Culture Clips: Putting the Spring in Our Cultural Step

culture clips Roseanne

Yes, spring is upon us—a time of … well, snow where I live in Colorado. But everywhere else, it’s a time of budding trees and growing grass, It’s a time of regeneration, when the dismal, dead grayness of winter is replaced by new life and new expectations. Why, even dead television shows can, like crass […]

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American Idol Goes Back to the Future

American idol

American Idol is back. On a new network (ABC), and sporting three new celebrity judges (Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan). That’s a quick summary of what’s changed. What hasn’t changed? Well, almost everything else. After a two-year hiatus, ABC’s reloaded version of Idol is almost exactly the same reality singing competition it was […]

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How to Fix the Oscars

oscars

Well, here we are, nearly a week after the 90th Academy Awards sported record-low viewership numbers. Nielsen suggested they were seen only by a handful of wandering channel-surfers and that strange guy down the street who collects antique dog bowls. No, seriously, only about 26.5 million people tuned in. As reported on Wednesday, that’s a […]

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Finding God in a Bad Commercial

It’s been said that God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes even through a controversial Ram Truck commercial. We’ve already mentioned that commercial Wednesday, of course. The manufacturer (or, rather, its advertising agency) put together an advertisement pairing video clips of its truck helping folks do good things with the words of a Martin Luther King […]

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An Open Breakup Letter to Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake performing during the Super Bowl LII Pepsi Halftime Show in 2018

Dear Justin Timberlake (can I still call you JT?), I am writing to inform you that we’re through. I’m breaking up with you. Let me back up. I realize it’s been awhile since we last talked. In fact, I know that this is actually the first time. You don’t know me from Adam, and that’s […]

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Culture Clips: A Good Year for the Bad Guys

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’ […]

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

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 […]

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Television Tops 2017: Paul Asay’s Year-End Picks

Most of television’s nicknames are severely dated. How can it be called the “tube” when most of our HDTV’s don’t even have tubes anymore? I’ve been known to call it the “small screen” too, even though there’s nothing small about most television screens today. There’s nothing small about the influence of television, either. Experts say […]

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Culture Clips: Time’s Person of the Year Is a Hashtag Movement

Each December, speculation builds about who Time magazine will select as its Person of the Year. That tradition that dates back to 1927, when Charles Lindbergh was selected as the inaugural honoree (according to Wikipedia’s entry on the subject.) Past recipients include almost every U.S. president since then (with the notable absence of Gerald Ford), […]

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Why “This is Us” is Sweeping the Nation

Over the last two seasons, NBC’s This is Us has become must-see TV for many a viewer, many of whom watch the show with a box of tissues handy. While the show has its content problems—and really, how many popular TV programs don’t?—it also showcases compelling, deeply emotional narratives that, for many, hit close to […]

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

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 […]

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