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 Ep 224 - What’s in the Cards for the Pop Rocket Panel w/ The Oracle of LA

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Amanda Yates Garcia

**Angelenos: Tonight (May 17th) at 7pm Guy and Karen will have a conversation about Why Karen Carpenter Matters at Book Soup in West Hollywood.**

In this penultimate episode, the Pop Rocket panel seeks guidance from The Oracle of LA, Amanda Yates Garcia. Each panelist pulls a card from the Oracle’s tarot deck, and gets an individual reading. What’s next for everyone? The answer’s in the cards.

Also, Karen Tongson tells us about her phone call with Elizabeth Warren this week. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called Karen Tongson on the phone. Personally. Listen to hear how it went down.

If you were as impressed with Amanda’s reading as the panel was, you can subscribe to her podcast
Strange Magic.

Lastly, if anyone wants to ask the panelists for advice--about anything!--you’ve got less than 24 hours to call and leave a message with Guy’s mom: (530) 237-4108

That's My Jam

Margaret: Weyes Blood (Natalie Mering) -A Lot’s Gonna Change

Guy: Carly Rae Jepsen - Cut to the Feeling

Karen:
Vampire Weekend (wth Danielle Haim) - We Belong Together
Song: IN: 1:38 - Fade 2:19

Amanda:
Alice Coltrane -Govinda Jai Jai

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, Amanda Yates Garcia,
The Oracle of LA

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Ep 223 - Charlie Says with Screenwriter Guinevere Turner

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guinevere Turner

This is the first of our three final episodes, and we’re joined by screenwriter Guinevere Turner (American Psycho,Go Fish) whose latest film Charlie Says just came out today, May 10th. As “budding cult-ologist” MagWaps notes, “if you think you’ve heard everything on the Mansons, trust me, this movie takes a different view.”

Having grown up in a cult, Guinevere was able to draw from her experiences and insight to tell the story from the point of view of the women who were targeted and groomed by Manson, and killed for him. It’s a fascinating discussion.

Plus, the panel convened once again to vote on another Pop Rocket Seal of Approval. The final three nominees were Sandra Oh, Toni Collette and Catherine O’Hara.

There are two more Pop Rocket episodes to go in its nearly five-year run. If you’d like to share with the panelists what this show meant to you, or tell them about your favorite episodes, you can call Guy’s mom and leave a message at: (530) 237-4108

You can also email poprocketpodcast@gmail.com a recording of your message made with your phone’s voice memo app.

If you haven’t already, please make sure to follow all four panelists on social media. You can find their Twitter handles below.

That's My Jam

Margaret: Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Guy: John Cale - Paris 1919

Karen: Heart - Never

Wynter: Tame Impala - Borderline

Guinevere: King Princess - 1950

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, Guinevere Turner

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Ep 222 - Game of Thrones w/ Laura Krafft & Sarah Kessler

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Laura Krafft
Guests: 
Sarah Kessler

First off, you're welcome Game of Thrones fans. This is a super-sized Pop Rocket loaded with theories, speculation, and yes, even love. While Wynter and Karen were away, Margaret and Guy tapped two die-hard fans for a full-on discussion of the series and their thoughts now that the first two of the last six episodes have aired. Assembled in the studio this week:

Guy "I've read all the George R.R. Martin books in the series" Branum

Sarah "I'm in a viewing group with a gaggle of lesbians and their gaybies" Kessler

Laura "I prepared delicious direwolf-shaped crackers" Krafft

Margaret "I host GoT viewing parties at my house" Wappler

This episode will reveal which Game of Thrones character Guy has dressed up for--TWICE!--for Halloween. Sarah finds one GoT character extremely annoying, and it's not Bran. Laura pines for a Winterfell man she fears will die in the next episode, and Margaret is pretty sure she knows who will take the throne.

This was a raucous, expansive conversation that will both delight and frustrate Game of Thrones fans.

All Abouts
Margaret: The podcast Going Through It hosted by Ann Friedman

Guy: Chasten Buttigieg’s Twitter account

Sarah:
Dr. Pimple Popper, now on Hulu

Laura: The FX show What We Do in the Shadows

That's My Jam

Guy: Lizzo - Better in Color
Margaret: FKA Twigs - Cellophane
Sarah: Rusted Root - Send Me on My Way
Laura: Stone Roses - Fool’s Gold

With Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler, Sarah Kessler, Laura Krafft

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

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

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Ep. 221 - The New Negroes & Black Sketch Comedy

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Ellington Wells

This week Wynter and Karen chat with Ellington Wells, a comedian and writer on Comedy Central’s brand new sketch show The New Negroes with Open Mike Eagle and Baron Vaughn. The panel takes a look at how black sketch comedy has involved and Wells tell us what Robert Townsend TV special inspired Vaughn to create a show with a similar sensibility.

All Abouts

Wynter: No Good Nick
Karen: Season 4 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Ellington: Britney's Gram podcast special episode

That's My Jam

Ellington: Ava Max - Sweet But Psycho

Guy: BTS (방탄소년단) IDOL (Feat. Nicki Minaj)

Wynter: Nat King Cole - Harlem Blues

Karen: An Luu - Pourquoi tu me fous plus des coups?

With Karen Tongson, Ellington Wells, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

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

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Killing Eve & the Asian Woman with Amazing Hair

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Tien Nguyen

**ANNOUNCEMENT: The nomination process is now open for the next Pop Rocket Seal of Approval. This quarter we’re looking for veterans with a large body of work who have been underappreciated and haven’t received the acclaim that their body of work and stellar character deserve. If you want to submit a name, you must call and leave a message on Guy’s mom’s voicemail to tell us who you’d like to nominate and why. That number is: 530-237-4108**

This week we’re joined by food writer Tien Nguyen whose love of food is only rivaled by her admiration of Sandra Oh, an Asian woman with amazing hair. We talk about Oh, her hair and why Killing Eve is killing it for the panel. Why is this show unlike any other in the spy genre? The panel has a lot of insight on this. Also, Wynter admits she was wrong for not embracing the show sooner.

All Abouts

Karen: Survivor Season 38: Edge of Extinction

Wynter: Wynter is all about Joe Bob Brigg’s show The Last Drive-In on Shudder

Tien: Kim-Joy’s new cookbook Baking with Kim-Joy

That's My Jam

Karen: Weyes Blood’s “A Lot’s Gonna Change”

Wynter: Moon Boots - Keep the Faith

Tien: Aretha Franklin - Jumpin’ Jack Flash

With Karen Tongson, , Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, Tien Nguyen

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

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

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Ep. 219 - 1991 in Music

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Show: 
Pop Rocket

Take a trip down memory lane with Wynter, Karen and Margaret as they revisit 1991 in music. If you’ve ever been curious what song was playing when Karen experienced her first same sex kiss, tune in. If you grew up in the nineties, this episode will bring you back to that moment in time. If you spent your formative years in the aughts, and want to experience the 90s vicariously through Pop Rocket, the panel goes into great detail about what makes 1991 such a pivotal epoch, giving us grunge, new jack swing, schmaltzy ballads and music fans that could embrace Nirvana, Boys II Men, C+C Music Factory and REM at once.

As an added bonus, we created a Pop Rocket 1991 Mixtape that you can listen to on Spotify.

All Abouts

Margaret is on thatPen15 tip, and reliving those awkward middle school years via Maya and Anna

Karen is all about the season three episode of This Is Us, entitled R & B

Wynter has fallen hard for
Celine Dion after attending an event with the Québécoise chanteuse to promote her new album and tour

That's My Jam

Karen: Cathy Dennis - Too Many Walls

Wynter: Tame Impala - Patience

Margaret: Billie Eilish - Bad Guy

Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

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

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced and edited by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Ep. 218 - Jordan Peele's Us

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde

Pop Rocket’s come early this week! Alonso Duralde guest hosts for this, our second week of the MaxFunDrive. The deadline for supporting this show is fast upon us, so if you haven’t yet become a new or upgrading member, do it now! Go to our donation page.

You can donate while listening to this special Thursday edition of the show. This episode has something for everyone--sapphic sisters, metal heads, Hallmark Channel enthusiasts and, of course, horror buffs.

One note of caution: There are spoilers, so if you haven’t yet seen Us, and you want to see it before learning about any of its twists and turns, you should skip the discussion. If you HAVE seen it, brace yourself for the in-depth discussion. Does this movie live up to its hype? Is the symbolism in the movie effective? Why does Wynter think she has to watch it again? These questions, and more, will be answered.

All Abouts

Margaret is all about Amanda Deibert's defense of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, in response to a negative article in Jezebel

Karen is all about
Scary Spice Mel B's confession that she hooked up with Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell

Alonso is all about Hallmark hiring the hosts of the Hallmark podcast
The Bubbly Sesh

Wynter is all about the Netflix Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt

That's My Jam
Margaret: James Blake - Power On

Karen: Mel C. and Northern Star (feat. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes) - Never Be the Same Again

Alonso: XTC - The Wheel and the Maypole

Wynter: Lil Nas X - Old Town Road

With Alonso Duralde, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

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

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Goes to USC to Teach the Kids Why Pop Culture Matters

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Show: 
Pop Rocket

It’s the first live episode of Pop Rocket. Professor Karen Tongson invited the panel to give a lesson on why pop culture matters, with a focus on the past decade. You’ll learn what pop culture of the 2010s will last, and what culture won’t be remembered. Plus we’ll hear from some of Karen’s students, including a special jam brought to the show by Clayton. You won’t want to miss this must-listen episode!

All Abouts

Margaret: Out for Blood

Karen: Shrill

Wynter: The Fox-Disney merger

That's My Jam

Margaret: Lizzo - Cuz I Luv You

Clayton: 4 Non Blondes - What’s Up

Wynter: Beyonce feat. Frank Ocean - Superpower

Karen: Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

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

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Ep. 216 - Lady Vengeance: From Bobbit and Beyond

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Show: 
Pop Rocket

In honor of Women’s History Month, the panel lives vicariously through women who sought revenge, from Lorena Gallo (formerly Bobbit), to Thelma & Louise. They touch on their favorite films centered around women seeking revenge...or, perhaps more accurately, justice.

All Abouts

Margaret: Uncover: Escaping NXIVM

Karen: “Operation Varsity Blues”, aka the college admissions scandal

Wynter: Free Solo

Guy: Zumbo’s Just Desserts

That's My Jam

Margaret: Pistol Annies - Got My Name Changed Back

Guy: Carly Rae Jepsen - Now That I Found You

Wynter: Work - Charlotte Day Wilson

Karen: Cate le Bon’s - I Just Wanna Be Good

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

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

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Ep 215 - Dame Angela Lansbury w/ S.A. Smythe & April Wolfe

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
S.A. Smythe
Guests: 
April Wolfe

When she was 17, Dame Angela Lansbury quit her job at a department store to take a part in a movie, as 17-year-olds are wont to do. She played a young maid to Ingrid Bergman’s character in Gaslight, a film that garnered seven Oscar nominations and two wins, including one for Best Actress for Bergman. It’s the typical tale of a young actress trying to make it big and having to struggle, role after role after role after role, to hold her own on screen with the most celebrated actors in the world, on Oscar-winning film after Oscar-winning film.

She’s now 93 years old and has been in the business for nearly eight decades, dominating the big screen, the small screen and the stage.

For this episode of Pop Rocket, we felt it important to give Dame Lansbury’s career a discussion worthy of the legend that she is, and we couldn’t do it by ourselves. We needed to bring in the biggest Fangelas we could find outside of her immediate family: April Wolfe and S.A. Smythe, two individuals that get positively giddy noting which Murder She Wrote episodes comment on on colonialism and the prison industrial complex.

You guys, this is such a great episode, and that’s not even including everyone’s All Abouts!

All Abouts
April: Gayle King's interview with R. Kelly

SA Smythe:
Solange's new album When I Get Home

Margaret Wappler:
Season 8 Game of Thrones trailer

Karen:
The Big Family Cooking Showdown

Guy:

That's My Jam

Margaret: Solange - Binz

Guy: Jonas Brothers - Sucker

Karen: What is the Time, Dirty Projectors

April: Marlene Dietrich - Such Trying Times

S.A. Smythe: Angela Lansbury - Till the Clouds Roll By

Guy: Leaving Neverland

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh,
S.A. Smythe

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

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

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org