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It's hard to believe, but The Matrix is 20 years old this year. And its influence is all over the culture with bullet time and red pills and the "woah" meme and so much more.

Wikimedia Commons

Joni Mitchell is a singer-songwriter from Alberta, Canada. In 1968, her debut album, Song to a Seagull, was released and since then, Mitchell has become one of the most influential, and greatest recording artists. Mitchell has won nine Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, countless musical awards, and her albums are considered as among the best ever made.

We’re big fans. It turns out we’re not alone.

Kerry Lee Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

This episode is really going to be the cat’s pajamas. Or is it pyjamas? Do cats even wear pajamas? Why would they? Why do we? Should any of us wear pajamas at all?

And if we do don a pair, are they only for bed? Or should pajamas have their day in the sun? If our PJs are making a fashion statement just what exactly are they saying?

We’re talking today about what we wear to bed, but who knows? Does not wearing pajamas to bed have health and other benefits once we settle in under the covers? 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Rocketman is the sort of movie where (tiny spoiler ahead here, I suppose) "Elton John," at one point, becomes an actual "rocket man"... and blasts off into the sky... with fire shooting out of his feet. I mean, what else do you need to know really, right?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

What if you just don't really enjoy food very much? What if you're totally fine eating the same thing every single day? What if you think food is an inefficient way to get what you need to survive?

What if, rather than eating "food," you just mixed a white powder (that is definitely not made of people because it's made of soy protein isolate instead) with water and drank that in food's place?

This hour: a look at what you might call the non-foodie movement and the "powdered food" meal replacement product that is Soylent.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Darko Tresnjak has been artistic director at Hartford Stage Company since 2011. During his tenure here, he's won a Tony. He's had multiple productions make the leap to Broadway. His Anastasia has multiple tours touring internationally.

And this season is his last season in Hartford.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Graduation season is upon us. Your niece is finishing high school. Your neighbor's son is graduating from Tulane. Your boss just got her second Master's. How did it get to be that the obvious gift for all of these people is... a Dr. Seuss book?

And then: Vulture, this week, published a click-bait listicle ranking all the HBO shows ever. The Nose took the bait and clicked. And... Six Feet Under didn't make the top ten? Girls isn't in the top 25? John from Cincinnati made the top 30? Did anybody even understand that show?

And speaking of shows, George Clooney and Grant Heslov's new Hulu miniseries is a four-and-a-half-hour, six-episode adaption of Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Is that what the world needed right now?

EwS / Flickr Creative Commons

For the past few months, Nose regular Jacques Lamarre has been posting debate-starting, head-to-head style Facebook posts.

Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry. Ketchup vs. mustard vs. mayonnaise. When Harry Met Sally vs. Sleepless in Seattle. That kind of thing.

And so now, we've decided to try to turn the concept into a radio show. This hour, YOU MUST CHOOSE.

Netflix

No Country for Old Men. Fargo. The Big Lebowski. Raising Arizona. O Brother, Where Art Thou? Miller's Crossing.

Over the past 35 years, Joel and Ethan Coen have reliably been among the most recognizable voices in moviemaking.

Their latest, the anthology western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, hit Netflix last fall.

This hour: a Noseish look at the work of the Coen brothers.

Oyvind Holmstad / Wikimedia Commons

As Barbie Millicent Roberts -- yes, that's her name -- turns 60 we, as a plastic loving nation, celebrate! For six decades the impossibly proportioned fashion doll has been delighting children and adults around the world.

Joe Flood / Flickr Creative Commons

For everyone who watched Sunday's series finale of Game of Thrones, perhaps a better show to get a handle on what's happening inside America is Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale.

People aren't going around greeting their neighbors with "Blessed by the fruit." But there's an argument to be made that news headlines from the past week are eerily similar to the fictional transpirings that gave way to Handmaid's Republic of Gilead.

HBO

It's been a rough week for the famous. Last Saturday, Peggy Lipton died at age 72. On Monday, Doris Day died at 97. Then on Tuesday, it was Tim Conway at 85. And yesterday, I. M. Pei died aged 102.

And the week's gone kind of the same way for TV shows too. On Sunday, Veep finished its seven-year run on HBO. Last night, The Big Bang Theory aired its 279th and final episode. And Game of Thrones's series finale is set to air this coming Sunday.

VHS Will Not Die

May 16, 2019
Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public

Tracking, rewinding, ejecting, collecting - VHS broke ground in home entertainment like never before. The culture of VHS and its enormous best friend, the VCR, were kings of consumer media for decades. Despite the last VCR and VHS being manufactured just three years ago, videotapes are still consumed, collected, and in some cases, sold(!) across the country. But why?

Garrett Ziegler / flickr creative commons

Father of the Bride is Vampire Weekend's fourth studio album, their first in nearly six years, and their first for a major label. It has been called a "masterpiece" and a "multi-layered dissertation on the world's ills." It's also been called "mild" and "some of the worst ideas the band has ever put to tape." The real question is, though: Is Vampire Weekend still cool?

And then: Gorman Bechard's Pizza, A Love Story has its New Haven premiere in a few weeks at this year's NHdocs documentary film festival. The Nose talks Pizza, specifically, and pizza, more generally, from the pizza capital of the world.

Jonathan McNicol

Elvis left two legacies. Musically, he pulled several American musical traditions out of the shadows, braided them together, and made them mainstream. Personally, he created a far darker template for the way a musical celebrity could be devoured by the very fame he avidly sought.

Recorded live in front of an audience -- and with a band! -- as part of Colin's Freshly Squeezed series at Watkinson School, an hour about the artist who defined the birth of rock and roll and was the genre's first superstar.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Avengers: Endgame is the 22nd feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the fourth Avengers movie and the fourth MCU entry directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. It is the 10th film in the MCU's Phase Three and the last part of its Infinity Saga. I didn't understand very much of that stuff I just wrote, but I totally get this last bit: Avengers: Endgame may well be on its way to becoming the highest-grossing movie ever made.

And then: Taylor Swift's new single/video, "Me," is setting records of its own. Never mind that the duet with Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie is maybe kinda... terrible?

ilkan şahin / Flickr

To say Beyoncé's performance at Coachella was historic feels like an understatement. In about the span of a week, Queen Bey released a two hour Netflix exclusive film (part one of her deal with the streamer) of the entire concert, a 40-track live album from the same show, which was released unexpectedly, and just for fun, she released her 2016 pop culture smash album "Lemonade" on all streaming platforms, which was originally exclusive to just Tidal.

Rusty Clark / Flickr, Creative Commons

Fyre Festival, Theranos, Anna Delvey, the college admissions scandal... the list goes on. And whether explored on the news or as a book, podcast, documentary or feature film, consumers can't seem to get enough of this 'scamtent.'

 

This hour, we'll talk about scams and scammers, and discuss why we as a culture can't seem to look away.

HarshLight / Dapper Dans

We’re exploring the world of Barbershop Harmony; from its roots in the African American community to its influence in other genres, Barbershop is an important piece of the puzzle in the American music scene. 

Kit Harington / HBO

This week, the long awaited final season of Game of Thrones launched on HBO.

As more than 17 million viewers dig in for one last round, some of the Nose's most dedicated fans gather to discuss what's made this series such a hit, and what they're thinking about as the show marches toward its end.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

What is country music? If you ask Billboard, it's definitely not Lil Nas X's viral sensation, and the number one song in America, "Old Town Road." The song, which was also remixed with country star Billy Ray Cyrus, has country themes, vibes, and sounds country, but Billboard booted it off their country charts.

Kerry Lee Smith / Creative Commons

This episode is really going to be the cat’s pajamas. Or is it pyjamas? Do cats even wear pajamas? Why would they? Why do we? Should any of us wear pajamas at all?

And if we do don a pair, are they only for bed? Or should pajamas have their day in the sun? If our PJs are making a fashion statement just what exactly are they saying?

We’re talking today about what we wear to bed, but who knows? Does not wearing pajamas to bed have health and other benefits once we settle in under the covers? 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week, Will Leitch, from New York Magazine, wrote that "The Era of the Old Athlete is Over." Is it? And what does this mean for the future of sports?

Wikimedia Commons

Joni Mitchell is a singer-songwriter from Alberta, Canada. In 1968, her debut album, Song to a Seagull, was released and since then, Mitchell has become one of the most influential, and greatest recording artists. Mitchell has won nine Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, countless musical awards, and her albums are considered as among the best ever made.

We’re big fans. It turns out we’re not alone.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The sophomore film from any new director is oftentimes held to a harsher critique than their debut movie. It’s unfair. But Jordan Peele’s directorial debut was such a profound moment in 2017 culture, that anything he created after couldn’t live to the success of Get Out.

And then there was Us.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

For a period of about fifty years, many of America's top cartoonists and illustrators lived within a stone's throw of one another in the southwestern corner of Connecticut.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week, on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver tackled public shaming with perhaps the one person who has had the worst case of public shaming in recent memory, Monica Lewinsky. The interview focused on how Lewinsky survived the shaming, and she said if social media was around in the mid-90s, it could have been worse.

This week, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp suffered major worldwide outages, and Twitter previewed some possible new changes. And people took to (what else?) social media to (what else?) complain.

And: The Ringer asks the age-old question, if a TV show falls in the woods, and no one talks about it, can it be certified fresh? Or something like that.

And finally: Captain Marvel is the 21st feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the ninth movie in the MCU's Phase Three. It is, chronologically, a sequel to 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and a prequel to 2008's Iron Man. I didn't follow much of that, but I get this part: After 11 years and all those previous movies, it's the first one with a female lead.

AMC

You know all the reasons Trump won, right?

Economic anxiety. Racial anxiety. The forgotten working class. The forgotten rustbelt...

But what if the real cause were something much simpler and much more pervasive: our popular culture.

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