Mark, Lawrence, and guest co-host horror writer Sean Michael Cooney (who has seen all 1225 episodes) discuss the gothic romance vampire soap opera from 1966-1971 plus the spin-off movies and reboots. We interview one of the stars of the original show, the author Kathryn Leigh Scott, to talk about the appeal and enduring legacy of this show that was once massively popular but is … [Read more...] about PMP#150: Dark Shadows w/ Kathryn Leigh Scott
pop culture podcast
PMP#149: Rocky and Creed
It's our most successful sports film franchise ever, starting with the Best Picture winning, highest grossing film from 1976, continuing through 1990's Rocky V and 2006's Rocky Balboa under Sylvester Stallone's leadership, which in fits and starts then shifted to a new generation of filmmakers for three films focusing on the son of Apollo Creed, the antagonist from the first … [Read more...] about PMP#149: Rocky and Creed
PMP#148: Resource Management Video Games
Mark, Al, our editor Tyler Hislop, and Dr. Jamie Madigan of the Psychology of Video Games podcast talk about a wide range crafting and building games from Minecraft to Starcraft to Sim City to Civilization to Rimworld to Subnautica. Given what a time commitment these typically require, what makes some of them worthwhile? Is it better to mix the building and crafting with … [Read more...] about PMP#148: Resource Management Video Games
PMP#147: Nostalgic Mysteries (Knives Out, Poker Face) from Rian Johnson
Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al talk about Rian Johnson's new show Poker Face as basically a Columbo reboot (a "howcatchem" instead of a "whodunnit"), plus his recent films Knives Out and Glass Onion that modernize and subvert Agatha Christie. We talk about Johnson's storytelling techniques of telling the story out of sequence, keeping the detective character out of the … [Read more...] about PMP#147: Nostalgic Mysteries (Knives Out, Poker Face) from Rian Johnson
PMP#146: Black Panther Films and Comics
Perhaps alone in the Marvel Universe, Black Panther is taken seriously as a political statement, both in the content of its stories and in how the films are produced. Wakanda purports to present an alternate historical condition of Africa had it not been colonized. Mark, Lawrence Ware, Anthony LeBlanc, and Viola Burlew discuss the comics and films, getting into the political … [Read more...] about PMP#146: Black Panther Films and Comics
PMP#145: Growing Up Sitcommed
Mark, Sarahlyn, Lawrence, and guest Landen Celano from the Grunt Work podcast (all about Home Improvement) talk about talk about our ambivalence toward the three-camera, laugh-tracked half-hour comedies that filled our childhoods in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Why did some of these stand the test of time? Are some shows well suited for hate-watching or background watching? Why … [Read more...] about PMP#145: Growing Up Sitcommed
PMP#144: Androids and Us
Do movie robots want to love us, be us, or kill us? Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al talk through various ethical and narrative problems having to do with the creation of artificial life. We all watched M3GAN and Steve Spielberg's A.I., and also touch on After Yang, Ex Machina, Bicentennial Man, the BBC show Humans, and of course this is an element in classic sci-fi … [Read more...] about PMP#144: Androids and Us
PMP#143: Pinocchio the Unfilmable (Yet Frequently Filmed)
The PMP core four (Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al) discuss the original 1883 freaky children's story by Carlo Collodi and consider the recent rush of film versions, from a new Disney/Robert Zemikis CGI take to Guillermo del Toro's stop-motion passion project to a heavily costumed Italian version by Matteo Garrone, which is the second to feature Oscar winner Roberto Benigni in … [Read more...] about PMP#143: Pinocchio the Unfilmable (Yet Frequently Filmed)
PMP#142: Lyric Literality w/ Dave Philpott
Since 2008, Dave has written cheeky (but actually heavily researched) letters to rock stars that point out logical flaws in and/or deliberately misunderstand their lyrics. Many of these have been answered by the artists and housed in three books: Dear Mr. Kershaw, Dear Mr. Popstar, and Grammar Free In The U.K. Mark Linsenmayer and Al Baker talk to Dave about the "green … [Read more...] about PMP#142: Lyric Literality w/ Dave Philpott
PMP#141: Christmas Songs
The PMP A-Team (Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al) talk about the canon of Christmas songs, from centuries-old carols to current attempts by pop stars to get added to this cycle of cash-flow. Happy holidays, everybody! We also do a bit of year-end reflection, getting into various things we've watched with some recommendations and ambivalent takes. This is the first time … [Read more...] about PMP#141: Christmas Songs
PMP#139: The Sandman Cometh
We cover the first chunk of Neil Gaiman's 1989 comic and its new Netflix adaptation. Mark is joined by acting coach Anthony LeBlanc, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Baker. What are the narrative challenges of depicting a god? What is the show's metaphysics the role of storytelling in it? Were the updates and story choices for the TV show helpful, or was the comic truly "unfilmable," … [Read more...] about PMP#139: The Sandman Cometh
PMP#138: What Are “Creatives”?
Is there really a division in today's culture between those who create and the merely receptive masses? Mark gathers three artists in different media about the place of the artist in society: sci-fi author Brian Hirt, art photographer and academic Amir Zaki, and musician/novelist/ex-English prof John Andrew Fredrick (of The Black Watch). We touch on art education, the … [Read more...] about PMP#138: What Are “Creatives”?
PMP#137: Slashing the “Halloween” Film Franchise
What's the appeal of this 13-film franchise that started with John Carpenter's 1978 film Halloween and has purportedly wrapped up with David Gordon Green's Halloween Ends? Actor/SFX makeup designer/horror podcaster Nathan Shelton joins Mark, Lawrence, and Al to figure out if even all the various filmmakers involved understood what the appeal of that first film was. … [Read more...] about PMP#137: Slashing the “Halloween” Film Franchise
PMP#136: Nathan Fielder’s “The Rehearsal”
Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al convene an emergency podcast recording to react to this brilliant, mind-blowing, possibly immoral HBO comedy docuseries, wherein Fielder supposedly helps ordinary people rehearse difficult personal confrontations, but this plan goes off the rails after 1.5 episodes out of the six that made up its first season. This series builds upon Fielder's … [Read more...] about PMP#136: Nathan Fielder’s “The Rehearsal”
PMP#135: The Breaking Bad-O-Verse
Given the end of Better Call Saul, Mark, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Baker discuss this strange TV "franchise" that amazingly produced a prequel that was arguably better than the original. We cover the characterization and pacing, novelistic TV vs. not having a plot roadmap in advance, and whether we want to see another installment in this world. A few articles we … [Read more...] about PMP#135: The Breaking Bad-O-Verse
PMP#134: Unpopular Music Genre Fandom
With the dissolution of popular music culture by the Internet, what is it now to be into music genres that aren't currently popular? Is it still an act of rebellion, or is even that passé? Mark is joined by composer/multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Segel from Camper van Beethoven, philosopher Matt Teichman of the Elucidations podcast, and musician and Internet DJ Steve … [Read more...] about PMP#134: Unpopular Music Genre Fandom
PMP#133: Predator (Films) and Prey
Thanks to the new film Prey by Dan Trachtenberg and Patrick Aison, we now have six films (starting with 1987's Predator) featuring the dreadlocked, camouflaged, infrared-seeing race of alien hunter-jackasses who have apparently been flying around collecting our skulls for 300 years. Thankfully, the new film is good, and adds to the recent spate of Indigenous-centered media, … [Read more...] about PMP#133: Predator (Films) and Prey
PMP#132: “Too Soon” in Comedy?
To honor the death of Gilbert Gottfried, we discuss jokes like the 9-11 one he was pilloried for. Can comedy really be "too soon" in relation to its tragic subject matter? Is comedy really tragedy plus time, or are jokes in fact most needed immediately when pain and discomfort are most acute? Mark is joined by three comedians: Adam Sank (of the LGBTQ-themed Adam Sank Show), … [Read more...] about PMP#132: “Too Soon” in Comedy?
PMP#131: Hope for Jordan Peele’s “Nope”
Jordan Peele's launch from a solid comedy base with Key & Peele to the unexpected Get Out was so impressive that he's generated a huge amount of good will that allows him to play the full-on auteur with huge budgets. Did that pay off with his third film, the monster movie Nope? Mark is joined by Lawrence Ware (philosophy prof. and entertainment writer), Sarahlyn Bruck … [Read more...] about PMP#131: Hope for Jordan Peele’s “Nope”
PMP#129: Wherefore the Cover Song?
Is re-playing or re-recording a song written and performed by someone else an act of love or predation? Mark is joined by Too Much Joy's Tim Quirk, the Gig Gab Podcast's Dave Hamilton, and the author of A Philosophy of Cover Songs Prof. P.D. Magnus to talk about different types of and purposes for covers, look a little at the history, share favorites, and more. A few of the … [Read more...] about PMP#129: Wherefore the Cover Song?