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Did You Do Your Homework? | A Pop Culture Podcast-logo

Did You Do Your Homework? | A Pop Culture Podcast

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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.

Duration: 01:19:24

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!

Duration: 00:38:20

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.

Duration: 01:04:31

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...

Duration: 01:06:53

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.

Duration: 01:06:15

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...

Duration: 00:59:33

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.

Duration: 00:57:24

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.

Duration: 01:09:10

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!

Duration: 01:13:51

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...

Duration: 01:06:37

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.

Duration: 01:01:10

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.

Duration: 01:08:12

Episode 11: Grief and Grieving

Grief is something that everyone experiences in some shape or form during their lifetimes, and pop culture can help us develop the tools to deal with and overcome it. We thread our way through three stories that show us how characters overcome their grief, and also how an artist can use his art to express it. Things get kinda heavy.

Duration: 01:15:04

Episode 10.5: Extra Credit

This is not a full episode of our podcast! Due to personal reasons, we were unable to fully prepare to give our listeners the best episode they deserved, so we're pushing the schedule back a week. In the meantime, we give you an extended Credentials episode, that's really just an excuse for us all to talk about Wonder Woman a whole lot.

Duration: 00:38:42

Episode 9: Strange Bedfellows

What exactly do we mean when we say "Strange Bedfellows"? We're talking weird character matchups between people who have absolutely nothing in common - or DO they? We get down and dirty on the subject of odd couples, weird matchups, character growth and something Pete has dubbed "Radical Empathy." We take you from ghosts to the apocalypse, from the Cold War to first generation Russian immigrants, and from the idyllic English countryside to 1960's Rome in our search for commonality. What we...

Duration: 00:51:29

Episode 8: Caring (Or Not) For the Natural World

In this era of EPA rollbacks, what role should pop culture play in raising awareness? Is capitalism the source of all environmental evil? Is Avatar actually a really racist movie? All this and more is on the table as your phenomenally nerdy cohosts dig deep into the conservation warnings broadcast by their homework. Discussion points include sources of environmental destruction, the role of consumerism in environmental deterioration, and more that's sure to leave you perky and upbeat and...

Duration: 01:03:39

Episode 7: Alternative Facts or, How We Relate to News Media

Martha uses the podcast as a thinly veiled excuse to watch Shattered Glass again, and to plumb the depths of Slate to read about the real world scandal. Pete is way more politically savvy than anyone else in the room (natch), and Calee keeps us all grounded by reminding us that teenagers really are the future of the resistance (a thematic callback to Episode 2, even if we all forgot to point that out!). Martha ALSO awkwardly shoehorns in a discussion about superheroes and news coverage of...

Duration: 01:08:37

Episode 6: Sacrifice

It's another perky episode where we somehow manage to have a good time, despite our weighty topic. Martha takes a victory lap when Pete admits that one of these items is his most favoritest homework he's been assigned yet (which one may surprise you), we argue intent of story versus intent of character, Calee feels skeptical about deconstructed magical girls, and we once again forget to talk about Logan even though it's apparently relevant to absolutely everything we're doing anymore.

Duration: 01:08:14

Episode 5: The Hero/Sidekick Relationship

Have you ever wanted to put the relationship between Batman and his many, many sidekicks under a microscope and really get to the bottom of them? Good news! In this week's episode, we dig into the hero/sidekick relationship in all its forms, including a rough history where Martha asks Pete to show his work and he doesn't immediately strangle her with her headphones cord. We talk a whole lot about Star Trek and never come to a conclusion about whether or not it's relevant! All this AND...

Duration: 00:54:19

Episode 4: Reboots & Reimaginings

It's our fourth episode, which means we've officially been doing this for over a month! Hooray! This week, we dive into the concept of remakes, reboots, reimaginings and adaptations and Martha realizes that each of these concepts could probably be their own episode? What makes a good reboot, motives, and purpose are all discussed, and we all unanimously agree to strike the phrase "[X] ruined my childhood" from our cultural vernacular.

Duration: 00:59:26

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