Culture Clips: Distracted to Death?

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Today’s vehicles are packed with more safety and collision-avoidance technology than ever before. But traffic-related deaths in the United States have nevertheless risen sharply over the last two years, up 14.4% after decades of generally trending downward. Curiously, certain kinds of folks are increasingly prone to be involved in fatal car accidents than others: pedestrians, […]

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Television Learns That It’s Nice to Be Nice (And It Makes Money, Too)

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the good doctor

We’re in the heart of the new television season, and I’ve noticed something a little odd about it. It’s trying to be nice. Strange, right? For the last several years, television has been besotted with undoubtedly gripping, unbearably grim prestige TV. HBO’s Game of Thrones revels in its episodic cruelties, both physical and political. Hulu’s […]

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Bronies: What’s this Dog and Pony Show All About?

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Brony

Some things in life we know with certainty: The sun will come up tomorrow. Fish will swim in the sea. Kevin Sorbo will star in yet another Christian movie. And when the My Little Pony movie comes to theaters this weekend, standing in the ticket (and popcorn) line will be tens of thousands of adult […]

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Culture Clips: How True Are ‘Based on a True Story’ Movies?

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We’ve seen it many times at the outset of a movie: “Based on a True Story.” And if you’re taking a careful look at what’s in multiplexes this week, you might notice that many films being screened right now deliver a version of that statement. Stronger, which opened last week and rolls wider this week, […]

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Culture Clips: Emmys Put on a Red Shawl

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The Handmaid's Tale

Back in the day, television was considered something of a cultural unifier—the very definition of mass entertainment that would serve as a focal point for familial, communal, and even intergenerational gatherings. Yeah, about that. The Emmy awards—from the tone of the show to the awards themselves—illustrated a certain cultural divide. “In an age of hyper-polarization, […]

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The Great Television Content Rush Gets a Bit … Purer

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Hitting the Breaks

Way back yonder, folks came out West to find a new life, raise families and … well, who am I kidding, get stinkin’ rich. They’d travel to the gold fields of California or Colorado or the Yukon, visions of shiny yellow metal flashing in their nugget-hungry noggins. Some of them indeed struck it rich. Many […]

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A Lesson From the Game of Thrones. (No, Really.)

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Sam Tarly Game of Thrones

HBO’s Game of Thrones wrapped up its seventh season last Sunday, gearing up for a frenetic, likely salacious sprint to the finish next year. But for all its many weaknesses, the show sometimes offers—albeit unintentionally—a kernel of truth. And I found one this week. Despite all the criticism for its penchant for titillation and its […]

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Culture Clips: The Dragon and the Swift edition

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Game of Thrones dragon

On Sunday night, two television titans squared off against each other in a clash of old and new, awards-show glitz against prestige-TV glam. It wasn’t even close. Despite going head-to-head against MTV’s once-vaunted Video Music Awards show, HBO’s salacious sensation Game of Thrones set yet another high-water ratings mark, drawing 12.1 million viewers for its […]

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So You Wanna Buy a Direwolf …

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Dire wolf

Plugged In has tracked plenty of correlations between entertainment and its influence on our real-world values. We’ve regularly looked at what scientists have to say about the potential links between our media habits and our choices in areas such as sex, smoking and alcohol usage. But sometimes those links show up in ways that are […]

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Culture Clips: Is 13 Reasons Why Really Dangerous? Science Says …

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13 Reasons Why

Oh, Netflix. How did we manage to fill this blog without thee? Last week, we wrote about your newest controversial show, To the Bone. This week, you’re back in the news again for 13 Reasons Why—and for a rather unfortunate reason. When 13 Reasons Why was released earlier this spring, many viewers and health experts […]

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And You Thought She Just Liked Doing Laundry

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laundry

Being a mom is hard work. What with child care, car pools, household chores, food prep, and the gazillion other jobs and duties they’ve got on their plate—not to mention their regular, out-of-the-house jobs that many have besides—how do they have time to relax and unwind? You know, have a little time for themselves? Or […]

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Culture Clips: If You Can’t Beat a Shark, Jump It

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Each summer, Discovery Channel faces a unique programming challenge: making its “Shark Week” programming feel fresh. That’s no small challenge, given the fact that this annual ode to dorsal fins and sharp teeth has been airing since 1988. This year, the cable network began teasing one of its sharkiest gambits yet: pitting Olympic swimming legend […]

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