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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: August, 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

Aug 31, 2018

Hop on the PARTY LYFT as we jam out for the long-awaited return of our favorite newlywed Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh. She joins Karen Tongsen and frequent favorite Pop Rocket guest LA Times Film Reporter Tre'vell Anderson as they get into their thoughts on season 3 of HBO's Insecure.

The crew touches on the careers of the leading ladies- specifically white privilege problems at Issa's nonprofit We Got Y'all, Issa's side gig as a Lyft driver, and Molly's experiences at her new black corporate law firm. They also talk about which characters they want moved from periphery to center. Do they miss Issa's ex, Lawrence? And do they buy into Molly's polyamorous relationship? Or is she's really just a glorified side b****?

All Abouts

Wynter is all about the horror film Hereditary. Tre'vell is all about the new musical covering the life and times of the Motown group The Temptations called Ain't Too ProudKaren is all about more Asian American representation in Hollywood via John Cho's new thriller Searching.

That's My Jam:

Tre'vell - Teyana Taylor - WTP

Wynter - DJ AM - Unreleased Mixes.

Karen - Christine and the Queens- 5 dollars

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

With Karen TongsonWynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, and Tre'vell Anderson.

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

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

Aug 24, 2018

We did the book, now we're doing the movie! Goddess Guy Branum and dyke-about-town Karen Tongson are joined by fellow MaxFun host Alonso Duralde of the movie podcast Who Shot Ya? and returning favorite Andrew Ti, host of the podcast Yo, Is This Racist? to talk Crazy Rich Asians.

Listen in to find out who the gang thought had the breakout performances? Did the food porn in the book match up with the food porn on screen? Who would be the leading man in the sequel? Was the movie "Asian enough"? In lieu of our regular segment That's My Jam, Andrew shares one of his favorite Chinese language covers of a Western hit and how he really felt about all the Asian language covers in the movie. Also, the gang offers up some real talk about the movie's celebration of #AsianJoy, the uncomfortable ways that class played out in the film, and colorism among Asian ethnicities.

All Abouts

Andrew is all about Season 3 of the Syfy TV series The Expanse. Alonso is all about the new comedy Support the Girls starring Regina Hall. Karen is all about the social media eruption over the prominent queer-identified theorist Avital Ronell and her alleged sexual harassment of a male graduate student. Guy is all about the other Asian American centered movie you should be paying attention to Netflix's To All The Boys I've Loved Before.

With Guy Branum, Karen TongsonAndrew Ti, and Alonso Duralde.

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.

Aug 17, 2018

Goddess Guy Branum returns from his book tour just in time for Pop Rocket's annual Summer Book Club. He joins Karen Tongson and Margaret Wappler to finally dig into Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians book trilogy. By the way, the movie Crazy Rich Asians is out in theaters now. Go watch it!

Kwan's trilogy is essentially about the crazy rich people of Singapore, but the main story in the first book Crazy Rich Asians centers around Rachel and Nick-a young couple who've been dating for two years. They're both professors living in contemporary New York. Very much in love- Nick finally invites Rachel to travel to Singapore to meet his family. Curiously, Rachel knows nothing about them and once she gets there realizes that they are insanely, filthy, rich billionaires.

The panelists give us their rundown of the most fascinating themes and threads in the books including: the food, the fashion, colonialism's legacy, money vs. class, tensions between Singaporeans and mainland Chinese, hierarchies among Asian nations, assumptions about Oliver T'sien's sexuality, and then they decide who from the book they'd marry, fuck, kill, (and add to their book club). As if that weren't enough, one of the panelists--and we won't say which one--muses, "Maybe she was dickmatized?" Feel free to guess which one of our esteemed panelists said that in the comments section below.

All Abouts

Margaret is all about the Kevin Kwan's descriptions of Astrid's fashion "it-girlness." Astrid is Nick's cousin who is super beautiful, posh, and interesting. She's every panelists favorite character in the series. Karen is all about the reading list in the second book China Rich Girlfriend that is given to a character who is undergoing an image makeover. The character hires an image consultant who is trying to teach her about all the "right" things to talk about and all the "right" cultural references to use in conversation. Guy is all about the pineapple tarts described in the book in that they represent the very fascinating place of colonialism in Singapore's history. Spoiler alert: Singapore was under British rule for about 400 years. These tarts are an Asian modification of a French dessert that represent nostalgia, warmth, and memories of home, but also symbolize status.

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, and Margaret Wappler,.

That's My Jam:

Margaret - Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris - One Kiss.

Karen - Faye Wong - Summer of Love

Guy - Aretha Franklin - Freedom from Blues Brothers movie

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.

Aug 10, 2018

This week, Karen Tongson and Margaret Wappler get happy with Matt Bellassai and Bari Finkel, the host and producer of Pineapple Street Media's Unhappy Hour podcast. Today's show is like a Snuggie for one's soul. The panel dishes on the pop culture that brings us pure joy, from songs that compel us to dance, to the spots we gravitate toward on the Internet when we need a dose of adorable. Go ahead, try not to smile when you listen to this episode.

All Abouts

Margaret is all about the Vulture interview by David Marchese with Kathleen Turner. Bari is all about the birthday and career renaissance of the child actor twins Cole Sprouse and Dylan Sprouse. Matt is all about Beyonce and Jay-Z's On The Run II concert. Karen is all about the season 4 premiere of The Food Network's Episode 7 of Chopped Grill Masters.

With Karen TongsonMargaret Wappler,Matt Bellassai, and Bari Finkel.

That's My Jam:

Bari - Beyonce - If I Were a Boy/You Oughta Know (live).

Matt Mamma Mia Soundtrack - Mamma Mia.

Karen - Maroon 5 - Girls Like You feat. Cardi B..

Margaret - James Blake - Choose Me.

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.

Aug 3, 2018

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

This week, Karen Tongson and Margaret Wappler chat it up with pop culture maven and Pop Rocket's own podcast godmother Linda Holmes, the host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. The ladies revisit that wonderfully awkward time of their lives of Clearasil and body self-consciousness also known as 8th Grade while doing an in-depth exploration of Bo Burnham's debut film Eighth Grade. The movie centers around this socially awkward teen girl who tries really hard to fit it and be popular at school, but can't quite get there. Karen, Margaret, and Linda harken back to the drama of that time in their own lives, and also flesh out whether one of the scenes in the movie should--or not--be labeled a #MeToo moment.

All Abouts

Margaret is all about journalist href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/25/magazine/big-business-gwyneth-paltrow-wellness.html">Taffy Brodesser-Akner's latest article in the NYTimes Magazine about Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand company Goop and how it went from Paltrow's Martha Stewart-like project to a 250 million dollar company. Linda is all about a new (and disappointing) study on inequality in film out of USC Annenberg
that highlights the lack of progress in inclusion in film. Karen is all about Episode 7 of The Affair, specifically the scene that features “sapphic dabbling in a yurt” between Helen (Maura Tierney) and Sierra (Emily Browning).

With Karen TongsonMargaret Wappler, and Linda Holmes.

That's My Jam:

Linda- Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone.

Margaret - Nine Inch Nails - Down In It.

Karen - Debbie Gibson- Only In My Dreams.

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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