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From Stranger Things to Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, 2016 was a year filled with some pretty amazing (and some pretty awful) new films and TV shows. Here is L.A. Weekly's list of the top film and TV stories of the year.

How the Duplass Brothers Changed Hollywood by Refusing to Change at All
It's an irresistibly warm weekday in late January, and Jay and Mark Duplass are in their office at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood preparing to write the third season of their HBO series, Togetherness.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Credit: Parks & Rec

Credit: Parks & Rec

Liberal Pop-Culture Has Officially Outlived Its Usefulness in Politics
In times like these, propaganda isn’t everything.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube in Boyz n the Hood; Credit: Columbia Pictures

Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube in Boyz n the Hood; Credit: Columbia Pictures

30 Best Los Angeles Movies Since 1984, From Iconic to Obscure
Here are the best 25 movies about L.A. since 1984.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Jeff Cohen as Chunk in The Goonies; Credit: Warner Bros.

Jeff Cohen as Chunk in The Goonies; Credit: Warner Bros.

From E.T. to Stranger Things, an Oral History of Kids Cursing Onscreen
The baby boomers directing and penning the coming-of-age films of the '80s had a tendency to subvert the wholesome representations of a suburban upbringing that were prevalent throughout their own youths. Rather than Beaver Cleaver and Opie Taylor uttering “Gee, golly” and “Aw, shucks,” kids spoke the way kids actually spoke.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Credit: The Craft

Credit: The Craft

Revisiting the L.A. Filming Locations of The Craft 20 Years Later
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the pop-culture phenomenon that is The Craft, we revisited many of the original filming locations and in the process met a number of property managers and administrators who told us how much they adore the movie.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Credit: Netflix

Credit: Netflix

How Director Ava DuVernay's South L.A. Roots Helped Her Shatter the Film Industry's Glass Ceiling
While fate played a role in DuVernay's relatively swift ascendency in filmmaking, her subtle brilliance is what has driven her success.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Ali Wong onstage in Baby Cobra; Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Ali Wong onstage in Baby Cobra; Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Ali Wong's Baby Cobra: Have We Entered Television's Golden Age of Transgressive Pregnancy?
Rising comedian Ali Wong draws loud applause but also silent awe when she steps onstage to perform her one-hour comedy act in the Netflix special Baby Cobra.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

The kids are doing what?; Credit: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

The kids are doing what?; Credit: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

Eva Husson's Bang Gang Just Can't Even With Teen Orgies
Teenage bodies are bared but fresh insight concealed in writer-director Eva Husson’s first feature, a dopey examination of Instagram-abetted adolescent abandon.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Credit: Courtesy of Seeso

Credit: Courtesy of Seeso

A Star Is Role-Played: How Dungeon Master Spencer Crittenden Became the Lord of Harmonquest
Available on the new comedy streaming service Seeso, Harmonquest features comedians playing Pathfinder — a tabletop role-playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons — in front of a live audience and behind a table furnished with character sheets, snacks and myriad colorful dice.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are Grace and Frankie.; Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are Grace and Frankie.; Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Give Netflix's Grace and Frankie Another Chance — It Might Make You a Better Person
When Netflix renewed Grace and Frankie for a second season, the half-hour dramedy starring 9 to 5 coworkers Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin had gotten mixed reviews from critics, probably based on just the first couple of episodes.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Yas, queen.; Credit: Courtesy of Comedy Central

Yas, queen.; Credit: Courtesy of Comedy Central

Broad City Takes Body Humor (and Feminism) to the Next Level
The third season of Broad City (Comedy Central) opens with a toilet-centric montage that already feels like one of the year’s TV highlights.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Patrick Warburton, now available in cartoon form; Credit: Courtesy of Cartoon Network

Patrick Warburton, now available in cartoon form; Credit: Courtesy of Cartoon Network

The Tick Speaks: Patrick Warburton Talks Venture Brothers, Male Modeling and the Time Family Guy Went Too Far
We caught up with Warburton to discuss his brief career as a male model, his conservative Christian upbringing and his prominent supporting role as “murder machine” bodyguard Brock Samson in the upcoming season of animated Hardy Boys/spy-comedy pastiche The Venture Brothers.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Something tells me he didn't get those abs from vine-swinging.; Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Something tells me he didn't get those abs from vine-swinging.; Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Me Tarzan. Me Sorry About Colonialism. 
At last, a Hollywood reimagining with a point. David Yates' two-fisted pulp-studies spree The Legend of Tarzan doesn't just update Edgar Rice Burroughs' white-boy jungle-bro for our age of heightened sensitivities and bit rates. It interrogates the very idea of Tarzan, signing the old sport up for the good fight against colonialism and everything that probably makes you queasy about old-school jungle adventures.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

What's Most Dissatisfying About Gilmore Girls' Return Is Also What's Most True
In Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, when Stars Hollow's newspaper needs an editor, or its musical calls for advisers, the Gilmores can’t keep from stepping in as stewards of local lore, patronizing but also protective.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

“Dancing. Is. Important.”: Netflix's EDM Movie XOXO Is a Transcendent Goof
Where were you when you learned that you'd be making your DJ debut at the biggest rave of the year? And that said rave was only eight hours away? Ethan, the sheepish main character of Netflix's straight-to-streaming EDM movie XOXO, gets the news in his kitchen, where his mom is cooking breakfast for his baby sibling.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Credit: Courtesy of Logo TV

Credit: Courtesy of Logo TV

The Low-Heeled High Stakes of RuPaul's All Stars 2
RuPaul's All Stars 2 has been perhaps the greatest season of the only reality TV competition that matters.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Winona forever; Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Winona forever; Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Stranger Things Is the Best-Ever Miniseries Adaptation of a Horror Novel (Even If That Novel Doesn't Exist)
Like the real 1980s, Stranger Things gets more unsettling as it goes.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

The Creation of Dory; Credit: Courtesy of Pixar

The Creation of Dory; Credit: Courtesy of Pixar

Pixar Dives Under the Sea Again — and Into Memory Itself
Finding Dory is one of the most devastating things Pixar has made — all while often being even bouncier than Finding Nemo.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix Kills the YouTube Star in Haters Back Off!, a Comedy About the Joys of Hatin'
Haters Back Off!, a new eight-episode comedy streaming on Netflix, is about putting yourself out there, ignoring the haters, following your dreams no matter who or what stands in your way and utterly humiliating yourself on YouTube.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi; Credit: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi; Credit: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

13 Hours Trades Truth for Explosions — But It's Not Truly Political
Benghazi is a hashtag battle cry, a call to arms that many Americans don't understand. Unlike the simplicity of “Remember the Alamo!” a bleat of “Benghazi!” still has people wondering, “Wait, what happened? And why are we mad?”

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
Blake Lively and The Shallows Are Well Worth the Dive
The Shallows is all forward motion with little to no filler — a get-in-and-get-out number that hits its marks and, thanks to Jaume Collet-Serra’s stylistic ingenuity, boasts knockout moments that no other director would have thought to stage in the same way.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
The Coens' Hollywood Farce Hail, Caesar! Flames Out
A kick for those who’ve distractedly thumbed through Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon, Joel and Ethan Coen’s bustling comedy Hail, Caesar! looks back to the waning days of moviedom’s golden age: specifically, to 1951, when big-studio fixers were still tidying up the messes left by the talent.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Confirms That the Movies Don't Get Tina Fey
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is based on reporter Kim Barker’s 2011 memoir, The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
Yoga Hosers Finds Kevin Smith Barely Making a Movie
Yoga Hosers is the second in Smith’s promised (threatened?) “True North” trilogy of movies set in Canada for no apparent reason other than that he appears to find the accents hilarious.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
A Netflix Doc Digs at the Truth Behind the Foxcatcher Killing
If you thought the billionaire played by Steve Carell in Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher was eerie, please allow me to introduce you to the real John du Pont.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
Mike and Dave Need a Better Movie
Sometimes a movie seems as if it was more fun to make than it is to watch. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is one of those movies.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
Fantastic Fest: Here's an Apology to Anne Hathaway, Because She's So Good in Colossal
In Nacho Vigalondo’s touching sci-fi dramedy Colossal, Anne Hathaway, you are magnetic — and, more important, you are flawed and thoroughly human.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
Zoolander 2 Is a Tombstone for the Age of Dude Comedy
The first Zoolander, Ben Stiller’s dopey, fitfully funny fashion spoof, was released less than three weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. Its sequel shows the extent to which another kind of nefarious plot — the cynical quest for world domination through cross-brand synergy — has proved impossible to eradicate on these shores.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
Shia LaBeouf Is Actually Really Good in This Military Mystery With a Godawful Twist
In the ripely bizarre Man Down, Dito Montiel's green-screened puzzle-mess of PTSD counseling and postapocalyptic cityscapes, LaBeouf is far and away the best thing in a film — and that would probably be true even if the film weren't a confused and ugly howler.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
Don't Breathe Showcases Everything That Horror Films Have Learned From Video Games
Critics often dismiss blockbuster entertainments with the vague, half-assed complaint that they resemble “video games.” Movies like Fede Alvarez's Don't Breathe reveal games' actual influence — for the better.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
In Netflix's The Fundamentals of Caring, Paul Rudd Scores Big With Low-Wage Work
In The Fundamentals of Caring, Rob Burnett's alternately winning/cloying new road-trip comedy, rock-abbed movie star Paul Rudd is an in-home caretaker making $9 an hour “wiping asses.”

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
The Witch Is Creepy, Beautiful — and a Shrieking Mess
A laugh comes at last just before the end credits of Robert Eggers' lit-class horror-bummer The Witch: a boastful note attesting to the documentary truthfulness of the dialogue in the movie we've just seen.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.