Culture Clips: A Tragedy in Jacksonville

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jacksonville

Most of us turn to entertainment to get a little respite from the anxieties of the world outside. When we watch a movie, we’re not worrying about our kids’ grades. When we play a video game, we’re not thinking about deadlines. For many, entertainment is a cozy blanket we use to keep out—for a little […]

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Vodcast: Leveraging Childhood Stuff to Tell Adult Stories

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happytime murders

No Sesame. All Street. If you grew up watching Sesame Street, you may be a bit shocked with the new “puppetry” movie, The Happytime Murders. By taking a bunch of puppets who look a lot like those beloved childhood Sesame Street Muppets and making them very adult—this movie aims to shock. But we’ve seen this […]

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Culture Clips: “Mom, Where’s My Bulletproof Backpack?”

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backpack

It’s back-to-school time. That means school supplies. Pencils? Check. Erasers? Yup. Trapper Keepers? (Oh wait, it’s not the ’80s anymore. Oh wait again, they have new ones now? And vintage ones sell for big bucks? Who knew?) Bulletproof backpack? Check.   Now, that sounds like something your teen might find while scavenging for useful gear […]

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‘Eighth Grade,’ Like Eighth Graders, Needs Parents

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Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade, the movie, is rated R, and for some pretty obvious reasons. Our intrepid reviewer Kristin Smith noted lots of profanity (including about 10 f-words) and saw plenty of references to various types of sexual activity when she screened the film. “It left me wondering why so much of it had to be there,” […]

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Culture Clips: Demi’s Overdose

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Demi Lovato

After six years of sobriety, pop star Demi Lovato admitted on her latest single that she wasn’t “Sober” anymore. Yesterday, the world came to know the tragic depth of her relapse. Lovato was taken to a Los Angeles-area hospital after an apparent drug overdose, according to multiple media reports. (Initially, celebrity gossip site TMZ reported […]

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Vodcast: How Does Parenthood Change Our View of the Media?

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Parenthood is full of surprises, no matter how much we try to prepare for everything before the arrival of our firstborn. One of those surprises may be the ways becoming a parent changes how we see the world. And that includes entertainment and media. In this week’s Plugged In Vodcast, Kristin Smith, Bob Hoose and […]

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Culture Clips: State of the Teens, Summer 2018 Edition

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Are the kids alright? It’s a question that many in our culture return to again and again. Rightly so: Today’s children represent the future of our society. But while the question itself seems a simple one, answers almost never are. And so it is today. The news about what’s happening with young people—mostly teens, but […]

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Pokémon … Still Go-ing, Two Years, $2 Billion Later

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pokemon go

Like the Energizer Bunny, Pokémon Go is still going. Now, you may think, Wasn’t that that thing people were all abuzz about like, three years ago? Close. It was two years ago, actually. And, yes, this pioneering augmented reality mobile game did generate a lot of headlines … for about a month. Like most apparent […]

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What a Rescue in Thailand Can Teach Us About Entertainment … and Life

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storybook

It’s nice to read a happy ending now and then. Like much of the world, I’ve been following the story of a Thailand soccer team—12 boys and a coach—who’d been trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks. Rescuers were racing ’round the clock to save the team before heavy rains made rescue […]

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Abraham Lincoln’s Entertainment: “It Gave Him an Hour or Two of Freedom.”

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Americans celebrate our Independence Day tomorrow—a day full of hot dogs and fireworks and family and friends for many folks. But for history wonks like me, it can also be a bit of a time of reflection. When I’m not watching movies or television shows or writing blogs and stuff, I tend to be reading. […]

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Culture Clips: Show Dogs Comes to Heel

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cutting film

For a movie that’s made all of $7 million, Show Dogs has certainly sparked its fair share of controversy, including (obviously, if you’ve been following the blog lately) here in Plugged In land. I imagine more stories have been written about the flick than people have actually seen it. Well, the makers of the talking […]

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Culture Clips: Are You Getting up for the Royal Wedding?

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royal wedding

I pride myself on knowing what’s happening in the world and culture. But I had a funny exchange with my wife last week. We were watching TV when an add came on for an upcoming special titled something like, Meghan Markle: An American Princess. “She’s American?!” I asked, somewhat startled. I’d missed that little factoid. […]

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