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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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 Plugged In Show, Episode 31: Cause and Effect in Entertainment

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Each week on The Plugged In Show, our team (including author and youth culture expert Jonathan McKee) gathers to take a deeper dive into the overlapping realms of entertainment, technology, faith and youth culture—with an eye toward how parents can navigate the issues we find there. In our 31st episode this week, we’re talking about […]

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Pictures Don’t Lie? They Do If They’re Deepfakes.

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Have you ever watched a video where a face swap was involved? On YouTube, you can find plenty of satirical videos featuring celebrity swaps like those of Jimmy Fallon and Paul Rudd, or Bill Hader and Tom Cruise. One moment you think you’re looking at someone, only to see their face change mid-video. It’s called […]

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Bolivian Boys Discover They Can’t Become Spider-Man

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Everyone knows that Spider-Man’s powers came from being bitten by a radioactive spider, right? And everyone also knows that super-power-bestowing radioactive spider bites aren’t real, right? Well, three brothers from Bolivia didn’t know that second part. The boys, ages 8, 10 and 12, hail from the remote village of Chayanta in the Andes mountains. And […]

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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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Libraries Versus Movies: Is There Any Contest? Nope, Not Really.

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There’s a very modern mindset that libraries are antiquated things: obsolete, archaic and dusty old buildings that sit unused. I mean, who needs a library (the thought goes) when you can pull out your phone and instantly have an enormous internet of things at your fingertips? But a recent Gallup poll suggests that ain’t so, […]

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How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Fed Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking

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I watched the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday, featuring Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and scores of dancers. Some people called it “dazzling” and “amazing.” But others, me included, would call it troubling. Before I highlight some of the obvious issues with what took place on Sunday night, I’d like to point out that it was […]

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Why Lizzo and Other Celebs Left Social Media for Good

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lizzo

Lizzo has been all over the entertainment media for several months. She won three Grammys last weekend and even nabbed a spot on Plugged In’s annual “Movers and Shakers” list. But Time Magazine’s Entertainer of the Year also made headlines earlier this month when she announced her decision to quit Twitter. Blaming the decision on […]

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Culture Clips: Fascism … on the Hallmark Channel?

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shocked watching tv

It’s officially 2020, folks, and we all have our own hopes and dreams for what the new year might hold. But some of us have radically different hopes and dreams. For instance, I know that some folks may dream of watching Hallmark Christmas movies all year long. But Salon political writer Amanda Marcotte hopes that […]

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Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2019 Edition)

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Movers and shakers 2019

The year 2019 was a year of goodbyes. We said farewell to sitcoms (The Big Bang Theory) and television serials (Orange is the New Black); rappers (Juice WRLD) and Disney stars (Cameron Boyce); writers (Toni Morrison) and superheroes (no spoilers here) and even a Grouch (as in Oscar and the voice that brought him to […]

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Introducing The Plugged In Show

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plugged In show

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I wonder if Plugged In is ever going to do a podcast, because it seems like they should,” well, the wait is over. I’m thrilled to announce that we have recently launched The Plugged In Show! Each week, members of the Plugged In team will be joined by author, […]

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