best of vulture

Happy New Year: Ring in 2013 By Reading Vulture’s Best Writing of 2012

No humblebragging here, dear readers. We’ll be straight up with you — we’re very happy with all the work we did last year and we’re even happier that you continue to visit us for your daily (hourly?) injection of pop culture goodness. Here’s a long look back at our favorite pieces, videos, illustrations and advent calendars (fine, there was just that one) from 2012. We’re looking forward to seeing you often in 2013.


Vulture’s 100 Most Valuable Movie Stars

An Aural History of the Inception Horn

How Does Silver Linings Playbook Handle Mental Illness?

How Is It Spelled: Les Mis or Les Miz?

12 Movie Posters in Which Denzel is Not Effing Around

Vulture Ranks All 28 Steven Spielberg Movies

Its OK For Action Heroes to Get Hurt 

Movie Trailers Do Not Need Their Own Trailers

Can Kate Hudson Escape the Rom-Com Curse?

Who Is The Master’s Master Masturbator?

Does Disney Have An Identity Crisis?

The Best Performances in the Worst Oscar Bait

The Inside Story of How John Carter Was Doomed By Its First Trailer

Polone: The False, Circular Logic Behind Hollywood’s Resistance to Black Entertainment

How Being Big in Japan (Or Germany. Or Russia.) Gets A Movie Made.

Have A-List Directors Become Too Married To Their Franchises?

Magic Mike: The Gathering Trading Cards

Who Does Daniel Day Lewis Sound Like in Lincoln?

Vulture’s Les Miserables Advent Calendar

How to Tell Sundance Filmmakers That They Got In

How Many Years is Best Between Movie Sequels?

Vulture Awards: Celebrating the Year in Channing Tatum

Apocalypse Nikki: Polone Challenges the Power of the Vengeful Nikki Finke

When Did Matthew McConaughey Become Interesting?

Polone: The Unglamorous, Punishing Hours of Working on a Hollywood Set

How To Shoot Instagram Photos That Look Like Your Favorite Directors Films

The Definitive Tom Hanks Matrix

The Definitive Bill Murray Matrix

Six Lincoln Limericks to Text Your Loved Ones

Can The Romantic Comedy Be Saved?

Ask an Economist, Which Bond Villain Plan Would Have Worked?

How To Hunt Bill Murray In the Wild

Steven Spielberg’s Cinematographer Talks To Vulture About How He Got These 11 Memorable Shots

See Vulture’s Map of the Comedy Zeitgest


Vulture’s Drama Derby: What Is The Best TV Drama of the Past 25 Years?

Vulture Finds the 25 Most Devoted Fan Bases

Video: The Sounds of Mad Men Season Five

Why Loving America’s Funniest Videos Is Not A Shameful Act

Claire Danes Cry Face Halloween Mask

Photos: The Game of Thrones cast in and out of character

The Sum and the Parts: In Defense of TV Recaps

Seitz Asks: What’s the Scariest Image You’ve Seen in a TV Series?

Downton Abbey Paper Dolls

Print out Vulture’s Girls Paper Dolls

Ten Classic 30 Rock Jokes Told As Infographics

Is Don Draper Mad Men’s Angel of Death?

The Best and Worst Closing Songs on Mad Men

Lines from American Horror Story or Fake Porn?

Video: Are TV Shows overusing Coldplay’s Fix You?

Why No One Should Be Shocked By Joan’s Big Move on Mad Men

Girls: From Lightning Rod To Must-See TV

The Best and Worst Closing Songs on Mad Men

Video: Watch Breaking Bad’s Walter White Chew Out Jesse Pinkman Over and Over Again

Why Is Everyone So Mad at Homeland?

Video: See Every Killing from Game of Thrones In Under a Minute

Is the NBC Comeback Real?

Vulture Ranks Twenty Awkward Louie Dates on a Shame-O-Meter

The 239 Issues Tackled By Degrassi So Far

Cable’s Whitney Houston Coverage Was a Bumbling Intruder at a Wake

What Shenanigans Will Nicholas Brody Get Into Next?

Seitz: Why Fans Should Stop Trying To Bring Back Dead TV Shows

See Vulture’s Breaking Bad Playing Cards

Why TV Apocalypses Are Really Wish Fulfillment Fantasies

How The Best Shows Are Turning Viewers Into Shrinks

33 Facts You Learn About Mindy Kaling By Hanging Around Her

Take a Tour of Debra Messing’s Remarkably Terrible Wardrobe on Smash

Skyler’s Many Hate Faces on Breaking Bad

The Watercooler is in The Cloud

When Vulture Took a Spin Class Taught by New Girl’s Schmidt

The Hard Truths Behind Dan Harmon’s Ousting

Vulture Ranks Aaron Sorkin’s TV Characters

Polone: Why Animal Practice is Animal Cruelty

A Buster Bluth Goosebumps Novel

Video: Vulture Wrote a Better Homeland Theme Song

Your Guide to Nashville’s Indistinguishable Men

Video: Vulture’s Ad For Leslie Knope’s City Council Campaign

Why The Sitcom Spinoff Isn’t Coming Back

How Dexter’s Grossest Murders Were Staged

Video: Amazing Moments From Dina Lohan’s Dr. Phil Interview

Vulture Goes Down the Mandy Patinkin YouTube Rabbit Hole

A Guide To Each Breaking Bad Death and How Sad It Was

Why Pay Cable Can’t Let Netflix Have All the Movies


Grizzly Bear Is Indie Rock Royalty. But What Does That Buy Them in 2012?

Hiding Out With Fiona Apple, Musical Hermit

Who Is Each Song on Taylor Swift’s Album About?

Why Frank Ocean’s Coming Out Was Unique

Michael K. Williams Reveals His Omar From The Wire Music Playlist

Why Gangam Style Is a Hit With People Who’ve Never Listened to K-Pop

In Which Photo Is Lana Del Rey’s Head the Heaviest?

The Boss is Hungry: Every Food Item Name Dropped In A Rick Ross Song

Vulture Finds A Less Drug Bust-y Route Through Texas For Musicians

Azealia Banks Is All Things

Whitney Houston and the Burden of Perfection


Saltz: This Is Why I Hate Big Money Auctions

Saltz’s Devastating Post-Sandy Tour Through Chelsea’s Art Galleries

Is Glenn Beck’s ‘Obama in Pee-Pee’ Actually Art?

Edelstein and Saltz Spar Over Marclay’s ‘The Clock’


Vulture Ranks All 62 Stephen King Books

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to 50 Shades of Grey

The 50 Worst Synonyms in 50 Shades of Grey

All The Ways Jack Reacher Kicks Ass Over 17 Novels

Michael Chabon May Just Be The Perfect Writer For the Obama Age

Encyclopedia Brown Was Our Gateway Detective

Ring in 2013 By Reading Vulture’s Best of 2012