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Fan is a four letter word.

Fan is a four letter word. (photo)

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If you’d ever doubted, after what’s become of Comic-Con, that “fanboys” are everyone’s new favorite demographic, then consider a new study that tries, earnestly, to pin down those elusive creatures of the night who like to watch orcs and vampires skulk through the recesses of the imagination, or something.

At the Wrap, Brent Lang summarizes the ridiculously named “Fanboy FAQ!”,” a study co-conducted by the Online Testing Exchange and SoundThinkingNY, which came to the conclusion that “The popular perception of the entertainment industry’s most voracious consumers as pimply, socially awkward young men is too limited.” Half of them are girls! And they’re not just into superheroes and vampires! They like other things too!

The study itself isn’t online, so unless you were one of the people at Tuesday’s Culver City press conference, you may have a hard time figuring out what rigorous criteria were used in “separating the fanboys from more orthodox fans by measuring their collecting behavior, entertainment interests and familiarity with creators of books, comics, movies and shows.” Anyway, now we know: people who went to see “Lord of the Rings” and “X-Men” and “The Dark Knight,” there were a lot of them, and they look just like us, walking undetected amongst us.

Okay, it’s a mysterious world out there, and when I look at Ain’t It Cool News I get a little scared too. But, you know, two years ago Bruce Willis showed up on the site to shoot the breeze with the fans when promoting “Live Free or Die Hard,” so apparently he figured out a lot earlier than these paid professionals that “fanboys” couldn’t all be stereotypical nerds, and he might want to court them.

I especially enjoy this quote from SoundThinkingNY’s CEO Gwen Lipsky: “I think we have a secret fear that they’re misfits, but nothing about our data shows that.” What is this fear is based on? If only the nerds make up the fantasy grosses, do the terrorists win? Hasn’t every mainstream media outlet been writing endless reviews and think-pieces about the mainstreaming of graphic novels for years now? Isn’t “Paranormal Activity” less an example of fanboy triumph and more about an effective scary movie connecting with a public that, you know, loves horror movies? Isn’t “True Blood” freakishly and inexplicably popular?

I’m staying tuned for SoundThinkingNY’s upcoming “Classic Rock Fans National Online Survey.” I predict many of them will be over 40 and like Led Zeppelin.

[Photo: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” New Line Cinema, 2001]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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