e175. Game Studies: Ludology vs. Narratology

We don’t talk about games as much as we should on this show, but arguably they’re one of the most enduring mediums of popular culture. They’re certainly one of the most popular. There’s much comparison of modern video games to movies. This makes sense… if we want people to consider games to be a legitimate…

e174. The Arthurian Roundtable Roundtable

We live in an era of constant reboots and updates to well known IP franchises. People (including us) like to complain about it, but honestly, well known franchises do very well at the box office… otherwise people wouldn’t keep doing it. But of all the superheroes, transformers, terminators and star wars that keep coming back…

e173. War of the Readings

The Internet has one main purpose: arguing about things that don’t really matter. I’m sure you’ve seen this, people will fight over whether a movie was good or bad, what the significance of a particular scene of a TV show was, what was the hidden theme of a book, or perhaps most notably today… should…

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…

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…

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…

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?…

e166. So… What is the Male Gaze Anyway?

Sometimes academic terms bleed over into the popular lexicon and gets used by people almost as second nature without anyone really bothering to think about what it means. “The Male Gaze”, is one of those terms. It gets used in both academic and popular pop culture criticism, but often without definition. There’s simply a vague…