The 100 best Netflix releases of 2015 (so far)

We try to keep up with what’s coming and going from Netflix each month, but between the constant jockeying and surprise expirations, we know it’s hard. Here, we’ve collected the 100 best Netflix releases of 2015 (plus a few still on their way that we can’t contain our excitement about) in one easy-to-navigate list.

Fair warning: The rankings are arbitrary at best, and we fully expect things to shift and morph as the streaming giant continues its flurry of reboots, releases, acquisitions, and renewals. Keep checking back to see if your favorites made the cut, and we apologize if Netflix pulls one of these titles without our noticing. If you find that’s the case, do as Texans do when they don’t like the weather and just wait five minutes for things to change.


1) Hot Fuzz

Forget its place in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy; Hot Fuzz is one of the greatest movies ever made. What most people fail to realize about this oddball film is that it’s not just a brilliant, hilariously funny parody of action movies. It’s a parody of multiple kinds of films for stuffy British people. It skewers the standard Miss Marple-esque garden mystery, running ramshod over the eternally picture-perfect small English village which always yields sinister secrets. It simultaneously homages and eviscerates the Wicker Man, that glorious genre-bender that sees a dogged big-city detective Edward Woodward shriek “Jesus Christ!” as he’s ultimately done in by a cult of horrific villagers.

Woodward plays the town priest in Hot Fuzz, one of dozens of cast members whose casting was itself an inside joke (like Cate Blanchett as a bit part whose face you never see). In another of its hundreds of layered jokes, which emerge on repeat viewings like sparks flying up from a blazing hearth of comedy, Woodward’s character shrieks “Jesus Christ!” while getting shot in the leg by a wayward rifle—a member of a cult of horrific villagers done in by a dogged big-city detective. If that kind of meta-commentary fills you with glee, then you should already be watching Hot Fuzz. Preferably every day for the rest of your life. —Aja Romano

2) The French Connection

You haven’t seen acting until you’ve seen Gene Hackman in The French Connection, and there’s a good chance that, if you haven’t seen this film, you’ve never seen a proper car chase before, either. This is dirty, ’70s, diving-into-the-morally-void stuff, and by that I mean: It’s the good stuff. The cops, bad guys, and generally everybody onscreen is an asshole (with the possible exception of the always amazing and always deadpanned Roy Scheider). I’d call it a masterpiece, if only it were possible to single out one William Friedkin film as his masterpiece. —Joey Keeton

3) Upstream Color

While drugged with a mind-altering parasite, Kris (Amy Seimetz) is robbed of all her belongings and livelihood. She struggles to put her life back together and finds herself drawn to Jeff (Shane Carruth), who underwent the same experience. Upstream Color tells their story through nonlinear editing, minimal dialogue, and ambient sound. —Feliks Garcia

4) To Be Takei

With the Supreme Court’s recent historic ruling on marriage equality, there’s never been a more perfect time to watch To Be Takei. Already an icon for playing Sulu on Star Trek, actor George Takei staged a late-career transformation into a social media maestro on Facebook, as well as one of the better-known faces of the gay rights movement. To Be Takei explores the actor’s life and career across the stages of both pop culture and social change, all wrapped up in Takei’s larger-than-life personality and campy sense of humor. —David Wharton

5) Spartacus (complete series)

The show that put Starz on the map, Spartacus is a brutal, epic exploration of legendary Thracian gladiator who led a slave uprising that shook the pillars of Rome. Borrowing 300’s stylized graphic-novel visuals, Spartacus is packed with sex and violence, blood and betrayal, and a powerhouse lead performance by the late Andy Whitfield, who was tragically felled by cancer after the first season. If you can’t bear the long wait between seasons of Game of Thrones, Spartacus’s rise from gladiator to legend is just the thing to tide you over—and one hell of a satisfying ride in its own right. —David Wharton

6) The Boxtrolls

This Academy Award–nominated stop-motion animation is a touching story of the true meaning of family, an overwhelming love of cheese, and just enough action and adventure to keep kids of all ages engaged through the very end. And with vocal talent from the likes of Tracy Morgan, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, and Elle Fanning, you know it’s going to be good. —Monica Riese 

7) Bill Nye the Science Guy

One of the Internet’s favorite scientists is a champion for the truth, but before he debated climate change on cable news, Bill Nye hosted his own educational science show we watched at home as often as we watched it in the classroom (if not more). He not only broke down scientific subjects such as planets, evolution, chemical reactions, and motion in such a way that even those of us who weren’t naturals at learning it could understand. He made it cool to like science again. —Michelle Jaworski

8) Chef’s Table (season 1)

Dinner at a Michelin star restaurant isn’t on the menu for most of us, but five-star food porn can be with this Netflix documentary series. Each episode focuses on a different chef from every corner of the globe, including Attica Restaurant’s Ben Shewry (Melbourne, Australia) and El Restaurante Patagonia Sur’s Francis Mallmann (Buenos Aires, Argentina). We’re drooling already. —Monica Riese

9) Fruitvale Station

A dramatic retelling of the final day in the life of Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), the 22-year-old Oakland man who was shot in the back and killed by a BART police officer while handcuffed on New Year’s Eve 2008. —Feliks Garcia 

10) Bloodline (season 1)

From the creators of DamagesBloodline is a drama/thriller series focused on the myriad secrets and closet-skeletons of the wealthy Rayburn family, who run a resort hotel in the Florida Keys. When the eldest son—the black sheep of the family—returns home, old wounds are reopened among the four adult Rayburn siblings. Many critics have singled Bloodline out as one of Netflix’s best original shows, and the truly stellar cast includes Sam Shepard, Sissy Spacek, Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, and Chloe Sevigny. Bloodline has flown somewhat under the radar compared with other Netflix Originals, but it’s must-see TV. —David Wharton

11) Orange Is the New Black (season 3)

If you’re looking for a new series to binge-watch, look no further. This Netflix Original (based on a true story) is a tried-and-true hit that offers a peek into the lives—both past and current—of Litchfield Penitentiary’s eclectic mix of female inmates. In the middle of it all is Piper Chapman, a newly incarcerated 30-something convicted of drug trafficking charges, and Alex Vause, Chapman’s former associate—and former lover. The newest season shows an evolved Chapman, now accustomed to her situation; after enjoying freedom at the expense of betraying Chapman, Vause is back at Litchfield, fearing for her safety against the drug associates she ratted on. New inmates are introduced, and we dive even deeper into the pasts of old favorites. —Jam Kotenko

12) Paris Is Burning

With its unforgettable look at Harlem’s drag ball community, this famous documentary doesn’t just give us a glimpse of a hugely underrepresented aspect of queer, black, and Latino cultures. It also introduces us to notable trans icons like Octavia St. Laurent and prominent drag queens like the legendary Paris DuPree and Pepper LaBeija. And it gave us the story of other trans women like Venus Xtravaganza, who ultimately became victims of a transphobic society that three decades has done little to erase. Released just as the AIDS epidemic was peaking in the gay community, Paris Is Burning examines issues of race, class, homophobia, transphobia, and the devastating effects of AIDS on the community. A seven-year labor of love, the documentary still causes heated controversy today because of white filmmaker Jennie Livingston’s approach to telling the stories of a community not her own. But it remains an important and multifaceted early look at queer culture, at a historical moment when far more than Paris was on fire. —Aja Romano

13) The Overnighters 

This acclaimed 2014 documentary focuses on a North Dakota pastor named Jay Reinke. The North Dakota oil boom attracted countless souls dreaming of an easy payday, only to have them discover a far less rosy reality and a housing shortage that left many on the streets. Pastor Reinke’s ministry turned toward helping these beleaguered workers and their families as the huge population boom strained local resources and drove some to desperation. The Overnighters premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award. —David Wharton

14) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Much has been made of the recent “renaissance” in horror, but what this stunning “Iranian vampire Western” from Ana Lily Amirpour proves is that tried and true terrifying tropes—like vampires and the terror of a woman walking alone in a city at night—are as fresh as ever. In addition to showcasing some of the most mesmerizing scenes in recent horror memory, this gorgeous film joins other recent women-driven films like Babadook and American Mary (both also on Netflix) to show us that horror never needed a renaissance at all; it just needed a different perspective. —Aja Romano

15) High Fidelity

It initially suffers from the needless let’s-set-a-Nick-Hornby-novel-in-the-USA disease that ails the Farrelly Brothers’ adaptation of Fever Pitch and the TV series of About a Boy, but this tale of a record store owner’s relationship musings and tribulations has two things that they don’t. Firstly, John Cusack’s Rob Gordon isn’t played in the shadow of previous, great British performances of the same role (by Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, respectively) and secondly Jack Black. Remember when Jack Black’s pogoing schtick didn’t grate and anger? No? Well, it was 15 years ago, in High Fidelity. —Tom Harrington

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16) Primer

Shane Carruth’s visually stunning 2013 film Upstream Color astounded audiences, but to truly understand the complex inner workings of his mind, you have to go back to his 2004 debut feature. At its core, Primer is a film about two engineers (played by Carruth and David Sullivan) who inadvertently invent a method for time travel, but as the film progresses, things get certifiably weird. The Internet has spent years trying to reconstruct the film, so yes, you will probably have to watch it more than once to truly get the stories straight. —Audra Schroeder

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17) Sense8

Sense8, which follows eight characters living in all corners the globe who are linked telepathically, is the television debut of the Wachowskis (The Matrix trilogy). The Daily Dot’s Gavia Baker-Whitelaw described the resulting show as “something surprisingly sincere, although not as weird and grandiose as I’d hope”; we confess it’s not for everyone. But if you can overlook the pacing, early cliches, and peculiarities like psychic orgies, you’ll be rewarded with a thrilling show that’ll have you itching for season 2. —Monica Riese

18) BoJack Horseman (season 2, July 17)

Netflix has proven, with its original programming, that it can pull off just about whatever it wants. It brought both Trailer Park Boys and Arrested Development back from the dead, after both had been off the air for nearly a decade. It made House of Cards and won awards out the ass for it. Then it did the same thing with Orange Is the New Black. But BoJack… BoJack is a cartoon about a has-been talking horse. And it’s hilarious. BoJack is solid proof that Netflix can do whatever the hell it wants, and it’ll be fantastic. —Joey Keeton

19) Chinatown

It’s easy to get so caught up in this film’s sumptuous take on Los Angeles in the sweltering vintage summer that its sleazy underbelly sneaks up on you, but there’s nothing subtle about the grit that leaves its mark on Polanski’s masterpiece about a wry detective trying to solve a complicated case of double identity. Chinatown is about a city, but it’s also about a city that isn’t—one where the only people we actually see in Chinatown are from a white upper class whose privilege and corruption have come to war it out. The film’s veneer of respectability chips away like the veneer on Bogart’s maltese falcon. By the unforgettable final moments, we’ve moved past noir and entered a kind of cinematic LaBrea Tar Pit, miring you in grime but ultimately transcending time and place. Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown. —Aja Romano

20) Young Ones

In a not-too-distant future where Earth is crippled by drought, a former farmer named Ernest (Michael Shannon) scrapes out a living by delivering supplies to water drillers while dreaming of a time when the land might become fertile again. But when Ernest meets with tragedy, his son Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee) must step up to provide for his young sister and ill mother, a path that puts him on a collision course with the man who betrayed his father. Written and directed by Jake Paltrow, Young Ones combines trappings of science fiction with a classic Western revenge tale amidst a harsh, unforgiving landscape. —David Wharton

21) 101 Dalmatians

One of the most classic Disney movies of all time, 101 Dalmatians follows the harrowing adventures of dalmatians Perdi and Pongo, along with their humans Roger and Anita, as they track down the villainous Cruella de Vil who has stolen over 99 puppies with the intention of making them into fur coats. The movie originally premiered as a beloved cartoon in 1961, and in 1996, the world of taxidermy came even more to life in a live-action adaptation starring Jeff Daniels and Glenn Close, whose interpretation of Cruella de Vil is still the nightmare of every child who grew up in the ’90s.

The talking dogs, iconic love story, and irresistible theme song—“Cruella de Vil, if she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will”— have all contributed to this story and its infamous villain living on long after the film’s release, with references popping up in shows such as Once Upon a Time, and The Simpsons—Carly Lanning

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22) Open Windows

There are only three things you need to know about Open Windows: 1) It stars Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey (yes, that Sasha Grey). 2) Director Nacho Vigalondo deserves credit for making an entire movie take place on a computer screen before that was trendy. 3) You’ll never look at that little webcam at the top of your monitor the same way again. —Monica Riese 

23) Death Note

Say what you will about its anime selection, but Netflix knows what side its bread is buttered on, and that is the zillions of people who lost their minds over this bestselling horror/action manga. You’ll come for the concept: a bored overachiever who may or may not be a sociopath runs into a blank notebook dropped by a pesky death god that allows him to determine the fate of anyone whose name he writes in it. But you’ll stay for the epic cat-and-mouse that develops between our favorite charming serial killer, Light, and his erratic candy-eating detective turned best frenemy, L. At turns quirky, ridiculously melodramatic, horrifying, and endearing, Death Note is the quintessential anime of the 2000s, packed with equal parts social commentary and fanservice. (That’s also why we have to link the fanvid below, made by Tumblr user albasti—the only interpretation of “Blank Space” you’ll ever need.) —Aja Romano

24) Friends (complete series)

What better way to relish in the gloriousness of ’90s television than to marathon-watch this beloved sitcom following the lives of six 20-something friends trying to make sense of life in Manhattan? You’ve got 10 seasons’ worth of episodes to get to know Rachel, a spoiled rich girl who is forced to start from scratch after running away from a passionless marriage-to-be; Monica, Rachel’s formerly obese bestie from high school who is now trying to juggle a job as a chef and a rather disappointing dating life; Ross, Monica’s older brother, recently divorced from his ex-wife, the brand-new lesbian; Chandler, Ross’s college roommate and friend who’s some sort of business professional; Joey, a struggling actor and Chandler’s new roommate, and Phoebe, a musician and masseuse whose connection to the group isn’t clearly explained (but we love her, anyway). You definitely will not regret watching all 236 episodes of the show, but here’s a handy-dandy guide to the best episodes in case you wanted to take it slow. —Jam Kotenko

25) Between

Things take a tragic turn in the picturesque Canadian town of Pretty Lake when everyone over the age of 21 begins to drop dead. Soon Pretty Lake is surrounded by a military quarantine blockade, leaving the young people to deal with internal power struggles, the basics of survival, and the mystery of why it’s all happening in the first place. Think Under the Dome plus the early retirement plan of Logan’s Run—David Wharton

26) The ABCs of Death 2

This anthology of short-short horror films—none over a few minutes long—is the follow-up to the popular ABCs of Death, in which horror creators around the world were tapped to pull a letter at random and work with the results. In many ways, ABCs 2 is more successful than its predecessor: Not only are the 25 auteur entries into the competition a more thoughtful reflection on the exercise as a whole, as evidenced by Soichi Umezawa’s brilliant “Y is for Youth,” but a crowdsourced hunt to find the 26th unknown director produced Robert Boocheck’s “M is for Masticate,” which can stand with any of the best of them. You’ll find yourself thinking about these ABCs long after you’ve hit “Z is for Zygote.” —Aja Romano

27) Marvel’s Daredevil 

With season 2 already in the works for 2016, Daredevil has risen to become one of Netflix’s most popular original series, alongside Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards. The series follows attorney and blind superhero Matthew Murdock, a man driven by the desire to eliminate the violence and corruption on the streets of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen by crime boss Wilson Fisk. (Fair warning: It may take an episode or two for you to fully suspend disbelief that, despite being left blind by a childhood accident, Daredevil is able to run full speed around New York City.)

The show grips you and leaves you wanting more. Luckily, Netflix has decided to continue the show, announcing this past April that season 2 will include The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal as the Punisher, Daredevil’s next nemesis. —Carly Lanning

28) Magic City (seasons 1 and 2)

Set in Miami, Florida, in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution, Magic City is dripping with 1950s style that hides a heart of darkness underneath. The charismatic Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars as Ike Evans, the owner of the glamorous Miramar Playa hotel. It’s one of the hottest joints in Miami, but Ike is forced to make a bad deal with a very bad man to keep it afloat, leaving him under the thumb of mob boss Ben Diamond (Danny Huston). Caught between the feds, the crooks, and his own family, it’s all Ike can do to keep his head above water and his feet out of cement shoes. —David Wharton

29) Jen Kirkman: I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)

In her 2015 Netflix comedy special, comedian/author/podcaster Jen Kirkman deconstructs its very title, taking on childlessness at 40 (and the comments it brings out of friends with kids), life after divorce, and her grandma passing away wearing nothing but a black bra. You won’t feel sad or morose after watching; you’ll feel lifted. —Audra Schroeder 

30) Joe

Director David Gordon Green returned to the singed forests of Central Texas for this, his ninth feature film. It stars Nicolas Cage as the titular Joe, a grizzled soul battling alcoholism and a criminal past, and breakout youngster Tye Sheridan as Gary, an adrift 15-year-old eager to please. The performances are stellar, but the “Southern gothic coming-of-age” is at its best in the small moments scored by David Wingo and Jeff McIlwain. —Monica Riese

31) The Big Lebowski

Jeff Bridges plays Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, a bowler/bum who is mistaken for Jeffrey Lebowski, a millionaire whose wife owes a loan shark a ton of money. After being accosted by a couple of hired goons, the Dude searches for the real Lebowski, in the hopes of acquiring compensation for his troubles. Instead, he gets entangled in a kidnapping situation that goes south. Also starring comedic heavyweights John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, this cult classic was directed by the Coen brothers, the duo responsible for other must-watch films like Fargo and No Country for Old Men. —Jam Kotenko

32) Election (1999)

Well before people didn’t know who she was, Reese Witherspoon had a face to be hated; it was always one of the shames of Cruel Intentions that it had to be Sebastian flying over the hood of that car. So it’s no surprise that as Tracy Flick, the perky, overachieving, student-body president wannabe, she grinds the audience into a blind rage. So assured, so smug: It’s a performance that leaves you hoping that co-star Matthew Broderick would just revert to form. —Tom Harrington

33) Mad Men (season 7)

Whether you’re a devout fanatic or one of those liberal people who feels the need to write off a show about a sexist era on principle without watching one of the most secretly feminist series ever, Mad Men’s final season is standalone entertainment. It’s 1970, and the industry is crumbling; what comes next are gorgeous sets, big bads, terminal heartache, and an epic that sticks the landing. —Ramon Ramirez

34) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ever wonder what it would be like to live underground or be a member of a cult? This Netflix Original attempts to answer both questions through the 13-episode story of Kimmy Schmidt, a woman who spent the last 15 years holed up in an underground shelter with her doomsday cult leader and other women. After being rescued and realizing that the world did not end after all, she decides to start fresh in—where else?—New York City, where she gains a vivacious roommate, a millionaire employer, and a brand-new outlook on life. —Jam Kotenko

35) Inglourious Basterds

People often talk about how Quentin Tarantino’s mass appropriation affects their opinion of his work. But not enough is said about his rank acting—he knows how good his coffee is, OK—and how it derails every scene he puts himself in. He has no speaking role in this, his World War II, kill-Hitler reimagining and its thrilling flow is all the better for it. Professional actor Christoph Waltz announces himself as the “Jew Hunter” Hans Landa, but Tarantino’s fellow filmmaker Eli Roth somehow finds a gap in enemy lines. —Tom Harrington

36) The Babadook

While the titular monster in this 2014 horror film from Australian director Jennifer Kent mostly lives in the pages of a mysterious book, the real horror slowly manifests in the relationship between a mother, Amelia (Essie Davis), and her troubled young son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman). The mother trying to save her child from evil forces is a narrative embedded into the genre, but The Babadook inverts that idea and pulls something truly chilling out of it. —Audra Schroeder 

37) Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (July 31)

At the time of writing, this 10-episode prequel to 2001’s Wet Hot American Summer hasn’t even been released yet—it hits Netflix on July 17—but it just has to be good, doesn’t it? Unsuccessful as the original summer camp spoof was, its humor was surely ahead of its time. Its clips would have killed on YouTube, and the fact that so many of the cast have gone onto higher-profile work seems to invalidate some of its detractors’ cringey, self-defeating reviews. And they’re all back: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper… even Christopher Meloni, who must be thrilled to get a break from all those sex crimes. —Tom Harrington

38) White Collar (season 6)

In USA Network’s best blue-sky buddy-cop duo since Psych, FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) tries to solve some of New York’s biggest white-collar crimes with the help of former convict Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), out on work release. The series’ final (truncated) season sees them trying to infiltrate and bring down the Pink Panther criminal ring in a whirlwind of action, betrayal, and—ultimately—sleight of hand that will keep you smiling long after the credits roll. —Monica Riese

39) The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison

After three seasons of Orange Is the New Black, you might think you have an idea of what life is like behind bars, but let this documentary about the inmates of the Louisiana State Penitentiary prove you wrong. —Monica Riese

40) The Exorcist

One of the things that strikes you upon rewatching William Friedkin’s horror masterpiece is how fully it takes its time building its cocoon of horror, and how carefully it sinks you into the lives of these characters. By the time Linda Blair is head-spinning her way into our nightmares, we’ve seen the adults around her go from being icons in their respective communities to frayed, desperate people clinging to whatever scraps of faith they can. The real suspense of this masterpiece isn’t about whether they can exorcise Regan’s demons; it’s whether they can exorcise it before it destroys their carefully cultivated illusions about themselves. Still as terrifying today as it was 42 years ago, The Exorcist never leaves you with the same answers twice. —Aja Romano 

41) Grace and Frankie

Nobody who can walk unaided has heard of—let alone pines for—1980’s Nine to Five, so you can probably guess who this reunion of that film’s stars is aimed at. But even so, this gentle comedy series following Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda after their husbands leave them to shack up together flashes enough charm to garner a broad appeal. Tomlin, of course, knows her way around a joke, but it’s double-Oscar-winning Fonda who shines, proving that she can be quite terrific when she isn’t shouting from the rooftops about her septuagenarian sex life. —Tom Harrington 

42) Some Assembly Required

This television series is about a kid who blows his house up with a defective chemistry set, sues a company, and then becomes boss of said company. Seeing as it’s created by Disney Channel alum Dan Singer, you can safely assume that many, many hijinks ensue. It’s safe to say: This is probably a show for your kids. Luckily for them, all 26 episodes of season 1 have come to the U.S., from its native airing country of Canada, via Netflix streaming. —Joey Keeton

43) No No: A Dockumentary

This 2014 documentary focuses on the life and death of baseball player Dock Ellis, who most notably pitched a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres in the summer of 1970 while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. But his entire life’s story is a compelling and emotional tale of drug abuse, recovery, and redemption, and it’s not to be missed. —Monica Riese

44) Rosewater

Jon Stewart’s directorial debut is based on broadcast journo Maziar Bahari’s memoir, Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival. Mexican journeyman Gael Garcia Bernal is your spirit guide here, and he plays the Iranian-born Canadian Bahari. After he gets jailed for being a journalist in Iran, it’s a tense struggle to get him out. It was a pet project Stewart took on (part of why Bahari was jailed for more than 100 days has a tangential relationship to Stewart’s Daily Show), but it’s far from a self-interested, activist film. There’s sympathy for the devils, and it’s a deeply embedded, lived-in final cut. —Ramon Ramirez

45) Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

Many people only learned about Pussy Riot after the 2012 arrest and imprisonment of several members of the Russian feminist punk collective. But this 2013 film—which takes its title from the song Pussy Riot played in a Russian cathedral in February 2012—explores the lives of the three imprisoned members (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich) before Pussy Riot, the ideologies that led them there, and the measures Vladimir Putin took to attempt to silence them. —Audra Schroeder 

46) Nightcrawler

“If it bleeds it leads” is the defining motto of this thriller, starring Jake Gyllenhaal in full creep mode. Gyllenhaal plays Louis, an opportunistic thief just trying to make a dime in Los Angeles. With a camera and mild bloodlust, he aggressively makes his way into TV crime journalism, but when he starts composing the crime scenes in his shots, things begin to get hairy. —Feliks Garcia

47) House of Cards (season 3)

If you’ve seen the two previous seasons and spent your time rooting for Frank Underwood, you may now celebrate with a heaping plate of ribs because he’s officially the President of the United States. With your favorite TV couple now in power, you can bet that things are about to get pretty interesting. —Jam Kotenko

48) Aziz Ansari Live at Madison Square Garden 

Sometimes you love a television show, and there’s a character in that show that’s your favorite out of them all. Then, you discover that that character is portrayed by an actor that also happens to be a comedian. You think “Oh, awesome! I gotta check out their stuff!” And then you do, and it’s terrible, and you can never look at that character or the show the same way again. This Aziz Ansari special is the exact opposite of that: After watching it, you’ll love Tom Haverford, and Parks and Recreation, even more. He’s a certifiably incredible standup. —Joey Keeton

49) Legally Blonde

Reese Witherspoon perfectly captures the essence of Elle Woods, a rich sorority girl who follows her ex to law school, where she hopes to win him back—but finds herself instead. Definitely a chick flick worth including in any best-of list, Legally Blonde ought to be required viewing for any gal with a dream, preferably in the company of her closest besties. —Jam Kotenko

50) Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s efforts to take over a wolf-plagued suburban mall to recoup the billion dollars lost on a film featuring a Johnny Depp impersonator is exactly as it sounds—a kitchen sink extension of their already ineffable television series. You probably wouldn’t recommend it to your parents, coworkers, or friends you’ve known for less than a decade, but the inability of this song to be recognized by the Academy should have seen an overhaul of the Oscars’ nomination process à la Hoop Dreams. —Tom Harrington

51) The Trailer Park Boys (season 9)

Rule of thumb: If it’s TPB, it’s awesome. With these characters, a whole season could take place in an underground bunker—with a camera that never even moved and zero plot whatsoever—and it would still be fucking amazing. Season 9 doesn’t take place in a bunker, but it might have been less strange if it did; it’s easily the weirdest this show’s ever gotten. The Boys seem very averse to letting the show get stale, and I hope it ultimately gets 20 seasons, just to see how damn crazy it’s gotten by then. —Joey Keeton

52) Patch Adams

Robin Williams plays a doctor who saves lives through the use of humor and laughter. Based on a true story, this film is a heartwarming and poignant reminder of both Williams’ comical genius and knack for dramatic acting. If you’re still not over his death, you might want to ensure a box of Kleenex is on hand. (Because tears are inevitable.) —Jam Kotenko

53) How to Train Your Dragon 2 

Given that Netflix just released a new series following the adventures of Hiccup and Toothless, it only makes sense that it’d release the sequel to DreamWorks’ popular film as well. But this is good news for everyone, since HTTYD2 isn’t just a well-done children’s film: It’s a feminist triumph that explores what it’s like for a community to evolve together toward a new understanding of how to be at peace with the world. Some corners of Reddit should probably schedule a group watch. —Aja Romano

54) What Happened, Miss Simone? 

Exploring the complex life of singer, pianist, and activist Nina Simone is no easy task, but director Liz Garbus does an admirable job in this Netflix-produced documentary. Journal entries and interviews with Simone’s daughter, ex-husband, and friends give some context, but the live performances connect the dots. —Audra Schroeder 

55) Chef

Jon Favreau wrote, directed, and starred in this movie about a chef finding himself in his food after a sour exchange with a reviewer. It’s also a perfect portrait of the food-truck scene, alive and well in small pockets across the U.S., and a travel diary of the foodie heavens in Austin, Texas, and New Orelans, Louisiana. —Monica Riese

56) Archer (season 5)

If Archer were a band—rather than an animated espionage comedy—series 5, Archer: Vice would be its mid-career concept album; a sudden, stylistic shift not requested by anyone in particular, but for fans, it just has to do. So with their spy agency abruptly disbanded, we find Archer and the other ex-employees of ISIS having to make ends meet by selling the mound of coke left over from a past mission. This series may not be Sgt. Pepper’s, but Archer is still the sharpest cartoon since a fawning generation of writers turned The Simpsons into unwatchable, eye-stabbing fanfiction. —Tom Harrington

57) Earth to Echo 

This found-footage-style film follows the adventures of a trio of young boys about to be displaced from their neighborhood. In their last week together, one child’s phone starts “barfing,” or displaying a random series of electronic signals. The boys realize it’s a map that leads them to Echo, an alien robot stranded on Earth—and the reason for all the development that’s displacing their families. They end up on an adventure to reunite Echo with his ship and hopefully save their homes. Earth to Echo was originally developed for Disney, but it was sold to Relativity and released in 2014. —Rae Votta

58) M*A*S*H

Based on the movie M*A*S*H (which was in turn adapted from a novel), the ’70s dark war sitcom followed the day-to-day lives of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital stationed in South Korea during the Korean War; it was as much about that as it was the Vietnam War, which happened during part of the show’s run. The characters performed surgeries, made friends with locals, and often pranked and drove each other mad from boredom and amusement. While the Korean War only lasted three years, M*A*S*H lasted 11 seasons, and its popularity has continued long after the show ended. Its finale, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” was the most-watched single TV episode with 125 million viewers. —Michelle Jaworski

59) Get Low

Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) is the sort of person people talk about. He’s a crazy old hermit who lives in the woods. They say he once killed a man. They say he might be in league with the devil. Then one day Felix marches into town with plans to throw a “funeral party” for himself. He wants to hear all those crazy yarns the townsfolk spin about him, and he’s raffling off his property to ensure a full house for his farewell tour. Local funeral director Frank Quinn (Bill Murray) is only too happy to help… so long as Felix is paying. —David Wharton

60) The Fall (season 2)

A murder mystery plagues the city of Belfast, and Metropolitan Police Superintendent Stella Gibson (played by Gillian Anderson) is brought in to crack the case. After following a few leads, Gibson discovers that the case she was brought in to analyze is actually a part of a series of killings. The second series zeroes in on the double life led by Paul Spector, the serial killer who shares an odd and reciprocal fascination with Gibson, the very person tasked with tracking and capturing him once and for all. —Jam Kotenko

61) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Tomas Alfredson’s Cold War spy film feels like a true reading of John le Carré’s famous original novel: The atmosphere is taut but still full of the tension between changing generations and changing cultures. Every member of the star-studded cast delivers a microcosm of that conflict within themselves, from Benedict Cumberbatch’s tightly closeted identity, to Tom Hardy’s inability to be the grounded man on the street once his emotions have gotten in the way, to Mark Strong’s eternal battle with his allegiance to a company that’s left him out to pasture. Above all, Gary Oldman owns this tour de force about a complicated effort to discover a high-level mole in Her Majesty’s intelligence service. —Aja Romano

62) Girlhood

The film follows Marieme (Karidja Touré), a black 16-year-old French girl from a low-income Paris suburb. Her family life is difficult and abusive, and she is unhappy with the direction her education’s taken, as she is assigned a vocational track rather than academic. She drops out of school, bands with three older girls, and looks for excitement. Soon enough, the thrill dies down and Marieme is forced to confront her declining quality of life. —Feliks Garcia 

63) Antarctica: A Year on Ice

I’m not saying you should pair this with a rolled-and-stuffed Zig Zag, but the breathtaking 2013 documentary is the best weed picture since the Planet Earth miniseries. New Zealand filmmaker Anthony B. Powell moves his film beyond penguin close-ups into the stunning proposition of living in frigid climates during the 24-hour sunshine in the summer and perpetual darkness of winter. He talks not just to research scientists, but to the poor bastards (cooks, pilots) stuck powering their distant labs and enduring the same climate to explore the human consciousness at the fringe. —Ramon Ramirez

64) Psych (season 8)

In its last season, Psych hit the perfect balance of mystery, obscure ’80s references, and happily-ever-afters for the characters Psych fans spent the past eight years crime fighting alongside. The show followed childhood best friends Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill) as they run their psychic detective agency and work cases for the Santa Barbara Police Department, who they trick into believing Shawn’s incredible observational talents are really the abilities of a psychic—an immature, hilarious, and pineapple-obsessed psychic, to be exact.

This season begins shortly after Chief Vic is fired, leaving the motley crew of the SBPD to band together through the last 10 episodes, answering questions such as: What is Lassiter like as a father? Will Shawn finally propose to Juliet? And if so, will he be forced to leave Gus for San Francisco? What would happen if the worlds of Psych and Monk finally collided? In total, it’s a wonderful send-off to a long and beloved show. —Carly Lanning

65) 3rd Rock From the Sun (complete series)

A group of aliens are sent to the titular third rock from the sun, Earth, disguised as humans and tasked with reporting their findings to their home planet. Throughout the episodes, the non-humanoid aliens must get used to their new bodies, participate in exotic yet seemingly mundane rituals (dancing, eating, sex), and one learns a thing or two about puberty. Hilarity ensues. —Feliks Garcia

66) Garfunkel and Oates 

Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are Garfunkel & Oates, a comedic musical duo. After building a solid base on YouTube, the pair developed a TV series centered on their climb to Hollywood fame, all facilitated by satirical musical numbers, which Lindhome described as “Glee with dick jokes.” The show only lasted one season on IFC, but it now lives on forever on Netflix. —Rae Votta 

67) Chris D’Elia: Incorrigible

Comedian and actor Chris D’Elia (UndateableWhitney) attempts to unravel the “women be like…” mystery in this 2015 Netflix standup special. He also tackles the NFL, Russians, and babies, but sadly, not literally. You’ll know when to laugh because he laughs at most of his jokes. —Audra Schroeder

68) Turn (season 1)

A cabbage farmer from New York becomes a spy in this period drama from AMC set in the Revolutionary War. It’s AMC doing period work, so expect gloss. —Monica Riese

69) Starry Eyes

If you’re looking for a horror film that mixes an ’80s aesthetic—complete with a completely badass Carpenter-esque soundtrack and Cronenbergian body-horror—with modern-day indie filmmaking (you know, with a clever allegory to propel the narrative engine), look no further than Starry Eyes. Well, until you’ve already watched Starry Eyes, anyway. After that… I suppose you’ll probably have to look further. —Joey Keeton

70) Longmire (season 3)

Based on the mystery novels by Craig Johnson, Longmire centers on a laconic Wyoming county sheriff (Robert Taylor) who upholds the law while navigating petty local politics and murky jurisdictional issues courtesy of a local Indian reservation. Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff co-stars as Longmire’s deputy Vic Moretti, a former Philadelphia homicide detective. Season 3 found Walt finally on the trail of his wife’s murderer, but then A&E dropped the axe on the show. Thankfully, Netflix rode to the rescue and greenlit a 10-episode fourth season, due to premiere later this year. —David Wharton

71) On the Road

In this adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s novel of the same name, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, and Kirsten Dunst join Sam Riley and others in an all-star rendition of the ultimate Beat-era road trip. Not to be confused with The Road, Cormac McCarthy’s postapocalyptic drama, not currently streaming. —Monica Riese

72) The Aviator

The Spruce Goose may now live mostly unloved in the middle of Oregon, but Martin Scorsese’s grand ode to its creator Howard Hughes is anything but—slavish in period detail down even to its Hughesian budget overrun. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the germaphobic millionaire-turned-billionaire while a procession of Hollywood celebs are granted their wish of providing impressions of the forebears they clearly consider themselves akin to: Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn, Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow, and Jude Law is a natural as that sloshing, Tasmanian jug o’ STIs, Errol Flynn. —Tom Harrington

73) Scandal (season 4)

This exciting television drama is centered on Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a former White House communications director who decides to start her own crisis management company geared toward helping powerful political clientele clean up after their messes. This year, the fourth season is ready for nonstop watching and follows Pope’s return to Washington, D.C., after two months in seclusion. A grey cloud continues to hang over the White House after a death in the First Family, and an intricate web of lies is spun around what really happened by the very man who arranged the assassination. Meanwhile, the “gladiators” from Olivia Pope & Associates are forced to move onto other endeavors after their fearless leader’s disappearance; her return certainly shakes things up. —Jam Kotenko

74) The Last Waltz

I know, baby boomers can be suffocating in their adoration for this work: Martin Scorsese’s 35mm cameras, the Band’s final concert (San Francisco, 1976), guests galore (Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young among them) all make The Last Waltz insufferably praised by the Rolling Stone crowd. But if you tether this stream to some decent speakers, you have an instant concert film obsession. Consider it a starting line. —Ramon Ramirez

75) Halt and Catch Fire (season 1)

By most critical accounts, season 1 of AMC’s ’80s-in-Texas computer business drama Halt and Catch Fire was a dramatic miss. The two male leads fizzled, as their schemes failed to capture the IRL thrills of… reverse-engineering an IBM computer in order to rip it off. By season 2, the show retooled to focus on a collective of hackers led by two endlessly interesting female leads and grew into one of TV’s best hours. The origin story burns slowly, but it pays big. —Ramon Ramirez

76) Dallas (season 3) 

Remember when it was announced that a remake of the ’80s hit show Dallas would be airing on TNT? And then you went “well, that’s interesting,” and never thought about it again? Well, it turns out the show made it all the way to season 3 before being cancelled, which I think can only be considered a resounding success. According to Deadline, however, the show thought it’d go further; its last episode ends with cliffhangers and the introductions of new characters. Much like living in the city of Dallas: Don’t expect closure here. —Joey Keeton

77) The Adventures of Puss in Boots (season 1)

Puss in Boots, the cat lothario who is granted the gift of gab while wearing magic boots, stole the show when he first appeared in Shrek 2, so it’s no surprise he got his own series. In the series, Puss in Boots will defend his formerly hidden village, San Lorenzo, from roving bands of outsiders determined to take the town’s magical treasure. —Feliks Garcia

78) Gimme Shelter

A runaway teen decides to flee after enduring long-time abuse from her drug-addicted mother. She finds her estranged father and requests refuge with him and his new family, but when they discover she’s pregnant, she is cast out and forced to live on the streets. Gimme Shelter, based on a true story, may be a bit heavy-handed on the drama, but the appearances by Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, and James Earl Jones in this movie make it worth a watch. —Jam Kotenko

79) RoboCop

The infamous remake of RoboCop, whose director described his experience making it as “hell,” had a rough road to theaters. The script leaked, and everybody hated it. Then it was given a PG-13 rating. Then the “why does he have one naked hand?!” debate came along. It was just one pile of shit after another for the film, until it was released, and then everybody forgot it existed. Maybe it’ll be reexamined in the future and find redemption. However, it is perfect as a goofy, mish-mashed example of how studio meddling sometimes results in very bizarre things. —Joey Keeton

80) Finding Neverland

Once upon a time, Johnny Depp made good films—it’s actually gotten to the point that I feel old for remembering when they came out—and Finding Neverland was one of them (perhaps even the last). It’s the tale of the writer of Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie, and him finding the inspiration to pen the story from his relationship with a family. It gets a bit maudlin at times, but, like Forrest Gump, it’s good enough to overcome that fact. It was directed by Marc Forster, who also made good movies a long time ago. —Joey Keeton

81) Glee (season 5)

The penultimate season of Glee is a highly emotional one. The show was dealt a major blow when star Cory Monteith died the summer before filming, realigning the entire future of the series. Early episodes deal with that loss, and then the show transitions to part-time Ohio, part-time New York, before closing with some of the series’ best episodes focused solely on the New York storyline. Relationship statuses are in flux for Kurt and Blaine, Rachel has to decide if Funny Girl or NYADA are the right choice for her future, and New Directions might be no more, thanks to budget cuts and problems with the new cast of students. —Rae Votta

82) Wilfred (season 4) 

If you have friends, at least one of them has bugged you like mad to watch Wilfred. It’s the sort of bugging that’s so annoying that it backfires: Not only do you not watch the show, but you find yourself avoiding it. Wilfred fans are diehard as fuck, and they won’t stop going on about that fact that “it looks really weird, but it’s SO FUNNY!” Well, now the fourth season has hit Netflix, and maybe you should let up on your friend and just watch the thing. Because, you know what? It’s SO FUNNY. —Joey Keeton

83) Video Game High School (season 3)

Video Game High School is the action-adventure video game series from RocketJump that imagines a world where esports are so elite that people go to schools centered around them. The show plays on typical high school drama, with fictionalized video games supported by live-action gameplay as the backdrop. The third season picks up with the election for student council heating up and the impending demolition of VGHS itself. The series has numerous cameos, including Conan O’Brien and Tony Hawn. —Rae Votta

84) Backstreet Boys: Show ’Em What You’re Made Of

This nostalgic, moving deep dive into what it’s like to be a grown man from the Backstreet plays out like a Bachelor-esque hometown date. You follow Kevin, Howie, AJ, Brian, and Nick through their origins, and back into a shared London house while they cut an album. It’s an A to Z history that touches on the dark shades and a film worthy of the best pop ensemble of the ’90s. —Ramon Ramirez

85) Modern Marvels (new collection)

The History Channel might not be what it used to, but one part of its new lineup I won’t complain about is Modern Marvels. The show gives viewers a behind-the-scenes, up-close-and-personal look at how stuff works (Editor’s note: Sorry, different show) how things work, from the realms of architecture and technology and manufacturing and beyond. —Monica Riese

86) Bindi’s Bootcamp

The daughter of the late Steve Irwin follows in her father’s footsteps in this wildlife-centric game show that’ll have you at the edge of your seat (albeit a cushioned seat in an air-conditioned room, so…) —Monica Riese

87) Hector and the Search for Happiness

Based on the novel by François Lelord, Simon Pegg stars as Hector, a psychiatrist with an overwhelming sense of ennui. As the title suggests, Hector travels the world on a quest to find the true meaning of happiness. Does he find what he’s looking for? —Feliks Garcia

88) A Very Murray Christmas (December) 

Sofia Coppola directed this Bill Murray holiday special, and if that’s not enough to hook you, Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Miley Cyrus all stop by. If there’s one person who can revive the Christmas variety show special, it’s Bill Murray in reindeer ears. —Audra Schroeder 

89) Inspector Gadget

Fans of the original Inspector Gadget series starring the bumbling detective and his far more resourceful niece and dog will be sure to enjoy this Netflix sequel with their kids. With Dr. Claw unthawed and back on the loose, Inspector Gadget is called back once again to come and save the day—and Penny and Brain are officially helping him this time around. As always, Penny saves the day while Inspector Gadget gets all the credit despite his incompetence. As an added twist, Penny not only has to fight Claw, but also his nephew, whom she has a crush on. —Michelle Jaworski

90) Transformers: Age of Extinction

A lot of you people out there saw this film in theaters: Shame on you. All of you. I don’t care if you only went because your kids wanted to see it; if that’s your excuse, then you’re a bad parent. There are good films in theaters—you know that, right?—and it’s your fault that another one of these fucking films will be made. For those you who didn’t pay for it: Now you can watch it, without supporting the box office numbers, and see Kelsey Grammer and big junkyard robots flash about the screen, free of guilt. —Joey Keeton

91) The Sisterhood of Night

A trivial act of high school retaliation escalates to form “the Sisterhood,” a collective of teen girls bound by a vow of silence that meet in the woods for mysterious rituals. Jealousy, misunderstanding, and unfortunate social media posts combine to destroy lives in this modern spin on the Salem Witch Trials. —Monica Riese

92) Free the Nipple

The #FreeTheNipple social media movement has become a powerful hydra featuring Miley Cyrus, Scout Willis, Chrissy Teigen, and many others, but what is it really fighting for? This film by Lina Esco attempts to explain the hashtagged movement’s transition into real-time acceptance, not as a documentary but as a “spirited satire” starring Lola Kirke. Perhaps soon a doc exploring the deeper roots of the movement will appear, and we’ll get a bigger picture of where we actually are on nipple equality. —Audra Schroeder 

93) Bad Boys II

Michael Bay may go down as one of the most selfishly masculine and mean-spirited directors in blockbuster history—just look at the 20-year run he’s been on since 1995’s original Bad Boys. But like too many hetero-normative boys of the ’90s, his absurdist action films—mostly the Boys franchise and The Rock–continually bulge my discs with their stupid gun play. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence play themselves as motor-mouthed cops who fight the KKK and also Haitian gangsters over narcotics deals. Are you not entertained? —Ramon Ramirez

94) The Interview

In the movie that may or may not have caused the Sony email hacks by alleged North Korean hackers, Dave Skylark (James Franco) is a sensational TV personality who hosts a tabloid interview show. When Skylark Tonight books North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, the CIA puts its faith in Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) to carry out an assassination mission. Will they succeed? —Feliks Garcia


We already had to say goodbye to some of our favorites this year. Each of these movies was added in 2015 and gone by the time this list originally published in July.

95) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Almost unfilmable, Terry Gilliam’s take on Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo classic—a travelogue that melts into hallucinogenic mess—could have had all the attraction of dragging your tongue across a dry towel. But a pre-buccaneering Johnny Depp does the impossible: making someone else’s trip interesting. And with an aesthetic that mirrors Ralph Steadman’s seminal artwork and an oleaginous, corpulent Benicio del Toro, you have a trinity of madness through which to explore Thompson’s savage vision. —Tom Harrington

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96) The War of the Worlds

A lot of people were disappointed by Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of War of the Worlds, feeling that the entire third act was just, well… stupid. They were wrong (although maybe that’s subjective), but if you’re one of those people, fear not: This is the 1953 adaptation directed by George Pal, and an entirely different film altogether. It has the honor of being the very first film version of Orson Welles’s novel, and it won an Academy Award for its special effects. If you want to see what Oscar-winning effects looked like in the early ’50s, here’s your chance. —Joey Keeton

97) The Brothers Bloom

In which two sibling con men, Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrian Brody), make their way through Europe pulling off elaborate, dramatic long cons. They get together to pull off one last con, taking a New Jersey heiress (Rachel Weisz) for all she’s worth—only, they have the time of their lives. —Feliks Garcia

98) Batman & Robin

While Batman and Robin certainly intended to become known for its overpacked celebrity roster, in the eight years since its release, the film is instead referred to as “the one with the nipple suit.”

Yes, poor George Clooney is forced to take on the role of arguably DC Comics’ greatest hero while wearing a suit with molded, useless nipples. In the film, Batman (Clooney) and Robin (Chris O’Donnell) fight the violent forces of Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), who are determined to take over Gotham City. While the movie is a bit different from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns starring Danny DeVito as the Penguin, Batman and Robin is an undeniable classic that led to the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy years laters. —Carly Lanning

99) Cast Away

FedEx exec Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks), is stranded on a deserted island after a delivery plane crashes in the South Pacific. With only his strength of will and other Christmas-time goodies in the FedEx plane (including his friend Wilson, a volleyball), Chuck must adapt to the island to survive. —Feliks Garcia

100) Bruce Almighty

Could you do a better job at being God than God himself? While Jim Carrey’s character fails spectacularly at this in Bruce Almighty, it’s rather amusing to see him try as he struggles with his life, his girlfriend’s, the people around him, and everyone else praying to him. This film also solidified the idea that if God existed he would speak with Morgan Freeman’s voice, and Steve Carell managed to steal the show with just one scene. —Michelle Jaworski

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Illustration by Max Fleishman

Monica Riese

Monica Riese

Monica Riese now serves as the Daily Dot’s director of production, having previously been the publication’s entertainment editor and assistant managing editor. She is based in Austin, Texas, and formerly contributed to the Austin Chronicle, where her breaking news work was recognized by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.