Pop Rocket

Pop Rocket is a high-octane weekly discussion of the 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.

Pop Rocket: Episode 139 Summer Jams 2017

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

At long last, it's the Pop Rocket Summer Jam! Guy, Karen, Wynter and Alonso each pitch their favorite songs, yet only one song can be named Song of the Summer. and the gang pitch their summer jams. Will it be Selena Gomez's "Bad Liar" or "Despacito", featuring her ex's vocals? This episode is loaded with songs and strong opinions.

Plus, Alonso is all about the Hallmark Drama channel. Wynter is keeping a close eye on Katy and Taylor, and Guy finally threw in the towel and watched NBC's "This Is Us". He's now convinced one of the actors on the show can survive a nuclear attack.

Summer jam contenders:

Alonso - Amelia Airhorn - Miracle
Wynter - Calvin Harris - Feels
Karen - Carly Rae Jepsen - Cut To The Feeling

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Alonso Duralde.

Superfan Beth made a Spotyify playlist featuring EVERY song nominated for Summer Jam.

We also made a Spotify playlist for the songs we talked about during this episode.

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

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brien for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 138 Back to School

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde

This week on Pop Rocket Karen hosts and the gang goes back to school. It's that time of year again and the crew looks back on the quintessential school movies that taught them about life. Wynter shares her desire to have a Sixteen Candles high school experience, and Alonso discusses his relation to Tom Cruise in the film Risky Business. The gang also dives into adult education, discussing the films and TV where adults go back to school. Karen shares with us the lessons learned from Will Smith's character in the film Six Degrees of Separation. Plus, the crew explores the current lack of value placed upon education and how that may be the death knell for future classic movies about the school experience.

This week Karen reveals some *SPOILERS* for the show Insecure and is also all about it. While Alonso is all about Netflix's The Defenders. Plus, Wynter gets her popcorn ready as she is all about Taylor Swift's social media scrubbing and her ongoing feud with Katy Perry.

With Wynter Mitchell, Alonso Duralde, and Karen Tongson.

Jams:

Alonso - Axolotl - The Veils
Wynter - Mediate - INXS
Karen - Haim - Little of Your Love

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy August Spotify playlist.

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

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brien for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 137 Netflix and Chill with Dave White

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Dave White
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde

This week on Pop Rocket Guy and the gang are joined by film critic Dave White as they do some serious netflix-ing and chilling. The group dives deep on their favorite titles available on the platform, and also discuss the highs and lows of cutting the cable cord. Guy dissects the reasons behind Shonda Rhimes jumping from the ABC ship, and Dave discusses his need from Netflix for more sugary reality TV shows, like Chasing Cameron. The gang compares and contrasts all the streaming services from Hulu to Crackle. Plus we also discover that Guy has a great affinity for the theme song to the Patti Lupone vehicle Life Goes On.

Guy and Karen have a semi-shared What We're All About in discussing their love for Difficult People. But Guy is all about a lot this week as he also shares his passion for Big Brother. Dave and Alonso are both all about documentaries, but they couldn't more different films. Alonso talks about the new Ferguson documentary Whose Streets?, and Dave is all about Escapes, a film chronicling the life of Blade Runner writer and actor Hampton Fancher.

With Dave White, Alonso Duralde, Karen Tongson, and Guy Branum.

Jams:

Alonso - The Summer Knows - Laura Fygi
Dave - Polegnala e Todora - Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares
Karen - Matthew Morrison - You've Got to Be Carefully Taught

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy August Spotify playlist.

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

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brien for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 136 Unpopular Opinions

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde

This week on Pop Rocket Karen hosts and the gang considers unpopular pop culture opinions. Sparked by a conversation in the Pop Rocket Facebook group, the panel talks about the opinions that they hold that run counter to the collective cultural narrative. In this episode no opinion is too unpopular to air, not even one concerning the Queen Bey herself. We learn about Wynter's love for Desus & Mero, and Karen tells us about the drama in Kentucky surrounding the bourbon heiress Hollis Bulleit who is claiming her family is shafting her since she came out. Plus, Wynter throws down the gauntlet when it comes to the song of the summer, and Karen serves us music that pays tribute to Margaret Wappler.

With Wynter Mitchell, Alonso Duralde, and Karen Tongson.

Jams:

Alonso - In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening - Rosemary Clooney
Wynter - Creature Comfort - Arcade Fire
Karen - Haley - Big Thief

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy August Spotify playlist.

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

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 135 Girls Trip with Alonso Duralde

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

This week, we are joined by film critic and host of the Linoleum Knife podcast Alonso Duralde! Alonso will be with us for the next couple of months while Margaret is on maternity leave, bringing his particular knowledge of film and the industry to the show. But this week: Girls Trip. The movie stars Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah, and breakout star Tiffany Haddish. They discuss Tiffany Haddish's hilarious performance in this movie, but does Hollywood know what to do with her next? They talk about the role of blackness and black female friendship in this movie, and why it's important more of these films get made. And finally, and probably most importantly, they talk about the role that black hair plays in the movie, and what each of the character's hair styles tells you about their personality.

Guy is all about The Beaverton, which is Canada's answer to The Onion News Network, and Wynter is all about the Jason Bateman led Netflix series Ozark. Plus, Karen catches up on Queen Sugar and Alonso is still watching Degrassi. Plus, we hear what each of the panelists is listening to this week.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Alonso Duralde, and Karen Tongson.

Jams:

Guy - Cars That Go Boom - L'Trimm
Alonso - Better The Devil You Know - Kylie Mynogue
Wynter - Idolize Me - Yellow Alex
Karen - Way Back - TLCand

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy August Spotify playlist.

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

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 134 We're Podcasting for Two!

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

It’s a very special episode of Pop Rocket. We throw Margaret Wappler a baby shower before she takes an extended leave of absence to become a mother. There were games, tears, laughter, joy and even a guest appearance by One Bad Mother’s Biz Ellis.

The gang talk about their favorite lullabies, share what tv shows affected them the most as a child, and Margaret reveals how she would stage her pregnant photo shoot. Plus, Karen brings in an old school Summer Jam, Guy and Margaret are still gaga for Game of Thrones (no spoilers), and Wynter is in love with Ready Player One.

We all love you and wish you the best, Margaret!

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

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - REM - Untitled (Track 11)
Karen Tongson - Flo Rida - My House
Wynter Mitchell - Brandy - Baby
Guy Branum - Demi Lovato - Sorry Not Sorry

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

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

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hartfor MaximumFun.org.

Other Links:
Charlotte: no no no
Ready Player One trailer
Cindy Crawford on W Magazine

Pop Rocket Episode 133: The Fat Episode

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This week the gang talks about body diversity, and fatness in particular, in the media. The idea for this show came from a thread in the Pop Rocket Facebook group, and because there were so many varying opinions on the topic, they knew that they had to cover it on the show. The gang gets real about their personal experiences with weight, and how that has affected how they see weight in the media. They talk about how race, class, and weight intersect, and how the media moralizes fat people in order to make them redeemable in the media consumers mind. They also talk about weight in the age of Instagram, the Kardashians, and unattainable body standards, which Wynter thinks is worse now than ever. Karen pseudo-recommends the new Naomi Watts led Netflix series Gypsy, Wynter talks about the new Marti Noxon film To The Bone and Guy and Margaret talk about the return of Game of Thrones. Plus we hear what the panel is listening to this week.

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

Jams:

Wynter Mitchell - Calvin Harris feat. Future and Khalid
Margaret Wappler - Belinda Carlisle - Heaven is a Place on Earth
Karen Tongson - Icona Pop - Girls Girls
Guy Branum - Olivia Gatwood - Ode to the Women on Long Island

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

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

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Episode 132: The Big Sick

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

**This episode contains spoilers**

This week Guy, Margaret, and Wynter talk about The Big Sick, the new romantic comedy from Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani which tells the story of how they met and fell in love. Because because the film is based in tragedy, with Emily falling into a coma in the middle of the film, some people are hesitant to call it a romantic comedy. But not our panel! They discuss how the usual tropes of a romantic comedy get flipped around, and how those changes allow for a more candid and interesting story. They also discuss why brown men falling for white women on screen is problematic, but maybe not in the case of The Big Sick.Guy talks about why he's all about this season of Big Brother, and Wynter tells us why we should forget about all of the other iterations of Peter Parker and go see the Tom Holland led Spider-Man: Homecoming. Plus, the "Song of the Summer" thread is live in the Facebook group and the panelists aren't too happy with the nominations.

Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, and Margaret Wappler

Jams:

Guy Branum - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber - Despacito
Margaret Wappler - Toro Y Moi - Girl Like You
Wynter Mitchell - Rockell - In A Dream

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

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

Other Links:
I'm Tired of Watching Brown Me Fall In Love With White Women Onscreen

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 131 Declarations of Independence

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

The gang's all here (in a special early episode) to celebrate artists who have declared their independence from the man! We're talking Lemonade, Thelma and Louise, Sofia Coppola, Salman Rushdie, and more! Plus, Guy has a special surprise Jam for you Rocketeers, Wynter can't get enough of Claws, Karen hearts I'm Dying Up Here, and Margaret talks Kerry Washington in Confirmation

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

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - Cat Powers - Lived in Bars
Karen Tongson - The Killers - The Man
Wynter Mitchell - Ice Cube - My Summer Vacation
Guy Branum - Katy Perry - Firework

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

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

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 130 The Pop Rocket Summer 2017 Book Club

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler

tapes, or dust off your book and come join Guy, Karen, and Margaret for the annual Pop Rocket Summer Book Club Special! This week, the gang discuss Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower. They also take some of YOUR questions and comments from the Pop Rocket Facebook group. Plus, Karen is super into Ken dolls, Margaret is in full summertime jam mode, and Guy has a few words on The Beguiled.

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - The Magic Numbers - Love Me Like You
Karen Tongson - SWV - Right Here (Human Nature Remix)
Guy Branum - Ricky Martin - Vente Pa' Ca

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

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

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hartfor MaximumFun.org.