Spider-Man

2015: The Year Nerd Culture Gave Pop Culture Never-Ending Stories

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Endings have always been the most difficult part of a story to get right. Landing the proverbial plane smoothly, in a way that is satisfying and feels natural, takes foresight and planning, and it’s also undermined by questions like: Why can’t the story keep going? Why can’t we feel this way forever? The answer — as anyone who’s tried to write a book, record a video or even tell a joke can tell you — is that our stories are traditionally defined by a beginning, middle and end.
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Why Not Everything Is a Reboot (Except Everything Kind of Is)

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In his 1996 book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken pauses a story to explain why, contrary to the impending observations and celebrations, the first day of the new millennium would not be January 1, 2000, but January 1, 2001. “The first year of the new century was the year one, not the year zero, so the first year of the new millennium will be 2001, not 2000. I’ve been trying to explain this to people for years, but no one will listen.” He imagines himself in Times Square on New Years Eve, 1999, raining on everyone’s parade, “A thankless job, but someone will have to do it.” It’s a relatable passage, not just because Franken was right (though he was), but because it captures the frustration of feeling like you’re the only person talking sense in the face of an erroneous cultural assumption. The way Franken felt in 1996 about the starting date of the 21st century is how I feel now whenever people label things reboots that clearly, clearly, are not.
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The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Andrew Garfield

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We’re in the homestretch of SNL’s 39th season, and the series makes a lively return with Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield. Real-life girlfriend and Spidey co-star Emma Stone has hosted the show before, but this will be our first opportunity to see what kind of comedic chops Garfield has to offer. The Social Network actor seems ready for anything and is quite likable. The featured players take a backseat in the episode, and SNL invites some new talent to the “Weekend Update” segment. The series has had weeks to refresh its repertoire, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a few familiar faces. See what risks paid off, and what didn’t, below.
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