Best Of The Best: The Pop Culture Year-End Lists That Really Matter

So you don't have to sift through the avalanche.

Every December, the Internet becomes a hurricane of year-end lists. Best movies, best TV shows, best albums, best moments, worst moments, craziest this, lamest that. It's a chance to look back on the highs and lows that flew by us in the last year and pick out the different nuggets that we'll look back on fondly (or not so fondly). It's only natural for us to reflect in this way. We're humans and nostalgia is something we just can't get enough of, even when it's for something that didn't happen all that long ago.

With the Internet moving as fast as it does these days, it can be difficult to digest any one moment as it's happening. For this reason, year-end lists make total sense. Often you'll look at a list and realize you hadn't even thought about something on it that took place in February and literally hadn't thought about it since you were busy pretending Valentine's Day doesn't exist. Other times you'll see something on there you just didn't have time for and be glad of the reminder to look into it more.

Now, there's nothing wrong with year-end lists as a concept, but the sheer number of them can be pretty daunting. That's why, conveniently, we've put together a list of lists that should help you find what you really need to know about TV, music, and movies — three all-important pillars of pop culture — that happened in 2015. Look no further, because the people who put these lists together know their stuff.




Vulture's tagline, "Devouring Culture," is fitting as a follow-up to its name, but also as a representation of how its staff behaves. Plus, Matt Zoller Seitz. That's all you need to know.

The A.V. Club

Speaking of taglines, The A.V. Club's is "Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed." Obsessed with finding the best in TV? So is the TV Club. Its 2015 lists should be up soon.


It's impossible to say who the best TV critic is, but Hitfix writer Alan Sepinwall should always be a part of the conversation. He publishes thoughtful, in-depth reviews of episodes with frightening speed, and his book The Revolution Was Televised is proof he understands the history of TV and where it's headed better than just about everyone. If he says a show is good, it's good.



Indisputably, some of the best writing about music on the Internet comes from Pitchfork. Its 2015 staff picks aren't up yet, but there's a guest best-of list and best music videos of 2015 to tide you over until then.

Consequence of Sound

It's all in the name. CoS gets right into the why behind music and does it without being condescending.


Vice's music-centric property has awesome interviews, features, Q&As and, quite simply, writers who know what they're talking about.



It might be relatively small, but Indiewire lives up to its name by giving just as much if not more attention to smaller films, directors, and writers.


It's a magazine that's been around for 92 years for a reason — the mainstream knows it and loves it. And yet, its top films list doesn't go for the mainstream or glitzy. Just quality.

The New York Times

Manohla Dargis, A. O. Scott, and Stephen Holden are individually incredibly respected critics. Needless to say, pooling their thoughts in a best-of list results in a pretty good picture of what was worth seeing in the last year.

Cover image: Shutterstock

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