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Pop Rocket

Pop culture discussion with Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Margaret Wappler and Karen Tongson
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Now displaying: July, 2018

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

Jul 27, 2018
 

We've got a SUPERSIZED Pop Rocket for our first-ever Friday release, so strap yourselves in! This week, Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, and Margaret Wappler are joined by TV powerhouse Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, co-creator and executive producer of the Lifetime drama Unreal.


The crew discusses the good, the bad, and the ugly of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's new Showtime series Who Is America. Not unlike his previous series, Da Ali G Show, which aired on HBO in the early aughts, Cohen continues his controversial schtick of interviewing people in character while trying to get them to humiliate themselves all for our viewing pleasure. They draw the connections between Cohen's comedy and Sarah's show Unreal. The fourth and final season of Unreal recently came out on Hulu.

Jonathan Gold

First, the crew pays tribute to the late, great Los Angeles food critic Jonathan Gold. Gold was the city's unofficial ambassador whose reviews propped up great restaurants on the verge of going out of business, gave a spotlight to forgotten histories, but more than anything taught Angelenos to be less afraid of their neighbors.

The Pop Rocket Seal of Approval

Two weeks ago Guy created the Pop Rocket Seal of Approval and quickly submitted its first nomination: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. This week we had enough of a quorum to hold our first-ever vote. Guy, Margaret, and Karen each weigh in with the pros and cons of awarding this prestigious honor to The Rock, and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro comes in hot with her own opinions (but no voting rights). Will The Rock earn Pop Rocket's first ever Seal of Approval? Find out!

With Guy Branum, Karen TongsonMargaret Wappler, and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro.

That's My Jam:

Margaret - Demi Lovato - Sober.

Karen - Lisa Loeb - Stay (I Missed You).

Sarah- Nina Simone - Ain't Got No, I Got Life (Live).

Guy - Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey - The Middle .

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.

Jul 18, 2018

***Warning - this episode contains major spoilers***

This week, Guy Branum and Margaret Wappler are joined by Bay Area comedian and two-time Emmy winning writer Kevin Avery. He was head writer on Totally Biased w/ Kamau Bell, staff writer on Last Week Tonight w/ John Oliver and writer on The Jim Jeffries Show. The gang is deep diving into Boots Riley's new movie Sorry to Bother You. Guy, Kevin and Margaret discover that, like Sorry to Bother You's Cassius Green, they all worked as telemarketers. Plus Guy reveals the film's best actor and Kevin tells us about the time he asked Boots for help on a short film.

All Abouts


Margaret is all about Bhad Bhabie- a troubled Florida teen turned rapper based off of a performance on Dr. Phil where she was a guest with her mom. There's this really smart analysis of the Bhad Bhabie phenomenon in the NY Times by Jamie Lauren Keiles who breaks down what she means for the entertainment industry.

Kevin is all about not being about Drake's latest song and the dance challenge it spawned that's sweeping the nation: In My Feelings. The challenge even got Will Smith dancing on a bridge.

Guy is all about the hard-working, talented, and badass Korean-Canadian actress Sandra Oh, who has had to work twice as hard to get half as far in entertainment. She's finally getting her due as the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for an Emmy in the category of lead actress for Killing Eve.

With Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler, and Kevin Avery.

That's My Jam:

Margaret - The Coup - 5 Million Ways to Kill a C.E.O.

Kevin- Justin Timberlake - Higher Higher.

Guy - Years & Years - All For You.

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.

Jul 11, 2018

This week, Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler and Karen Tongson discuss HBO’s Sharp Objects. It’s based on the Gillian Flynn Novel of the same name and is about a woman, Camille Preaker, played by Amy Adams, who returns to her childhood home to combat her personal demons and look into a number of unsolved murders.

Margaret is all about Won't You Be My Neighbor?, the Fred Rogers biopic that’s guaranteed to conjure up feelings of love and kindness even in this divisive time. Karen is all about the second season of the Netflix series GLOW, especially the eighth episode, which may be the show’s crowning achievement. Guy is all about the video game Fobia on Steam, which finally gave him the type of gaming that he can embrace.

The group will give their thoughts on the HBO series Sharp Objects, including why Amy Adams works so well playing a real person. They also discuss what makes the HBO television production model work so well, and why that might change in the future. Plus, they’ll introduce some new elements to the podcast: The Wappler Test and the Pop Rocket seal of approval.

The Pop Rocket 2018 Summer Book Club is a go! We’re reading Crazy Rich Asians. Join the Facebook group and get in on the conversation.

With Karen Tongson, Guy Branum and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Margaret - Kiira - Messy.

Karen - Swingout Sister - Breakout.

Guy - Pitbull - Free Free Free.

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.

Jul 3, 2018

This week, Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler and Karen Tongson are declaring their independence from screens, push notifications and batteries. That’s right, it’s all about the pop culture that you’ll still be able to experience after the grid goes down.

Margaret is all about The Moment app which displays just how much time you spend on your phone every day, which she hopes will help keep her phone out of her motherhood. Karen is all about LeBron James being signed to the LA Lakers and everyone celebrating something good finally happening for the Lakers. Guy is all about the Amazon Prime movieThe Little Hours which features plenty of effective comedy and just the right amount of Aubrey Plaza.

The group will take an extensive look at modern media that doesn’t require a screen; everything from drawing, tarot cards, The Joy of Cooking, the card game Set and so much more

The Pop Rocket 2018 Summer Book Club is a go! We’re reading Crazy Rich Asians. Join the Facebook group and get in on the conversation.

With Karen Tongson, Guy Branum and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Margaret - My Bathroom Is a Private Kind of Place.

Karen - 10,000 Maniacs - These Are Days

Guy - Betty Who - Taste.

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

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Julian Burrell.

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