Culture Clips: The ‘House of Cards Indeed’ Edition

Kevin Spacey

For five seasons now, two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey has starred in Netflix’s buzzy House of Cards. He played a caddish President Francis Underwood who manipulated and murdered his way to power and—if the show’s title means anything at all—would’ve someday been laid low by his own misdeeds. We may never see Underwood’s comeuppance come […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Distracted to Death?

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, […]

Continue Reading

The ‘Trespassers Will’ of Childhood

Goodbye Christopher Robin

No offense, Walt Disney. But to really understand the magic of Winnie-the-Pooh, you need to read it. Open the book and you walk into a comfortable, wryly funny and beautiful world. You track Woozles. You attend birthday parties. You sail through the Hundred Acre Wood in an umbrella. My mom read A.A. Milne’s beloved stories […]

Continue Reading

Entertainment versus The Downers of Life

Man with smoke coming out of his ears

Life’s just a downer, right? Well, maybe not totally, but it sure can feel that way—even here in the good old U.S. of A. A new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal reported just how pessimistic and deeply divided we Americans are feeling these days. Our country is roiling for a lot […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Clowns Taking It On the Red, Squeaky Nose

Pennywise the Dancing Clown

It’s not even October yet, but already our Culture Clips blog is taking on a rather frightening hue. First up: clowns. The World Clown Association is bracing for the release of IT, a horror flick featuring a diabolical clown. The association, still reeling from last year’s spate of scary clown sightings, has put together a […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Total Eclipse of the Charts

Bonnie Tyler

Where were you during the eclipse? We all know where singer Bonnie Tyler was: aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, singing her 1983 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in that raspy way of hers. Let me guess what she’s doing today, too: Counting all the new moola she’s earned from this relatively ancient […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Taylor’s Trial’s Inspiring Influence

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 […]

Continue Reading

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

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 […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Game of Thrones Conquers Millions, Facebook Billions

Game of Thrones

Winter is coming. In, like, about five and a half months or something. In the meantime, HBO’s Game of Thrones is coming, too. Its seventh season begins July 16. The show has become about the closest thing to “must-see TV” in today’s fragmented television landscape: Time tossed it on its cover this week and called […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Why Are Political Dramas Tanking?

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 […]

Continue Reading