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Our 22 most popular film and TV stories of 2022

A man in dark clothing stands under a tree in "Dexter: New Blood."
Michael C. Hall in “Dexter: New Blood.”
(Seacia Pavao / Showtime)
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Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone who couldn’t get enough of our film and TV coverage in 2022.

In this special year-end edition, we expand our weekly “ICYMI” feature, highlighting the must-read stories from the film and television teams here at The Times. From thought-provoking essays and revealing celebrity profiles to deep dives on the scenes, performances and surprises that defined the year onscreen, the following 22 stories were our most popular features of the year. It’s enough to keep you clicking until you ring in 2023.

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22. The ‘November Rain’ music video defined a generation. Inside its ‘bonkers’ production: Polarizing in its day, the epic Guns N’ Roses music video has become the most-watched of any produced in the 1980s and 1990s. Here’s how it got made.

21. Who is the enemy in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’? Let’s investigate: The action blockbuster centers on a dangerous mission to take out a nuclear enrichment facility. But who exactly is the enemy?

20. Maury Povich is done with TV and he couldn’t be happier about it: Having outlasted Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey and many others, the talk show host calls it quits.

19. On the eve of war, Tucker Carlson defended Putin. Now he’s backpedaling: Along with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Carlson has downplayed Russian aggression against Ukraine and NATO. Then, he tried to change his tune.

18. Bob Odenkirk opens up about that ‘Better Call Saul’ finale: ‘I’m a little shattered’: The star joined The Times to discuss the series finale, why the role left him “ragged,” and his future hopes for the “Breaking Bad” universe.

A man in a suit and tie on the set of a TV show.
Tucker Carlson on the set of his Fox News show in 2018.
(Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)
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17. Thorny and unabashedly sexy, Claire Denis’ ‘Both Sides of the Blade’ cuts deep: Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon play lovers whose lives are disrupted by a figure from the past in this slow-roiling, superbly acted melodrama.

16. ‘Billions’ ‘had to change.’ How (and why) the series blew up its central relationship: The departure of Damian Lewis forced a major shift in Showtime’s drama about the battle between a shrewd U.S. attorney and a brilliant billionaire.

15. They thought they were getting a home makeover. It turned into a fiasco: An alleged “construction Ponzi scheme” involving the series “Home Work” threatens to tarnish the reputation of TV’s hottest home renovators.

14. Why Nicolas Cage French kisses himself in ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’: Nicolas Cage plays a disillusioned movie star named Nick Cage in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” an inside-out tribute to the actor and his myths.

13. How one ‘incredibly inappropriate’ dress perfectly sums up ‘The Gilded Age’ finale: Star Carrie Coon and costume designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone explain Bertha Russell’s finale look — and why it would make New York’s socialites “gasp.”

A Latter-day Saint in temple garments
Daisy Edgar-Jones in “Under the Banner of Heaven.”
(Michelle Faye/FX)
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12. ‘Love Is Blind’ casting came under fire. Its creator says it doesn’t ‘stack the deck’: Chris Coelen, creator of the Netflix reality show, talks Season 2 expectations, why certain couples aren’t featured and those casting criticisms.

11. Tom Hanks strikes out in ‘Elvis.’ It’s the rare misstep that illuminates a great career: Over-the-top villainy has never come easily to Hanks. But in his best recent roles, he’s deftly revealed the complexities of heroism.

10. Ben Affleck is done worrying about what other people think: As he earns strong reviews for “The Tender Bar,” Affleck reflects on his career ups (he loved “The Last Duel”) and downs (“Justice League” was “the worst experience”).

9. Adam Sandler’s ‘Hustle’ isn’t a true story. But here’s why it feels like one: How director Jeremiah Zagar brought authenticity and unexpected energy to Sandler’s Netflix breakout basketball dramedy.

8. Inside a new TV show’s extraordinary effort to re-create a secret Mormon ceremony: Through insider sources and meticulous research, Hulu’s “Under the Banner of Heaven” sheds light on aspects of church life rarely seen by outsiders.

A woman stands in front of two men, with hills in the background.
Daniel Kaluuya, from left, Keke Palmer and Brandon Perea in “Nope.”
(Universal Pictures)
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7. ‘Indian Matchmaking’ is back. Are any of the couples still together?: Did Viral marry Aashay? Are Arshneel and Rinkle still together? We checked in with the stars of “Indian Matchmaking” to see where their relationships stand.

6. How Ellen DeGeneres won, and then lost, a generation of viewers: Battered by scandal, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” ended its 19-year run in May. Its host is no longer the queer celebrity we can all agree on.

5. ‘Nope’ explained: Gordy the chimpanzee and more clues to unpacking Jordan Peele’s epic: What’s the significance of the “Gordy’s Home” incident in “Nope”? How Peele’s latest thriller draws details from an infamous real-life tale.

4. ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ explained: Hot dog hands, empathy challenges and meaning in the absurd: The filmmaking duo known as Daniels, the directors of “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” reveal the inspirations behind the wildest ideas in their maximalist action movie.

3. A Midwestern couple figured out how to beat the lottery. Then Hollywood called: “Jerry and Marge Go Large” on Paramount+ is based on a true story. Here’s how it became a movie.

Ke Huy Quan, from left, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All At Once."
(Allyson Riggs / A24)
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2. Inside Ti West and Mia Goth’s already filmed secret prequel to A24 slasher ‘X’: “Pearl,” starring Goth, was filmed in secret in part because of COVID-19 restrictions.

1. Michael C. Hall breaks down ‘Dexter’s’ finale do-over: ‘Be careful what you wish for’: Like its fans, the actor wasn’t pleased with the way “Dexter” ended the first time around. The conclusion of “New Blood” was a shot at redemption.

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