The A.V. Club

Last updated

The A.V. Club
Avclub logo.png
Type Popular culture, entertainment, news, reviews, politics, progressive
FormatInternet
Owner(s)Onion, Inc.
Editor-in-chiefLaura M. Browning
Founded1993;26 years ago (1993)
LanguageEnglish
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Website avclub.com

The A.V. Club is an online newspaper [1] and entertainment website featuring reviews, interviews, and other articles that examine films, music, television, books, games, and other elements of pop culture media. The A.V. Club was created in 1993 as a supplement to The Onion , despite having a minimal presence on its website in its early years. A 2005 website redesign placed The A.V. Club in a more prominent position, allowing its online identity to grow. Unlike its parent publication, The A.V. Club is not satirical. [2]

An online newspaper is the online version of a newspaper, either as a stand-alone publication or as the online version of a printed periodical.

Popular culture is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of the practices, beliefs and objects that are dominant or ubiquitous in a society at a given point in time. Popular culture also encompasses the activities and feelings produced as a result of interaction with these dominant objects. Heavily influenced in lives of people in a given society. Therefore, popular culture has a way of influencing an individual's attitudes towards certain topics. However, there are various ways to define pop culture. Because of this, popular culture is something that can be defined in a variety of conflicting ways by different people across different contexts. It is generally viewed in contrast to other forms of culture such as folk culture, working-class culture, or high culture, and also through different theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalysis, structuralism, postmodernism, and more. The most common pop-culture categories are: entertainment, sports, news, politics, fashion, technology, and slang.

The Onion is an American satirical digital media company and newspaper organization that publishes articles on international, national, and local news. Based in Chicago, the company originated as a weekly print publication on August 29, 1988 in Madison, Wisconsin. In the spring of 1996, The Onion began publishing online. In 2007, the organization began publishing satirical news audio and video online, as the Onion News Network. In 2013, The Onion ceased publishing its print edition and launched Onion Labs, an advertising agency.

Contents

The publication's name is a reference to school audiovisual clubs. [3]

Audiovisual Term to express that an effect possesses both a sound and a visual component, such as films, television programs, church services and live theater productions

Audiovisual (AV) is electronic media possessing both a sound and a visual component, such as slide-tape presentations, films, television programs, corporate conferencing, church services and live theater productions.

History

In 1993, five years after the founding of The Onion, a student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Stephen Thompson, launched an entertainment section of the newspaper.

University of Wisconsin–Madison Public university in Wisconsin, USA

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866. The 933-acre (378 ha) main campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, includes four National Historic Landmarks. The University also owns and operates a historic 1,200-acre (486 ha) arboretum established in 1932, located 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the main campus.

Stephen Thompson is an online music producer for NPR and editor of several music-related columns for NPR Music, including Song Of The Day and Shadow Classics. He is a regular on the NPR podcasts Pop Culture Happy Hour and All Songs Considered and also serves as an occasional guest music commentator for Morning Edition. He created NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts with Bob Boilen in 2008.

In 1996, both The Onion and The A.V. Club made their internet debut. [4] The A.V. Club was originally a sub-section [5] of the main theonion.com domain name. It was eventually moved to its own theavclub.com domain name [6] before the 2005 acquisition of the shorter avclub.com domain name [7] which coincided with a redesign that incorporated reader comments and blog content. In 2006 the website shifted its content model again to add content on a daily, rather than weekly, basis.

In December 2004, Stephen Thompson left his position as founding editor of The A.V. Club. [8]

According to Sean Mills, then-president of The Onion, the A.V. Club website first received more than 1 million unique visitors in October 2007. [9] In late 2009 the website was reported to have received over 1.4 million unique visitors and 75,000 comments per month. [10]

At its peak the print version of The A.V. Club was available in 17 different cities. [11] Localized sections of the website were also maintained with reviews and news relevant to specific cities. The print version and localized websites were gradually discontinued, and in December 2013 print publication ceased in the final three markets. [12]

2012–2014 senior staff departures

On December 13, 2012, long-time writer and editor Keith Phipps, who oversaw the website after Stephen Thompson left, stepped down from his role as editor of The A.V. Club. He said, "Onion, Inc. and I have come to a mutual parting of the ways." [13] [14] [15]

On April 2, 2013, long-time film editor and critic Scott Tobias stepped down from his role as film editor of The A.V. Club. He stated via Twitter, "After 15 great years @theavclub, I step down as Film Editor next Friday." [16]

On April 26, 2013, long-time writers Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson, and Genevieve Koski announced that they would also be leaving the website to begin work on a new project alongside Scott Tobias and Keith Phipps. [17] Koski also stated that she would continue to write freelance articles. [18] Writer Noel Murray announced he would also be joining their new project but would continue to contribute to The A.V. Club in a reduced capacity. [17] On May 30, 2013, it was announced that those six writers would be part of the senior staff of The Dissolve , a film website run by Pitchfork Media. [19]

In April and June 2014, senior staff writers Kyle Ryan, Sonia Saraiya, and Emily VanDerWerff [20] left the website for positions at Entertainment Weekly , Salon and Vox Media, respectively. [21] [22] In 2015, Ryan returned to Onion, Inc. for a position in development. [23] Following his departure from The Dissolve earlier that month, Nathan Rabin returned to write freelance for the website in May 2015; [24] this included the renewal of his regular column "My World of Flops". The Dissolve folded in July 2015. [25]

Television series

On February 16, 2017 The A.V. Club's editor-at-large, John Teti, posted an article on the website announcing the upcoming release of a television series, titled The A.V. Club, based on the website. [26] The series, hosted by Teti, began airing on Fusion on 16 March 2017 and ran for one season. [27] The series featured news, criticism, and discussions about various popular culture topics and featured staff members from the website.

Move to Univision

In January 2016 Univision Communications acquired "a 40 percent, controlling stake" in Onion Inc., the parent company of The A.V. Club. [28] Later that year, Univision also purchased Gawker Media and reorganized several of Gawker's sites into the new Gizmodo Media Group, a division of Fusion Media Group. [29] The site was subsequently migrated from Bulbs, an internal content management system developed by Onion Inc., to the Gawker-developed Kinja platform [30] [31] , deleting the comment section and audience reviews hosted on the previous site. In July of 2018, Univision announced they were looking for a buyer for the entire Gizmodo Group. [32]

Controversy

On December 9, 2010, the website ComicsComicsMag revealed that a capsule review for the book Genius, Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth had been fabricated. The book had not yet been published nor even completed by the authors. [33] The review was removed, and then-editor Keith Phipps posted an apology on the website. [34] Leonard Pierce, the author of the review, was terminated from his freelance role with the website. [35]

Books

A.V. Club year-end lists

Starting in 1999, only lists written by individual writers were published. Beginning in 2006, The A.V. Club began publishing website-consensus year-end album and film rankings alongside lists for individual writers.

Annual rankings for television began in 2010.

Album of the Year

YearArtistAlbumNationSource
2006 The Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America Flag of the United States.svg  United States [36]
2007 Arcade Fire Neon Bible Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada [37]
2008 TV on the Radio Dear Science Flag of the United States.svg  United States [38]
2009 Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix Flag of France.svg  France [39]
2010 Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Flag of the United States.svg  United States [40]
2011 Wye Oak Civilian Flag of the United States.svg  United States [41]
2012 Frank Ocean Channel Orange Flag of the United States.svg  United States [42]
2013 Kanye West Yeezus Flag of the United States.svg  United States [43]
2014 Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire for No Witness Flag of the United States.svg  United States [44]
2015 Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly Flag of the United States.svg  United States [45]
2016 David Bowie Blackstar Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom [46]
2017 Kendrick Lamar DAMN. Flag of the United States.svg  United States [47]
2018 Beach House 7 Flag of the United States.svg  United States [48]

Film of the Year

YearDirectorFilmNationSource
2006 Alfonso Cuarón Children of Men Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
[49]
2007 Joel and Ethan Coen No Country for Old Men Flag of the United States.svg  United States [50]
2008 Andrew Stanton WALL-E Flag of the United States.svg  United States [51]
2009 Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Flag of France.svg  France
[52]
2010 Debra Granik Winter's Bone Flag of the United States.svg  United States [53]
2011 Terrence Malick The Tree of Life Flag of the United States.svg  United States [54]
2012 Paul Thomas Anderson The Master Flag of the United States.svg  United States [55]
2013 Richard Linklater Before Midnight Flag of the United States.svg  United States [56]
2014 Richard Linklater Boyhood Flag of the United States.svg  United States [57]
2015 George Miller Mad Max: Fury Road Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
[58]
2016 Kenneth Lonergan Manchester by the Sea Flag of the United States.svg  United States [59]
2017 Sean Baker The Florida Project Flag of the United States.svg  United States [60]
2018 Lee Chang-dong Burning Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea [61]

Television Show of the Year

YearShowNetworkNationSource
2010 Breaking Bad AMC Flag of the United States.svg  United States [62]
2011 Louie FX Flag of the United States.svg  United States [63]
2012 Breaking Bad AMC Flag of the United States.svg  United States [64]
2013 Enlightened HBO Flag of the United States.svg  United States [65]
2014 Hannibal NBC Flag of the United States.svg  United States [66]
2015 Mad Men AMC Flag of the United States.svg  United States [67]
2016 The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story FX Flag of the United States.svg  United States [68]
2017 The Good Place NBC Flag of the United States.svg  United States [69]
2018 The Americans FX Flag of the United States.svg  United States [70]

Related Research Articles

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. The blog promoted itself as "the source for daily Manhattan media news and gossip." According to third-party web analytics provider SimilarWeb, the site had over 23 million visits per month as of 2015. Founded in 2003, Gawker was the flagship blog for Denton's Gawker Media. Gawker Media also managed other blogs such as Jezebel, io9, Deadspin and Kotaku.

Gawker Media

Gawker Media LLC was an online media company and blog network.

Kinja online news aggregator

Kinja is a free online news aggregator, launched in April 2004. It is operated by Gizmodo Media Group, which was purchased by Univision Communications during Gawker Media's bankruptcy.

Kotaku is a video game website and blog that was originally launched in 2004 as part of the Gawker Media network. Univision Communications bought Gawker Media in August 2016 and rebranded it as Gizmodo Media Group.

James Joseph Mallon is an American television and film producer and writer, most notable for being executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). He is also president of the series' production company, Best Brains, Inc., directed more than 75 episodes of MST3K, and played the role of Gypsy from the first season until the middle of the eighth season.

Univision Communications American media company

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<i>The Onion Movie</i> 2008 film by Tom Kuntz

The Onion Movie is a comedy film written by The Onion writers Robert D. Siegel and Todd Hanson along with the Madison, WI-based writing staff of the paper. It was filmed in 2003 and released on June 3, 2008 direct-to-video.

Nathan Rabin American film critic

Nathan Rabin is an American film and music critic. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Rabin was the first head writer for The A.V. Club, a position he held until he left the Onion organization in 2013. In 2013, Rabin became a staff writer for The Dissolve, a film website operated by Pitchfork Media. Two of his popular featured columns at The Dissolve were "Forgotbusters" and "Streaming University".

Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG) is a stock character type in films. Film critic Nathan Rabin, who coined the term after observing Kirsten Dunst's character in Elizabethtown (2005), said that the MPDG "exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." MPDGs are said to help their men without pursuing their own happiness, and such characters never grow up; thus, their men never grow up.

<i>Winters Bone</i> 2010 film by Debra Granik

Winter's Bone is a 2010 American mystery drama film directed by Debra Granik. It was adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini from the 2006 novel of the same name by Daniel Woodrell. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as a teenage girl in the rural Ozarks of Missouri who, to protect her family from eviction, must locate her missing father. The film explores the interrelated themes of close and distant family ties, the power and speed of gossip, self-sufficiency, and poverty as they are changed by the pervasive underworld of illegal meth labs.

<i>Album Raises New and Troubling Questions</i> 2011 compilation album by They Might Be Giants

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David Lynch filmography

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The Dissolve was a film review, news, and commentary website which was operated by Pitchfork and based in Chicago, Illinois. The site was focused on reviews, commentary, interviews, and news about contemporary and classic films. Its editor was Scott Tobias, the former editor in chief of The A.V. Club. Editorial director Keith Phipps announced The Dissolve's closure on July 8, 2015.

StarWipe was a satirical website from The Onion which parodied celebrity gossip sites, such as TMZ. It launched on September 21, 2015, and closed on June 17, 2016. It was run by Sean O'Neal, the senior editor of The A.V. Club.

Bollea v. Gawker was a Florida lawsuit in which Terry Gene Bollea, known professionally as Hulk Hogan, sued Gawker Media, publisher of the Gawker website, and several Gawker employees and Gawker-affiliated entities, for posting portions of a sex tape of Bollea with Heather Clem, at that time the wife of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge. Bollea's claims included invasion of privacy, infringement of personality rights, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Prior to trial, Bollea's lawyers said the privacy of many Americans was at stake while Gawker's lawyers said that the case could hurt freedom of the press in the United States.

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