e172. (More Drinking Than Swearing…) The Culture Of Alcohol

We’ve always had a tag on our show of “the weekly pseudo-academic roundtable with drinking and swearing” but honestly, it’s usually more of the latter. We might be drinking while we record the show, but it really has no bearing on the listener Honestly, the alcohol is usually incidental. Not this week! This week we…

Call For Comments: On Multiple Readings and Variant Interpretations

From Mav: I was having an interesting conversation with friend-of-the-show Andrew Darowski the other day about the idea of multiple readings. For those who don’t know, in addition to the Protagonist Podcast, Andrew is host of a podcast called Disney Animation Minute Essentials where he and his wife Kestra step through classic Disney films one…

e171. Summertime! Time to Kick Back and Unwind

Somehow, summertime media is special. Or at least, we seem to think it is. We have summertime blockbusters. We have summertime beach reads. We have summer TV specials and songs of the summer. It definitely FEELS like there is something that makes pop culture media “summery.” But we’re hard pressed to say exactly what it…

e170. What is Serialization? Tune in next week!

In today’s pop culture landscape, serialization is everything. TV, movies, novels, comics. Addict people to your ongoing series and hope they keep paying for another installment. Somehow, despite the fact that we are 170 episodes into a podcast SERIES about pop culture media, much of which is SERIALIZED, hosted by people who literally study SERIALIZATION…

Call for Comments: Summer ____, Had Me a Blast!

From Hannah: There’s this odd category of media that is seasonally appropriate: Summer ___. We have summer movies, summer television, songs of the summer, summer beach reads … But what makes a piece of media a good “summer movie” or “song of the summer?” When I proposed this topic, Mav asked if I meant blockbusters…

e169. The Subtle & Sophisticated Highbrow Culture of The Fast & The Furious

Movies are back! After a year and a half of almost total dormancy, movies came back to the American box office, and filmgoers were welcome with the very sophisticated and cultured experience of F9: The Fast Saga, the latest installment of Fast & Furious franchise. Many are joking about it, but many others are just…

Call For Comments: We Always Said “With Drinking…”

From Mav: The promise of our show was always that it was “a weekly pseudoacademic pop culture analysis round table with drinking and swearing.” It’s never really THAT much swearing and honestly… but the drinking has never been all that explicit. It’s more that I just kind of drink a beer during ever show to…

Call for Comments: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love F9

From Mav: I’m a guy who loves movies. I really love going to the movies… A LOT! Not being able to go out to the movies was actually one of the things I missed most during the last year and a half of lockdown. I remember a time early on when Chris Nolan decided that…

e168. Time to Stop Wearing Underwear on the Outside

Have you ever noticed how infrequently superheroes in most superhero TV shows and movies actually wear their superhero costumes? It makes sense when you think about it. Superhero costumes are actually kind of silly: wearing underwear on the outside of spandex bodysuits? They’re based on pop culture tropes from nearly a century ago, which honestly…

e167. Considering the Fanboy Gaze

After last week’s primer on the male gaze, we wanted to spend some time thinking about the ways in which it could be complicated. What happens when we try to apply those concepts to characters not normally considered “male gazey”? What happens when a presumed male viewer is asked to identify with a female characters?…