Television’s New Crop of Shows Doesn’t Look Too Great So Far

Autumn is when everything outside just seems to … well, die. Crops are harvested. Leaves fall from the trees. Grass turns a bit brown. Cold sets in. It’s a depressing time of year for many (obviously not football fans). Hey, even the sun doesn’t seem to want to stick around as long anymore. So there’s […]

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What Spy Movies (and Grandma) Say About Media Discernment

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is not the headiest of movies, but it still got us thinking. In this, the second episode of the Plugged In Vodcast, Paul explains why spy movies always make him think of his grandma and how a particular conversation with her got him thinking about the ways we make exceptions […]

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An Entertainment Adventure in Garage Saling

As we do almost every year, my wife and I spent vacation time in July visiting our out-of-state daughter. And although you’ll probably find this a bit strange (for that matter, I find it a bit strange), over the last couple of years at least we’ve found ourselves spending some of that R&R garage saling. […]

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Rock’s Not (Quite) Dead … and Why That Matters

Last September, KISS bassist, entrepreneur and reality TV star Gene Simmons became the latest in a long line of voices to loudly lament, “Rock is finally dead!” In many ways, Simmons may very be correct. Rock music doesn’t enjoy the cultural omnipresence it wielded from the 1960s through the ’90s. And the industry as a […]

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Getting Real (Fictionally, of Course)

Comedian Jim Gaffigan recently launched his very own sitcom titled, perhaps a bit uncreatively, The Jim Gaffigan Show. It’s on TV Land, and the show’s gotten all sorts of attention. I reviewed it earlier this week, and while it has its share of problems, I have to say I enjoyed parts of it. Not just […]

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Mom’s ‘Extreme’ Movie Advice to Son is Right On

What would you do if your teen wanted to see the recent movie Pitch Perfect 2? Author and blogger Glennon Doyle Melton said yes to her son Chase’s request to see the movie. But she didn’t want her son to be just a passive viewer, so her yes was a conditional one. And the conditions […]

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‘Dirty Deeds’ (Almost) Done for Real

An ongoing controversy in the 1980s revolved around whether certain rock bands’ music inspired isolated, unstable listeners to commit heinous crimes. Perhaps the highest-profile of these cases was that of convicted serial killer Richard Ramirez. Ramirez, who came to be known as the “Night Stalker,” was convicted in 1989 for the murder of 13 people […]

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Pop Culture Might Have Replaced the Prophet, But Nobody Can Push Away the Power of Story

Our world is soaked in pop … culture. Entertainment saturates everything around us. It’s impossible to get away from it all, even if we wanted to. And, truthfully, how many of us want to? Entertainment tries to fill lots of holes in our lives. It can be an escape. A salve for hard times. It […]

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How a Movie Birthed an Art Form (And Tarnished a Nation)

A century ago this week, New Yorkers began lining up to watch The Birth of a Nation. Though the country was still more than a decade removed from the first talking picture, this black-and-white silent epic was apparently like Gone With the Wind, Star Wars and Avatar all rolled into one. Some theaters charged patrons […]

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Chappie, Meet Ultron

Later on today, we’ll be publishing our review of Chappie, the latest sci-fi thinkpiece from Neill Blomkamp (Elysium and District 9). I’ll be interested to see what our reviewer Bob Hoose has to say about the flick, but the trailers suggest that Chappie’s a violent, R-rated version of Pinocchio—about a manmade creation who becomes a […]

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