Pop Rocket

Pop Rocket Episode 124: 2017 Summer Blockbusters with Alonso Duralde

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

This week, Karen takes over as host as the gang discusses summer blockbusters. They are joined by film critic and writer Alonso Duralde to discuss which summer films they're most excited for, which ones they aren't, and which ones just shouldn't have been made. Margaret tells us what she expects from the perfect summer blockbuster. We find out what the logistics are for a hit film's international release, and the gang takes on the DC versus Marvel movie debate. Plus the panel discusses summer releases that don't have explosions and muscles but rather heart and wit.

We are treated to some awesome recommendations from the gang, from season two of Master of None (watch out for a few tiny spoilers!) to a biography of Harvey Kurtzman, the creator of Mad Magazine. And as always, the gang tells us what their jam of the week is.

Don't forget to check out Alonso's writing at The Wrap magazine or his super smart and hilarious movie criticism podcast Linoleum Knife. You can also follow him on Twitter if you want (you definitely want to!).

With Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell, and Alonso Duralde.

Jams:
Karen: Wave Hello, Say Goodbye - Soft Cell
Margaret: 2 Good 2 Be True - Nite Jewel
Wyter: Believe in It - Michael McDonald
Alonso: Here Is My Butt - Saturday Night Live

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:
Yacht Rock
Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket Episode 123: Celebrity Journalism

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

This week, we have the gang back together plus celebrity journalist and novelist Abby Stern to talk the evolution and the current disintegration of celebrity journalism. We get a historical outline of celebrity journalism, from Hedda Hopper and Louis B. Mayer to TMZ and Instagram influencers. The gang explores the symbiotic relationship between celebrities and the press, and how that has evolved over time. We find out where each of our panelists' "do not report" line is when covering celebrities, and which era they think is best for celebrity journalism. We get a postmortem from Wynter regarding Phaedra's dramatic exit from Real Housewives of Atlanta and Margaret tells us about the jealousy she feels towards the French people after their latest election. Karen tells us about why she loves May sweeps and Guy gives us a reason to stop being mad at Susan Sarandon.

Abby's brand new book According To A Source, which will be released May 23rd, can be pre-ordered now!

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

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:
Phaedra's Fall From Grace
Guardian article on the French media not reporting on the Macron leaks

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket Episode 122: The Handmaid's Tale

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

This week we have an all women episode of Pop Rocket! Karen is hosting, and the gang is talking about the new Hulu series of Margaret Atwood's 1985 classic novel The Handmaid's Tale. Margaret tells us about the differences between the series and the book. They explore whether or not Offred's internal dialogue works when portrayed as voiceover, and whether the racial make-up of the show was intentional. Does the music work, and does the show reflect anything from our current political climate? Margaret's all about is relishing in the dismantling of Fox News by the hands of its key contributors and Wynter talks about Netflix's Dear White People. Plus, the panel shares some light, vintage jams to help cleanse our palates after a particularly heavy discussion.

Read Margaret's interview with Margaret Atwood for the Los Angeles Times and don't forget to listen to Guy's interview with Atwood on Bullseye from 2015.

Jams:
Karen: Summertime - The Sunday's
Margaret: Perfect Strangers Theme Song
Wynter: California Girls -
Katy Perry

Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, and Wynter Mitchell

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

Other Links:
The Smarthmouth Podcast

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 121: Kendrick! Lorde! Gaga! The 2017 Music Special with Gerrick Kennedy

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Gerrick Kennedy

This week, the gang (minus Guy) is joined by Gerrick Kennedy, music writer at the Los Angeles Times, to discuss the best album releases of 2017. For the first time in 33 years, there are no women in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100's chart. The gang discusses whether they think this is a fluke or a trend, how they think streaming services affect the numbers, and what this means for women musicians of color. They discuss the importance of the new Kendrick Lamar album Damn. and about early contestants for "The Song of the Summer" title. They talk about whether they think Ed Sheeran is creepy and why Harry Styles is a #HeForShe hero. Then, in lieu of jams and because Coachella just kicked off the start to the music festival season, the panel tells us about their dream music festivals-where they would be, who would be playing, and how much they would cost. All of this, plus each panelist tells us what they're all about.

Margaret Wappler, Karen Tongson, Wynter Mitchell, and Gerrick Kennedy

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:
Phil Elverum Pitchfork Piece by Jayson Greene
Here Lies Love
Ed Sheeran's Rolling Stone cover story
No Women in Hot 100's top 10 For The First Time in 33 years

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket Episode 120: The End of Girls with Las Culturistas

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Matt Rogers
Guests: 
Bowen Yang

This week, the Pop Rocket panel has some extra help to talk about the 5 years and 6 seasons of Girls that ended this past Sunday from the New York based comedy duo Las Culturistas. As you can imagine, the gang has a lot to say during this post mortem. They talk about whether we got closure from the final episode, and whether Lena should have just stopped at the penultimate episode. Did the producers of Girls do enough to deal with the lack of racial diversity on the show over the 5 years? What role did nudity and sex play on show, and why was it so refreshing? Was Elijah used as a trophy or seen as a peer by Hannah? And did we think that this was a genuinely funny show? All of these questions will be answered, plus Bowen and Wynter are all about new video games, and Matt can't stop listening to the new Gaga. In lieu of jams this week, we get a master class in the signature segment on the Las Culturistas podcast, "I Don't Think So Honey"-- things get rowdy.

We also want to thank everyone who donated during the MaxFun Drive this year, and give a particular shoutout to those who donated on our shows behalf. Tweet at us if you made a donation to us and didn't receive your voicemail from Karen Tongson.

If you will be in the Los Angeles area this Friday, April 21st, make sure to check out Matt and Bowen's improv group Pop Roulette at UCB Sunset at 10:30 p.m.

Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Wynter Mitchell, and Bowen Yang, and Matt Rogers

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

Episode 119: Pop Rocket Likes It Raw with April Wolfe

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Guy, April Wolfe, Karen, Wynter
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
April Wolfe

On this week's Pop Rocket, Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell and Karen Tongson are joined by LA Weekly film critic April Wolfe for a deep dive into the French horror film Raw by director Julia Ducournau. The movie centers on Justine, a young vegetarian who, along with her sister, is studying to become a veterinarian. When Justine is pressured to eat a rabbit's kidney at a party, that act unleashes all her carnal desires, such as the desire to eat people. When Raw screened in Los Angeles, theaters handed out barf bags to moviegoers because some people can't handle the graphic realism. In this episode, you'll find out why April considers this to be one of the best horror movies of all time. Karen Tongson impresses with a quick history lesson on French veterinary science, and Guy and Wynter explore the ways fear of female sexuality plays such a core role in horror films.

Also in this episode, April's all about the Anne Hathaway film "Colossal", Wynter's all about that Pepsi ad, Guy's all about Shit Town and Karen thinks folks should get into season three of "Grace & Frankie". Plus, the gang shares their favorite jams, but this week Guy's jam isn't a song. It's the horrific footage of the United passenger getting dragged through the plane.

It's a jam-packed episode. Enjoy!

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and April Wolfe.

That’s My Jam:

April Wolfe - Kleenex/ Liliput - Hitch-Hike
Karen Tongson - Lionel Richie - You Are
Wynter Mitchell - Iggy Azalea - Mo Bounce

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.

Pop Rocket Episode 118: Game Shows

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

In honor of the premier of Guy Branum's new truTV show, the gang is talking about game shows this week! Karen reminisces about the implicit corniness of 70's and 80's game shows, Wynter talks about the accessibility differences between quiz shows like Jeopardy and Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, and Margaret tells us about the time she was on The Price is Right. Plus, we learn about Wynter's new obsession with ASMR-adjacent Youtube click-holes, and Guy tells us why he was stunned by the latest episodes of Feud, Girls, and the gang discuss the series finale of Big Little Lies. Finally, the gang tell us which tracks they can't stop listening to.

**There are many plot revealing spoilers in this episode, particularly about the series finale of Big Little Lies**

Rocketeers, don't forget to tune into Guy Branum's NEW tv program called Talk Show The Game Show every Wednesdy at 10/9c on truTV, with a premier date of April 5th!

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

Jams:

Margaret Wappler - Sit Down - James
Wynter Mitchell - That's What I Like - Bruno Mars
Karen Tongson - Maggie Rogers - Alaska
Guy Branum - Conceptual Jam - Donate to Maximum Fun!

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:
Michael Larson on Press Your Luck
James - Laid
That Poppy

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket Episode 117: 1997 in Music

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

This week the gang is here to talk about the year 1997 in music and culture. There are a surprising number of 20 year old infallible pop hits that were influenced by a number of factors; the internet, CD-R's, Princess Diana passing, the death of Gianni Versace, the 24-hour news cycle, and of course Tupac and Biggies deaths. Wynter and Karen make it clear that they had the best 1997 as they were living in the city of possibilities (San Francisco), Margaret tells us why she doesn't know any Spice Girls songs, and we find out which panelist played sax in a ska band. Plus, in lieu of jams, we hear from each of the panelists what podcasts they are listening to lately.

And remember, if you haven't yet become a member or upgraded your membership, please do it before the end of #MaxFunDrive. Margaret Wappler has vowed to send every new person that joins a denim jacket w/ a celebrity inside, Karen Tongson will eat weird vending machine food for you and Guy Branum will share his family's fruit cobbler recipe. And his family is from Arkansas!

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

Podcast Recommendations:

Margaret Wappler - Baby Geniuses
Karen Tongson - Minority Korner
Guy Branum - Las Culturistasr

We made a special playlist with all of the songs we talked about in this week's episode (plus some other gems).

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 116: Bonus! Jesse Thorn Interviews Guy

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Jesse Thorn

This week we have a bonus Pop Rocket episode for all of you Rocketeers!
Jesse Thorn, our boss and creator of Pop Rocket, interviewed Guy for Pop Rocket's sister show Bullseye with Jesse Thorn about his new truTV show Talk Show the Game Show. Although the Bullseye interview won't air for a couple of weeks, Jesse wanted to release this episode to you, our beloved listeners, as a thank you for your continued support.
As I'm sure you know by now, it is the MaxFun Drive, the 2 weeks out of the year where we ask you, our listeners, to give back in whatever way possible. You can go to the MaxFun website to donate at whatever level you can. You can also pick up some awesome thank you gifts, among which is the INCREDIBLE Pop Rocket enamel pin designed by Megan Lynn Kott. We really can't make this show without you and we so appreciate anything that you can give. Make sure to make some noise about your contribution to Maximum Fun by using the astag #MaxFunDrive.

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 115: Ladies Loving Ladies with Tara Jepsen

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Tara Jepsen
Guests: 
Lisa Loeb

Guy, Wynter, and Karen are joined by comedian and actress Tara Jepsen to examine Hollywood's depiction of lady love on the big screen, and TV.

The panel delves into what gets them all hot and bothered, and what just gets them bothered. Plus, Tara throws down for her sapphic sister Rachel Maddow over Trump's tax releases, Guy discusses the wonder that is Throwing Shade the TV show, Wynter reports back from SXSW, and Karen is all about drunk Asians on Fresh Off the Boat.

But there's more! Pop Rocket debuts our newest segment, 4 Questions, with our first guest Lisa Loeb! Everyone should check out her new album Feel What U Feel. It's a jam-packed show, Rocketeers!

With Guy Branum,
Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson
Tara Jepsen
and special guest Lisa Loeb.

That's My Jam:

Tara Jepsen - Herb Alpert - Spanish Flea
Karen Tongson - Maria Katindig Dykes - Triste
Wynter Mitchell - Drake - Teenage Fever
Guy Branum - Las Culturistas Podcast
Lisa Loeb w/ Craig Robinson - Feel What U Feel

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.

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