Boys State Shows Us Democracy in Action—For Better and Worse

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As you hop across your channels and streaming services, looking for something (anything?) new to watch, you might cross paths with Boys State, a documentary that just hit Apple TV+ today. It’s a fascinating, depressing and oddly inspiring look at politics in America—if it was driven by high school guys. A little background: The Boys […]

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The Plugged In Show, Episode 38: Navigating the Impact of Television on Our Lives

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Since its inception, television has exerted enormous influence in the myriad ways it can influence us and shape our culture’s values. That’s arguably been even more true over the last six months or so. The unwanted arrival of COVID-19 has meant more screen time than ever for families, including opportunities to binge on TV during […]

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What We Get—and Lose—by Turning History Into Entertainment

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History, they say, is written by the victors. We might also say that history’s written by the entertainers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—but it does bring its share of asterisks to the party. Take Hamilton, the smash Broadway hit that became another smash on Disney+ this year. The musical comes with some issues that […]

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Listen to Our Newest Podcast and Hear About Non-Screen Activities to Do With Your Kids

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You can spend too much time with screens. OK, so this isn’t exactly breaking news. Plugged In’s been saying this for years. But with so many of us still semi-sequestered in our homes during this strange, strange time, many of us are beginning to feel the truth of those words. You can only binge so […]

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What’s New and Streaming for Families in August (2020)

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We’re well into the dog days of summer now And thanks to the ongoing COVID crisis, we’re wondering if the kids will ever leave the house again. We’re worried that huge social-distancing hoop skirts might soon become a fashion craze, hoping that breathing our own carbon dioxide in a mask doesn’t make you lose your […]

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The New Gaming Consoles Will Be Here Soon. Are You Ready For Them?

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There’s a lot of interest buzzing around about the new, powerful video game consoles coming out this fall from both PlayStation (PS5) and Xbox (Series X). These consoles are supposed to have better speed, better graphics, better everything. And to help boost that excitement (at least for its own PS5), Sony has even gone so […]

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Emmy Noms Confirm: It’s a Streaming World (and Not Too Friendly for Families)

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The Emmys, television’s annual awards derby, just unveiled its 2020 nominations yesterday. (The awards will be handed out Sept. 20.) And when you look over the list, one thing is quite clear: Streaming services currently rule the roost. Oh, sure, traditional television stalwarts still had their day. Perennial Emmy juggernaut HBO pulled down 107 nominations, […]

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In a Sea of Entertainment Delays and Cancellations, ‘The Chosen’ Sails to Season Two

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The Chosen, a television series based on the life of Jesus, has already broken a lot of new entertainment ground. According to its makers, it’s the No. 1 crowdfunded media project in history. And the show eschewed distribution through the world’s streaming giants and instead made itself available on its own stand-alone app. Oh, and […]

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The Virus That Ate the Summer Multiplex

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The coronavirus has ravaged our world for the last six months, forcing unprecedented closures, quarantines and adjustments to our normal ways of living. And that’s been especially true when it comes to movies. The big studios have repeatedly shifted opening dates for summer tentpole movies, each time hoping and believing the next date will really […]

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The Plugged In Show, Episode 35: The Enduring Appeal of War Movies

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War is among the most terrible of human experiences. And yet, the struggles that vast armies and individual soldiers face in combat has been the stuff of epic stories as far back as we have written records. War is horrible, yet we cannot look away from it. Perhaps that helps to explain appeal of war […]

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New Flannery O’Connor Doc Unpacks Her Life and Faith

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When she was attending the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the mid-1940s, Flannery O’Connor asked her priest whether she could write about “difficult things.” We can only assume that the priest gave O’Connor his blessing: Few writers have tackled more “difficult things” than O’Connor. The new documentary Flannery, playing at a variety of “virtual cinemas” […]

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What Should Parents Know About the Parler App

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So, you’ve been hearing some mixed messages about a new social media platform called Parler and you’re wondering if there’s some connection to an old poem about a certain talkative spider and an innocent fly. In short, the answer is no. (Although, the app’s creators have compared it to a parlor room where an open […]

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Can’t Keep a Good Evil Empire Down

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The empire did indeed strike back: The Disney empire, that is. We’re back again with an encore Movie Monday, but only because the box-office charts are just too interesting to let go without comment. According to Deadline, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back climbed back to the top of the box-office 40 years after its […]

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