What’s Streaming for Families in January 2020

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Happy New Year! Here we are tippy toeing into a brand-new year and decade. That’s right, the 2010s are over—10 years that saw the birth of the iPad and meat dresses; witnessed royal weddings and Gangnam Style dancing; and gave us everything from ice-bucket challenges to the legalization of same-sex marriage to fidget spinners. And […]

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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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Plugged In’s Christmas Eve Star Wars Showdown

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Star Wars quiz

Answer or answer not: There is no try. But that didn’t stop a couple of Plugged In’s intrepid members—Associate Editor Kristin Smith and Plugged In Director Adam Holz—from answering a few Star Wars-related questions for me. The catch: Adam’s a lifelong Star Wars aficionado, and Kristin … is not. And whether you lined up in […]

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Musical Musings 2019: Adam Holz and Kristin Smith’s Year-End Pics

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best of music 2019

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togedder today.” Yes, yes, I know, I know. Those famous lines hail from the classic comedy Princess Bride. Nevertheless, they are what brings us “togedder” today, in a roundabout way, as we talk about the best music (both tracks and albums) of 2019. Why, you ask? Well, it turns […]

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We’re Always Connected, Thanks to Social Media. Why Do We Feel So Alone?

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facebook and loneliness

Netflix’s The Politician isn’t a show I’d recommend. But it does offer some interesting thoughts on what it means to grow up in the social media age. At one point, main character Payton frets that he doesn’t have the ability to feel, in the same way that everyone else does. His mother says it’s only […]

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The Spiritual Lessons in Felicity Huffman’s Confession

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felicity huffman

Public figures—be they actors, musicians, politicians or athletes—sometimes make poor choices. And sometimes they have to face the consequences. Over the last seven months, we’ve watched one such moral scandal play out in the media. Actresses Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives, Get Shorty) and Lori Laughlin (Fuller House, When Calls the Heart) were among a group […]

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Skillet Frontman Asks, ‘What in God’s Name Is Happening to Christianity?’

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skillet John Cooper

Sometimes the truth hurts. It hurts because we’re forced to confront something about life or about ourselves that’s uncomfortable, maybe even painful. That doesn’t feel good. Increasingly, though, mainstream culture is veering away from telling hard truths. Especially those that make anyone feel uncomfortable. And for many, emotions have become the path to their subjective, […]

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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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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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Game of … Critics?

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Game of Critics

To paraphrase something Bruce Banner once said, “Don’t make the fans angry. You wouldn’t like them when they’re angry.” Since the advent of social media, fans have increasingly had an online outlet to express their euphoria in glorious, crowd-pleasing moments—and to vent their white-hot, dragon-fire rage when their beloved franchises veer in directions they deem […]

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Forget About Saving the World. The MCU is All About Family

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Avengers family

We could unpack a lot of stuff with Avengers: Endgame, Marvel’s three-hour finale to its 11-year, 22-movie odyssey (so far). And hopefully we’ll have opportunity to do just that sometime soon—when most of you have seen it and spoilers aren’t quite as big of an issue. But one thing that I can say about Endgame […]

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