Show Dogs Controversy Hits the Mainstream

Controversy surrounding the kids’ movie Show Dogs ratcheted up another notch today. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has issued a statement on scenes involving a talking dog having its genitals touched during a dog show, scenes that they’re concerned may promote sexual abuse of children. The NCOSE’s statement reads: “The movie Show Dogs sends […]

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13 Reasons Provides a Teachable Moment (for Netflix)

13 reasons

When Netflix unveiled the first season of 13 Reasons Why last spring, the streaming service knew the show would be buzzy. It might not have understood the show’s sting. Based on the book by Jay Asher and produced in part by singer/actress Selena Gomez, the show’s first season revolved around the suicide of a young […]

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The Clanging Cringiness of Musical.ly

Musical.ly

We’ve all heard about Facebook and Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Certain apps and social media platforms are as ubiquitous as, well, the smartphone you’re probably clutching in your hand right now. But kids flock to some apps that we parents are sometimes woefully unaware of. The Musical.ly app may be one of those. On the […]

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Spotify vs R. Kelly

R. Kelly

So Spotify just did a thing. According to their new public hate content and hateful conduct policy, they’ve chosen to take R. Kelly’s music off of their streaming playlists. His music will still be available on Spotify, but will no longer be promoted. After nearly 20 years of allegations that the artist has had sexual […]

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Put Down That Remote! Binge-Watching Can Be Bad for You

binge

On May 18, Netflix will roll out the second season of one of its buzziest, most controversial and, let’s face it, most bingeable shows: 13 Reasons Why. We wrote quite a bit about the show’s first season, beginning with our review and spiraling out from there. (Our parents’ guide to the series will be updated […]

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Culture Clips: Siri, Who’s the Smartest Digital Assistant?

These days, digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s, erm, Assistant can deliver answers, directions, pizza and tons of other stuff just by asking. So USA Today set out to find out which of these virtual answer bots was the most accurate. The short answer probably shouldn’t come as a surprise: “We […]

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‘I Don’t Think I Could Do a Film That’s Against My Worldview.’ An Interview With ‘Wraith’ Director Michael Sajbel

Michael Sajbel

As Avengers: Infinity War continues to dominate theaters and wide-release flicks scramble for the scraps, another film made its way direct to video today—a movie unlike any I’ve seen. In some ways, Wraith is a traditional haunted-house ghost story, filled with creepy attics and hidden stairways and something that goes bump in the night. But […]

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Vodcast: Digging Deep Into Avengers: Infinity War

avengers infinity war

So, how ’bout Avengers: Infinity War, huh? Remember that one scene? And then when that other thing happened … wow. Just … wow. Obviously, we can’t get too specific about what actually happened in Infinity War here. Don’t want to spoil anything in print. But you know what? There’s a whole lot to talk about […]

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Maturity Matters

Common sense would tell us that people’s personal maturity will influence their careers, their lives and their relationships, regardless of how talented they are. Alas, common sense isn’t as common these days as perhaps it once was. For decades now—stretching back at least as far as political scandals in the ’80s and ’90s, and maybe […]

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Culture Clips: This Email Will Self-Destruct …

burning envelope

“This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.” Mission Impossible fans will, of course, recognize that iconic line from the original 1960s and ’70s TV series. (And, of course, the franchise’s amped-up Tom Cruise reboot since then.) We don’t use tape much anymore, obviously, but Google seems to have something similar in mind with its latest […]

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Vodcast: Our Love/Hate Relationship With Romcoms

P.S. I Love You

In our newest vodcast, I sit down with Paul Asay and talk about my favorite movie genre: Romantic comedies. Paul isn’t a diehard fan, but he did have some things to say about how these sorts of movies have the ability to influence us as children and adults. So click on the vid below and […]

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Culture Clips: The Rock Is Dead, Rap Reigns Edition

Kendrick Lamar

Rock is dead. Rap reigns. So say music charts, YouTube views, Spotify play lists and Washington Post contributor Marc Weingarten. His opinion piece yesterday, “Sorry, rock fans. Hip-hop is the only genre that matters right now,” unpacks the significance of rapper Kendrick Lamar winning this year’s Pulitzer Prize for music. Though rock fans may be […]

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Uncool, CinnamonToastKen

cinnamontoastken

Emma Jenkins has nearly 32,000 followers on her YouTube channel. She, like most folks with a YouTube channel, talks about what she likes. And that, it turns out, includes Jesus. CinnamonToastKen has nearly 3 million followers on his YouTube channel. He, also, talks about what he likes. And that, its turns out, includes making fun […]

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