturized replica of the classic ’80s console with 30 built-in games, people starting speculating about the inevitable next step: a Super NES Classic Edition. And while the NES will forever hold the honor of being Nintendo’s first dedicated system, reviving…

The Second(-Billed) City: 19 great Chicago character actors

Chicago is a “that guy” kind of town, its very history shaped by political machines and criminal syndicates whose leaders all resembled character actors of one type or another. It’s also home to venerable ensemble theater companies such as Steppenwolf and improv comedy institutions like Second City, which has made it…

Hey, these bread crumbs are crack rocks: 9 subversive fairy-tale movies

Lots of movies are obviously patterned after fairy tales, everything from Sydney White to The Beautician And The Beast. There are also a multitude of straight-on adaptations, like Disney’s new live-action Beauty And The Beast, which premieres Friday, March 17. But we’ve noticed that there are some films clearly based…