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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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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Disney’s Hamilton is Cleaner Than the Broadway Version. But That Doesn’t Make It Clean.

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If you’ve ever participated in theater—or even just been exposed to theater—you’ve probably heard the phrase “the show must go on.” And while this is usually applied to when a star singer loses her voice or an actor breaks his toe while performing a stunt on stage, Disney took these words to heart during this […]

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An Interview With Dallas Jenkins, Creator of The Chosen

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Faith-based entertainment has something of a spotty history. The best of intentions don’t always translate to the screen as well as we might like, and sometimes a Christian movie or show that can move a believer to tears might leave a secular viewer … unimpressed. Maybe that’s one reason why I was so impressed by […]

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Culture Clips: Gone With the Wind Is Gone … for Now

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George Floyd’s death continues to reverberate in every aspect of culture, it seems, and some of the biggest tremors have been felt in the world of entertainment. The latest to feel the shake: Gone With the Wind. HBO Max pulled this classic bit of American cinema from its platform, announcing that it’ll reappear once some […]

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What Did People Watch This Weekend? It’s Complicated.

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I’m feeling a little nostalgic for the good old days, otherwise known as this past February. It was so easy to see what movies were the most popular around: Studios would release their box-office estimates and, voila! We knew which movies were soaring, which were sinking and which were just treading water. Now, it’s not […]

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Do Disney’s Recent Kids Shows Pull Punches on Important Issues?

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When Disney+ was introduced last year, it kicked the nostalgia of my adolescence into overdrive. With shows such as Boy Meets World, Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven and many others from my youth now at my fingertips (not to mention lots of spare time to view these shows due to the COVID-19 quarantine), I’ve been […]

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Entertainment That Might Cure Your Boredom (and Benefit Others)

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“We may be apart right now, but coming together has never been more important,” says the Global Citizen, an organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty. And it has a point. It seems crazy that just a few months ago, we were all commuting to and from work, attending school in actual classrooms, and giving our […]

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In 1961, the FCC Chairman Called TV a ‘Vast Wasteland.’ Has It Gotten Better?

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We all know who wound up on Gilligan’s Island: Gilligan (of course); the Skipper too; the millionaire and his wife; the movie star; the professor and Mary Anne. But did you know that the chairman for the Federal Communications Commission made an appearance in every episode, too? I didn’t either, until I read a fascinating […]

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What’s New and Streaming for Families for May 2020

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It’s May 2020. And what a big, fat, hairy month it is. In fact, now that we’re in what seems like the third year of isolated coronavirus lockdown, big, fat and hairy are all very literal descriptors. So it’s only fitting that we give you a good-sized collection of less-than-hairy streaming family fare. Let’s get […]

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