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Episode 28: Awards Shows

We're joined by returning guest Lizzie Buehler to dissect the 2018 Academy Awards, just like every other pop culture podcast in existence! But seriously, we all have feelings and you're entitled to 'em as we talk about the relevancy of the Oscars and award shows in general.


Bonus Episode! Academy Awards Chatter

Enjoy this bonus episode! Pete and Martha have a quick, unstructured chat about some of the contenders for the Academy Awards. Martha had just seen "Phantom Thread" and "Three Billboards," so the discussion focuses on those two movies.


Episode 27: Fairy Tales

Today Martha's friend and coworker Lauren Maxwell joins us to talk about the wide and wonderful world of fairy tales! We look at the old, the new, and the remixed - Neil Gaiman's modern take on Sleeping Beauty, The Sleeper and the Spindle; Mike Mignola's supernatural investigator Hellboy in his third collection, The Corpse and the Iron Shoes; and Guillermo del Toro's masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth. We talk about their cultural pervasiveness, their impact on our media landscape, and it's only...


Episode 26: Body Image

This episode gets a little sensitive (hence the content warnings) as we delve into different portrayals of body image, eating disorders, and other self-image topics. We are joined by returning guest Maren Hagman to discuss Hairspray, Zoolander, and The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller.


Episode 25: Formative Media

We use the words "formative media" so often on the podcast that we decided we'd better to an episode about it so we could explain what exactly we mean by that. Today we're talking about the stories and media that helped shape who we are as media consumers, and we do so with an expert on pop culture nostalgia: welcome guest Josh Brown from the podcast 40 Going on 14!


Episode 24: Better Together: Teamups

Calee's back for our one year anniversary episode, which is all about Teamups ! With the insane popularity of comic-based film right now, pop culture is pretty saturated with teamups. For our homework today we looked at the Big Two from the Big Two, and Pete threw us all a welcome curve ball by introducing a real-life teamup in the form of the pop supergroup The New Pornographers.


Episode 23: Top 10 of 2017

Episode 23: Top 10 of 2017 by Did You Do Your Homework? | A Pop Culture Podcast


Episode 22: Moments of Character Transcendence

What exactly do we mean when we say "moments of character transcendence"? It's a lofty phrase, but what are we talking about? The characters we're examining - a witch-in-training, a lost and damaged super genius (and her various protectors), and a pair of feisty demon hunters - all have a moment that crystallizes who they are, what they stand for, and what their stories are trying to say.


Episode 21: Transformation

Friend of the show Sarah Caputo joins us today to talk TRANSFORMATION and all the ways it changes us. We have some feelings about character agency, the virtues of self-driven transformation vs. the non-consensual kind, and the use of metaphor, among others. Our homework for the episode: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, The Wicked + the Divine: The Faust Act by Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen, and the 1985 horror masterpiece Fright Night.


Extra Credit 20.5: Holiday Faves

Hello and welcome to our holiday break episode! Thanksgiving is tomorrow and we're all super busy making pies or eating turkey or watching football, so we have a nice light episode full of our favorite holiday media for you. No homework required!


Episode 20: Masks

We're talking about MASKS, both literally and figuratively, with guest star Mark Rhomberg! We examine plot and character elements, and there may or may not be a round of patting each other on the back for not assigning any straight forward superhero stories (although we still manage to talk about Batman, because, well, duh). Remember, we are who we pretend to be, so fake it till you make it and listen to our episode.


Episode 19: Sound & Music

We get technical this week as we examine the ways that sound, music, and silence are used in various forms of visual media. Our guest for the episode is Dan Karlin, of SOOL Radio fame, who joins our discussion as we get into, amongst the other things, diegetic music, creating tone with sound, and how Martha gets anxious when a movie doesn't have any score at all. It's no accident that we're talking about yet another Ryan Murphy joint, or that all of our media happens to be surreal in...


Episode 18: Tabletop RPGs

We are leaving our three-media homework model to the side for a moment to try something different! This ep, we share our experiences with tabletop roleplaying games, and discuss the values we think they have, particularly in an academic and educational environment. We share games that are particular favorites, what we grew up playing, why we enjoy them - and how we've passed that on to the students we interact with.


Episode 17: Ambition

Special guest host Lizzie Buehler joins us to discuss not throwing away our shots, toxic masculinity, and the musical stylings of Glee. Ambition is our topic of the hour: is it a good thing or a bad thing (in general and for our main characters), is it different from having drive or passion, and how do our featured stories treat it differently when the ambitious character in question is a gal or a dude? Homework for the episode: the soundtrack to Hamilton, There Will be Blood, and a couple...


Episode 16: You Can't Go Home Again

"Home" is a nebulous concept that is, by its nature, constantly redefined. We attempt to make sense of what it means to our main characters, and in the process get to talk about format and world building a whole lot. Home is pretty deeply tied to identity for all of our main characters, so we end up looping a little bit back to our very first topic for the show as we explore the struggle to define oneself by an idea that is constantly shifting.


Episode 15: Forgiveness

We dig deep into semantics here, and it may be the first episode where that's a good thing! Across all three media, we encounter characters who are seeking forgiveness in some capacity or another: from their loved ones, from themselves, on behalf of themselves. Are they successful? What defines success? Is, perhaps, the act of seeking forgiveness enough to warrant it? We also get meta and look at what role we as an audience have in being able to forgive characters.


Episode 14.5: Summer School

The podcast is undergoing some changes, so we're taking a quick restructuring break to talk about what pop culture we've been consuming this summer: what's been awesome, and what has been...less so. We're joined by the first of what will hopefully be a long line of awesome guests, Maren!


Episode 14: Leaders & Leadership

Leadership plays a strong role in most narratives, and it behooves us to take a closer look at the strengths, weaknesses, and character traits of some of the many leaders we find in media. We generate a list of characteristics we appreciate in our leadership, Martha gets salty about Superman and Mark Millar, and we have a lot of fun talking about rats. Some sensitive topics are broached re: our current political state, but for the most part this is a bipartisan episode. (J/K our president...


Episode 13: Fandom in Media

Today's episode is brought to you by fanculture everywhere. Join us as we take a deep dive into fandom and how media portrays it, from the perspective of male and female fans and even a bit from the creator side.


Episode 12: The Hero's Journey

Today we're getting academic with an in-depth discussion of that age-old storytelling convention, the hero's journey. Using Tolkein, Shrek, and an animated celebration of the Day of the Dead (The Book of Life, hey-o) we talk about the elements that make up the archetypal hero's journey and why it's important to understanding the way we have and continue to tell stories.


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