An Unfriend-ly Trend

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The New Oxford American Dictionary, North America’s last word on words, recently named unfriend as its word of the year. It means, in dictionary parlance, “to remove someone from a social networking site.” But you already knew this. This annual announcement used to be a bigger deal, before all of us started using the Internet […]

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Story Time … Online

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Before my 3-year-old son, Henry, clambers into bed most nights, we almost always read a story (or two, or maybe three, depending on how determined he is to stay up). If I had a quarter for every time he’s asked me to reread his favorite book about tractors and diggers, well, I could probably retire […]

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To Meep or Not To Meep

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Just call them the Meep Generation. A bunch of kids from Danvers (Mass.) High School nearly hopped into (ahem) a beaker full of hot water when they used the word meep as a method of social disruption. Meep, to my ear, seems an odd sort of rallying cry for school chaos. Introduced to the English […]

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The Sky Is Falling! Again!

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Disaster. No, I’m not talking about my hair. I’m talking about movies, people. The film industry has been on a disaster kick lately, and in the last couple of years we’ve seen the world destroyed (or, at the very least, seriously threatened) by monsters, men, machines, men and machines, robots masquerading as men, robots masquerading […]

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‘A Good Story Well Told’

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It’s November now, and here at Plugged In that means we’re on the cusp of Oscar season. Films with Academy Awards aspirations are starting to trickle into the the theaters, and those sorts of films present all manner of opportunities and challenges for us. I mean, what do we do with beautifully made films that […]

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Gossip Girl and the New Normal?

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How do we know what normal is? For example, is it normal for three college students—two girls, one guy—to have a simultaneous sexual encounter? That’s exactly what happened on this week’s episode of CW’s boundary-pushing series Gossip Girl. And some, including the Parents Television Council, believe that depictions of once aberrant behaviors such as these […]

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Bah Humbugging Good

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Ebenezer Scrooge is one of the most delightful grumpy old men there’s ever been. Seriously. Can you think of any better? Why even the old codgers from The Muppets or Fred Sanford from Sanford and Son couldn’t hold a candle to the gloriously irascible old coot from A Christmas Carol. Part of it, of course, […]

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Owl Who?

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Earlier this year, the Black Eyed Peas held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for a remarkable 26-week stretch—an impressive feat of musical domination, to be sure. Then again, we’re talking about one of the world’s most successful bands, an act with an established fan base and a knack for self-promotion and […]

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Disney’s Crash Course in Celebrity

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Perhaps inspired by the exploits of Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron and others over the past year, Disney now requires all its up-and-coming young stars to attend Talent 101, which is designed to prepare them for the pressures (and temptations?) of celebrity life. The faculty includes security experts, psychologists and media consultants who’ll help young performers […]

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Rocking the Boat

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So, I just finished writing my review of Pirate Radio (don’t look for it right away, though — the movie doesn’t come out until Nov. 13), and from the Plugged In perspective, it had all sorts of problems: Sex, drugs, anarchistic … you know, all the paraphernalia that comes along with stories about rock ‘n’ […]

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Storytime

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If you look at Plugged In‘s home page “rotator” today, you’ll notice a big picture of a candle grasped between two fingers. It’s a pretty cool picture for what, I hope, you’ll think is a pretty decent story—the first of an 8-part series (titled “Not Just a Movie”) I’ve written that explains why we at […]

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Miley Worse Than Britney?

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What would Hannah Montana say? Reigning teen queen Miley Cyrus has been named as the “worst celebrity of the year” by the readers of AOL’s teen-centric pop culture website, jsyk.com, beating out such celebrities as Kanye West and Britney Spears. The results, at first glance, feel pretty bizarre. I mean, it’s hard to imagine Miley […]

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