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: Taylor’s Trial’s Inspiring Influence

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Taylor Swift

If you follow pop culture happenings, you likely saw the story this week about singer Taylor Swift testifying at a trial in Denver. The case involved a 2013 meet-‘n’-greet in which then DJ David Mueller allegedly groped the singer’s backside. Mueller lost his job over the incident, and actually sued Swift for $3 million. (Swift […]

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Culture Clips: An Expert Asks, ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?’

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Culture clips and smartphones

How are the combined influences of smartphones and social media shaping the lives of children growing up today? In her new article “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” in The Atlantic, author and psychologist Jean M. Twenge (Generation Me, iGen) argues that these technological advancements are having a revolutionary—and mostly negative—impact on young people today. Twenge’s […]

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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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The Dangerously Mixed Messages of To the Bone

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A confession: I don’t understand eating disorders. I get the desire to be thin. But I don’t get the compulsion to starve oneself, or to binge and then purge, or to do any of the many, many things that those with eating disorders do to become so very, very skinny. So when I watched Netflix’s […]

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Culture Clips: Thrones and Zombies and Doctors, Oh My!

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Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones just roared back for its seventh season. And any way you want to slice it, HBO’s graphic fantasy series (based on George R.R. Martin’s books) is bigger than ever. For starters, this season’s Thrones debut racked up the most viewers ever for the series, a whopping 16.1 million according to HBO (a […]

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Parents Blame Children’s Deaths on 13 Reasons Why

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13 Reasons Why

The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has been out for more than three months now, but it’s still in the news for all the wrong reasons. Two California teens committed suicide in April, and their grieving parents are speaking out now, blaming 13 Reasons Why for their children’s deaths. Bella Herndon hanged herself in her […]

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Culture Clips: An MTV Writer Critiques Christian Movies

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God's Not Dead 2

Many, if not most, Christian filmmakers long to reach out to those beyond the faithful fold with their films. It’s a laudable goal. And a biblical one. I’m sure that most of those earnest Christian directors could tell stories about how their movies have impacted viewers, likely leading some to embrace Jesus for the first […]

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Wonder Woman: The Hero We Didn’t Even Know We Were Waiting For

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Wonder woman

In our fractured cultural moment, the new movie Wonder Woman has accomplished something remarkable: It’s given us a story that resonates with viewers across the ideological, philosophical and spiritual spectrum. Perhaps not since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy has a superhero movie generated so many think-piece articles about critical issues such as the nature of […]

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Culture Clips: Why Are Political Dramas Tanking?

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Have American viewers grown weary of fictional political dramas on TV? The answer seems to be yes, according to a Huffpost article analyzing declining ratings for the genre. Writer Stephanie Marcus notes that virtually every politically themed series—including Scandal, The Americans, Homeland, Madame Secretary, Quantico and Designated Survivor—has seen viewership decline since the election of […]

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Dear Star Wars: Happy Birthday! Sincerely, the Future You Created.

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When I was just a wee lad wearing bell-bottoms back in 1977, I bounded into a tiny movie theater in New Mexico to watch a little film called Star Wars. And my 8-year-old mind was blown. I didn’t see it on opening day—May 25, 1977, exactly 40 years ago today. The film (now known to […]

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A Movie For (and by) the Santali People Making an Impact

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“Among all varieties of evangelism, film makes one of the deepest impressions, even more than hearing a proclaimed message, reading words of Scripture or listening to a friend’s witness.” — Atlas of Global Christianity, 2010 Two years ago, I blogged about discovering a ministry called Create International, an offshoot of Youth With a Mission that […]

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