MTV’s 2016 VMAs: Nothing to See Here

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The Monday morning after MTV’s Video Music Awards has often been a cultural watercooler moment in a culture that has fewer and fewer of those moments these days. Whether it’s Miley twerking on Robin Thicke (2013), Madonna and Britney kissing (2003) or Madonna’s risqué performance of “Like a Virgin” at the very first VMAs back […]

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The Olympics: Like Real Life, Only Better

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Bad things happen. Even at the Olympics. Looking at this year’s games in Rio, you can point to any number of mistakes, accidents and bone-headed moves. Just ask Ryan Lochte. Or Al Trautwig. Or the technicians in charge of the Olympic diving pool. But sometimes, the Olympics transcend all that. They go beyond even their […]

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Born to Be Influenced by Media

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I reviewed A&E’s Born This Way this week (the review will be posted later today). It’s a reality show that focuses on several young adults with Down syndrome, and a refreshing change from the many reality shows that are predicated on greed and selfishness and bad behavior. It’s a gentler program that, while not exactly […]

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Weighing the Heavy Costs of Extreme Weight-Loss Shows

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NBC’s The Biggest Loser has been one of the network’s, ahem, biggest reality TV success stories. It’s paired consistently strong ratings with feel-good storylines about overweight people working hard to get back to a healthy size and all of the good things that come with it. Everybody wins, right? After all, what could be wrong […]

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American Idol’s Faithful (and Flirty) Legacy

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American Idol wrapped up its awe-inspiring 15-season run on Fox last night, crowing a final Idol, Trent Harmon, in an emotional two-hour finale that featured just about everyone who’s ever been anyone on the show. Watching performances from a litany of former Idols who’ve legitimately become pop culture idols reinforced just how successful the show […]

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Vodcast: Is Fuller House Bad TV?

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What is one to make of Fuller House? The much-anticipated reboot/sequel/continuance of the popular 80s sitcom, Full House, has been widely panned since making its debut on Netflix a few weeks ago, and there are a few theories as to why that is. Some found it just plain bad. They didn’t like the acting … or […]

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Resolving to Change Our Media Habits

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Editor’s Note: It’s nearly the dawn of a new year, and with the turn of the calendar many of us take stock of our lives and decide to make a change or two. Sometimes that can take the form of the standard New Year’s resolution. Sometimes we simply want to improve on what we’re already […]

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A Nice Commercial Christmas

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We here at Plugged In like to bring you thoughtful or entertaining online tidbits from time to time. We’ve shared some compelling family focused commercials on occasion, too. And, well, it turns out that IKEA offers up all-of-the-above in two different Christmas commercials it produced for its various markets around the world. Now, the first […]

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Television Tops 2015: Paul Asay’s Year-End Picks

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They say we’re spoiled by our television riches. Shows have never been so rich in character, so deep in theme. Alas, the last several years have given us a new depth in abysmal content, too. The Walking Dead is getting ever gorier. Jessica Jones has taken superheroes in a new, tawdrier direction. And trust me, […]

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The State of Teens, Tweens and Screens

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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice how screen and media time continues to grow for so many of us, young and old, these days. Televisions, computers, e-readers, tablets and smartphones offer unprecedented opportunities to engage in all manner of entertainment media. But just how much of this entertainment do our teens and tweens […]

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