best of 2021

Vulture’s 20 Most-Read Stories in 2021

Photo: Vulture

Much of Vulture’s most-read stories list (based on the total minutes visitors spent with our articles) will be familiar to those culture consumers who fought through pandemic fatigue to keep up with the biggest releases and narratives of the year. There’s Succession, White Lotus, and I Think You Should Leave; a surprising John Mulaney twist and another Dave Chappelle controversy; accountability finally coming for Scott Rudin and sort-of-but-not-really for The Bachelor franchise. Then there are the rest of the entries in the top 20, which hearteningly speak to a return of sorts to normalcy: Readers were eager to once again dive down nostalgic rabbit holes, to debate the merits of entertainers and entertainment, and to meet colorful — very literally, in one instance — new characters.

This list is just a small sample of the work New York puts out each day in print, across its six digital sites — VultureIntelligencerthe Cut,  Grub Streetthe Strategist, and Curbed — and in its growing portfolio of newsletters. For more of our coverage, be sure to sign up for Vulture’s daily newsletter and to subscribe to our network.

Succession Plans

20. The Roys Summer in Italy

Photo: Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari for New York Magazine

On location with the cast of Succession, the most interestingly terrible billionaires on TV. Read the story


19. How Coffin Flop’s Coffins Got Flopped

Photo: Netflix

The story behind one of I Think You Should Leave’s funniest moments from season two. Read the story

In Conversation

18. In Conversation: Dave Grohl

Photo: Ari Marcopoulos

He’s the most prolific rock star of the last 30 years. Somehow, we’re still getting to know him. Read the story


17. Blurbed to Death

Illustration: Zohar Lazar

How one of publishing’s most hyped books became its biggest horror story — and still ended up a best seller. Read the story


16. Confessions of a 32-Year-Old Drama Queen

Photo: Shaughn & John

No one is keeping up with Trisha Paytas, YouTube’s most frighteningly entertaining star. Read the story


15. The Spine Collector

Illustration: by Madison Ketcham

For years, a mysterious figure has been stealing books before their release. Read the story

TV Review

14. Them Is Pure Degradation Porn

Photo: Anne Marie Fox/Amazon

The Little Marvin–created, Lena Waithe–produced series reveals the empty promise of representation in Hollywood. Read the story

Comedy Review

13. Dave Chappelle’s Endless Feedback Loop

Photo: Mathieu Bitton

The Closer proves the comedian is right about one thing: It’s time for a break. Read the story

The Art of Ending Things

12. No, They Weren’t Dead the Whole Time

Photo-Illustration: by Vulture; Photo by Mario Perez/ABC

An oral history of Lost’s daring, divisive finale. Read the story


11. Who Should John Mulaney Be Now?

Illustration: André Carrilho

A recap of John Mulaney’s first post-rehab stand-up comedy show. Read the story

Ooh It's Them!

10. The 32 Greatest Character Actors Working Today

Photo-Illustration: by Vulture; Photos by Shutterstock, HBO, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Netflix, Newmarket Films, A24, New Line Cinema, FX, Sony Pictures Releasing, Paramount Pictures, Gramercy Pictures, Sony Pictures Television and Focus Features

We asked critics and Hollywood creators: Which supporting players make everything better? Read the story

The Art of Ending Things

9. The 101 Greatest Endings in Movies History

Illustration: by James Clapham

Good finales offer catharsis. The best deny us closure altogether. Here’s our ranking. Read the story

A Long Talk

8. Mike White Accepts the Criticism

Photo: TODD MIDLER/The New York Times/Redux

The White Lotus creator understands if you feel conflicted about that ending. So does he. Read the story

Vulture Lists

7. The 50 Greatest Western Movies Ever Made

Photo-Illustration: Maya Robinson/Vulture and Photos Courtesy of Studios and Getty Images

A hard look at one of cinema’s oldest genres. Read the story


6. The End of Kimye’s Wild Ride

Photo-Illustration: Kanye/youtube

She thought he was an artistic genius. He wanted to “dip her ass in gold.” And now it’s over. Read the story

Let There Be Kronk

5. ‘We’ll Never Make That Kind of Movie Again’

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection

An oral history of The Emperor’s New Groove. Read the story


4. How Sara Gruen Lost Her Life

Photo: DeSean McClinton-Holland

The Water for Elephants author’s six-year fight to free an incarcerated man left her absolutely broke and critically ill. Read the story

The Industry

3. Scott Rudin, As Told by His Assistants

Illustration: by Fede Yankelevich

A portrait of a toxic workplace. Read the story

Gotcha! Gotcha Again!

2. Okay, Let’s Talk About Behind Her Eyes’ Double Twist Ending

Photo: Netflix

That final reveal gives some of what comes before greater context, but that doesn’t mean it’s good context. Read the story

First Person

1. Rachel Lindsay Has No Roses Left to Burn

Photo: Munachi Osegbu for New York Magazine

I thought I could change The Bachelor franchise from within. Until I realized I was their token. Read the story

Vulture’s 20 Most-Read Stories in 2021