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Pop Rocket

Pop culture discussion with Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Margaret Wappler and Karen Tongson
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A high-octane weekly discussion of the pop culture we all love to love.

Join host Guy Branum and panelists Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Margaret Wappler for smart, funny, sometimes sweary chat about everything great in entertainment.

Combining comic, journalistic, academic and digital media expertise, the Pop Rocket team will keep you up-to-date on what's most exciting in pop culture this week.

MaximumFun.org

May 24, 2019

**Warning - this episode contains lots of tears**

For the final episode of Pop Rocket, the panel convene to give listeners one last All About, one last Jam, and they look back at the past four and a half years, and all the various milestones they’ve shared with one another and their listeners while doing the show--marriages, deaths, birth, book deals, finding a new home, and so many other memories. It’s raw. It’s wonderful. In addition, we’ll hear phone calls from listeners and friends of the show about what Pop Rocket meant to them. Plus, Guy shares the best abortion joke he’s ever heard.

Lastly, Wynter and Karen reveal their new, upcoming podcast, and how you can stay in touch with them beyond Pop Rocket.

ALL ABOUTS
Margaret: Broad City series finale
Karen: Gentleman Jack
Wynter Veep
Guy: Long Shot

That's My Jam

Margaret: George Harrison-If Not for You

Karen: The Postal Service - Such Great Heights

Guy: Christine Anu, David Hobson - Now Until the Break of Day

Wynter: Sid Vicious - My Way

 

Announcement
Karen Tongson and Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh have a new podcast in the works called Waiting to X-hale

 

 

Waiting to X-hale Podcast

 

Waiting to X-hale is a brand new woman-of-color driven podcast hosted by Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, and Karen Tongson, revisiting the pop culture and transformative social issues that defined Generation X. Our discussions, debates, and instructional interludes will let you see your favorite (and least favorite) aspects of GenX culture in a way that sheds new light on both then, and now. A special preview episode is dropping in early June with regular episodes recurring after Karen returns from her book tour in July.

For more information, sign up for the Waiting to X-hale newsletter, and follow the show on Twitter:
@waiting2xhalepd

With Guy BranumKaren TongsonMargaret WapplerWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

 

May 17, 2019

**Angelenos: Tonight (May 17th) at 7pm Guy and Karen will have a conversation about Why Karen Carpenter Matters at Book Soup in West Hollywood.**

In this penultimate episode, the Pop Rocket panel seeks guidance from The Oracle of LA, Amanda Yates Garcia. Each panelist pulls a card from the Oracle’s tarot deck, and gets an individual reading. What’s next for everyone? The answer’s in the cards.

Also, Karen Tongson tells us about her phone call with Elizabeth Warren this week. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called Karen Tongson on the phone. Personally. Listen to hear how it went down.

If you were as impressed with Amanda’s reading as the panel was, you can subscribe to her podcast
Strange Magic.

Lastly, if anyone wants to ask the panelists for advice--about anything!--you’ve got less than 24 hours to call and leave a message with Guy’s mom: (530) 237-4108

That's My Jam

Margaret: Weyes Blood (Natalie Mering) -A Lot’s Gonna Change

Guy: Carly Rae Jepsen - Cut to the Feeling

Karen:
Vampire Weekend (wth Danielle Haim) - We Belong Together
Song: IN: 1:38 - Fade 2:19

Amanda:
Alice Coltrane -Govinda Jai Jai

With Guy BranumKaren TongsonMargaret WapplerWynter Mitchell-RohrbaughAmanda Yates Garcia,
The Oracle of LA

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

May 10, 2019

This is the first of our three final episodes, and we’re joined by screenwriter Guinevere Turner (American Psycho,Go Fish) whose latest film Charlie Says just came out today, May 10th. As “budding cult-ologist” MagWaps notes, “if you think you’ve heard everything on the Mansons, trust me, this movie takes a different view.”

Having grown up in a cult, Guinevere was able to draw from her experiences and insight to tell the story from the point of view of the women who were targeted and groomed by Manson, and killed for him. It’s a fascinating discussion.

Plus, the panel convened once again to vote on another Pop Rocket Seal of Approval. The final three nominees were Sandra Oh, Toni Collette and Catherine O’Hara.

There are two more Pop Rocket episodes to go in its nearly five-year run. If you’d like to share with the panelists what this show meant to you, or tell them about your favorite episodes, you can call Guy’s mom and leave a message at: (530) 237-4108

You can also email poprocketpodcast@gmail.com a recording of your message made with your phone’s voice memo app.

If you haven’t already, please make sure to follow all four panelists on social media. You can find their Twitter handles below.

That's My Jam

Margaret: Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Guy: John Cale - Paris 1919

Karen: Heart - Never

Wynter: Tame Impala - Borderline

Guinevere: King Princess - 1950

With Guy BranumKaren TongsonMargaret WapplerWynter Mitchell-RohrbaughGuinevere Turner

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Apr 26, 2019

First off, you're welcome Game of Thrones fans. This is a super-sized Pop Rocket loaded with theories, speculation, and yes, even love. While Wynter and Karen were away, Margaret and Guy tapped two die-hard fans for a full-on discussion of the series and their thoughts now that the first two of the last six episodes have aired. Assembled in the studio this week:

Guy "I've read all the George R.R. Martin books in the series" Branum

Sarah "I'm in a viewing group with a gaggle of lesbians and their gaybies" Kessler

Laura "I prepared delicious direwolf-shaped crackers" Krafft

Margaret "I host GoT viewing parties at my house" Wappler

This episode will reveal which Game of Thrones character Guy has dressed up for--TWICE!--for Halloween. Sarah finds one GoT character extremely annoying, and it's not Bran. Laura pines for a Winterfell man she fears will die in the next episode, and Margaret is pretty sure she knows who will take the throne.

This was a raucous, expansive conversation that will both delight and frustrate Game of Thrones fans.

All Abouts
Margaret: The podcast Going Through It hosted by Ann Friedman

Guy: Chasten Buttigieg’s Twitter account

Sarah:
Dr. Pimple Popper, now on Hulu

Laura: The FX show What We Do in the Shadows

That's My Jam

Guy: Lizzo - Better in Color
Margaret: FKA Twigs - Cellophane
Sarah: Rusted Root - Send Me on My Way
Laura: Stone Roses - Fool’s Gold

With Guy BranumMargaret WapplerSarah KesslerLaura Krafft

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Apr 20, 2019

This week Wynter and Karen chat with Ellington Wells, a comedian and writer on Comedy Central’s brand new sketch show The New Negroes with Open Mike Eagle and Baron Vaughn. The panel takes a look at how black sketch comedy has involved and Wells tell us what Robert Townsend TV special inspired Vaughn to create a show with a similar sensibility.

All Abouts

Wynter: No Good Nick
Karen: Season 4 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Ellington: Britney's Gram podcast special episode

That's My Jam

Ellington: Ava Max - Sweet But Psycho

Guy: BTS (방탄소년단) IDOL (Feat. Nicki Minaj)

Wynter: Nat King Cole - Harlem Blues

Karen: An Luu - Pourquoi tu me fous plus des coups?

With Karen TongsonEllington WellsWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Apr 12, 2019

**ANNOUNCEMENT: The nomination process is now open for the next Pop Rocket Seal of Approval. This quarter we’re looking for veterans with a large body of work who have been underappreciated and haven’t received the acclaim that their body of work and stellar character deserve. If you want to submit a name, you must call and leave a message on Guy’s mom’s voicemail to tell us who you’d like to nominate and why. That number is: 530-237-4108**

This week we’re joined by food writer Tien Nguyen whose love of food is only rivaled by her admiration of Sandra Oh, an Asian woman with amazing hair. We talk about Oh, her hair and why Killing Eve is killing it for the panel. Why is this show unlike any other in the spy genre? The panel has a lot of insight on this. Also, Wynter admits she was wrong for not embracing the show sooner.

All Abouts

Karen: Survivor Season 38: Edge of Extinction

Wynter: Wynter is all about Joe Bob Brigg’s show The Last Drive-In on Shudder

Tien: Kim-Joy’s new cookbook Baking with Kim-Joy

 

That's My Jam

Karen: Weyes Blood’s “A Lot’s Gonna Change”

Wynter: Moon Boots - Keep the Faith

Tien: Aretha Franklin - Jumpin’ Jack Flash

With Karen Tongson, , Wynter Mitchell-RohrbaughTien Nguyen

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Apr 5, 2019

Take a trip down memory lane with Wynter, Karen and Margaret as they revisit 1991 in music. If you’ve ever been curious what song was playing when Karen experienced her first same sex kiss, tune in. If you grew up in the nineties, this episode will bring you back to that moment in time. If you spent your formative years in the aughts, and want to experience the 90s vicariously through Pop Rocket, the panel goes into great detail about what makes 1991 such a pivotal epoch, giving us grunge, new jack swing, schmaltzy ballads and music fans that could embrace Nirvana, Boys II Men, C+C Music Factory and REM at once.

As an added bonus, we created a Pop Rocket 1991 Mixtape that you can listen to on Spotify.

All Abouts

Margaret is on thatPen15 tip, and reliving those awkward middle school years via Maya and Anna

Karen is all about the season three episode of This Is Us, entitled R & B

Wynter has fallen hard for
Celine Dion after attending an event with the Québécoise chanteuse to promote her new album and tour

That's My Jam

Karen: Cathy Dennis - Too Many Walls

Wynter: Tame Impala - Patience

Margaret: Billie Eilish - Bad Guy

Karen TongsonMargaret WapplerWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Mar 28, 2019

Pop Rocket’s come early this week! Alonso Duralde guest hosts for this, our second week of the MaxFunDrive. The deadline for supporting this show is fast upon us, so if you haven’t yet become a new or upgrading member, do it now! Go to our donation page.

You can donate while listening to this special Thursday edition of the show. This episode has something for everyone--sapphic sisters, metal heads, Hallmark Channel enthusiasts and, of course, horror buffs.

One note of caution: There are spoilers, so if you haven’t yet seen Us, and you want to see it before learning about any of its twists and turns, you should skip the discussion. If you HAVE seen it, brace yourself for the in-depth discussion. Does this movie live up to its hype? Is the symbolism in the movie effective? Why does Wynter think she has to watch it again? These questions, and more, will be answered.

All Abouts

Margaret is all about Amanda Deibert's defense of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, in response to a negative article in Jezebel

Karen is all about
Scary Spice Mel B's confession that she hooked up with Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell

Alonso is all about Hallmark hiring the hosts of the Hallmark podcast
The Bubbly Sesh

Wynter is all about the Netflix Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt

That's My Jam
Margaret: James Blake - Power On

Karen: Mel C. and Northern Star (feat. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes) - Never Be the Same Again

Alonso: XTC - The Wheel and the Maypole

Wynter: Lil Nas X - Old Town Road

Mar 23, 2019

It’s the first live episode of Pop Rocket. Professor Karen Tongson invited the panel to give a lesson on why pop culture matters, with a focus on the past decade. You’ll learn what pop culture of the 2010s will last, and what culture won’t be remembered. Plus we’ll hear from some of Karen’s students, including a special jam brought to the show by Clayton. You won’t want to miss this must-listen episode!

All Abouts

Margaret: Out for Blood

Karen: Shrill

Wynter: The Fox-Disney merger

That's My Jam

Margaret: Lizzo - Cuz I Luv You

Clayton: 4 Non Blondes - What’s Up

Wynter: Beyonce feat. Frank Ocean - Superpower

Karen: Guy BranumKaren TongsonMargaret WapplerWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Mar 16, 2019

In honor of Women’s History Month, the panel lives vicariously through women who sought revenge, from Lorena Gallo (formerly Bobbit), to Thelma & Louise. They touch on their favorite films centered around women seeking revenge...or, perhaps more accurately, justice.

All Abouts

Margaret: Uncover: Escaping NXIVM

Karen: “Operation Varsity Blues”, aka the college admissions scandal

Wynter: Free Solo

Guy: Zumbo’s Just Desserts

That's My Jam

Margaret: Pistol Annies - Got My Name Changed Back

Guy: Carly Rae Jepsen - Now That I Found You

Wynter: Work - Charlotte Day Wilson

Karen: Cate le Bon’s - I Just Wanna Be Good

With Guy BranumKaren TongsonMargaret WapplerWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Mar 9, 2019

When she was 17, Dame Angela Lansbury quit her job at a department store to take a part in a movie, as 17-year-olds are wont to do. She played a young maid to Ingrid Bergman’s character in Gaslight, a film that garnered seven Oscar nominations and two wins, including one for Best Actress for Bergman. It’s the typical tale of a young actress trying to make it big and having to struggle, role after role after role after role, to hold her own on screen with the most celebrated actors in the world, on Oscar-winning film after Oscar-winning film.

She’s now 93 years old and has been in the business for nearly eight decades, dominating the big screen, the small screen and the stage.

For this episode of Pop Rocket, we felt it important to give Dame Lansbury’s career a discussion worthy of the legend that she is, and we couldn’t do it by ourselves. We needed to bring in the biggest Fangelas we could find outside of her immediate family: April Wolfe and S.A. Smythe, two individuals that get positively giddy noting which Murder She Wrote episodes comment on on colonialism and the prison industrial complex.

You guys, this is such a great episode, and that’s not even including everyone’s All Abouts!

Mar 2, 2019

Matt Rogers joins us to help tidy up the Oscars. The 91-year-old institution has gotten a bit cluttered, so the Pop Rocket panel applies the KonMari Method to the Academy Awards. We’ll keep everything that sparks joy, and the rest will be dropped off at an Out of the Closet in a Hefty bag. Will the short film and animated short categories survive? What about song and dance numbers? Find out.

Let us know if you agree with the panel, or take issue by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.

All Abouts

Guy remembers his friend and beloved comedian Brody Stevens, who died by suicide last week.

Wynter is all about Kind Hearts & Coronets.

Margaret wants everyone to take a moment to appreciate actress and wordsmith Dame Emma Thompson for her recent letter to Skydance detailing why she will not work with John Lasseter.

Karen Tongson is NOT about the speculation that Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are boffing. And for everyone going gaga over their duet, she reminds us of another live performance with off the charts chemistry, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond at the 1980 Grammys singing
You Don't Bring Me Flowers

Matt Rogers, the self-described “roller coaster bitch” is all about Hagrid Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride that’s coming to Disneyworld.

Feb 23, 2019

We’ve got a SCREAMINGLY great episode this week as the wonderful Tananarive Due joins us in studio for a deep cinematic dive into the world of black horror. Tananarive Due is the UCLA lecturer whose class on Get Out--The Sunken Place--was crashed by non-student Jordan Peele . She is also the executive producer of Shudder’s very first original documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror.

The panel cover A LOT of ground. For horror buffs and cinephiles alike, this episode is a MUST-LISTEN.

All Abouts
Margaret Wappler - The Bodyguard on Netflix

Karen Tongson -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLkEpO3k514 on Hulu

Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh - Lorena on Amazon Prime

14:00 Tananarive Due - The Passage on Fox

Jams
Karen - Lion - You've Got a Woman

Tananarive - Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - It Takes Two

Wynter - James Brown - Living In America

Margaret - Orion Sun - Stretch

With 

Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Karen Tongson

Margaret Wappler
Tananarive Due

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Feb 16, 2019

Are you ready for the 64th most electrifying show in Hollywood? Well get ready because it’s here, in your podcatcher: The Fifth Annual Pop Tart Awards! The panel comes together to recognize the best of the best in TV, film and everything else entertaining. What will take home the Warm Blanket Award for fuzzy comfort entertainment? Who delivered the best performance of the year? Could the panelists find consensus on the best album of the year? Barely. Plus, a bona fide celebrity makes a cameo that...Will. Blow. Your. Mind. And if not, it will at least make you smile. Lastly, we encourage any and all winners of a Pop Tart to call in with your acceptance speech. Note, however, that if your speech runs long, we'll have to play you off with music. If you received an award, call us at: 530-237-4108. 

Feb 9, 2019

On this week’s show, the panel play catch up. Each panelist was assigned to watch one film from this past year they missed when it was still in theaters. At the behest of Guy, Margaret watched Can You Ever Forgive Me. Karen Tongson was assigned Roma, but decided she wanted to check out Support the Girls, so Wynter was tapped for Roma instead. Lastly, both Wynter and Karen wanted to talk to Guy about A Simple Favor.

Each panelist reported back. Who thought Roma was too slow? Did Margaret show enough love for her pick? And what did Karen appreciate most about the breastaurant drama?

**Spoiler Alert**
If you haven't seen Roma, you may want to skip that part of the discussion.

All Abouts

Margaret - Velvet Buzzsaw

Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh - Russian Doll

Guy Branum - Season 5 of Schitt’s Creek

Karen Tongson - Showtime’s Black Monday

That's My Jam

Karen Tongson - Sylvan Esso - PARAD(w/me)E

Margaret Wappler - 
Maggie Rogers - Alaska

Guy Branum - Liam Payne - Strip That Down

Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh - Sampha - Treasure

Feb 2, 2019

Will Terry Crews receive the second-ever Pop Rocket Seal of Approval? Why wasn't Margaret on this week's show? Is Adam McKay a craftsman or an artist? These questions and more will be answered on this week's Pop Rocket!

Plus, in the wake of the PRSOA "Bloom backlash", the voting process has been amended. Tune in to find out how, and when there will be another nomination period.

That's My Jam

Wynter: Summer Walker - Girls Need Love

Karen: James Ingram - Just Once

Guy: RuPaul (feat. Myah Marie) - Adrenaline

With Guy BranumKaren Tongson, and Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Jan 26, 2019

This week's show is a double dose of schadenfreude!

The gang compares the dueling documentaries Hulu's "Fyre Fraud" and Netflix's "Fyre," which tell different versions of the tropical shit show that landed its mastermind Billy McFarland behind bars.

All Abouts

Wynter is all about Crashing and True Detective.

Margaret is all about the memoir Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning by Claire Dederer, who you may recognize from her article in the Paris Review What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men.

Karen is all about CATWALK: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit on Netflix, and the rivalry between a “well-muscled” Turkish Angora named Bobby, and a voluminous Red Persian named Oh La La
.

Guy is all about Sex Education on Netflix.

That's My Jam

Wynter: Phil Collins - I'm Not Moving (Idjut Boys remix)

Karen: Queen - Play the Game

Margaret: ROSALÍA - MALAMENTE

Guy: Mark Ronson (feat. Miley Cyrus - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart

With Guy BranumKaren TongsonMargaret WapplerWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Jan 19, 2019

Once again we’re firing on all cylinders this week! It’s an ultra-packed show covering everything from The Masked Singer, Surviving R. Kelly,
MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. and the need to move beyond moralistic posturing in critiquing comedy.

The panel get into a lively discussion of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix show. One panelist loves it, one panelist thinks it’s “sinister”, and a panelist named Guy is so obsessed with one of the families featured on the show he couldn’t stop talking about them.

All Abouts
Margaret shares her thoughts on the heartbreaking and disturbing six-part series Surviving R. Kelly

Guy is all about the 1998 film The Opposite of Sex, and explains how Terry Gross’ recent conversation with Kevin Hart made him appreciate it more.

Wynter is all about the M.I.A. documentary.

And Karen loves the new reality singing competition show The Masked Singer.

Jan 12, 2019

The ENTIRE PANEL is back together for a jam-packed episode! They talk Golden Globes, Bandersnatch and react to some of the commercial jingles you beautiful listeners sang to us on the Pop Rocket voicemail line.

All Abouts

Wynter, fresh off a romantic holiday trip to Paris, is all about the Louis Vuitton Foundation's Basquiat exhibition

Guy is all about Can You Ever Forgive Me

Margaret is all about Regina King's Golden Globes speech

Karen thinks everyone should check out the new Aussie show Instant Hotel on Netflix

That's My Jam

Margaret: Sleater Kinney - Oh!

Guy: Lizzo - Juice

Karen: Mitski - Nobody

Wynter: Listener Temple’s rendition of Attorney Hal Cook’s commercial jingle from Little Rock, Arkansas

With Guy BranumKaren TongsonMargaret WapplerWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh
Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Jan 4, 2019

Guy Branum is back for our first episode of 2019! Sadly, Margaret couldn’t join us because #health and Wynter was busy being a jet setter.

This week, the panelists share their pop culture resolutions for 2019, and own up to resolution fails from the past year.

Writer and comedian Tara Jepsen joins us in studio and Guy is awed by the combined power of her and Karen’s “lesbian efficiency.”

If you're curious about what Guy has been up to these past couple months, he catches us up. Spoiler alert (though not really): He consumed a lot of theater. In particular, he saw Matthew Lopez’s seven-hour, two-night play The Inheritance, and had LOTS of opinions about it.

From “learn more commercial jingles” to “master a new recipe a month,” the panel reveals an ambitious list of resolutions they may or may not be able to stick with for an entire year.

All Abouts

Karen is all about Bird Box the new Netflix thriller starring Sandra Bullocks.

Tara is all about hating a bootleg recording of a recent standup set by disgraced comedian Louis C.K..

Guy is all about The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez, which is loosely based on Howard's End.

Call to Action
Inspired by one panelist’s resolution to learn more commercial jingles, we are asking Rocketeers to call in and sing their favorite jingles on the Pop Rocket voicemail. We want to hear those jingles that will forever be lodged in your brain.

That's My Jam

Guy: Janet Jackson -Together Again

Tara: Hey Jellie - Going Back

Karen: Labi Siffre - Watch Me

With Guy BranumKaren Tongson, and Tara Jepsen.

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Dec 22, 2018

Happy Holidays, everyone! Wynter and Karen are joined by special guest panelists Tre’Vell Anderson (Director of Culture and Entertainment at Out Magazine) and 'Who Shot Ya?'s' Alonso Duralde to create the ultimate holiday playlist. Each panelist created a top ten list of their favorite holiday songs, out of which they’d select twenty for inclusion in the official Pop Rocket Holiday Playlist. Well, that was the plan, anyway. In practice, when faced with making the tough choices, they flopped. Whose version of "Sleigh Ride" should be on the playlist: Andy Williams’s, Ella Fitzgerald’s or TLC’s? Spoiler alert: They couldn’t decide.

Plus, the panelists describe their holiday family traditions, and if you’ve ever been curious what the most popular Philippine Christmas song is, resident scholar Karen Tongson reveals the answer.

From Ella Fitzgerald to Donny Hathaway, from the Morehouse Glee Club to Quad City DJs, the variety of musical stylings in this episode will get your feet tappin'.

All Abouts

For the last All Abouts of the year, each panelist picked one thing in 2018, that they could watch, listen to, read, or consume, OVER & OVER again.

Alonso is all about the Amber Ruffin segment on Late Night With Seth Meyers - 'Amber Says Why'

Karen is still all about the series finale of The Americans.

Tre’Vell is awed by EVERYTHING about Cardi B, but especially her recent appearance with James Corden in Carpool Karaoke.

Wynter can’t stop watching Mission Impossible: Fallout.

 

That's My Jam

For this week’s jams, each panelist picked a song that best summed up the year that was 2018.

Karen: Sound of Music Soundtrack - So Long, Farewell
Tre’vell: Fantasia - Lose to Win
Alonso: Lizzo - Good as Hell
Wynter: Drake - Nice for What

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback, or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Dec 14, 2018

How right, but mostly how wrong, does Hollywood get it when it comes to capturing artists in film? Margaret Wappler asks these very questions of her esteemed panel. And this, the panel is comprised of LA Times staff writer Carolina Miranda, who covers visual arts, culture and architecture, media scholar and TV critic Sarah Kessler--filling in for her under-the-weather wife Karen Tongson--and Cal Arts professor and visual artist David P Earle, who is better known to Pop Rocket listeners as father to Silas and husband to our very own Margaret Wappler.

From Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner to Antonio Banderas's Golden Globe-nominated performance in Genius: Picasso, the crew highlights all the tired tropes Hollywood can’t resist when depicting artists. They’ll tell you about the films that get it right, and the films that get it deliciously wrong. Plus, why are all the portrayals of Andy Warhol on the big screen so...different? Was the real Andy Warhol more like Crispin Glover in The Doors or David Bowie in Julian Schnabel's Basquiat? Does Salma Hayek really do Frida justice? And which actress nails the stereotype of the insufferable, pretentious artist on the head? Join us as we try to suss out: is art about art art, or t-shirt at the giftshop bullshit?

All Abouts

Sarah is all about Valerie Solanas's SCUM Manifesto with forward by Michelle Tea.

Carolina is all about narco-novelas, in particular Netflix's Narcos: Mexico starring Diego Luna.

David is all about his algorithmically generated list of top songs of 2018 from Spotify.

Margaret is all about the 18th century period piece The Favourite, a feminist reimagining of Queen Anne's court starring Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, and Olivia Colman.

That's My Jam

Sarah - Laura Branigan - Gloria

David - Saba - LOGOUT

Carolina - The Bucketheads - The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall into My Mind)

Margaret- Katzù Oso - Crazy4luvinU

With Margaret WapplerDavid EarleCarolina Miranda, and Sarah Rebecca Kessler.

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Dec 8, 2018
Guests: 
 
 Karen Tongson
 
 Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh
 
 Sarah Kessler

We're getting down into the down and dirty story Dirty John, the new Bravo show based on the LA Times and Wondery podcast of the same name. Joining us in the discussion this week is media scholar and TV critic Sarah Kessler who happens to also be married to our very own Karen Tongson. Dirty John is the true crime story about Debra Newell, a successful Orange County businesswoman who seemed to have everything going for her except when it came to love. In her middle age, she began online dating and met this guy who her two daughters found extremely shady. Obviously, throughout the course of the limited series starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana, she and we find out why.

We take a deep dive into what it is that titillates and draws us into the dark and disturbing world of true crime. The panel takes a look at podcasts like Teacher's PetSerial and Bear Brook, among others, as well as shows such as Making a Murderer, Lifetime’s A Woman Scorned and the sensational, made-for-tv accounts of the most notorious serial killers. What does true crime tell us about women and what does it tell women to watch out for? Find out!

List of All the True Crimes Stories Referenced in the Episode

Serial
Bear Brook
Teacher's Pet
Atlanta Monster
Star 80
Fall of a Titan: The Steve McNair Story
In the Dark
Crime & Scandal: Chris Watts

All Abouts

Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh is all about the interpersonal dynamics at play at H.W. Bush’s funeral.

Sarah Kessler is all about My Brilliant Friend on HBO based on the bestselling series by Elena Ferrante.

Karen Tongson is all about a recent stand-up set she saw of Aparna Nancherla.

That's My Jam

Sarah Kessler - Stereolab - Outer Accelerator

Wynter - Grace Jones - Slave to the Rhythm

Karen Tongson - Juliana Hatfield - A Little More Love

With Karen TongsonWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, and Sarah Rebecca Kessler.

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Nov 30, 2018

It's well known in the Rocketeer community that our host this week, Wynter Mitchell-Ragnarok, is a huge horror buff. She watches two to three a week, and she is running out of horror flicks to watch on all the streaming services. Send her your recommendations! In the meantime, Wynter forced Karen, Margaret and Who Shot Ya?’s Ricky Carmona to subject themselves to some of her favorite movies from the holiday genre, such as Black ChristmasSilent Night, Deadly Night, and their sequels.

Our special guest this week is the hilarious Ricky Carmona, the host of the Maximum Fun movie podcast Who Shot Ya? and he's also a staff writer on the Comedy Central TV series Tosh.0.

All Abouts

Margaret is all about ROMA, a new film by acclaimed director Alfonso Cuarón. The movie is heavily based on his childhood in Mexico City in the 1970s and his family's live-in housekeeper.

Karen has a backhanded All About on Netflix's bro-y, new food competition show The Final Table.

Ricky is all about Adam Sandler's latest stand-up comedy special also on Netflix called 100% Fresh.

Wynter is all about season 1 of the USA Network crime drama The Sinner starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman.

That's My Jam

Margaret - Phosphorescent - New Birth in New England.

Karen - This Is Me (Reimagined Remix) - Keala Settle, Kesha & Missy Elliott

Ricky - Sounds of Blackness - Optimistic

Wynter - Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band - Great to Be Here

With Wynter Mitchell-RohrbaughKaren TongsonMargaret Wappler , and Ricky Carmona/a>.

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Nov 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving, Rocketeers! We at Pop Rocket are thankful for you, our listeners. For the purposes of this episode, Wynter will be playing the role of Margaret’s sister who always criticizes her stuffing recipe, while Karen is the gay aunt who sold Wappler a bunk Subaru.

There was a lot of tension in the studio, and everyone was walking on eggshells. Will our panelists be able to make it through a discussion of awkward family gatherings without bursting into tears? Will Wynter be triggered by a clip of The Family Stone? Will Margaret angrily scream, “Eat the fish, b***h!”? The panel dissects some of their favorite awkward moments--on screen and off--and try to figure out why we’re so captivated by angry, obnoxious relatives. If any of you out there have concerns about fraught dinner conversations over turkey, stuffing, and sides, the panelists are here for you!

All Abouts

Margaret alerted us to a fine piece of writing from New York Times critic Amanda Hess, who laments, “nothing ever ends anymore and it’s driving me insane.” If you’re overwhelmed by sequels, prequels, reboots, and overlapping universes, she’s a kindred spirit.

If no one spots Wynter out in the wild over the next two weeks, it’s probably because she’s playing her newest video game obsession Red Dead Redemption II.

Karen recently discovered the new ABC sitcom Single Parents starring Taran Killam, Leighton Meester and Jake Choi.

That's My Jam

Wynter - Michelle Obama - Becoming
Karen - Shawn Mendes - Lost in Japan
Margaret - Barrie - Michigan

With Karen TongsonWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, and Margaret Wappler.

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

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