There For Us? Why Friends Is Still Culturally Relevant

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Friends

The widely beloved 1990’s sitcom Friends will officially celebrate its 25th year anniversary on Sept. 22. That’s right, people. Twenty-five years. That’s a long time. And somehow, more than two decades later, people around the world are still down to chill with the Central Perk gang. In fact, viewers are so adamant about their Friends […]

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“You Have to Be Proactive.” An Interview With VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer

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Phil Vischer

Thanks to Phil Vischer, kids love their veggies. Not necessarily the vegetables that land on the dinner plate (because, let’s face it, beets are disgusting). But in 1993, he and Mike Nawrocki introduced them to Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and a bunch of other characters typically found in the produce aisle. Their direct-to-video […]

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Culture Clips: Are Video Games Linked to Mass Shootings?

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video games

Tragedy struck the communities of El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, this weekend. A total of 31 lives were lost in separate mass shootings, with more injured. As the friends and families of these victims mourn the loss of their loved ones, it can be difficult to know how to best show our support. Jim […]

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With MAD Magazine Gone, is the Future of Satire … Christian?

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Mad Mag

MAD Magazine, after 67 years of serving as America’s gap-toothed jester-king of satire, is no more. Oh, it’s not completely gone. Its creators say a year-end issue will come out (presumably at year’s end), along with the occasional special collection. But its days as an entertainment/cultural bellweather and influencer is done. Make no mistake, MAD […]

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Culture Clips: Lil Nas X is Music’s New Record-Setting Sheriff

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Lil Nas culture clips

The music industry has a new top dog: “Old Town Road.” It took 24 years to beat “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men as the music industry’s longest-running pop chart-topping song. That ditty spent 16 straight weeks on the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1995 and 1996. And while  […]

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Tech Tuesday: What’s the Real King in The Lion King? Technology.

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Lion King tech

The original Lion King, released in 1994, was a cartoon of the highest order—perhaps traditional Disney 2D animation at its peak. Hand-drawn manes flowed in the animated breeze, and a generation of families flocked to theaters to watch young Simba reclaim his birthright. The film made nearly $1 billion worldwide, which makes it—even 25 years […]

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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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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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The Rising Prevalence of Podcasting

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podcast picture

They’re everywhere, those little white knobs that rest ever so gently in the ears. They used to have leashes, locked into mobile pocket computers. Now they are free, cordless earbuds unbound by the manacles of rubber and silicone. With sales projected to skyrocket within the next couple of years, cordless earbuds have rapidly become the […]

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Entertainment, Media and Mental Health: The Influence of Social Media

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This is the third 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, Paul Asay unpacked the ways that movies and TV depict characters struggling with mental illness. This week, we focus on what researchers are […]

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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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Entertainment, Media and Mental Health: Celebs Speak Out

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Demi Lovato mental health

Editor’s Note: If you’ve read anything from us here at Plugged In within the last few months, you’ve probably stumbled across an article or two that deals with mental health. Some have asked why this is such a big deal. Let me tell you. First, statistics show that mental health issues are on the rise, […]

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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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