year in culture

Vulture’s 20 Most-Read Stories of 2023

From Britney to Taylor and The Simpsons to Succession, we covered a lot of ground.

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos: Tracy Ma, Bobby Doherty, Mark Seliger, HBO, MEGA/GC Images
Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos: Tracy Ma, Bobby Doherty, Mark Seliger, HBO, MEGA/GC Images
Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos: Tracy Ma, Bobby Doherty, Mark Seliger, HBO, MEGA/GC Images

This year’s most-read post on Vulture was, unsurprisingly, a piece of Taylor Swift journalism. The star certainly had an eventful year, dominating venues, restaurants, condiments, and headlines. But she was far from the only thing that captured our attention—or yours. Here are the 20 Vulture stories that our readers spent the most time with in 2023.

Worth noting: We intentionally omitted TV recaps from this list, instead collecting our most popular show discussions in a separate article.


Illustration: Giacomo Gambineri

After 34 seasons, 750 episodes, and a decades-long funk, the show innovated its way back to popularity and relevance. Read the story.


Photo-Illustration: Tracy Ma

After her conservatorship ended, some of her fandom latched on to a new theory: What if she had never been freed at all? Read the story.

Photo: Photographs by Holly Andres

Emily Henry cracked the modern romance novel. Read the story.


Photo: Daniel Dorsa

The complete, from-beginning-to-end story of how Stephen Sondheim, David Ives, and Joe Mantello created the musical Here We Are. Read the story.


Photo: Bobby Doherty

The NYU classmates behind the year’s most delightfully dumb comedy. Read the story.

Exit Interview

Photo: HBO

Producer Kevin Messick breaks down the HBO series’ abrupt cancellation and how they turned season two’s ending into a series finale. Read the story.

The Industry

Photo: NEON (Beauty), Netflix (Tinder, Tiger, Dahmer, Harry, Cheer, Fyre, Icarus), Apple TV+ (Eilish, Magic), Searchlight (Soul)

The boom — or glut — in streaming documentaries has sparked a reckoning among filmmakers and their subjects. Read the story.

Photo-Illustration: Vulture. Photo: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“I was dealing with being in a band with three complete addicts, and it wasn’t easy.” Read the story.

Photo-Illustration: Vulture. Photos: Getty Images; The Free Press

The podcast says it wants to have a conversation. What it really wants to do is give a sermon. Read the story.

Origin Stories

Illustration: by María Jesús Contreras

“Who Jackie?” has been retold for 28 years — much to the surprise of the Roseanne writer who said it. Read the story.

The Law

Photo: Said Elatab/BACKGRID

The actor is back on the Rust set. Since the death of Halyna Hutchins, his marriage has taken on a starring role. Read the story.

Close Read

Photo: HBO

“Connor’s Wedding” is a triumph of anticlimax. Read the story.

The Industry

Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy/Alamy Stock Photo

In 1968, Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting were the world’s most famous teens. In 2023, they sued Paramount for abuse. Read the story.

Stage Fright

Illustration: Diego Patiño

Dizzying shooters, agonizing puzzles, and water stages (ugh) that raise the question: Continue? Read the story.

Photo: Sony Pictures Animation

Four animators say unsustainable working conditions are behind the success of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Read the story.


Photo: Mark Seliger for New York Magazine

Her radically intimate daytime show is as much therapy for her as it is for her guests. Read the story.

Screen Time

Photo: Bobby Doherty/

The most overrated metric in movies is erratic, reductive, and easily hacked — and yet has Hollywood in its grip. Read the story.

Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon/Universal Pictures

It’s the most shattering ending of anything Christopher Nolan has made, and maybe even of any studio blockbuster in recent memory. Read the story.

The Industry

Illustration: by Jess Ebsworth

TV’s streaming model is broken. It’s also not going away. For Hollywood, figuring that out will be a horror show. Read the story.

Champagne Problems

Photo: MEGA/GC Images

Servers, bartenders, and owners explain what happens when Taylor Swift visits their NYC restaurants. Read the story.

Vulture’s 20 Most-Read Stories of 2023