Vodcast: God in The Handmaid’s Tale

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Handmaid's tale vlog

Hulu’s Emmy award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in a dystopian future in Gilead, the former United States, where women are subject to the violent, oppressive rule of men—a system that those same men insist is backed by the authority of a spiteful, vindictive God. This is a show Plugged In has been tracking […]

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House of Lies

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With Love Island, a sleazy British dating show making its stateside debut on CBS recently, television viewers have been reminded of an important truth: Reality TV is just the worst. Is that a fair statement? Most of us instinctively think it is. We think about Big Brother or RuPaul’s Drag Race or even The Radkes, […]

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Culture Clips: Netflix Edits 13 Reasons Why

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When 13 Reasons Why debuted on Netflix two years ago, many voices offered a strong word of caution regarding the graphic depiction of a teenage girl’s suicide in the first season’s final episode. Experts worried that the scene could act as a trigger for young or emotionally vulnerable viewers. Plugged In reviewer Paul Asay wrote, […]

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Tech Tuesday: Disney+ Is Coming. Here’s What You Need to Know

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It’s been two years since Disney announced its plans to wade into the increasingly crowded streaming-content marketplace, where it will join the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as single-network offerings such as CBS All Access, HBO Now, Stars and Showtime. And with the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox and Hulu, Disney […]

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Culture Clips: The Upside Down Edition

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Stranger Things Culture Clips

Netflix will face some pretty serious challenges in the coming months. Right after NBCUniversal announced that it’ll pull The Office from the popular streaming site when its contract runs out (in 2021), Time Warner chimed in and said it’ll yank another wildly popular sitcom, Friends, in 2020 and slap it on HBO Max. Forbes’ Stephen […]

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Is Summer the Time for Fun and Game … Shows? (TV Sure Thinks So.)

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holey moley

Ah, summer…warm weather, no school, and nothing new to watch on television. Whatever shall we do without the latest episode of This Is Us to keep us entertained every week? The answer—at least the answer broadcast TV execs want us to give : Watch all the game shows! Every summer, as most broadcast television takes […]

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Entertainment, Media and Mental Health: Psychoanalysis on the Screen

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beautiful mind

This is the second part of a three-part series examining the connection between our entertainment/media culture and mental health, the latter of which is a growing problem for America’s youth. Last week, Kristin Smith discussed how celebrities are increasingly open about their own struggles with anxiety and depression, giving their fans permission to do the […]

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Culture Clips: Tune In, Turn On and Drop Out

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Yes, the fate of Westeros has been decided (at least on HBO). Fans know that Game of Thrones’ famed Iron Throne was [spoiler warning] claimed, technically, by no one: The dragon Drogon immolated the world’s most uncomfortable chair. But according to some, the throne might not the only thing that was torched Sunday night. Some […]

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Game of … Critics?

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Game of Critics

To paraphrase something Bruce Banner once said, “Don’t make the fans angry. You wouldn’t like them when they’re angry.” Since the advent of social media, fans have increasingly had an online outlet to express their euphoria in glorious, crowd-pleasing moments—and to vent their white-hot, dragon-fire rage when their beloved franchises veer in directions they deem […]

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Culture Clips: The Dumb Side Effects of Smartphones

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culture clips phones and Madonna

You have a smartphone, right? Well, put it down. Right now. (Unless, of course, you’re reading this on your phone. In which case, finish reading, send us money and then put it down.) Because—news flash—our phones can mess with our real-world lives and relationships something awful. I know, I know. We’ve said this sort of […]

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‘I Did It Funny for Funny.’ A Conversation With the Late Tim Conway

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Tim Conway

Tim Conway could make you weep in the very best of ways. The comedian, who died today at the age of 85, did it all the time on The Carol Burnett Show, where Conway rose to fame. His knack for improvisation, deadpan delivery and comic timing made his castmates, especially Harvey Korman, laugh until they […]

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Culture Clips: Goodbye Hello

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culture clips hello goodbye

Goodbyes are hard. We’ve had to say a bunch of them lately, from Boyz in the Hood director John Singleton, who died late last month, to 7-foot-3 Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in most of Star Wars films and died last Thursday. Christians mourned the passing of Rachel Held Evans, an influential evangelical author whose […]

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Can a TV Show Kill? It’s a Complicated Question.

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13 Reasons study

Underneath the reviews, the blog posts, the vodcasts and Twitter missives, Plugged In is built on one basic premise: Media matters. The entertainment we consume—the stories we watch and read and listen to and play—impact us deeply, and on levels we might not fully realize. Obviously, the relationship between entertainment and its real-world impact is […]

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