Culture Clips: The Holy Throwers Edition

15
Case Keenum

Anyone who watched the Minnesota Vikings pull off a near-miraculous win against the New Orleans Saints last weekend probably saw Case Keenum—a one-time backup quarterback was thrust into the starting lineup due to injury and who’s having a career year—literally jump for joy. But if fans turned off the telly before the postgame interviews, they […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: A Good Year for the Bad Guys

15
Frank Griffin from Godless

We’re three whole days into 2018 now, but it’s still wholly appropriate to look back at the year that was. Researchers have weighed the data to determine the year’s most popular books, movies and videos. Pundits have opined on the year’s biggest entertainment stories. But one thing’s clear, at least to the Los Angeles Times’ […]

Continue Reading

Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2017 Edition)

4
Movers and shakers

The outgoing year is often depicted as an old, tired man with a beard down to his knees. But this year, that depiction felt all too true. With all the natural disasters and political unrest and international crises afoot, 2017 probably made us all feel older than we should. Back in the day, many folks […]

Continue Reading

Pop Culture’s Complicity in Sexual Harassment

17
#me too

Complicity. The word sounds vaguely menacing. Even if we’re not quite sure what complicity means, it sounds … bad. To be complicit, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says, involves “helping someone commit a crime or a wrong in some way.” We’re hearing that word used a lot lately—albeit perhaps slightly less literally—in connection with the sexual harassment and […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: The Most Hated Man in Nerd-dom?

7

Luke almost didn’t come back. Mark Hamill portrayed Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, launching him into the kind of superstardom few ever actors ever achieve. No wonder he was a bit tentative about reprising his iconic role. “I was just really scared,” he told the New York Times recently. “I thought, why […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: The ‘House of Cards Indeed’ Edition

17
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

Television Learns That It’s Nice to Be Nice (And It Makes Money, Too)

5
the good doctor

We’re in the heart of the new television season, and I’ve noticed something a little odd about it. It’s trying to be nice. Strange, right? For the last several years, television has been besotted with undoubtedly gripping, unbearably grim prestige TV. HBO’s Game of Thrones revels in its episodic cruelties, both physical and political. Hulu’s […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Emmys Put on a Red Shawl

18
The Handmaid's Tale

Back in the day, television was considered something of a cultural unifier—the very definition of mass entertainment that would serve as a focal point for familial, communal, and even intergenerational gatherings. Yeah, about that. The Emmy awards—from the tone of the show to the awards themselves—illustrated a certain cultural divide. “In an age of hyper-polarization, […]

Continue Reading

Entertainment versus The Downers of Life

1
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