week in vulture

10 Pop-Culture Questions Answered by Vulture This Week

Every week, Vulture faces the big, important questions in entertainment, and comes to some creative conclusions. This week, we chose the best sitcom of the past three decades, closed out Girls season two, and made some Benedict Cumbergifs. You may have read some of these stories below, but you certainly didn’t read them all. We forgive you.

Q: What won our Sitcom Smackdown?
Almost a month ago, Vulture pitted sixteen sitcoms from the past 30 years against each other in an NCAA-like bracket. Arrested Development, Cheers, Seinfeld, Roseanne, The Office, South Park, The Cosby Show, and so on. This week, Matt Zoller Seitz refereed the final face-offCheers vs. The Simpsons — and chose the citizens of Springfield over the barflies of Boston. We also got the writers of The Simpsons to pick their ten favorite songs and asked one of Cheers’s writers to reminisce about the show’s last sad and drunken night.

Q: Is Michelle Shocked having a bad week?
She’s having a terrible week. But it’s her own fault. She unleashed an anti-gay rant at a concert in San Francisco (the best place to do so, obviously), then kind of apologized, then tanked a radio interview. Just a terrible week.

Q: Can a two-minute cameo in a half-hour show ever really matter to an actor?
Yes! Especially in the case of Colin Quinn, whom we hadn’t heard from or thought about in quite a while. His appearance on the season-two finale of Girls was tops, and we talked to him about it. Jesse David Fox also calculated how long it would have taken Adam to run from his apartment to Hannah’s, Margaret Lyons argued that all the couples on that show should break up, and we compiled a delightful video of all the wit and witticisms of the show’s wisest character.

Q: Why can’t broadcast networks make any new reality hits?
So many reasons. Josef Adalian lays them out for you here.

Q: Is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining one of the most complex movies ever made?
If you ask the people interviewed in the new documentary Room 237, they will tell you that the film contains multitudes and that it is about many, many things. Here are four specific theories.

Q: How expressive is Benedict Cumberbatch’s face?
Benedict Cumberbatch’s face is both the most expressive and least expressive face in Hollywood, at least according to these seven GIFs compiled from all the Star Trek Into Darkness trailers. (For more GIF action, check out these Justin Timberlake ones — the trench-coat move is the best.)

Q: Will the movies ever produce another great monologue?
Yes. And it comes, surprisingly, from the film Spring Breakers, in which James Franco recites a list of all of “his sheeeit.” It’s pretty freaking wonderful. Read it here. Memorize it. Live it. (Okay, don’t live it; that’s a terrible idea.)

Q: Should NBC give The Tonight Show job to Jimmy Fallon?
No! NBC should definitely not give The Tonight Show job to Jimmy Fallon. That’s a crazy idea, and Josef Adalian explained why.

Q: What does a person have to do to get their daily dose of Tina Fey up in here?
Just read our tour of Tina Fey’s hairdos throughout the years. She’s so cool.

Q: Is Paul Rudd also Dorian Gray?
Yes. That man remains frighteningly young looking. Take our ageless Paul Rudd quiz and see for yourself.

The Best of Vulture: March 18 to March 22