Hang in there: Then Came Bronson captured the spirit of the counterculture

Scripted television has never done relevance well, and the hippie era was an especially ugly moment of disconnect between what was happening on the streets and inside the tube. Instead of greeting the peace-love-dope movement with respect or at least curiosity, cop shows like Dragnet and Ironside depicted hippies as…

The monoliths: 17 supercomputers from the ’60s

1. The IBM System 360, Mad Men: “The Monolith” (2014)
The newest hire at Sterling Cooper & Partners in 1969 is a room-sized supercomputer that has, to date, displaced the creative team and driven Michael Ginsberg to a psychotic break. As it turns out, the supercomputer is a staple of ’60s fiction, from science fiction,…

Take your significant other to work day: 32 actors who popped up on their other halves’ sitcoms

1. Mila Kunis, Two And A Half Men
Being on a long-running sitcom has plenty of benefits for an actor. The pay is good, and the hours are relatively consistent and short. But it can also become a drag to play the same character year after year, to deliver the same punchlines or catchphrases. Perhaps that’s why so many…

The Richard Boone Show: 11 actors in an infinite number of roles

“Television’s boneyard has crooked its gnarled, beckoning finger toward The Richard Boone Show,” wrote one gloomy critic in February 1964. It makes sense to begin at the end with The Richard Boone Show, which became famous in its time less for the show it was than for the heated, unhappy debate it inspired over the…

Sudden death: 16 shows where an actor and a series dramatically part ways

1. Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Most of the time when a character dies on TV, it’s because the series’ writers have decided it’s the right time for the character’s story to end, especially in our era of highly serialized dramas. But sometimes, a character dies not because the producers thought it best, but because it…

Beyond True Detective: 17 TV long takes worth your attention

1. True Detective, “Who Goes There”
The fourth episode of True Detective has brought new attention to a TV necessity: the long shot, often taking the form of a tracking shot. Such shots are frequently celebrated in film—think of Martin Scorsese’s use of tracking shots over the years, or the self-parodying opening of…

So what’s good?: 33 older shows to binge on over the long weekend

A few months ago, The A.V. Club gave you 26 great, currently running shows to watch over a long weekend. But since this holiday weekend is even longer, we thought we’d give you the binge list containing 33 completed—sometimes long completed—shows. After you’re done filling yourself with turkey, fill yourself with some…

19 great TV episodes for non-traditional holidays

1. New Year’s Day: thirtysomething, “Happy New Year” (1990)
People looking to celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas with their favorite TV show are almost certainly in luck. A show that’s on the air in the fall has a better-than-average chance of airing episodes in October, November, and December; almost…

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