What Parks and Recreation Says about Culture, the Coronavirus and Us

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Coronavirus, Meet Ron Swanson. Five years after NBC’s Parks and Recreation went off the air, Ron, Leslie Knope and the rest of the show’s gang are reuniting tonight (virtually speaking) to raise money for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. It’ll air on, y’know, old-fashioned, traditional TV (NBC, of course) at 8:30 ET/PT. To me, this […]

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Culture Clips: Is Universal Trolling Theater Chains?

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A couple of weeks ago—or, in quarantine time, several eons ago—we reported on the initial success of Trolls World Tour as it rolled out on video (instead of the theatrical blitz Universal Pictures originally intended). Turns out, the early returns were no mirage. Universal reported yesterday that in the space of three weeks, World Tour […]

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Some Good News About ‘Some Good News’

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Perhaps one of the most exhausting things about the coronavirus epidemic is the nonstop negative coverage about the coronavirus epidemic. And the news can be pretty bleak. Lives have been lost, businesses have been shut down, and many families are struggling to make ends meet. (If you or someone you know is struggling through this […]

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‘Whaddya Mean the Whole Season’s Cancelled?!’

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Well, it’s finally here: the NFL draft. For sports fans, it feels like Christmas in April, right? I mean, what’s not to love: Waiting breathlessly for our favorite teams to pick the impact player that we know—we just know deep in our bones—will lead our beloved team to Super Bowl glory next year. If, that […]

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Culture Clips: When Theaters Reopen …

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Someday we will publish an issue of Culture Clips that doesn’t contain the words coronavirus or COVID-19. Alas, not today. Today, it’s hard to find an entertainment, technology or teen-oriented story out there in the vast reaches of the internet that doesn’t have something to do with this virus. Still, talk of beginning to reopen […]

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Director of ‘Jump Shot’ Talks About the Most Interesting Man You’ve Never Heard Of

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Who invented basketball’s jump shot? Ten years ago, director and cinematographer Jacob Hamilton would’ve answered the question like most of us might: No one. “I thought it had always existed,” he says. And then he heard about Kenny Sailors. For the last nine years, Hamilton’s worked on bringing Sailors’ remarkable story to light—a story that […]

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Culture clips: Capitalizing on the Quarantine

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We all know that the coronavirus and the accompanying lockdowns have rocked the world economy. Nearly 18 million Americans have applied for unemployment in just the last three weeks in just about every field you can imagine. And those numbers could get worse. Entertainment has been hit hard (the prestigious Cannes Film Festival announced it […]

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So How’d Trolls World Tour Do?

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Each Monday for a long time now, Plugged In has dutifully reported on the weekend box office. Then that dreaded C-thing showed up. Coronavirus shuttered businesses everywhere—including, obviously, theaters. And that meant our weekly Movie Monday report has gone into mothballs temporarily as well. Movie studios are still very much in the process of trying […]

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How my life as a TV and movie critic has changed as a result of coronavirus

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Because of the coronavirus, all of our lives look different these days. We’ve all been forced to make plenty of changes. But some of us have had to make fewer changes than others. In my pre- (and hopefully post-) COVID-19 days at Plugged In, a typical workday for me included grudgingly waking up (what can […]

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An Easter Like We’ve Never Seen … Right?

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For the last several weeks, my wife and I have been watching church. Instead of pews, we sit on our couch. Instead of standing and singing ourselves, we sit and listen to the worship band play. The pastor still preaches and we still pray, but worship—intended as an active, shared experience—has taken on a sheen […]

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Culture Clips: And Now for Some Good News

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The coronavirus continues to dominate each and every news cycle, touching as it does nearly every aspect of our lives. And the vast majority of the time, that news has not been very good. Most of it has been downright grim as news anchors dutifully report each day’s statistics regarding COVID-19’s spread in America and […]

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