Pop My Culture http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com a Podcast Sensation(ish) hosted by Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland Thu, 07 Jul 2016 05:33:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.15 PMC 206: Lyric Lewis http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-206-lyric-lewis/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-206-lyric-lewis/#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2016 03:21:09 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4974 Lyric Lewis interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Lyric Lewis (“MadTV,” “The Groundlings“) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Hiddleswift, the Ladybusters, James Bond, Jurassicverse, Aeropostale jeans, a pubic dress, meeting Jeff Goldblum, Tarzan, Beyonce, Game of Thrones and going through the program at The Groundlings.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first article of clothing you loved and wore the crap out of) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Lyric Lewis with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 205: Quincy Jones http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-205-quincy-jones/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-205-quincy-jones/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2016 01:54:45 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4966 Quincy

Quincy Jones (stand-up special “Burning the Light” premieres on HBO June 2nd) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Harambe the gorilla, Mr. Holland’s Set List, Wes Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow’s 15k solid-gold dildo, Ellen, writing material, Baz Luhrmann, The Bridgetown Comedy Fest and near fisticuffs over Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first album that you could listen to straight through without skipping a song) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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hosts cole stratton and vanessa ragland with Quincy Jones

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PMC 204: Rick Overton http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-204-rick-overton/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-204-rick-overton/#comments Fri, 13 May 2016 03:55:27 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4960 Rick Overton

Rick Overton (“Groundhog Day,” “Willow”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Trump, the YACHT fake sex tape, Prince and David Bowie, “Chard Underton,” Money Run, Jules Verne, kilts, The Informant, improvising and Rick’s early involvement with Andy Kaufman.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first movie that had special effects that blew you away) on our website for a chance to win a Willow Blu-Ray signed by Rick!

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Rick Overton hosts

Willow signed by Rick Overton

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PMC 203: Grey Griffin http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-203-grey-griffin/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-203-grey-griffin/#comments Mon, 18 Apr 2016 03:29:47 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4955 Grey Griffin interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Grey Griffin (“Scooby Doo,” “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about AMC’s potential texting during movies screens, the Rogue One trailer, tentacle boobs, Hook, Judge Judy, taking over Daphne, Drive-In movie theaters, Pug Champions, Star Wars knowledge and Grey’s run-in with Joan Embery.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first non-domesticated animal you were really into) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Grey Griffin with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 202: Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen (Live from Wondercon) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-202-maurice-lamarche-and-rob-paulsen-live-from-wondercon/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-202-maurice-lamarche-and-rob-paulsen-live-from-wondercon/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2016 01:52:36 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4949 Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche on Pop my culture podcast

Pinky and The Brain themselves, Maurice LaMarche (“Futurama,” “Zootopia”) and Rob Paulsen (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Animaniacs”), join Cole and Vanessa live at Wondercon 2016 from the LA Convention Center to chat about upcoming summer movies, Batman Vs. Superman, the Ghostbusters Reboot, coming up with voices, bed snacks, Stabby Potter, Mr. Big, Morbo, Who’s On First, Daredevil’s New York and Yakko’s Countries of the World.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first convention you went to) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt and something signed by Rob and Maurice!

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Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 201: Craig Cackowski http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-201-craig-cackowski/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-201-craig-cackowski/#comments Mon, 21 Mar 2016 02:59:47 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4943 Craig Cackowski interview on pop my culture podcast

Craig Cackowski (“Drunk History,” “Community”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about super hero overkill, meta-ness, Fuller House, 3-inch Donald Trump hot dogs, insult restaurants, top ten movie lists, hair belts, re-enacting, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Deadpool, the Spanish-American War, Britney Spears and The Notebook: Civil War.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first thing you remember doing a report on in school) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Craig Cackowski with hosts Vanessa Ragland and cole Stratton

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PMC 200: Maria Bamford http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-200-maria-bamford/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-200-maria-bamford/#comments Mon, 29 Feb 2016 03:29:27 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4935 Maria Bamford interview on Pop My Culture - Episode 200

Maria Bamford (“Lady Dynamite,” “Adventure Time”) joins Cole and Vanessa for their special 200th episode! They chat about Waze, that one plant, Mitch Hurwitz, doing comedy for your parents, knock knock jokes, pugs, Kris Jenner’s booing at the iHeart80s show, self-help books, puppets, Black Friday shopping and My Cat From Hell.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first pet you fell in love with) on our website and some of your favorite Pop My Culture memories for a chance to win a tour poster for Maria’s SF Sketchfest show signed by Maria and some other great schwag! Poster by: Ben Walker-Storey

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Maria Bamford with PMC hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Maria Bamford signed Tour poster by Ben Walker-Storey


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PMC 199: Matt Braunger http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-199-matt-braunger/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-199-matt-braunger/#comments Sat, 13 Feb 2016 06:30:35 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4929 Matt Braunger

Matt Braunger (“MadTV,” The Ding Donger Podcast) chats with Cole and Vanessa about the Super Bowl, Beyonce, Wall Drug, Top Chef, Terese Giudice, White Flight, American Crime Story, Fuller House, Disney Channel shows, iCarly, holograms, Thin Lizzy and Matt’s summer coining the phrase “Are We Having Fun Yet?”

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you drove across the country) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Matt Braunger with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 198: Fred Willard (Live from SF Sketchfest) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-198-fred-willard-live-from-sf-sketchfest/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-198-fred-willard-live-from-sf-sketchfest/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2016 05:30:09 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4924 Fred Willard interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Fred Willard (“Best In Show,” “Waiting For Guffman”) joins Cole and Vanessa live from SF Sketchfest to chat about the origins of Wha Happened, Star Wars, improvisation, Catherine O’Hara, DC Follies, Coney Island, Ace Trucking Company, mothers throwing away Baseball Cards, Tom Jones, calling dog shows, “Mollyball,” Martin Mull and working with Christopher Guest.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first baseball game you can remember going to) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt and some other secret schwag!

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PMC 197: Pop My Cork (Part 2) – The Worst of 2015 with Pamela Adlon, Guy Branum, Janet Varney and Wayne Federman http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-197-pop-my-cork-part-2-the-worst-of-2015-with-pamela-adlon-guy-branum-janet-varney-and-wayne-federman/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-197-pop-my-cork-part-2-the-worst-of-2015-with-pamela-adlon-guy-branum-janet-varney-and-wayne-federman/#comments Mon, 11 Jan 2016 04:52:53 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4919 Worst of 2015: Pop My Culture podcast

Returning guests Pamela Adlon (“Louie”), Guy Branum (“Chelsea Lately”), Janet Varney (“You’re The Worst”) and Wayne Federman (“The Larry Sanders Show”) are still at the table with Cole and Vanessa- but this time, conversation centers on the terrible things 2015 threw at us – with each person sharing their personal Worst 5 lists, this time a little more scattershot, as well as offering up a New Year’s Resolution and their “theme song” for 2015.

Leave your personal Worst 5 of 2015 on our website for a chance to win a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s The Best and Worst of 2015 issue, signed by all of our guests!

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Signed Entertainment Weekly Best and Worst of 2015

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PMC 196: Pop My Cork (Part 1) – The Best of 2015 with Pamela Adlon, Guy Branum, Janet Varney and Wayne Federman http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-196-pop-my-cork-part-1-the-best-of-2015-with-pamela-adlon-guy-branum-janet-varney-and-wayne-federman/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2016/pmc-196-pop-my-cork-part-1-the-best-of-2015-with-pamela-adlon-guy-branum-janet-varney-and-wayne-federman/#comments Thu, 07 Jan 2016 06:09:32 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4913 PMC Best of 2015

Returning guests Pamela Adlon (“Louie”), Guy Branum (“Chelsea Lately”), Janet Varney (“You’re The Worst”) and Wayne Federman (“The Larry Sanders Show”) join Cole and Vanessa for part one of this special look back at the year that was 2015. Wine and conversation flow freely as each guest and the hosts navigate through personal Top 5 lists and argue the merits of their selections.

Leave your personal Top 5 of 2015 on our website for a chance to win a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s The Best and Worst of 2015 issue, signed by all of our guests! Stay tuned for Part 2 — The Worst of 2015, coming soon!

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Signed Entertainment Weekly Best and Worst of 2015

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PMC 195: Sarah Baker http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-195-sarah-baker/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-195-sarah-baker/#comments Thu, 17 Dec 2015 03:30:51 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4907 Sarah Baker interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Sarah Baker (“Louie,” “Go On”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Saint North, movies that tanked, Mary Kate Olsen’s wedding, Christopher Guest, Mascots, an Oscar bait sci-fi film, all-brown eyes, Muppets, The Kids in the Hall, puppet interns and memorizing that monologue for Louie.

Leave your answers to the firsts question (the first gift you ever received that the giver didn’t QUITE get right) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Sarah Baker with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 194: Rob Huebel http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-194-rob-huebel/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-194-rob-huebel/#comments Mon, 30 Nov 2015 03:28:29 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4898 Rob Huebel interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Rob Huebel (“Childrens Hospital,” “Transparent”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat all things Adele, the Vlassic Pickle Stork, Shark Tank, people not using microphones, safe sets, out-bonding Bond at a party, rebooting Blofeld, Respecto Montalban, Queen of Versailles, Roger Moore, wedding speeches, The Shit Show, Tom Lennon, sketch groups using video, Draft Kings Tattoos, and the professionalism of Tom Cruise.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (The first documentary that made you change or consider changing a part of your lifestyle, or that made you get involved in the cause or subject matter) on our website for a chance to win a “Childrens Hospital” Seasons 1&2 DVD signed by Rob and cast mates Rob Corddry, Lake Bell, Ken Marino, Erinn Hayes and producer Jon Stern!

Thanks to our sponsor Mack Weldon! Get 20% of your first order with the code POPMY — just go to mackweldon.com and buy the best underwear you’ll ever own!

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Rob Huebel with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Childrens Hospital DVD signed by Rob Huebel and Lake Bell

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PMC 193: Matt Mira http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-193-matt-mira/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-193-matt-mira/#comments Wed, 18 Nov 2015 04:27:33 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4891 matt mira interview on pop my culture podcast

Matt Mira (“The Nerdist Podcast”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Spectre, Apple devices, the size of Daniel Craig, Chopped Tank, lens flares, Children of Men, 80′s on 8, Starship Captains, the Genius Bar, The Olsen Twins’ Christmas List, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and the multitude of James Bond wardrobe Matt owns and wears regularly.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first spy thing you were into) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-S

Thanks to our sponsor Mack Weldon! Get 20% of your first order with the code POPMY — just go to mackweldon.com and buy the best underwear you’ll ever own!

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Matt Mira with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 192: Scott Aukerman http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-192-scott-aukerman/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-192-scott-aukerman/#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 06:06:03 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4885 Scott Aukerman interview on pop my culture podcast

Scott Aukerman (“Comedy Bang! Bang!” and “Mr. Show”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about big backsides, Sacramento Theater Company, Scott’s start in comedy, Nick Kroll and friends vs. zombies, Church haunted houses, Bassists that are also judges, New York Minute, timely Halloween costumes, and the difficulty of making sketches relate to one another.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first haunted house you went in, and if it scared you) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

Thanks again to our sponsor Mack Weldon! Get 20% of your first order with the code POPMY — just go to mackweldon.com and buy the best underwear you’ll ever own!

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Hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton with Scott Aukerman

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PMC 191: Lori Alan http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-191-lori-alan/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-191-lori-alan/#comments Sat, 17 Oct 2015 02:15:29 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4881 Lori Alan interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Lori Alan (“Spongebob Squarepants,” “Family Guy”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Justin Bieber living like Jesus, Grease Live!, video game voice over work, Tom Kenny, Schnoopy, The Pee Wee Herman Show, The Invisible Woman, Bumble the dog, Alanis Morissette and how Lori got her start doing voices.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first rescue animal you adopted) on our website for a chance to win a comfy new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Lori Alan with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 190: Dee Wallace http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-190-dee-wallace/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-190-dee-wallace/#comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 23:52:37 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4864 Dee Wallace interview on pop my culture podcast

Dee Wallace (“E.T.,” “The Howling,” “Cujo”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about The Frighteners, self love, spider eyes, “The Pengi Show,” Drew Barrymore’s reaction to a sick E.T., St. Bernard’s and egg whites, Wes Craven and BuppaLaPaloo! Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first plush animal you had) on our website for a chance to win an E.T. Blu-Ray signed by Dee!

Quick! Support Dee’s Kickstarter for BuppaLaPaloo, the bear that teaches children about self love and self worth. The Kickstarter ends in the wee hours of the morning TONIGHT! Check it out at buppalapaloo.com and please help fund it!

Thanks to our sponsor this episode, Mack Weldon! Buy some of the best underwear you’ll ever own — head to mackweldon.com and use the code POPMY to receiver 20% your first order! Seriously, this stuff is great and Cole was a customer before they came on board to support the podcast!

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Dee Wallace with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Signed copy of E.T. by Dee Wallace

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PMC 189: Matt Kirshen http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-189-matt-kirshen/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-189-matt-kirshen/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 04:40:35 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4858 Matt Kirshen

Matt Kirshen (“Last Comic Standing,” “Probably Science Podcast”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about the Emmys, the Dinklage gum controversy, Tracy Morgan, Pop Pop Hubba Bubba, Heroes, The Muppets, Game of Thrones, selfies vs. sharks, Bonobos monkeys, Wesley Snipes, and a whole lot of Toms.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first movie based on a book that you can remember really loving) on our website for a chance to win a signed copy of Matt’s debut CD “I Guess We’ll Never Know.”

Thanks to our sponsor this episode, Mack Weldon! Buy some of the best underwear you’ll ever own — head to mackweldon.com and use the code POPMY to receiver 20% your first order! Seriously, this stuff is great and Cole was a customer before they came on board to support the podcast!

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Matt Kirshen

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PMC 188: Paul Brittain http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-188-paul-brittain/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-188-paul-brittain/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2015 16:52:38 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4840 Paul Brittain interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Paul Brittain (“Saturday Night Live”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Stephen Colbert, the melodica, Apple’s new pencil, low stake pranks, breaking down and assembling sets quickly at SNL, IO Chicago, Sex Ed Vincent, squirts vs. splats, stand up on TV and Paul’s uncle Bob Newhart.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first injury that either landed you in the hospital or left you with a scar) on our website for a chance to win a comfy new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Paul Brittain with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 187: Wayne Federman and Jaime Fox http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-187-wayne-federman-and-jaime-fox/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-187-wayne-federman-and-jaime-fox/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 05:05:00 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4832 Wayne Federman and Jaime Fox

Wayne Federman (“The Larry Sanders Show”) and sub co-host Jaime Fox (“Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show”) join Cole to chat about The Fat Jew’s aggregated content, Tracy Morgan’s return to SNL, Norm McDonald becoming Col. Sanders, Star Wars Land, move title mashups, Stella Adler, Pistol Pete Maravich, The Human Conversation podcast, irrational fears, The Wayne Federman International Film Festival, Arby’s and Harold Ramis.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first rollercoaster you can remember riding, and if you liked it) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

And pick up a copy of The Adventures of Super Awesome Stickman Dude (An Activity Book) which Jaime contributed illustrations, which benefits 826 Venice, a non-profit that help children embrace reading and creating stories! Get it here.

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Wayne Federman with host Cole Stratton and guest host Jaime Fox

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PMC 186: Jess Harnell http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-186-jess-harnell/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-186-jess-harnell/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 02:12:13 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4825 Jess Harnell

Jess Harnell (“Animaniacs,” “Doc McStuffins”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about the sad demise of Hitchbot, Mick Fanning’s shark encounter, Andrea Romano, meeting Steven Spielberg, Rock Sugar, Paul Stanley, Grim Gloom, finding the Sewer Urchin’s voice, Oasis, “throat rippers,” Kramer, Splash Mountain and Jess trying to convince a skeptical 11 year-old that he’s the voice of Wakko.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first computer game you were into) on our website for a chance to win an “Animaniacs” box set autographed by both Jess and past guest Rob Paulsen (that’s Wakko and Yakko, folks!)

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Jess Harnell with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Jess Harnell and Rob Paulson signed Animaniacs DVD set

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PMC 185: Ginger Gonzaga http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-185-ginger-gonzaga/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-185-ginger-gonzaga/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 05:14:22 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4818 Ginger Gonzaga interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Ginger Gonzaga (“Mixology,” “Legit”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Key & Peele, Dr. Seuss, Cara DeLevigne’s crappy interview, Cecil the Lion’s terrible fate, Jim Jeffries, a necklace much discussed by the network, Poly Sci Chi, mumble core, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Duplass Brothers, Prince, The Groundlings and Ginger’s dog voice.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first zoo you can remember going to) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Ginger Gonzaga with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 184: Dan Van Kirk and “Mark Wahlberg” http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-184-dan-van-kirk-and-mark-wahlberg/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-184-dan-van-kirk-and-mark-wahlberg/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 04:55:33 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4812 Dan Van Kirk interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Dan Van Kirk (“Doug Loves Movies” and “Sklabro County” podcasts) and, um, “Mark Wahlberg” stop by to chat about Comic Con, lines, Star Wars vs. Kevin Smith, leaked trailers, Suicide Squad, The Wahlberg Solution, The Vanderpump Rules, the guy that gotten eaten by an alligator and a truly breathtaking Olsen Twins reveal.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you can remember setting off fireworks, or seeing a big display) on our website for a chance to win a soft Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Dan Van Kirk with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 183: Diane Franklin & Amanda Wyss http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-183-diane-franklin-amanda-wyss/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-183-diane-franklin-amanda-wyss/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 03:09:58 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4801 Diane Franklin and Amanda Wyss interview on pop my culture podcast

Diane Franklin and Amanda Wyss (the leading ladies of the 80s classic “Better Off Dead”) chat with Cole and Vanessa about the E.L. James Twitter Q&A, President Obama on WTF, the new Spiderman reboot, internet trolls, Savage Steve Holland, the Better Off Dead Live Read at SF Sketchfest, curly hair, Orphan Black, John Cusack, Orange is the New Black and the missing Beth hangers.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you went skiing, and if you liked it) on our website for a chance to win a Better Off Dead Blu-Ray and art print signed by Diane and Amanda!

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Diane Franklin and Amanda Wyss with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Better off dead signed dvd and print signed by Diane and Amanda!

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PMC 182: Josh McDermitt http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-182-josh-mcdermitt/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-182-josh-mcdermitt/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 05:53:31 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4795 Josh McDermitt interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Josh McDermitt (“The Walking Dead”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Jurassic World, Inside Out, Boyz II Men, “whiz,” barbershop quartets, cruel mom pranks, overalls, Jaden Smith, Michael Cuddlitz, zombie extras, movie titles lost in translation, Elizabeth Olsen, and Josh’s fear of E.T.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first movie monster that really scared you) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Josh McDermitt with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 181: Ilene Graff http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-181-ilene-graff/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-181-ilene-graff/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 23:16:29 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4774 Ilene Graff interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Ilene Graff (“Mr. Belvedere”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Zoe Saldana’s husband’s name change, Jerry Seinfeld, Frank Sinatra, Broadway, Oprah, singing the national anthem, big bands, Bob Uecker, Caitlyn Jenner, TV moms and debunking/rebunking the Christopher Hewitt Belvedere Urban Legend.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first standards singer or album you were into) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Ilene Graff with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 180: Harland Williams http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-180-harland-williams/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-180-harland-williams/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 03:25:53 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4766 Harland Williams interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Harland Williams (“Half Baked,” “There’s Something About Mary”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Mad Max: Fury Road, David Letterman’s retirement, monkey ringbearers, charging silverback gorillas, the uber-scary Spooky Buddies, the Farrelly Brothers, Rocketman, Fudgy Wudgy Fudge Face, The Harland Highway, hockey movies, a Dahmer sitcom and Vanessa’s amazing celebrities drowning impressions.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first thing you ever bought our wanted to buy off of television) on our website for a chance to win a “Dumb and Dumber” and “Rocketman” DVD signed by Harland!

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Harland Williams with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Signed Rocketman dvd and Dumb and Dumber by Harland Williams

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PMC 179: Laura Dreyfuss http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-179-laura-dreyfuss/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-179-laura-dreyfuss/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 03:08:28 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4760 Laura Dreyfuss interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Laura Dreyfuss (“Glee,” Broadway’s “Once”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about the end of American Idol, canceled TV shows, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, Hair, Sleep No More, understudies, Bombs Away!, Dear Evan Hanson, shooting musical sequences and stealing Dolly Parton’s voice.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you can remember seeing yourself on TV) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Laura Dreyfuss with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 178: Paul Adelstein http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-adelstein/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-adelstein/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 07:04:55 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4753 Paul Adelstein interview on Pop My Culture Podcast

Paul Adelstein (“Private Practice,” “Scandal”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Ant-Man’s tiny billboards, Mae Whitman’s Independence Day bullshit recast, the Houston Rockets Twitter emoji scandal, bedazzling, working at Bravo, summer tentpoles, endoscopies, the Grey’s Anatomy pilot recasting, the Oakwood acting apartments, Marti Noxon, Prison Break and those Cleveland Browns.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first US Landmark you can remember taking a trip to see) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Paul Adelstein with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 177: Agnes Bruckner http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-177-agnes-bruckner/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-177-agnes-bruckner/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 04:15:58 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4747 Agnes Bruckner interview on pop my culture podcast

Agnes Bruckner (“The Returned,” “Once Upon a Time”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about the death of McDreamy, Avengers press junkets, Jared Leto’s Joker pic, HBO’s Real Sex, Mickey Rourke, the Independent Spirit Awards, coming to Storybrooke, Hungary, Formula 1 racing, Sportscenter, a last minute improv grouping and becoming Anna Nicole Smith.

Leave your answers to the firsts question (the first R-Rated or racy thing you can remember watching behind your parents’ backs) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Agnes Bruckner with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 176: Brian Palermo http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-176-brian-palermo/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-176-brian-palermo/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 04:00:47 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4740 Brian Palermo interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Brian Palermo (The Groundlings, “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about the new Star Wars Teaser, Romancing the Stone, working with David Fincher, the Universal Studios tour, Batman vs. Superman, Fuller House going official, waaaaatersliiiide, the #KyleJennerChallenge, Game of Thrones, Wheel of Fortune and Brian’s time host Family Feud at a casino in Atlantic City.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first club you were a part of) on our website for a chance to win a Social Network Blu-Ray signed by Brian!

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Brian Palermo with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Signed Social Network DVD

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PMC 175: Jessica Chobot & Whitney Moore (Live from Wondercon) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-175-jessica-chobot-whitney-moore-live-from-wondercon/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-175-jessica-chobot-whitney-moore-live-from-wondercon/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 03:28:27 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4733 Wondercon interview with  Jessica Chobot and Whitney Moore

Jessica Chobot (Nerdist News) and Whitney Moore (Birdemic) join Cole and Vanessa LIVE at Wondercon 2015 to chat about TV show reboots, Fast 7, Mad Max Fury Road, Paul Blart II, “Aw Nuts!,” video game lands, winning things, anime alter egos, Fuller House, and a semi-realistic Iron Man balloon that scared Jessica.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first video game you bought with your own money) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Jessica Chobot and Whitney Moore with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Wondercon Panel 2015 - Jessica Chobot & Whitney Moore

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Pop My Culture LIVE at WONDERCON with guests JESSICA CHOBOT and WHITNEY MOORE! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pop-my-culture-live-at-wondercon-with-guests-jessica-chobot-and-whitney-moore/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pop-my-culture-live-at-wondercon-with-guests-jessica-chobot-and-whitney-moore/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:26:21 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4728 wondercon-pmc



















Pop My Culture is going on the road (well, 45 miles or so) and heading to WONDERCON! We’ll be doing a live version of the show this Friday, April 3rd at 9:10pm in Room 208 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Our guests will be JESSICA CHOBOT (host of Nerdist News!) and WHITNEY MOORE (star of Birdemic!). Please come say hello!

More info on the event and full Wondercon schedule HERE

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PMC 174: Phil Hendrie http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-174-phil-hendrie/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-174-phil-hendrie/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 02:16:29 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4721 Phil Hendrie

Phil Hendrie (The World of Phil Hendrie) joins Cole and Vanessa to talk about the rebooted Archie Andrews series, Stairway to Heaven, cars running on wood, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, the Katzenjammer Kids, Woody Allen, Bill Watterson and taking over a college radio station.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first prank call you can remember making) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Phil Hendrie with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 173: Daniel Franzese http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-173-daniel-franzese/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-173-daniel-franzese/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 02:33:04 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4709 Daniel Franzese

Daniel Franzese (“Mean Girls,” “Looking”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Carol Burnett, the roast of Justin Bieber, dinner with Gene Wilder, Nick Nolte, The Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, the My Favorite Year musical, ugly ducking high school movies, Phil Silvers, Serial Mom and scratch n’ sniff stickers.

Leave your answers to the firsts question (the first time you ditched school, if you ever did) on our website for a chance to win a “Mean Girls” DVD signed by Daniel! And be sure to visit the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, of which Daniel is an ambassador!

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Daniel Franzese with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Signed Mean Girls DVD by Daniel Franzese

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PMC 172: Todd Glass http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-172-todd-glass/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-172-todd-glass/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 03:14:15 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4704 Todd Glass interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Todd Glass (The Todd Glass Show) joins Vanessa and Cole to chat about the Blurred Lines verdict, Harrison Ford’s airplane crash, stealing material, opening for bands, that damn dress everyone was talking about, Ain’t That Peculiar vs. Happy, senior ensemble dramadies, David Letterman, Eddie Pepitone, open mics, fun snaps and that one time that Vanessa started a war.

Leave your answers to the firsts question (the first time you got sent to the Principal’s Office) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Todd Glass with hosts Cole stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 171: Scott Adsit http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-170-scott-adsit/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-170-scott-adsit/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:32:05 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4695 Scott Adsit interview on pop my culture podcast

Scott Adsit (“Big Hero 6,” “30 Rock”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat SNL40, 50 Shades of Gray, Celebrity Autobiography, Tracy Morgan, becoming Baymax, TV Funhouse, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, doing 30 Rock live, a weird SNL first date, hairheads and the best/worst movie for January we can come up with.

Leave you answer to the firsts question (the first animated movie you fell in love with and why) on our website for a chance to win an “30 Rock” Season 1 DVD signed by Scott!

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Scott Adsit with hosts cole stratton and Vanessa Ragland

signed 30 rock dvd by Scott Adsit

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PMC 170: Leonard Maltin & Baron Vaughn http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-170-leonard-maltin-baron-vaughn/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-170-leonard-maltin-baron-vaughn/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 05:20:30 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4678 Leonard Maltin and Baron Vaughn interview on Pop My Culture podcast

PMC 170: Leonard Maltin & Baron Vaughn

Leonard Matlin & Baron Vaughn (Maltin on Movies podcast) join Cole and Vanessa to chat about the Oscars 2015, Neil Patrick Harris, cartoon first appearances, Casablanca, Little Rascals showdown, biopics, miscastings, David Oyelowo, favorite films, The Lego Movie, Boyhood, the Lost Horizon “reimagining” and Cole’s Oscar-themed snacks.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first movie review you ever wrote for any medium, school report, etc.) on our website for a chance to win a Leonard Matlin’s 2015 Movie Guide signed by Leonard!

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Leonard Maltin and Baron Vaughn with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Leonard Maltin signed copy of his 2015 Movie Guide

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PMC 169: James Adomian, Ron Funches and Ryan Lambert (LIVE from SF Sketchfest) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-169-james-adomian-ron-funches-and-ryan-lambert-live-from-sf-sketchfest/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-169-james-adomian-ron-funches-and-ryan-lambert-live-from-sf-sketchfest/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 03:39:34 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4670 SF Sketchfest Pop my culture podcast 2015

James Adomian (“Comedy Bang! Bang!”), Ron Funches (“Undateable”) and Ryan Lambert (“The Monster Squad”) join Cole and Vanessa live at SF Sketchfest, the San Francisco Comedy Festival, to chat about the death of SkyMall, Cheetos new snack Sweetos, Selma, Tropical Chill Pepsi, Comedy Colisseum, flesh fanny packs, puppets, the experience of flying, cartoon theme songs and the longest conversation about Lego, ever.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first regrettable hairstyle you got) on our website for a chance to win a (now) limited edition SkyMall catalog signed by all of us!

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San Francisco Sketchfest 2015 Pop  my culture podcast

Signed Skymall magazine

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Pop My Culture LIVE at SF Sketchfest this Saturday with JAMES ADOMIAN, RON FUNCHES and RYAN LAMBERT! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pop-my-culture-live-at-sf-sketchfest-this-saturday-with-james-adomian-ron-funches-and-ryan-lambert/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pop-my-culture-live-at-sf-sketchfest-this-saturday-with-james-adomian-ron-funches-and-ryan-lambert/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 20:59:32 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4663 Live-PMC-2015

Bay Area! Pop My Culture makes a triumphant(?) comeback to SF Sketchfest this coming Saturday, January 24th at 4pm at the Eureka Theater!

Joining Vanessa and Cole are a trio of super fun guests — stand-up and impressionist JAMES ADOMIAN (who you’ve heard and seen on Comedy Bang! Bang!); cuddly stand-up RON FUNCHES (who currently stars on NBC’s “Undateable” and often dominates on Comedy Central’s “@midnight”) and actor/musician RYAN LAMBERT (dude — he was the cool kid Rudy in “The Monster Squad” and was on “Kids Incorporated”).

Please join us! Tickets and details HERE

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PMC 168: Pop My Cork – Part 2: The Worst of 2014 w/ Sarah Burns, Michael Hitchcock, Missi Pyle and Stephen Tobolowsky http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-168-pop-my-cork-part-2-the-worst-of-2014-w-sarah-burns-michael-hitchcock-missi-pyle-and-stephen-tobolowsky/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-168-pop-my-cork-part-2-the-worst-of-2014-w-sarah-burns-michael-hitchcock-missi-pyle-and-stephen-tobolowsky/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 14:56:04 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4657 Worst of 2014

Returning guests Sarah Burns (“Enlightened”), Michael Hitchcock (“Best in Show”), Missi Pyle (“Gone Girl”) and Stephen Tobolowsky (“Groundhog Day”) are still at the table with Cole and Vanessa- but this time, conversation centers on the terrible things 2014 threw at us – with each person sharing their personal Worst 5 lists, as well as offering up a New Year’s Resolution and their “theme song” for 2014.

Leave your personal Worst 5 of 2014 on our website for a chance to win a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s The Best and Worst of 2014 issue, signed by all of our guests!

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the top 5 worst things about 2014

Signed copy of Entertainment Weekly's Best and Worst of 2014

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PMC 167: Pop My Cork – Part 1: The Best of 2014 with Sarah Burns, Michael Hitchcock, Missi Pyle and Stephen Tobolowsky http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-167-pop-my-cork-part-1-the-best-of-2014-with-sarah-burns-michael-hitchcock-missi-pyle-and-stephen-tobolowsky/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2015/pmc-167-pop-my-cork-part-1-the-best-of-2014-with-sarah-burns-michael-hitchcock-missi-pyle-and-stephen-tobolowsky/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 03:30:49 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4647 Best of 2014 - Pop  My Culture

Returning guests Sarah Burns (“Enlightened”), Michael Hitchcock (“Best in Show”), Missi Pyle (“Gone Girl”) and Stephen Tobolowsky (“Groundhog Day”) join Cole and Vanessa for part one of this special look back at the year that was 2014. Wine and conversation flow freely as each guest and the hosts navigate through personal Top 5 lists and argue the merits of their selections.

Leave your personal Top 5 of 2014 on our website for a chance to win a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s The Best and Worst of 2014 issue, signed by all of our guests! Stay tuned for Part 2 — The Worst of 2014, coming soon!

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Best of 2014 with Pop My Culture podcast

Signed copy of Entertainment Weekly's Best and Worst of 2014

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PMC 166: Ed Crasnick http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-166-ed-crasnick/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-166-ed-crasnick/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:48:27 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4636 Ed Crasnick interview on Pop My Culture podcast

PMC 166: Ed Crasnick

Ed Crasnick (“Win Ben Stein’s Money,” “After Lately”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Bill Cosby, Mike Nichols, My Favorite Year, The Tonight Show, Yarmy’s Army, The Westside Comedy Theater, Shelley Berman, The Philadelphia Story, the ultimate Woody Allen movie and being live on Conan O’Brien.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first talk show you saw live, or were super into if you haven’t seen one in person) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Ed Crasnick with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 165: Michael Ironside http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-165-michael-ironside/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-165-michael-ironside/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 08:11:50 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4629 Michael Ironside interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Michael Ironside (“Total Recall,” “Starship Troopers”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Extraterrestrial, the comet landing, sword fighting with Christopher Lambert, being a ranking officer on Top Gun, that eaten by an anaconda guy, tough stunt work, Brittany Allen, Christian Bale’s “ass problem,” working with David Cronenberg, Keiko the Orca, the exploding Scanners head and Sean Connery’s tab-ducking.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first science fiction book you were into) on our website for a chance to win a Starship Troopers Blu-Ray signed by Michael!

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Michael Ironside with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Starship Troopers signed DVD

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PMC 164: Mindy Cohn http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-164-mindy-cohn/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-164-mindy-cohn/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 04:51:08 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4619 Mindy Cohn interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Mindy Cohn (“The Facts of Life,” “Scooby-Doo”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Renee Zellweger, home phones, George Clooney, hover boards, Guardians of the Galaxy on cassette tape, Penelope Cruz, shooting in Paris and Australia, No Hook-Ups, following a crush on twitter, John Turturro, Velma’s perfect day and getting discovered by Charlotte Rae.

Leave your answer to the firsts questions (the first movie you can remember being embarrassed to be watching with your parents) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Mindy Cohn with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 163: Pamela Adlon http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-163-pamela-adlon/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-163-pamela-adlon/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 17:37:16 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4608 Pamela Adlon interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Pamela Adlon (“King of the Hill,” “Louie”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Jan Hooks, clowns terrorizing towns, spiders, Mike Judge, Uber, Frank Welker, Rita Moreno, listening to vinyl, coming up with Bobby Hill’s voice and Pamela’s emergency landing with one of the Olsen Twins.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first thing you ever gave to a crush to show them that you liked them, or the first thing that they gave you) on our website for a chance to win a “Louie” Season 2 DVD signed by Pamela!

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Pamela Adlon with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Pamela Adlon signed copy of Louie DVD

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PMC 162: Patrick Fischler http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-162-patrick-fischler/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-162-patrick-fischler/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 05:40:34 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4593 Patrick Fischler interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Patrick Fischler (“Mad Men,” “Lost”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about True Detective Season 2, Twin Peaks, The Mannequin Man, onions, getting decked by Don Draper, donning a Dharma Initiative jump suit, movie theaters, Happy Valley, Parenthood, breaking up with Homeland and Patrick’s Roadhouse!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first thing you can remember binge-watching) on our website for a chance to win a Mad Men Season 2 Blu-Ray signed by Patrick!

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Patrick Fischler with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Mad Men DVD signed by Patrick Fischler - pop my culture giveaway

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PMC 161: Legends of Voice Acting with Dee Bradley Baker, Richard Horvitz, Maurice LaMarche, Laraine Newman and Janet Varney (Live from LA Podfest) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-161-legends-of-voice-acting-with-dee-bradley-baker-richard-horvitz-maurice-lamarche-laraine-newman-and-janet-varney-live-from-la-podfest/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-161-legends-of-voice-acting-with-dee-bradley-baker-richard-horvitz-maurice-lamarche-laraine-newman-and-janet-varney-live-from-la-podfest/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 03:13:50 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4586 Hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland with  Dee Bradley Baker, Richard Morvitz, Laraine Newman, Janet Varney and Maurice LaMarche

A special PMC live from the LAPodcast with a great panel of legendary voice actors! Dee Bradley Baker (“American Dad”), Richard Horvitz (“Invader Zim”), Maurice LaMarche (“Futurama”), Laraine Newman (“Saturday Night Live”) and Janet Varney (“The Legend of Korra”) join Cole and Vanessa to chat about the voice business, meeting idols, coming up with voices, unusual recording venues and even do some fun script readings as some of their iconic characters.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you ever performed, publicly or for family) on our website for a chance to win a poster from the event signed by the performers!

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Hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton with little Oliver at the LA Podfest!

Voice over legends signed poster for Pop My Culture podcast giveaway

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PMC 160: Michael Showalter http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-160-michael-showalter/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-160-michael-showalter/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:03:35 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4575 Michael Showalter interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Michael Showalter (“The State,” “Wet Hot American Summer”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about third boobs, cannibal restaurants, Peter Pan live, They Came Together, Sally Field, Taco Party, Guys Can Be Cat Ladies Too, Pringle, Mystery Diagnosis, and the greatest movie about cats ever.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first camp experience you ever had) on our website for a chance to win a Wet Hot American Summer DVD or a Stella Season 1 DVD set signed by Michael!

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Michael Showalter with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Stella and Wet Hot American Summer signed by Michael Showalter

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PMC 159: Cary Elwes http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-159-cary-elwes/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-159-cary-elwes/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 01:49:20 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4564 Cary Elwes interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride,” “Robin Hood: Men In Tights,” “Saw,” “Twister”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Andre the Giant, Rob Reiner’s Hibachi grill, sword fighting with Bob Anderson, watching Billy Crystal work, live LACMA reads, William Goldman, Rodents of Unusual Size, Christopher Guest, Errol Flynn, Fat Albert impressions, Treasure Island and writing his new memoir!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first pirate-related thing you were into) on our website for a chance to win a spectacular Princess Bride poster signed by Cary!

Pre-order Cary’s book “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from The Making of The Princess Bride” (out October 14th from Simon & Schuster) on Amazon and follow Cary on Twitter @Cary_Elwes

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Cary Elwes with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

The Princess Bride poster signed by Cary Elwes

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PMC 158: Jay Chandrasekhar http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-158-jay-chandrasekhar/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-158-jay-chandrasekhar/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 06:59:24 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4555 Jay Chandrasekhar interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Jay Chandrasekhar (“Super Troopers,” “Beerfest”) talks with Cole and Vanessa about the leaked celebrity nudes, Game of Thrones, Dancing with the Stars, Fisher Stevens, the ultimate stoner comedy, making video shorts, Chicago sports, The Andy Griffith Show, swearing, the Amazon pilot “Really,” and Steve Lemme’s breakdancing jeans commercial.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first cruise you ever went on, and if you liked it) on our website for a chance to win a comfy new Pop My Culture T-Shirt! Be sure to check out Jay’s new Amazon pilot, “Really,” and vote for it! Check it out here: http://amzn.to/1qyrmeA

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Jay Chandrasekhar with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 157: Romy Rosemont and Mary Birdsong http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-157-romy-rosemont-and-mary-birdsong/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-157-romy-rosemont-and-mary-birdsong/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:49:40 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4545 Romy Rosemont and Mary Birdsong interview on pop my culture podcast

Romy Rosemont (“Glee”) and Mary Birdsong (“Reno 911!”) chat with Cole and Vanessa about The Emmy’s, silver jump suits, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Judy Garland, Downwardly Mobile, Bitter Party of Five, Chariots of the Gods, Party Wizards, Andy Serkis, Mickey Rourke and the Kardashians texting during a moment of silence at the VMAs.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first alien/extra terrestrial thing you were into or freaked out by) on our website for a chance to win a brand new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Mary Birdsong and Romy Rosemont with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 156: Sam Richardson http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-156-sam-richardson/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-156-sam-richardson/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:58:05 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4536 Sam Richardson interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Sam Richardson (“VEEP”, “The Office”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about the loss of Robin Williams, the Kardashian burglaries, TV show theme songs, TSA agentry, The Snorks, weird audition rooms, the Seinfeld legacy, Kanye West, Weird Al’s chart topper, Luther, Detroit vs. Tampa Bay, NerdHQ, Noah Ritter and Cole’s so-so Al Jarreau.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first action figure you can remember buying) on our website for a chance to win a comfy new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Sam Richardson with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 155: Skeet Ulrich & Amelia Jackson-Gray http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-155-skeet-ulrich-amelia-jackson-gray/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-155-skeet-ulrich-amelia-jackson-gray/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 07:09:42 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4522 Skeet Ulrich and Amelia Jackson-Gray interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Skeet Ulrich (“Scream,” “Jericho”) and Amelia Jackson-Gray (“The Campaign,” “Snakes on a Train”) chat with Cole and Vanessa about The Girl on the Roof, Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters 3, Boyhood, Guardians of the Galaxy, Richard Linklater, the meat needle guy, 911 Facebook calls, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, David Mamet, slasher flicks, tomato baths and Skeet’s refusal to read for Ang Lee!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first movie you remember lining up for and waiting a long time to see) on our website for a chance to win a “Scream” movie collection Blu-Ray or a “Newton Boys” DVD signed by Skeet!

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Skeet Ulrich and Amelia Jackson-Gray

Scream and Newton Boys signed by Skeet Ulrich

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PMC 154: Lauren Lapkus and Chris Alvarado http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-154-lauren-lapkus-and-chris-alvarado/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-154-lauren-lapkus-and-chris-alvarado/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 05:09:15 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4511 Lauren Lapkus and Chris Alvarado interview on pop my culture podcast

Lauren Lapkus (“Orange is the New Black”, “Jurassic World”) and Chris Alvarado (Second City’s Undateable) join Cole and Vanessa to chat about Comic Con, Biz Markie, breakdance battles, Freddie Prinz Jr. vs. Keifer Sutherland, Topless maids, Kyra Sedgewick, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Keanu Reeves, The Newlywed Game, The Real Housewives, binge watching, and “the cat from Puss n’ Boots.”

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first comic strip you were into) on our website for a chance to win a comfy new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Lauren Lapkus with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland and guest Chris Alvarado

Check out the delightful raver pics from Chris’s past that he mentions in the episode:

Chris Alvarado Raver - pictures from the past

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Winning Listeners http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/winning-listeners/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/winning-listeners/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:13:19 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4505 Winning Listeners Gallery

When’s the last time you checked out our winning listener gallery? Don’t forget to write your comments under each episode for amazing prizes signed by our guests!

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PMC 153: Katie Findlay http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-153-katie-findlay/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-153-katie-findlay/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 05:50:26 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4488 Katie Findlay interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Katie Findlay (“The Killing,” “The Carrie Diaries”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Premature, the death of Archie, Betheny Frankel, sloths on boats, band names, Boyhood, Island of the Blue Dolphins, long working hours, Catwoman, spoilers, “cat fantasy,” ballet terms, spoiling takes, Etsy stores, super powers and guarding the secret of Rosie Larsen’s killer.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first Young Adult novel you can remember being into) on our website for a chance to win some promotional Premature condoms (you heard us right…condoms) signed by Katie!

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Katie Findlay with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Condoms signed by Katie Findlay for movie premature

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Two Thumbs Way Up: An Appreciation of Roger Ebert and Life Itself http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/two-thumbs-way-up-an-appreciation-of-roger-ebert-and-life-itself/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/two-thumbs-way-up-an-appreciation-of-roger-ebert-and-life-itself/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 00:56:31 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4479 ebert


Life Itself
2014, 115 mins
Rated R

by Cole Stratton (@colestratton)

“I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny.” — Roger Ebert

As a life-long film lover, Roger Ebert was a major influence on me growing up. His infectious enthusiasm for film inspired me to write and talk about movies from an early age; while my peers had posters of Ken Griffey Jr. and Ricky Henderson gracing their walls, I papered mine with hand-me-downs from a nearby video store — I was probably the only ten year old with one-sheets from films like Get Shorty, Nadine, A Fish Called Wanda and Lost in America and giant cardboard standees for Broadcast News, Willow and Dirty Dancing. I wrote a review of The Lost Boys and submitted it to The Werehouse’s in-store video magazine when I was 14; it was published and I received a Pirates of Dark Water kite for my trouble, much to my chagrin (I really wanted an MGM sweatshirt and mug, which was an example prize). During high school, I interned at my town’s primary paper The Davis Enterprise, eventually coordinating a bi-weekly page called Youth Beat in which I chronicled exceptional local teens and reviewed films. I came at my subject matter the same way I imagined Ebert did; from a place of pure affection and joy for the medium that had filled countless hours of my formative years. Since then, I’ve often fallen down the rabbit hole of reading his reviews on rogerebert.com, or plowing through online vids of episodes of Siskel & Ebert for hours on end.

Film criticism, and criticism in general, is a tough road to travel — the reviewer is stating an opinion, their opinion, fully aware that many will disagree with them. Roger Ebert approached film criticism with unabashed love and zeal. When a movie was bad, especially when produced by top-shelf filmmakers and actors, Ebert was justly disappointed, like a parent whose children had just acted out in a way that felt like a betrayal. When it was great, he used his massive pull as a columnist with the Chicago Sun-Times and his syndicated TV juggernaut with partner Gene Siskel to encourage people to see them. And when it was a small film, he aggressively worked to make sure it found an audience, such as Errol Morris’ great doc Gates of Heaven and Steve James’ Hoop Dreams.

It seems fitting that James should helm the touching and engrossing new documentary based on Ebert’s own memoir Life Itself, chronicling the last act of Ebert’s life as he battled, and eventually lost his life to,  jaw cancer. With his wife Chaz by his side, Ebert allowed James access to capture his days in the hospital (including some icky scenes involving some suction, which Ebert, ever the optimist, tries to make less painful with some Steely Dan). There’s some touching scenes with Ebert’s grandkids, and lots of amazing documentation on his romance with Chaz, whom he met in AA. There’s footage of Ebert and Siskel — who had a very competitive and often antagonistic relationship — feuding and chiding each other as they try to knock out some intros to their show, which felt a lot like walking in on our your parents fighting. But their competitiveness created some truly memorable conversations and discourse about film — each thought they were right in their assessment and tried super hard to change the other’s mind. The film chronicles his rise from college newspaper columnist to one of the most powerful and influential critics in the world, but more importantly, his transition to beloved family man.

The film is littered with examples of aspiring filmmakers that Ebert went to bat for and inspired — one young woman met Ebert as an eight-year-old on the red carpet at the Oscars; many years later, she made a film that Ebert championed. Producer Martin Scorsese also attributes Ebert to molding and influencing him as well; in one particularly amusing sequence, Ebert trashes The Color of Money, which Scorsese admits to being devastated by. Agree or disagree with him, you could always respect him. Life Itself is a compelling and touching tribute to a brilliant and complicated man. Be forewarned: it may make you as weepy as the the last reel of Cinema Paradiso (and if you immediately know what I mean by that reference, then I guarantee that it will). Thumbs up on a life well lived, Roger, and a big thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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PMC 152: Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-152-erin-gibson-and-bryan-safi/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-152-erin-gibson-and-bryan-safi/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 02:35:06 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4466 Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi of Throwing Shade interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi (co-hosts of the Throwing Shade podcast) chat with Cole and Vanessa about Robin Thicke, Gary Oldman’s Playboy interview, space cream, “vegan-friendly” podcasts, Biz Marquee, Harrison Ford’s injury, celebrity apologies, Battle of the Network Stars, eye hairs and living troll dolls.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you can remember winning a cash prize) on our website for a chance to win a comfy new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland of Pop My Culture Podcast

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PMC 151: John DiMaggio http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-151-john-dimaggio/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-151-john-dimaggio/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 07:14:53 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4451 John DiMaggio interview on Pop My Culture podcast

John DiMaggio (“Adventure Time,” “Futurama”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about the possible Indiana Jones reboot with Robert Pattinson, celebrities buying toilet paper, Rik Mayall, Gwyneth Paltrow’s moody water, voicing Bender, Tracy Morgan, The Penguins of Madagascar, Aquaman, Bob Bergen, miming phones, I Know That Voice, and Rob Paulsen’s little known role in DePalma’s Body Double.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first sugary drink you were into) on our website for a chance to win a “Jake the Dog” hat and an Adventure Time DVD signed by John!

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John DiMaggio with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

John DiMaggio signed Adventure time dvd with hat

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PMC 150: Patton Oswalt http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-150-patton-oswalt/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-150-patton-oswalt/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 08:15:47 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4440 Patton Oswalt with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Patton Oswalt (“Ratatouille,” “Young Adult”) joins Cole and Vanessa for their 150th episode to chat about the upcoming summer movie season, Jaws, Godzilla, Wesley Snipes, Guardians of the Galaxy, a sunnier Spider-Man, X-Men Days of Future Past, Johnny Depp walking the floor of Comic-Con, Miracle Mile, The Green Lantern, Lupita Nyong’o, Eddie Deezen, mutants with terrible powers, Monsters, and the ever-changing arch of movie trailers.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first convention of any type that you attended) on our website for a chance to win a “Ratatouille” Blu-Ray signed with Patton!

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Patton Oswalt interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Patton Oswalt signed copy of Ratatouille

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PMC 149: Bruce McCulloch http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-149-bruce-mcculloch/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-149-bruce-mcculloch/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 05:37:09 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4431 Bruce McCulloch interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Bruce McCulloch (“The Kids in the Hall”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about trophies, the Michael Jackson Hologram, The Black Keys, residuals, playing women, the origins of Gavin, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, Macklemore’s unfortunate costume, CatSplosion, the young Rolling Stones, and Cole’s lame idea for a nautical themed “Dive Bar.”

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first instrument you ever owned, and if you ever got good at it) on our website for a chance to win a Kids in the Hall Season 2 DVD box-set signed by Bruce!

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Bruce McCulloch with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Kids in the Hall DVD signed by Bruce McCulloch

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PMC 148: Mackenzie Astin http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-148-mackenzie-astin/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-148-mackenzie-astin/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 06:43:36 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4420 Mackenzie Astin interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Mackenzie Astin (“The Facts of Life,” “Iron Will”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about massive TV show cancelations, performance art, dinosaurs throwing first pitches, The Garbage Pail Kids movie, Fuzzbucket, sunday Softball, the undefined Iron Will whistle, working with Brian Cox, the big three networks, dated videos, Kita the dog, Full Metal Jacket and George Clooney’s farting contest.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first cereal you can remember buying because of a free toy inside) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Mackenzie Astin with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 147: John Michael Higgins http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-147-john-michael-higgins/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-147-john-michael-higgins/#comments Sat, 10 May 2014 19:18:07 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4406 John Michael Higgins interview on Pop My Culture Podcast

John Michael Higgins (“Pitch Perfect,” “Best in Show”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Seth Rogen vs. Justin Bieber, weird Craigslist ads, Hitchcock’s The Birds, Disneyworld’s Test Track, the Cups song, Shape Magazine, airplane film cuts, Shi Tzus, the Dartmoor Zoological Park, The Kingston Trio, Canada, being Oprah and the beauty of improv.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first choir you were a part of) on our website for a chance to win a “Best in Show” DVD signed by Michael!

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hosts cole stratton and vanessa ragland with John Michael Higgins

signed best in show dvd

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PMC 146: Stephen Root http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-146-stephen-root/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-146-stephen-root/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:04:10 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4398 Stephen Root interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Stephen Root (“Office Space,” “Newsradio”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Colbert and Letterman, 3-year-olds trapped in a claw machine, U.S. Airways twitter fiasco, Coachella celebs appropriating cultures, Cosmos, King of the Hill, Phil Hartman, Justified, red staplers, Chock Full of Notes, Spock, Gary Cole, Fargo and improvising about married squirrels.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first adventurous thing you can remember trying at a restaurant) on our website for a chance to win an “Office Space” Blu-Ray signed by Stephen!

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Stephen Root with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Office Space signed blu ray by Stephen Root (Milton)

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PMC 145: Haley Joel Osment http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-145-haley-joel-osment/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-145-haley-joel-osment/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 06:33:22 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4391 Haley Joel Osment interview on Pop My Culture Podcast

Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense,” “The Spoils of Babylon”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about the How I Met Your Mother Finale, the Muppets at the El Capitain, Willie Nelson’s stolen armadillo, Disney Theme Park movies, Ministry, the Entourage Movie, Kevin Smith, the Academy Awards, old theaters, Snake Island, Game of Thrones, alternative catch phrases and being safe around lions.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first TV miniseries you were into) on our website for a chance to win a Sixth Sense DVD signed by Haley!

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Haley Joel Osment with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

The Sixth Sense DVD signed by Haley Joel Osment

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PMC 144: Andy Daly http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-144-andy-daly/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-144-andy-daly/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 05:25:55 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4381 Andy Daly interview on pop my culture podcast

Andy Daly (“Review with Forrest MacNeil,” “Semi-Pro”) talks with Cole and Vanessa about the conscious uncoupling of Paltrow and Martin, Kanye & Kim’s Vogue cover, Nick Cannon’s whitefaced Connor Smallnut, brunch, Christian morning radio, riverboat gamblers, robots, unused camping equipment, coon dog cemeteries, Eastbound and Down, and Andy’s bird keeping for an unusual magician.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the fist morning radio program or radio talk show you can remember being into) on our website for a chance to win a cozy new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Andy Daly with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 143: Sarah Burns http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-143-sarah-burns/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-143-sarah-burns/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 06:29:35 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4372 Sarah Burns interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Sarah Burns (“Enlightened,” “Drunk History”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Ke$ha vs. Kesha, True Detective, Obama and Between Two Ferns, Pinwheel, O’Douls, Simon: The Movie, Legal Beagles, chutney, dangerous Barney activities, the Gottis, being Jen Kirkman’s voice, and Sarah’s truly sad day.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first educational kids show you were into when you were little) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Sarah Burns with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 142: Julie Brown http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-142-julie-brown/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-142-julie-brown/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 04:58:42 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4362 Julie Brown interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Julie Brown (“Earth Girls Are Easy,” “Shakes the Clown”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about The Oscars, Kim Novak, Adele Dazeem, montages, Courtney Cox, Hot Pocket sex, Jim O’Heir, Jeff Goldblum’s acting seminar, Madonna vs. aging, the Minerva Mink voice, Clueless, Florence Henderson, Curl Up and Dye, Camp Rock, and making The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Musical.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first biography or autobiography you were really into) on our website for a chance to win a “Clueless” DVD signed by Julie!

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Julie Brown with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Clueless DVD signed by Julie Brown

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PMC 141: Dana Snyder http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-141-dana-snyder/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-141-dana-snyder/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 07:39:35 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4352 Dana Snyder interview on pop my culture podcast

Dana Snyder (“Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “The Venture Bros.”) joins Cole and Vanessa to talk the Olympics closing ceremonies, The Lego Movie, plastic surgery, Las Vegas, tentacles vs. burrowing, Bruce Dern’s gambling papers, Squidbillies, Dana’s love of Madea movies, voice overs at Target, Adult Swim billboards, Jim Backus, and people scattering ashes on Disneyland’s The Haunted Mansion ride.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first celebrity death you can remember being affected by) on our website for a chance to win a comfy new Pop My Culture T-Shirt.

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Dana Snyder with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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Cole and Vanessa’s Top 10 Flicks of 2013! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/cole-and-vanessas-top-10-flicks-of-2013/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/cole-and-vanessas-top-10-flicks-of-2013/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 03:33:25 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4346 2013oscars

With the Oscars this Sunday, we thought it time for us to weigh in with our personal Top 10 Movie lists of 2013. Will there be overlap? READ AND FIND OUT!

Cole’s Top 10:

This was  tricky year for movies for me — I liked a lot of stuff, but I wasn’t IN LOVE with a lot of it. But overall, it was a pretty solid year for movies. My faves, in order:

1. Short Term 12

Brie Larson stars as Grace, a young counselor at foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers.  When Jayden (the great Kaitlyn Dever, from “Justified”) arrives, she finds herself facing demons from her own past, all the while trying to protect the young teen from an abusive home situation. It’s an immensely powerful, affecting look at troubled teens, both humorous and moving, littered with great performances from the adult leads and the authentic tweens. It’s on DVD/Blu-Ray — so seek it out!

2. Philomena

Judi Dench stars in the true story of Philomena Lee, who, with the help of a disgraced journalist (Steve Coogan), tries to track down the son she gave away through an Irish Abbey fifty years prior. The chemistry between the two leads is undeniable, and Dench once again turns in a tremendous performance. Plus, it has the best reference of Big Momma’s House in a film ever. Another great film helmed by Stephen Frears (“The Grifters”).

3. Mud

This is the year of Matthew McConaughey. He turned in amazing performances in Dallas Buyer’s Club (for which he’ll probably take home an Oscar on Sunday), The Wolf of Wall Street, and this little indie gem. His interpretation of the unstable yet honorable fugitive who befriends two young boys in Arkansas is mesmerizing every moment he is on screen, and the two young stars (Tye Sheridon and Jacob Lofland) are both convincing and promising talents.

4. About Time

I’m a sucker for Richard Curtis movies — I find his dialogue to be fresh and funny, even if the scenarios can be far-fetched. About Time is a splendid time travel dramedy — the first half is hilarious, the second half heartwarming. Domnhnall Gleeson (Brendan’s son, and one of the eldest Weasley boys from the “Harry Potter” series) is a great protagonist, and his relationship with his dad, played by the always fantastic Bill Nighy, is touching and spot on.

5. Gravity

A landmark technical achievement from director Alfonso Cuaron (whose “Children of Men” is one of my favorite films of all time), “Gravity” is a nail biter from start to finish. You’re hard pressed to spot the edits as many shots lingers for days, dancing around the cosmos in a true reminder of what a cinematic experience can really be.

6. Her

Spike Jonze’s film has a lot going for it — interesting ideas, great performances from its leads (Joaquin Phoenix is better than I’ve ever seen him, and ScarJo’s voice over work is impressive), a thought-provoking script and a great score by Arcade Fire. I only shudder to think that high-waisted pants are going to be a thing again.

7. The Way, Way Back

Jim Rash and Nat Faxon’s great coming-of-age flick, it’s the first effort since winning an Oscar for Best Screenplay, and their directorial debut. Points for casting Steve Carrell against type, and Sam Rockwell is award worthy for his scene stealing supporting role (ditto Allison Janney).

8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller stars and directs this update of James Thurber’s classic story — this one either works for you, or rubs you the wrong way. For me, it was magical from frame one, enhanced by Jose Gonzalez’s great musical score, and Stiller’s whimsical approach to the material.

9. 12 Years a Slave

Brutal yet engrossing take on slavery by director Steve McQueen is an important and challenging film. Chiwetel Ejiofor delivers a career-best performance, and his scenes with the equally good Michael Fassbender are electric.

10. Nebraska

Alexander Payne’s character study gives Bruce Dern the role of a lifetime, and he hits it out of the park. Will Forte shows he has chops to, and the rest of the cast (June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk and Stacey Keach) are all great. A meandering, Americana slice of life that really works if you surrender to its pacing and charm.

HONORABLE MENTION: Frozen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Before Midnight, Dallas Buyer’s Club, Iron Man 3, Monsters University, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street

Vanessa’s Top 10:

I’ll echo Cole’s sentiment on the movies this year-  I enjoyed several, but wasn’t really madly in love with many of them.  I felt like there were a lot of hype-machines trying to make things happen that didn’t really work for me (cough *AmericanHustle* cough)  (is that how people write that “cough” bit out?) (not sure where to put the period since I’m basically done with my thoughts but I keep writing parenthetically.  <— There.  Period.  Now there are too many periods and sentence fragments, I just need to move on!!)  These aren’t really in strict best-worst order or anything, they all suited me well in different moods.

1. Philomena

Philomena did it for me.  It had a lot of components I love in movies – a lot of heart, based on a true story, not afraid to be sentimental yet never felt overly so at all.  Judi Dench and Steve Coogan were a delightful odd couple and the movie’s tone was so effortlessly real it was very easy to be totally engrossed.   Judi Dench is WORTH THE HYPE.  She IS the hype. There is a moment back in the abbey at the end of the film (no spoilers) that I actually re-watched several times because it felt so poignant.  Classy movie, beautifully written an acted, and the story will really stay with you.

2. 20 Feet From Stardom

This documentary is really wonderful.  We go into the world of the backup singer and it is just as hip-shakingly, soulfully, diva-ly delicious as you might imagine.  The film is a real celebration of talent, perseverance, and hard work.  The singers they profiled were all great characters with rich stories and strong personal motivations.  Watching this left me thinking a lot about the nature of creativity and how varied the definition of “success” is amongst artists. It also left me wanting to have been young, beautiful, and talented with an amazing voice  in the 1960s and wear shimmy-shimmy mini dresses and be able to move my body in ways I definitely can’t/ought not.

3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I was VERY disappointed in the first Hunger Games movie, and honestly had no expectations for this one, but I was so pleasantly surprised.  This movie felt like a MOVIE.  I was all jazzed up when I left the theater because I had been so thoroughly entertained.  Jennifer Lawrence proved herself as an action star.  She can really handle multiple genres as she’s shown in her already awesome and varied career, but I personally am very glad to see her in this strong, physical role.  Hats off to director Francis Lawrence for really turning this franchise around.   This film was worlds classier, more grounded, and more thrilling than it’s predecessor and it also took far better advantage of the casts’ abilities.

4. Her

Spike Jonze did it up in this one!  It was a real treat for the eyes, ears, and brain.  I loved this film because it was surprising and it didn’t go where I expected it to at all.  He found a way (and this is also a testament to the performances all around) to make it seem incredibly natural for a man to fall in love with a machine.  It wasn’t a posed as a cautionary tale, it was earnest and sweet and tender (until it wasn’t.)  It’s a story about the profound loneliness that we’re all steeped in, even in the most connected eras.  Joaquin Pheonix and Scarlett Johansson’s aural sex scene proves that our biggest sex organ is our brain, and sometimes it’s hotter with the lights out and without all the gratuitous shots of hot bodies.  (Zac Efron, if you’re reading this- disregard that last part.)

5.  Saving Mr. Banks

First of all, this movie was VERY poorly marketed.  You’re gonna go in expecting a nostalgic romp though the Happiest Place on Earth.  Disney! Mary Poppins! Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson!  WHAT FUN!!! No… not really.   It’s Marley and Me all over again.  But once you get over your expectations, you can really enjoy this film.  It’s the true story of Walt Disney’s (affable ol’ Tom Hanks) dealings with author P.L Travers (played so skillfully by Emma Thompson) as he tries to Disney-fy her “Mary Poppins” on the big screen.  More than that, it’s the story of P.L Travers sad and tumultuous childhood that led her to write her wonderful book.   Go in expecting very little Disney magic and a lot of sad flashbacks.

6. The Place Beyond The Pines

I know this film wasn’t for everyone, but it worked for me.  Well acted, thoughtful, and dark – it’s a look at love, recklessness, and legacy.  Again, the movie wasn’t quite marketed properly.  It was sold as the story of a motorcycle bad boy and his love affair, but really it’s a very sad triptych of frustration, hope, and loss.

7.  In A World… 

Is there anything Lake Bell CAN’T do?  She wrote, directed, and stars in comedy about a woman trying to break into the male-dominated world of movie-trailer voice over and she looks dang good doing it.  She’s great, and she also created amazing roles with great arcs for the rest of the cast.  Your heart will break for Rob Corddry, and then he’ll make you a sandwich to try to make you feel better and it will break your heart even more because he’s just that wonderful.  Props to Ken Marino for leaving me feeling happily nauseated as only his characters can.

8.  The Wolf of Wall Street 

Yowza, everyone on Facebook had an opinion on this Scorsese number!  Many thought it was gratuitous, ridiculous, and glorified horrible behavior.  I thought it was gratuitous, ridiculous, and really pretty great.  And whoever thinks that Jordan Belfort (played by the always electric Leonardo Decaprio) was made to look GOOD by this film has his or her own issues they need to deal with on their own time.  The whole cast knocked it out of the park, but I have to say it was my favorite Jonah Hill performance EVER, and he stole the movie for me.

9. 12 Years a Slave

What a fun popcorn flick!  Juuuuuust kidding.   This movie was so very difficult to watch, yet so well done.   The only thing I would change about it would be Brad Pitt saving-the-day at the end.  I really didn’t want the white man to have anything to do with a happy ending.

10.  This Is The End

Hey, you made me laugh. This movie felt like watching a bunch of your funniest friends try to crack each other up, scene after scene .  It was bawdy and broad and dirty, but also had a surprising amount of morality and heart.  The ending of this movie really did feel like heaven. BSB 4 EVER.


Movies that STRESSSSED me out:



Capitain Phillips

Movies I’ve heard enough about to NEVER want to see:


Movies that seemed like the cast lost a dare:

Labor Day (WOWWWW that’s a bad movie with a great cast.  Just WOW.  I didn’t even know that kind of “WOW” was possible.)

Now You See Me….  (And NOW I never, ever will ever again.  The only thing worse than a really slick dumb movie, is a really slick dumb movie that desperately wants you to think it’s smarter than you.)

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PMC 140: Omar J. Dorsey http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-140-omar-j-dorsey/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-140-omar-j-dorsey/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:00:03 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4339 Omar Dorsey interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Omar J. Dorsey (“Eastbound and Down,” “Rake”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about The Superbowl, the new BK Ringo, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ken Marino, Dumb Starbucks, Shirley Temple Black, Walton Goggins, Philip Seymour Hoffman, en epic New Orleans party, Jake The Snake Roberts, working with Quentin Tarantino, The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Shia LaBeouf’s weird performance art.

Leave your answers to the firsts questions (the first Pro-Wrestling thing you were into) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Omar J. Dorsey with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 139: Christine Lakin http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-139-christine-lakin/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-139-christine-lakin/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 07:07:17 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4328 Christine Lakin interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Christine Lakin (“Step By Step”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about the Veronica Mars movie, Shia LaBeouf, growing up in the business, on-set tutoring, skywriting, Justin Bieber (*sigh*), road trippin’ with Kristen Bell and Kristen Chenoweth, musical spoofs, and constructing the perfect Garry Marshall holiday film.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first dance class you ever took) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Christine Lakin with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 138: Josh Gondelman http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-138-josh-gondelman/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-138-josh-gondelman/#comments Tue, 28 Jan 2014 09:54:11 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4317 Interview with Josh Gondelman on Pop My Culture podcast

Josh Gondelman (stand-up comic and co-author of Twitter’s Modern Seinfeld) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about The Golden Globes, science and dragons, Diddy, Jaqueline Bisset, Seinfeld supporting players, Tough Mudder race, letter writing, American Hustle, and Jay-Z’s REAL name.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first time you tried stand-up, or spoke in public) on our website for a chance to win a signed copy of Josh’s CD, “Everything’s The Best!”

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Josh Gondelman with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Everything's the best signed CD

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PMC 137: Pop My Cork (Part 2) – The Worst of 2013 with Dana Gould, Jim O’Heir, Kevin Pollak and Jodie Sweetin http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-137-pop-my-cork-part-2/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-137-pop-my-cork-part-2/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 08:47:22 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4311 pop my cork part 2 2013

Guests Dana Gould (“The Simpsons), Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”), Kevin Pollak (“The Usual Suspects”) and Jodie Sweetin (“Full House”) still at the table with Cole and Vanessa- but this time, conversation centers on the terrible things 2013 threw at us – with each person sharing their personal Worst 5 lists, as well as offering up a New Year’s Resolution and their “theme song” for 2013.

Leave your personal Worst 5 of 2013 on our website for a chance to win a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s The Best and Worst of 2013 issue, signed by all of our guests!

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Dana Gould, Jodie Sweetin, Kevin Pollak and Jim O'Heir with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland (on bed rest)

Entertainment Weekly signed by Jodie Sweetin, Jim O'Heir, Kevin Pollak, and Dana Gould

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PMC 136: Pop My Cork (Part 1) – The BEST of 2013 w/ Dana Gould, Jim O’Heir, Kevin Pollak and Jodie Sweetin http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-136-pop-my-cork-part-1-the-best-of-2013-w-dana-gould-jim-oheir-kevin-pollak-and-jodie-sweetin/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2014/pmc-136-pop-my-cork-part-1-the-best-of-2013-w-dana-gould-jim-oheir-kevin-pollak-and-jodie-sweetin/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 04:48:55 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4305 Best of 2013 with Dana Gould, Kevin Pollak, Jim O'Heir and Jodie Sweetin

Returning guests Dana Gould (“The Simpsons), Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”), Kevin Pollak (“The Usual Suspects”) and Jodie Sweetin (“Full House”)  join Cole and Vanessa for part one of this special look back at the year that was 2013. Wine and conversation flow freely as each guest and the hosts navigate through personal Top 5 lists and argue the merits of their selections.

Leave your personal Top 5 of 2013 on our website for a chance to win a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s The Best and Worst of 2013 issue, signed by all of our guests! Stay tuned for Part 2 — The Worst of 2013, coming soon!

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Dana Gould, Jodie Sweetin, Kevin Pollak and Jim O'Heir with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland (on bed rest)

Entertainment Weekly signed by Jodie Sweetin, Jim O'Heir, Kevin Pollak, and Dana Gould

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PMC 135: David Nadelberg http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-135-david-nadelberg/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-135-david-nadelberg/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2013 01:09:33 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4294 David Nadelberg interview on Pop My Culture podcast

David Nadelberg (creator of Mortified) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about The Sound of Music Live, Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas, The Kids in the Hall, IFC vs. The Sundance Channel, The Golden Globe nominations, Oprah, being muppets, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Calvin & Hobbes, loneliness, and David’s emotional session with Rick Schroder.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first Christmas movie or TV special you can remember being into) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt.

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David Nadelberg with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 134: Kevin Heffernan http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-134-kevin-heffernan/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-134-kevin-heffernan/#comments Fri, 06 Dec 2013 07:16:34 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4285 Kevin Heffernan interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Kevin Heffernan (“Broken Lizard’s Super Troopers” and Chewin It’ with Kevin and Steve) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Paul Walker, Elan vs. Diane in 7A, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s Bound 2, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Jimmy Buffet, Brian Cox, full body tattoos, Jay Chandrasekhar vs. Michael Winslow, Justified, a plethora of Olivias, law school, and the sound of 4,000 people walking out on Kevin and Steve after Kevin Hart’s set.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first drinking game you can remember playing) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Kevin Heffernan with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 133: Danny Tamberelli http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-133-danny-tamberelli/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-133-danny-tamberelli/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 04:34:01 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4275 Danny Tamberelli interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Danny Tamberelli (“The Adventures of Pete and Pete,” “All That”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Justin Bieber’s brothel experience, body swapping, Jimmy Buffett, Starbucks Butterbeer, Cinnamon Life, The Mighty Ducks, The Baby-Sitters Club, Iggy Pop, getting slimed, playing bass, indestructible cockroaches, Spiccoli, and Danny’s night at the movies with Emilio Estevez.

Leave your answers to the firsts question (the first video game you can remember trying to buy the moment it was released) on our website for a chance to win an Pete and Pete Season 1 DVD signed by Danny and show creators Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi!

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Danny Tamberelli with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

The Adventures of Pete & Pete season one signed by Danny Tamberelli and show creators Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi

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PMC 132: Paul and Storm http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-132-paul-and-storm/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-132-paul-and-storm/#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 08:26:29 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4265 Paul and Storm interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Paul and Storm (Learning Town, w00tstock) dish with Cole and Vanessa on Lou Reed, the Snoopy Snowcone maker, Kool-Aid, Urkel O’s, Marathon Bars, Pop vs. Soda, Weird Al, Randy Newman, George Jar Jar Martin, The Magic Castle and the greatest movie in nerd history.

Leave your answers to the firsts question (the first movie score you can remember being really into) on our website for a chance to win a “Do You Like Star Wars?” CD signed by Paul and Storm!

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Paul and Storm with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Paul and Storm signed CD

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PMC 131: Doug Benson http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-131-doug-benson/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-131-doug-benson/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 09:01:15 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4255 Doug Benson interview on Pop My Culture Podcast

Doug Benson (Doug Loves Movies, The Benson Interruption) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Bad Grandpa, fart-filerting underwear, unusual candle scents, alive vs. dead actors, The Great Race, game shows, cruises, Japan’s new cuddle cafes, Leonard Maltin, being an extra on Blade Runner, spicing up congress, Friends, and Doug’s quest to land John Lithgow on his podcast.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you remember going to a drive-in movie theater, and what you saw there) on our website for a chance to win a comfy new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton with Doug Benson

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PMC 130: Armin Shimerman http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-130-armin-shimerman/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-130-armin-shimerman/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 00:17:38 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4234 Armin Shimerman interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Armin Shimerman (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Gravity, surround-sound, grueling makeup processes, Regis and Kathy Lee, Quark’s Bar, Kickstarting Diani & Devine, Harry Groener, Kitty Swink, time machines to Elizabethian times, Star Trek races, advice from Ron Perlman, judges, and Armin’s touching experience on the last day of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (your first costume that required a lot of makeup) on our website for a chance to win a Diani & Devine Meet the Apocalypse promotional card signed by Armin!

Please support the Kickstarter for the new film Diani & Devine Meet the Apocalypse — a new indie comedy starring Armin Shimmerman, Harry Groener, Barry Bostwick, Dawn Diddawick, Janet Varney, Gabriel Diani, Etta Devine and PMC co-host Cole Stratton! ddmta.com

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Armin Shimerman with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Armin Shimerman signed Diani & Devine meet the apocalypse

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Director Kimberly Peirce Talks About Her Re-imagining of Carrie http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/director-kimberly-peirce-talks-about-her-re-imagining-of-carrie/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/director-kimberly-peirce-talks-about-her-re-imagining-of-carrie/#comments Thu, 17 Oct 2013 23:58:24 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4229 carrie

By Dino-Ray Ramos
special to Pop My Culture

Carrie is probably one of the most iconic horror movies of all time. More than that, it is Stephen King’s first novel which is has elevated it to legendary status. That said, to direct a remake of this movie is quite risky for two reasons. 1.) You are competing with Brian De Palma’s version and 2.) Carrie purists will be breathing down your neck, waiting for you to screw something up. This is a challenge that director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry, Stop-Loss) has accepted with open arms. She gave us the lowdown on how it was getting De Palma’s blessing, re-working the classic film, and making Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore become the best dysfunctional mother/daughter pair ever.

Audiences can be very critical when it comes to remakes. What made you want to do a remake of something so iconic as Carrie?

I’m not necessarily for or against re-imaginings. I was a literature student. I love Shakespeare. I love the original Scarface. I love the new Scarface. I love both Imitations of Life. To me, (this is) an opportunity. Then the question is, is it a good opportunity? When they came to me the first thing I thought was I adore Brian De Palma. I think he’s a fantastic director I love his original and I actually am friends with him so I felt I had to talk to him about it. I emailed him and he said lets Skype — which shows great how progressive he is. We had a beautiful Skype. I wished I’d recorded it. He was really supportive, and he said, “I think you should do it”. So that was great.

Once you got the De Palma blessing, how did you get started taking on a project where the source material is so sacred?

I picked up the book which I had read as a kid. I was a big reader in a book club and when I was at the University of Chicago I think I re-read it around then. But I dove back in and I was on an incredibly long flight to Istanbul — like 16 hours — so I had a lot of time to read and I got through it. I read it pretty much back to back three times because it’s so compelling. It became really clear to me that I had to do this movie because of how great the Carrie White is. She’s a misfit, a social outcast, and what I loved was that she wanted love, and acceptance and was up against huge obstacles. At the school the girls made it impossible, at home she has this amazing relationship with her mother, and her mother loves her but her mother’s feuding with her because her mother thinks that she’s evil and also thinks that she reveals the mother’s own sin. So Carrie is up against these obstacles but will do anything to overcome them to get what she wants. So, I loved that.

So how did you approach creating the story for your version?

I loved that there was a Cinderella story component that she wants to wear the beautiful dress, she wants to go to the ball, she wants to dance with the handsome boy, and she wants to have that magical night. That to me is fantastic. You fall in love with that even though you know that she shouldn’t do that. The second thing that I saw was that we could make very modern was the mother daughter relationship. They’re locked in this love affair and this feud. The third thing that was really important to me was that I saw it as a superhero origin story — that was really exciting to me. Look maybe that’s because we’ve had the benefit of all the great Marvel comic movies. We’ve had great characters great actors play these roles but these are real stories that young people and older people can go to. I loved that the superpowers were part of Carrie’s identity. They were part of her survival. .

To me it was a good old-fashioned revenge tale, and the way to make the revenge tale work it was imperative that we loved Carrie White. You had to identify with her. You had to want to see the Cinderella story go well. You had to feel excitement when it did go well but you had to know that Chris Hargensen had it out for Carrie and she was going to take it all away. And when took it away and you watched it be taken away, you had to feel a level of anger. You had to feel a sense of injustice, and you had to want Carrie to pull those superpowers out and go after the people who did this to her.

When was the first time you saw the De Palma’s Carrie?

I’ve been going back in my memory to try to figure out when I first saw it. I believe that I saw it in Japan because I left the States when I was 18. I was at the University of Chicago, and with my boyfriend we moved. We just wanted to get out, and interestingly he was Korean but he had studied Japanese history and he knew that we could just move there and I could take photographs, we could teach and we could support ourselves. So we just went. After a year and a half of starting to learn Japanese (culture), I had a huge craving to come back to the States and be an American again. It was like I was able to be an American with a newfound understanding of my own identity. In many ways my stories are always about identity. I started going to the American Consulate all the time and I started consuming American culture. So I was re-reading J.D. Salinger and I saw De Palma’s movie. It was almost like I was looking for the most American pieces of literature and film to reorient myself with. Fell back in love with everything that I had loved but kind of saw it with new eyes and particularly with the De Palma film. I think what it did was it gave me permission to dream and to dream in terms of cinema, which was, “Wow you can do anything. You can be free”.

What made you cast Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie?

What was important to me was you had to be deeply in love with Carrie, you had to walk in her footsteps. I knew I needed somebody who had the warmth and the love but then I needed somebody who could go through a transformation into a human monster right. If you ever lost your sympathy for Carrie the movie did not work. Avy Kaufman is my brilliant casting director and we must have looked at a few hundred girls all over the States. I was getting tapes from Germany, Australia, Paris, because the reach is so deep I could basically Skype with somebody and direct them and they could make me a tape that came to me immediately.

Chloe Moretz became my Carrie because she’s inherently charismatic. The camera loves her and she’s been acting since she’s five. She knows her instrument. She’s very physically able and I knew that she could carry the movie because of her amount of charisma. So I sat down with her and I said, “You’re amazing but look at you.” I was like, “You’re so confident. You’ve got a family that loves you. Carrie’s mother loves her but it’s complicated, and you’re a total professional and you live on the world stage.” And I said, “You could not be farther from Carrie White”. I said, “It’s imperative that we get rid of your confidence, that we make you fragile, you’re not a child star. You have to be a broken young woman.” She was like, “Kim I will do anything you want”. And I said, “Well we need a teenage rebellion. We need you to basically stop listening to your mother, move out of your house, come live with me.” But I was joking. And she’s like, “I’ll do it”. I was like, “Okay, you’re not going to be able to move out of your house, but that’s the right mentality.” Hilary Swank had that in Boys Don’t Cry. Channing Tatum had it when I did Stop Loss. They need to just say “I’m in.”

What made you choose Julianne Moore for Margaret?

This is a woman who loves her daughter but feuds with her because she thinks her daughter’s evil, thinks her daughter has evil powers and feels that her daughter is exposed essentially for the fact that she had sex and enjoyed it. So she’s at odd with her daughter. She also is a woman who doesn’t like to leave the house because she’s scared of the outside world. She uses corporal punishment on her daughter but actually as Julianne will tell you, uses it even more on herself. She doesn’t want to hit her daughter would rather hurt herself, which really we made great inroads into the movie. I needed to bring this woman to life. Julianne was the only person who could play that role because she’s such a brilliant actress. She’s one of our greatest living actresses. She is warm, she is sensual she is sexual, she’s beautiful, she’s a consummate professional.

Was it long before they had that perfect delicious mother/daughter relationship of dysfunction?

(Julianne) is a great mother to her children so she carries with her an understanding of motherhood.
Chloe is a wonderful daughter to her mother, brings to with her an understanding of being a daughter and also she isn’t yet an adult, she’s still growing. So when they got together the amazing thing was what you just saw was that the relationship took off. They really worked together in ways there were profound.

There was one scene in particular they’ve actually been showing it on TV — the closet scene when she pushes her in there. We did the first take of the scene and I was like, “Whoa that was too easy.” I went to Chloe and I said, “You’re making it too easy for her to put you in the closet…you need to fight back.” So Chloe fights a little bit and doesn’t fight too much and I said, “Oh I see the problem. You have too much respect for Julianne Moore”. I told her, “Forget your respect for Julianne Moore. She’s not Julianne Moore. She is Margaret who has been beating you and putting you in that closet forever. You are terrified of that closet you are going to fight to the death. You’re not going in that closet”. The take that we finally used was when she stopped showing respect and she started fighting for her life. When she starts fighting for her life not to go in that closet, you see Julianne sweating. Now, Julianne has to work harder. When she works harder, Chloe works harder. All of a sudden you have a relationship. You’re no longer two respectful actresses doing what they think of as their job. They’re in there fighting for their life. So, that’s the kind of stuff that happened.

Was there any point when the studio wanted to give this a PG-13 rating?

From the beginning, when I was hired, we all agreed it had to be an R movie simply because of the DNA of it. I mean it’s not like there’re certain amount of words you could take out that you could fundamentally change its DNA. Everybody knew it should be R. Fans wanted it to be R. That was the only really way to honor the story. There was a moment when they got very excited by how entertaining the movie was. That’s going to happen in any movie. They said, “My God if it’s a PG13 we could get to more people!” It lasted honestly 10 seconds but I respect that they’re going to ask that. I actually think young people should see it and can see it — but you know that’s up to their parents.

There was a rumor floating around the Internet that there were five or six different endings that you shot for this film. Is that true?

That is a rumor. (laughs) There were not five or six endings. We definitely spent a lot of time thinking about the ending but there aren’t five or six — but I like rumors.

You’re rooting for Carrie, but eventually she turns to violence. Were you cautious about the “bullying message” in the film?

Well this is my feeling. I don’t think we want to go to the movies and see the headlines play out at the movie theatre because I think we have the news for that. I think movies are a level of escapism. We want to go we want to be entertained. We want to have fun with the vengeance story. We don’t want to be weighed down by it. My goal, in service to King, was to make this wildly entertaining movie but at the same time, I think if a movie is completely divorced from the reality of the current day, and the issues, then it has no weight to it. So it’s a very interesting thing that you’re surfing. You want to make a wildly entertaining movie that allows you to have fun with a revenge tale but because there’s a level of justice you feel good about it, but at the same time you want it to be touching the issues of the day so you feel like there was meaning there. I cared about it and I think that’s a real interesting challenge that a director goes through. You know if it’s grounded in it then there’s something about it that touches you and you’re like, it was a good metaphor for what’s going on. You want it to rise to the level of myth and metaphor you don’t want to be in the reality. If I want to do the reality I’ll go do a Boys Don’t Cry or I go do a documentary. But if I do this I’m trying to take you on a really fine journey that has truth in it.

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PMC 129: Stars of TGIF with Reginald VelJohnson, Jodie Sweetin, Stuart Pankin & Brice Beckham (Live at LAPodfest) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-129-stars-of-tgif-with-reginald-veljohnson-jodie-sweetin-stuart-pankin-brice-beckham-live-at-lapodfest/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-129-stars-of-tgif-with-reginald-veljohnson-jodie-sweetin-stuart-pankin-brice-beckham-live-at-lapodfest/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 07:48:02 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4217 Reginald VelJohnson, Stuart Pankin, Jodie Sweetin, Brice Beckham, interview on pop my culture podcast

The Stars of TGIF — Reginald VelJohnson (“Family Matters”), Jodie Sweetin (“Full House”), Stuart Pankin (“Dinosaurs”) and Brice Beckham (“Mr. Belvedere”) join Cole and Vanessa at the Los Angeles Podcast Festival to chat appointment TV, debunking Belvedere, Circus Boy, smooching Hooch, Grandpa Cop and the Comfy Shoe, getting cast in Die Hard, Not Necessarily The News, The Olsen Twin Illuminati, Sword of Change and a very special episode quiz.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first on-screen or on-stage kiss you ever had, or just your first kiss) on our website for a chance to win a poster for the podcast signed by all of our guests!
Also, instead of just listening this time, if you feel like watching the fun as it happens, you can view an archive of the LIVE stream over at DailyMotion, right HERE.
Full House, Family Matters, Dinosaurs, Mr. Belvedere on pop my culture podcast
Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton, hosts of Pop My Culture podcast
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PMC 128: Chris Gore http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-128-chris-gore/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-128-chris-gore/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 05:32:12 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4203 Chris Gore interview on Pop My Culture Podcast

Chris Gore (G4′s “Attack of the Show”) joins Cole and Vanessa to talk lens flares, the Breaking Bad finale, Dexter’s lumberjack send-off, Justin Bieber’s “climb” of the Great Wall of China, Film Threat, the collecting culture, indie flicks, Batman, written interviews, Bejeweled, and the time Charlie Sheen turned Chris in to the FBI.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first smart phone game app you purchased and whether you still play it today) on our website for a chance to win a signed copy of Chris’ book, “Celebrities Poop.”

Freshly Popped


Chris Gore with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Celebrities Poop - signed by Chris Gore

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Brice Beckham (Mr. Belvedere) joins us at LApodfest! AND we moved to the big room! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/brice-beckham-mr-belvedere-joins-us-at-lapodfest-and-we-moved-to-the-big-room/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/brice-beckham-mr-belvedere-joins-us-at-lapodfest-and-we-moved-to-the-big-room/#comments Tue, 01 Oct 2013 19:22:17 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4200 TGIF


VERY excited to announce that Brice Beckham (Wesley from Mr. Belvedere) rounds out the terrific lineup for our “Stars of TGIF” podcast at LApodfest THIS Saturday at 6pm! We’ve moved from the Espada room to the gigantic Squarespace Ballroom as well! Also, the hotel changed names this week and is now Le Meridian Delfina (formerly Sheraton Delfina). Single day and full weekend passes are still available over at lapodfest.com. Come see us and say hi! We’ll be hanging out quite a bit! EXCLAMATION POINT! So you get:

Reginald VelJohnson! (Family Matters)
Jodie Sweetin (Full House)
Stuart Pankin (Dinosaurs)
and Brice Beckham (Mr. Belvedere)

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PMC 127: Molly Quinn http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-127-molly-quinn/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-127-molly-quinn/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2013 04:35:02 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4188 Molly Quinn interview on Pop My Culture

Molly Quinn (“Castle,” “We’re The Millers”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about ring wraiths, Escape From Tomorrow, the 50 Shades of Gray movie, books vs. movies, bathroom golems, eyelash wishes, 100 episode celebrations, Batman vs. Superman, costume fails, the Goonies, Willem DaFoe, DVD extras, The Hunger Games and Molly’s odd attraction to Jafar.

 Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you went camping and if you liked it) on our website for a chance to win a brand new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!
Molly Quinn with hosts Cole
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Catch our LIVE podcast at LAPodfest, with “Stars of TGIF” Reginald VelJohnson, Jodie Sweetin and Stuart Pankin! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/catch-pop-my-culture-live-at-lapodfest-with-stars-of-tgif-reginald-veljohnson-jodie-sweetin-and-stuart-pankin/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/catch-pop-my-culture-live-at-lapodfest-with-stars-of-tgif-reginald-veljohnson-jodie-sweetin-and-stuart-pankin/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2013 20:15:25 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4183 TGIF


Pop My Culture Podcast Live
“Stars of TGIF”
Reginald Veljohnson (Family Matters)
Jodie Sweetin (Full House)
and Stuart Pankin (Dinosaurs)

Join hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland as they present their Pop My Culture Podcast, live at the second annual Los Angeles Podcast Festival! They’ll celebrate the shows of TGIF, ABC’s beloved lineup of sitcoms from the 80s and 90s with guests from some of their flagship shows — Reginald VelJohnson (Carl, head of the Winslow clan on Family Matters); Jodie Sweetin (spunky middle Tanner child Stephanie on Full House); and Stuart Pankin (voice of Earl Sinclair, head of the household on Dinosaurs). Don’t miss this rare chance to Thank Goodness Its Friday — on a Saturday!

Come say hello! We’ll be hanging out at the lounge (it’s a thing, apparently!) and we’ll have tees for sale and such! Hope to see some of you there!

Saturday, October 5th, 6pm
Espada Room, Sheraton Delfina Hotel, Santa Monica
Passes and info: lapodfest.com

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PMC 126: Robyn Lively http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-126-robyn-lively/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-126-robyn-lively/#comments Mon, 16 Sep 2013 15:19:50 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4172 Robyn Lively interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Robyn Lively (“Teen Witch” — TOP THAT, other podcasts!) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Batman casting, twerking fails, Miley Cyrus, Longmire, Woody Harrelson, Twin Peaks, The Coreys, Not Quite Human, the Top That rap, little Kate Hudson, John Hughes films, John Travolta, LL Cool J, background acting, Ralph Macchio’s accent and Robyn’s emotional scene with Ben Affleck.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first rap song you tried to memorize) on our website for a chance to win a Teen Witch DVD signed by Robyn!
Robyn Lively with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton
Teen Witch DVD signed by Robyn Lively
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Cole vs. Short Term 12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-short-term-12/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-short-term-12/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 22:37:54 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4168 shortterm12

Short Term 12
2013, 96 mins
Grade: A

Short Term 12 is, quite simply, one of the best films of the year. An engrossing drama with moments both touching and funny, it’s a confident debut from writer/director Destin Daniel Crettin. The film follows Grace (Brie Larson, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses) who dedicates her life to helping at-risk kids and teens at an undermanned facility, with the help of her (secret) boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher, Jr., charming) and a small staff. The film picks up on new employee Nate’s first day (Rami Malek, always good) who is quickly overwhelmed by the bevy of troubled youth at the center. Grace keeps a level head and advises him “You kind of have to be an asshole before you can be their friend.” Things change for Grace the day a fifteen year old girl named Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever, from Justified) is admitted, who has bounced around from facility to facility due to violent behavior. The two have more in common than one would suspect, as Grace has a troubled past of her own.

What could easily have been overly sentimental, manipulative and categorized as an after school special is instead a magical film full of magnificent, small moments that are at once powerful and affecting. Abuse is major theme here, and its dealt with in a realistic  and many-sided way. As we get to know the characters, which are carefully drawn and complex, we can identify with their frustrations and empathize with their troubles, even if we can’t draw from personal experience. Particularly effective is a sub-plot with a black teen named Marcus, who is about to turn 18 and be released from the center. Smart, poetic, but tormented by his past, he spills his soul in one particularly powerful scene through his lyrics. Played with brimming intensity by Keith Stanfield, you can’t help but to pull for this kid to tame his demons. At the center of it all is Grace, who might be the most wounded of them all — who Brie Larson personifies to absolute perfection. It’s a film that will stick with you long after you see it, and should garner some well-deserved attention come awards season. It’s in limited release, so you may need to do some sleuthing to find a theater showing it, but it’s well worth the journey.

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PMC 125: Jason Antoon and Tricia O’Kelley http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-125-jason-antoon-and-tricia-okelley/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-125-jason-antoon-and-tricia-okelley/#comments Tue, 03 Sep 2013 10:19:30 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4156 Jason Antoon and Tricia O'Kelley interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Jason Antoon and Tricia O’Kelley, stars of the web series “Bitter, Party of 5,” join Cole and Vanessa to chat Twitter etiquette, Elmore Leonard, match box cars, Emmanuelle Beart, Riffifi, Martin Short, Downwardly Mobile, Stephanie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, Murder She Wrote, three name people, Captain EO, and Tricia’s harrowing dognapping story.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first foreign film you were into) on our website for a chance to win a brand new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

Freshly Popped


Tricia O'Kelley and Jason Antoon with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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Morgan Spurlock Talks About Making “One Direction: This Is Us” http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/morgan-spurlock-talks-about-making-one-direction-this-is-us/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/morgan-spurlock-talks-about-making-one-direction-this-is-us/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 01:47:17 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4153 morganspurlock


By Dino-Ray Ramos (special to Pop My Culture)

Note: Cole and Vanessa are excited to welcome writer/journalist/all around nice guy Dino-Ray Ramos as a contributor to the Pop My Culture Podcast website. Look for periodic pieces by Dino in the future!

Morgan Spurlock is probably best known as the guy who made a documentary about going on an all McDonald’s diet in Supersize Me. Since then, he has created some clever documentaries but his latest project will take him into the echelons of fame and power…at least with teen and tween girls it will. In One Direction: This is Us he documents the lives of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Louis, and Harry — the members of the hottest boy band since the days of Backstreet Boys and Nsync. We had the chance to talk with him about the dreamy members of One Direction, traveling the world with them, making a 3D movie, and why he decided to take on something so unexpected.

Considering your other movies, why did you decide to do a documentary about One Direction?

Morgan: Why not? Why can’t a handsome 42-year-old man can’t be a Directioner? Is that what you’re saying? (laughs) Paramount called me when they were getting ready to do the Justin Bieber film. They said, “We’d love you to come in and meet with us about possibly making this movie.” At that time I was doing The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and I was like, “There’s no way I can start to wrap my head around this.” Then last January we’re finishing both Comic-Con (Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope) and Mansome.  Again, we got a call saying, “Would you like to go meet with Paramount about possibly doing the Kate Perry movie?” I was like, “There’s no way I can do this.” I said, “We’re finishing two movies right now.” I said, “It’s impossible. There’s no way I can even think about adding another movie to this pile.”

Then come June, we’ve delivered both those movies. We have some things in development, nothing that we were in active production on film-wise and Sony calls and says, “Have you ever heard of this band One Direction?” I was doing a series in the UK about a year and a half ago called New Britannia for Sky Atlantic and I was there as literally they were exploding throughout all of the UK and into Europe and so I was like, “Yeah. Of course I know who they are. They’re huge.” They said, “Would you want to come meet with us about possibly making a movie about these guys?” I was like, “Yes. Yes, I would love to come meet with you guys. You tell me when I will be there.” I was like “I’m not going to miss another one of these opportunities.”

Considering the source material, did you approach it differently than your other films?

As a documentary filmmaker the chance to get to make a film of this scope and this scale are few and far between. I mean, they just don’t happen. If you’re lucky to get to make a movie with a studio that gives you a budget that is beyond anything documentary filmmakers ever get to have, to use technology that you never get to have access to, to make a film in 3D about a band that is one of the biggest bands in the world, I was like, “That’s an amazing story.” I would love to tell that story.  If all those reasons aren’t good enough as to why you want to make a film like this, let me just put it in an even better, even simpler perspective. The day this movie comes out, it’s going to be seen by more people around the world that have seen all my movies on opening day combined (laughs).

When you first met the guys, were they still wide-eyed and excited about everything or were they already used to the crazy celebrity lifestyle?

I first met with them a year ago in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I think they were still so excited about everything. I think that’s what I love about them. There’s still this incredible innocence for them. I think they have gotten used to the mass of people that are always around.  What I think is still exciting for them is when they get to go travel and experience things that are completely different.

Where did you get to travel with them first?

The very first thing we shot was Japan. They’ve never been to Asia before and so to get to be with them when they’re experiencing this incredible culture for the first time — I find moments like that to be so beautiful because it is. They are young and they haven’t experienced a lot of the world and to get to have those moments with them is really special.

There’s one point in the movie where the guys were walking around Amsterdam and they had to take shelter in a Nike store because of the huge crowd of fans that began to follow them. Were you at any point scared for you and your crew because of the uncontrollable mobs?

I was only worried about us until the guys showed up because  the minute the guys show up then no one cares about us. We might as well have been invisible at that point. I’ve been knocked out of the way by 13- to 16-year-old girls. They were like little linebackers.

When filming this how did you manage to stay true to your own documentary style, but also stay true to these guys as people and celebrities?

When I first pitched my idea to the studio of what I thought that movie was, I said this movie is about two things: dreams and family. Here are these guys who basically came from simple, humble beginnings. They had families that gave them a tremendous amount of support and a foundation on which to find the courage to chase their dreams. Once it happened, they have this family that doesn’t quite understand what’s happening. They don’t quite know how to give advice. They can’t quite be parents anymore but now they have this new family. Each one of these guys now has four other guys who knows exactly what they’re going through.

That’s probably why they have stayed so sane and likable.

I think part of the reason why they haven’t had any kind of Bieber-esque meltdowns is because they have each other. They have one another to rely on. They have one another to keep each other in check. I think to have the ability to spread the wealth and spread that pressure and tension is really helpful. They talked about that a few different times like, “If I had this by myself, I’d go crazy.” It really does give them an anchor and it gives them strength.

How was it like working in 3D?

We really pushed 3D (with the concert footage) and then we did a conversion on everything else — but it’s definitely not as pushed out as much as the concert is because we really wanted the concert to pop. We want the concert to really feel alive but what I love is that it just doesn’t feel jarring. When I watched Never Say Never and Part of Me, I felt like each one of those films is two different films. I feel like there’s a concert film and then there’s this stock film that they’ve sandwiched together to try and tell a story. What I think this film does incredibly well is both. The songs that come in support the story. Everything marries together to tell one cohesive narrative thread.

Like an integrated musical.

Yeah. It feels much more like a narrative than a documentary to me which is also what I loved about the movie.  It’s because they have a great story. There’s a great arc in the film and I don’t feel like we’re shoving a concert down your throat. I really wanted to try and push the technology in different ways. Our Director of Photography, Tom Krueger, is a brilliant guy. He was the director of photography on U2 3D which I think, up till now, was probably the best 3D concert movie I’ve ever seen. I think he really outdid himself with this movie. We really pushed things in a different direction. If you look at the 3D in this movie — when we pushed in on the boys, there’s a tremendous amount of shape to the images — it’s like the boys are coming out from the screen.

What was your perspective of the group before and then after making the film?

I think it’s easy to come into a movie like this and be cynical. I think it’s easy to come in and say, “Simon Cowell is back there pulling the strings, making everything happen. Once you start to understand how the process works, you get and see how they are. You understand that these are five guys with real talent who, through a miracle of fate, were  literally picked to be put together and exploded into being one of the biggest bands in the world. I mean, it’s remarkable.

I got a sense of how much they are in control of their own destiny. Everything is voted on by the band. There’s no Svengali behind a curtain telling them what to do. There’s no great and powerful Oz. They have a little democratic process. They sit around the table and ask “Should we add more dates to the tours? Should we do matinees?  Do we want to endorse this product?” The five of them vote.  They are in control of a lot of that destiny. It’s great.

Have they seen the film already?

They have. I showed the final cut of the film which then had all the  3D conversion, effects and full Abbey Road mix.  I flew to Chicago from London. They were playing in Chicago that night. After their gig, at like 11:30 midnight, they came to the theater. It was just them, a couple of their friends, some security. There were a dozen of us that watched the film and they loved it. I got their seal of approval.

There are a lot of One Direction moms but I noticed quite a few dads in the movie.

There are a lot of One D dads. People don’t give them credit! I’m all about the One D dads.

You would think that they would just take their daughters because they have to, but did you find a lot of them were genuine fans?

There was a friend of mine who saw the film with his two daughters and he says, “Anything that makes my daughters this excited and this happy, I’m all for them.” He takes them to concerts. He takes them to shows and he goes, “It makes me have so much fun when I see how much fun they’re having.”

How did you make it to appeal more of the general movie going audience…or should I say non-Directioners?

I think that there’s plenty of people who I think are closet Directioners (laughs). That’s probably not the right word, but there are  people who are intrigued. They want to see what is all this fandom is about. I was also making the film for that audience because then when you go and you see them, you get it. They are so fantastically charming. They are so likable. The guy that leaves the stage is the same guy that’s in that film. I like to tell people: “I challenge you to go see this film and not leave liking these guys.”


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PMC 124: Luke Edwards http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-124-luke-edwards/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-124-luke-edwards/#comments Fri, 23 Aug 2013 07:04:23 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4143 Luke Edwards interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Luke Edwards (“The Wizard,” “Little Big League”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Famke Janssen’s weird break in, Kendrick Lamar, The Simpsons Tapped Out, playing young Johnny Depp, Dennis Farina, super soaker parties on Newsies, hockey, Buffalo Bill’s Buffalo Bills, Joanne Whalley, cape man, Ken Griffey Jr.’s pranks, the Nintendo Power Glove, and Luke’s drunken reunion with Jenny Lewis at her Silverlake abode.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first sports team you considered yourself a fan of, and why) on our website for a chance to win a “Little Big League” or “The Wizard” DVD signed by Luke!

Freshly Popped


Luke Edwards with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Luke Edwards signed Little Big League DVD and The Wizard DVD

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Cole vs. Kick-Ass 2 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-kick-ass-2/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-kick-ass-2/#comments Wed, 21 Aug 2013 17:39:25 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4137 kickass


Kick-Ass 2
2013, 103 mins
Grade: D

For the record, I really like the first Kick-Ass film. A fun, meta exercise on super hero excess and comic books, it was subversive and viscerally fun, and well put together under the watch of Matthew Vaughn. Swap out Vaughn for Jeff Wadlow (Cry Wolf, Never Back Down), and suddenly you’ve got a picture that’s just long on ugly and low on fun. The ultra-violence on display lacks the mischief of its predecessor, and just feels brutal and wrong. Add in graphic vomit and diarrhea (I’m not kidding), and you’ve got a pretty gross two hours to kill.

It doesn’t help that the film has a title character that’s hardly interesting — Dave aka Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his curly moptop returns, semi-retired from the super hero life but missing it. Hoping to get back out there, he starts training with Mindy aka Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz, the best thing about the series in general). After a run in with some alley thugs, Mindy’s guardian, Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut), forbids her to go out there again and encourages her to just be a teenager. Partnerless, Dave seeks out a ragtag team of civilian heroes, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey, who was wise to distance himself from this thing, but makes the most of his limited screen time and adds a bit of welcome goofiness to the film). Meanwhile, Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse — Jesus, do all the actors in this thing have three word names?), now clad in his mother’s S&M gear and calling himself The Motherfucker, assembles a team of baddies to help him destroy Kick-Ass, who is responsible for killing his gangster father with a rocket launcher in the first film.

It’s with The Motherfucker that a lot of the film’s tonal problems and ugliness occur — in one particularly ill-advised and just plain uncomfortable scene, he threatens to “give some evil dick” to a female hero named Nightbitch, only to find he can’t get it up. I guess we’re supposed to laugh at a guy trying to rape a woman, but not being able to do so. Really, movie? Some may argue that it’s a send up of the super villain’s checklist of evil activities, but it seems like a bad place to mine for comedy.

The film also suffers when it holds its one interesting hero in check — Hit Girl spends most of the film texting Dave things like “Sorry, I made a promise” and “Can’t help you, hope you understand” while moping in her room, wrestling with trying to fit in at high school and keep her pledge to Marcus, or embrace her Hit Girl side. And when she finally does get out and let loose (like in an inventive van action sequence), it feels like too little too late. It’s like going to see a Batman movie where Batman just does Batman things for ten minutes and spends the rest of the time doing laundry. I can watch me do laundry. I want to watch Batman be Batman, ya know?

The rest of the cast is full of interesting actors hardly used — John Leguizamo is on hand for a bit in a thankless role, and Donald Faison plays another hero with lisping enthusiasm but doesn’t make much of an impression. And Ian Glen shows his American accent for one scene, instead of just scolding the Khalesi for an hour (Game of Thrones, anyone?).

Does this spell the end of the Kick-Ass franchise? Judging by its box office receipts, it probably does. I’m not sure if a third film would be able to capture what made the first so much good fun — but it can’t go much more wrong than this one does.

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PMC 123: Melissa Claire Egan http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-123-melissa-claire-egan/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-123-melissa-claire-egan/#comments Fri, 16 Aug 2013 06:27:12 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4126 Melissa Claire Egan interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Melissa Claire Egan (“The Young and the Restless,” “All My Children”) joins Cole and Vanessa to talk musicals, The Last Session, Simon Cowell’s baby, Lady Gaga, horny dolphins, A League of Their Own, Bowowween, Bugsy Malone, stabbing Susan Lucci, lots of Carries, invisibility, hand-holding otters and seventh grade productions of The Music Man.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first non-domesticated animal you were fascinated by) on our website for a chance to win a brand new Pop My Culture T-Shirt! And be sure to check out riedelcody.org, Melissa’s great animal charity!

Melissa Claire Egan with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland
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Cole vs. Elysium http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-elysium/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-elysium/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 08:45:20 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4120 elysium

2013, 109 mins
Grade: B-

Neill Blomkamp is a visionary director that likes to make films set in garbage heaps. For his first film since the breakout sleeper hit District 9, he goes from the slums of South Africa to the slums of Los Angeles, circa 2154 — the earth has been ruined and overcrowded, only to see the wealthy jump ship from the planet and set up shop in a rotating spacestation called Elysium — basically, one giant french-speaking country club with miracle beds that cure all diseases. Defense Minister Delacourt (Jodie Foster) is on hand to make sure no one disturbs their utopia, shooting down ships with “illegals” from Earth who try to find their way up there. Max Da Costa (Matt Damon), an ex-con trying to go straight in LA, is constantly abused by those around him — the police robots (who break his arm after a wisecrack); his ex-partners in crime; and his assembly-line foreman (who is such a thinly drawn character its hard not to laugh at his awful dialogue). After an accident exposes him to a fatal dose of radiation, Max has a handful of days to find his way up to Elysium, or die trying. Fused with a beat-up mechanical exoskeleton and a hard drive in his brain (that, through a series of events I won’t go into, contains information that pretty much everyone wants), Max has a lot of shooting, running and punching to do.

There’s more supporting characters on hand to aid or hinder Max in his quest, including his old buddy Julio (Diego Luna), a hacker named Spider, a childhood love interest (Alice Braga) and her sick daughter, an oily CEO (William Fichtner), and a psychopathic merc named Kruger (Sharlto Copley, of Blomkamp’s District 9 and guilty-pleasure The A-Team). That’s one of the problems with the film — a lot of the villains (and there are many) are paper-thin, with simplistic or unexplained motivations. Foster’s role, despite the second billing, doesn’t really have a lot to do, other than snap at everyone around her in a quasi-french, quasi-South African, quasi-I dunno accent. None of the character arcs really work here — motivations quickly change, and several suddenly become political and revolutionary. Blomkamp takes time to give Max a lot of backstory through flashback, but these scenes don’t really help to justify what’s to come for Max in the film.

Still, there are moments of creativity that show just what a talent Blomkamp is. He has a knack for gritty, dirty dystopian sci-fi, where the gadgets and weapons are at once primitive and super futuristic (and, more, often than not, blow a person into tiny flying bloody pieces). There’s knives and samurai swords, but also big energy bolt guns and giant hand-held missile launchers capable of shooting a ship down from space. The action set pieces are a winning combination of old and new, and can often be exhilarating — if only there were more of them. Copley’s crazed Kruger brings an unpredictable energy to the screen — I found myself wanting to see more of him, but also wanting to, well, just see more of District 9. And there-in lies the problem. This is a perfectly serviceable sci-fi film, but it’s not the masterpiece I had my fingers crossed for. Lightning doesn’t strike twice (even if its shot from a big ol’ laser gun), and Elysium fails to live up to expectations.

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PMC 122: Paul F. Tompkins http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-122-paul-f-tompkins/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-122-paul-f-tompkins/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 03:34:09 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4110 Paul F. Tompkins interview on Pop My Culture Podcast 2013

Paul F. Tompkins (“Mr. Show,” “Best Week Ever”) returns for his third solo episode and chats with Cole and Vanessa about Comic Con, Kemosabe the Porcupine, classic cocktails, celebs using Kickstarter, Real Housewives star Teresa Giudice, arms vs. legs, Dick’s Last Resort, Speakeasy, the voice of the busy dialtone, Dead Authors podcast, Cat Deeley, a field of Zac Efron, traveling magic acts, flying monkey attacks and Paul’s encounter with King of Kong villain Billy Mitchell!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you remember gambling) on our website for a chance to win a Mr. Show DVD signed by Paul!

Freshly Popped


Paul F. Tompkins with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Mr. Show DVD signed by Paul F. Tompkins giveaway by PMC podcast

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Cole vs. RED 2 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-red-2/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-red-2/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 23:51:48 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4102 red2


2013, 1 hr. 56 min
Grade: C+

It’s always weird when a film that was a fairly moderate success at the box office suddenly gets a sequel — such was the case of 2010′s RED, an lightly entertaining secret agent action comedy with a splendid cast and a cute conceit. Kicking off the dog days of summer, RED 2 (that stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous) finds assassin Frank Moses (Bruce Willis, at his scowliest) and his now-girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) in hiding, stuck in a bit of a relationship rut until good ol’ paranoid Marvin (John Malkovich) tries to lure him back into action. One Costco trip and fake death later, the trio find themselves on the run from pretty much every nation’s government, all concerning an operation codenamed Nightshade that they have no knowledge of but were supposedly involved with. Hot on their trail are Korean assassin/snappy dresser Han (Byung-hun Lee, of the G.I. Joe movies), who has a long-standing beef with Moses and relishes the opportunity to knock him off; steely-eyed American government clean-up man Jack Horton (Neil McDonough, picking up where he left off after Justified); Russian agent and ex-Moses lover Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones, at her tannest); and MI-6 hitwoman Victoria (Dame Helen Mirren, still the hottest thing in heels). What follows is a lot of globehopping, a murky plot involving a devastating explosive device, and lots of chase scenes and gunfights. Oh, and lots and lots of none-too-subtle product placement from the likes of Papa John’s and Pringles.

The main attraction here is the stellar cast — watching them work is a delight in itself. And yet, the film isn’t nearly as fun as it should be. The script lacks punch — a few inspired moments of comedy, usually care of Malkovich or the adorably daft Parker, are intermingled with lots and lots of plot mechanics, which tend to bog the journey down. There’s a few fun pokes at the previous films of some of the stars (a looney bin The Queen bit is fun for Mirren, and Anthony Hopkins does a nice wink to his iconic serial killer), and its in these moments that one wishes the whole film could aspire. Hopkins, as a scientist nutcase locked away for over 30 years, is a welcome addition to the strong ensemble, as is Lee, who adds some fun kung-fu fistfights to the proceedings — and the site of Dame Helen Mirren firing out both front windows of a speeding care simultaneously is almost alone worth the price of admission. Brian Cox makes the most of a limited role, but in a film sporting two of filmdom’s Hannibal Lechters, its a shame the two never share some fava beans, a bottle of chianti and some screen time  together. Dean Parisot, who directed the brilliant sci-fi send up Galaxy Quest, is at the helm here, and keeps it moving as well as he can, but in the end, the script needed some expositional trimming. No need to rush to the theater — this one will play well at home.

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Cole vs. The To Do List http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-the-to-do-list/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-the-to-do-list/#comments Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:11:12 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4097 todolist


The To Do List
2013, 1 hr. 44 min
Grade: C

The To Do List is a raunchy comedy that takes place in the ’90s — so much so, that it beats you over the head with it. 1993, in fact, which is precisely when I was about to finish high school and head off to college, so the era has a very special place in my heart. It’s one thing to set a film in a time period to dial up some nostalgia — but constantly calling it out instead of just existing in it can make one crazy. Such is the case of this fairly entertaining but troubled comedy from writer/director Maggie Carey, who seems to have a soft spot for the early 90s that, in addition to soundtrack littered with The Cranberries, The Gin Blossoms and Big Head Todd and the Monsters (a LIVE version of Bittersweet, to boot), constantly references things like pagers, Street Fighter II, Growing Pains and Saved By The Bell. One character, who is obsessed with the movie Beaches, remarks that she’s “got it on VHS,” which is a statement that pretty much no one said in 1993, as there wasn’t any other format options — a simple “rented it” would have sufficed. This might sound like I’m nitpicking, but calling attention to these things became more and more irksome every time. Let me notice the hypercolor shirt, you don’t have to have someone remark, “You look good in hypercolor.”

The film follows high school Valedictorian Brandy Klark (Parks and Rec’s Aubrey Plaza, who notriously promoted the film across her chest before being booted out of the MTV Awards after handing a drink off to Will Farrell onstage), an ace in all things booky but clueless in the ways of sex and love. After lusting after a Def Leppard-playing bo hunk at a party (played well by Friday Night Lights‘ Scott Porter), she decides to get some experience before heading off to college in the fall, thus putting together her sexual to do list in her trapper keeper and checking things off one at a time, all the while working as a lifeguard at a pool. Conveniently, all the films major players and objects of her lust and affection work there, too — in addition to Porter, there’s pervy Duffy (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), naive partier Derrick (Community‘s Donald Glover), burnt out pool manager Willy (Bill Hader), and nice-guy-lab-partner-overall-love-interest Cameron (Johnny Simmons), who holds a flame for Brandy throughout her sexual conquests. In this respect, the film is similar to The Way Way Back, which also took place at a summer watersource and tapped into nostalgia, but was more about the environmental details and less about calling them out.

Plaza plays the uptight but ultimately liberated Brandy well, and she has good chemistry with her girlfriends (played by Alia Shawkat and Sarah Steele), who help guide her throughout the film. Simmons elicits lots of laughs as Cameron (and an occasional “awwwww!” from the ladies at my screening, as he has a nice collection of sad-sack moments) and the film totes an impressive comedic cast (Andy Samberg, Jack McBrayer, Brian Huskey, Rachel Bilson, Clark Gregg , Connie Britton and Nolan Gould also star). Hader also puts in some good work in the juiciest supporting role as Willy — he also served as a producer on the film, as well as husband to its writer/director.

Ultimately, the script doesn’t quite live up to the lively premise. There are moments of inspired comedy, but also a lot of gross out gags a la American Pie, and a tone that shifts from coming of age/sexual awakening to genre/timeperiod farce. It just never quite clicks the way I wanted it to — it’s refreshing to see a film like this told from the female point of view, but at the end of the day, its still chock full of graphic semen and poop jokes. And so, much like Brandy, the film is stuck between high school and college — well-meaning, a little awkward and juvenile, still trying to find out who it is, but with a lot of potential.

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Cole vs. The Wolverine http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-the-wolverine/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-the-wolverine/#comments Mon, 29 Jul 2013 22:14:33 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4090 wolverine1


The Wolverine
2013, 2 hrs, 6 min.
Grade: B

Full confession: I’m a bit of a nut for all things X-Men. As a teenager, I collected comics (primarily Marvel), and the X-Men franchise was by far my favorite, collecting issues 200-300, roughly, of the Uncanny series, as well as spin offs like X-Factor, Power Pack, and Wolverine, as well as whatever cross overs hit the shelves (Every once in a while, it’s “refreshing” to see Logan battle, say, Ghost Rider). So when the films starts popping up in the cinemas, I was excited while trepidatious — the first and second films were entertaining, while X3 suffered under Brett Ratner, and the first Wolverine spin-off was an unmitigated disaster.

Cut to The Wolverine, another shot at focusing on Hugh Jackman’s insanely popular clawed mutant, this time well past origins territory and instead following Wolvie on his adventures in Japan, a very popular storyline in the comics well suited for the big screen. It starts with a literal bang as Logan saves a Japanese soldier from obliteration at Nagasaki, only to quickly awaken to a conversation between him and the long since dead Jean Grey (Famke Janssen, reprising her role from the previous films), and awaken again to a cold rainy night in the wilderness, where our tormented hero has been wasting away since he killed his beloved. After making a “point” with a poisonous arrow to a repugnant hunter in a bar, Logan is whisked away to Japan by orphan and fellow mutant Yukio (Rila Fukushima) to say goodbye to Yashida, the soldier whose life he saved many years ago, who is now a powerful electronics manufacturer and is terminally ill. He offers Logan a chance to give up his immortality and find peace — but it appears to not come without consequences. What follows is a power struggle between Yashida’s family — his son Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanda), his granddaughter Mariko (the stunning Tao Okamoto), her childhood flame turned ninja archer Harada (Will Yun Lee), and her arranged marriage to Noburo (Brian Tee), a corrupt but up-and-coming politician. Throw in a heavy doss of Yakuza thugs and ninjas and you’ve got plenty of folks for Logan to tussle with as his tries to protect Mariko and figure out just what is going on.

Director James Mangold (Copland, Identity, 3:10 to Yuma) might seen an odd choice to helm this installment, but I think he’s rather perfect, as the film functions first as a character study, second as an action film. It takes its time watching Wolvie relive his nightmares and search to find meaning in his life, a choice that probably wrinkles the feathers of those going to the multiplex for a rip-roaring good time. It’s not to say that there isn’t action — there is (one particularly memorable sequence take place atop a speeding bullet train, which go around 300mph, as Logan is keen to remind us). But the action sequences are few and far apart — which would bother me, if it wasn’t for Hugh Jackman’s incredible performance of a character that is probably my all-time favorite in comics. Spending time with him, even as he works through a plethora of issues, is totally engrossing to me, while others may find it a bit tedious. Plus, Wolverine isn’t the invincible, quick-healing wisecracker of films past; he’s a flawed, almost anti-hero who battles his toughest foe yet — his own, now mortal, body.

The film falls apart a bit in the third act — its as if the studio needed the action to get cranked up, so we get a lot of ninjas, a massive mechanical samurai, and a fairly weak villain in Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), who struts around in tight spandex, spits venom, sheds her skin, and otherwise sticks out like a sore thumb. But for all the bells and whistles, it still manages to wrap up nicely, and a mid-credits sequence involving Professor X and Magneto generates a lot of excitement for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past film. And that, ‘bub, should involve lots of the claws-first, questions-later Wolvie you may have been coming for here.

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PMC 121: Mel Harris http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-121-mel-harris/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-121-mel-harris/#comments Fri, 26 Jul 2013 10:25:36 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4078 Mel Harris interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Mel Harris (“Thirtysomething,” “K-9″) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about the Royal Baby, Dennis Farina, Ludlum novels, Corey Monteith, Stargate SG-1, Paul Giamatti joining Downton Abbey, The $100,000 Pyramid, Placerville, Betty White, John Lithgow, The Pep Boys, Supermarket Sweep, Comic Con, being a twin, and Ed Begley Jr.’s awesome business card.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first game show you remember watching a bunch) on our website for a chance to win a DVD of “The Retrievers” signed by Mel and Cole (they did the movie together!).

Freshly Popped


Mel Harris with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

The Retrievers DVD signed by Mel Harris and Cole Stratton

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Cole vs. San Diego Comic Con 2013! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-san-diego-comic-con-2013/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/cole-vs-san-diego-comic-con-2013/#comments Tue, 23 Jul 2013 03:14:13 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4046 badge1


This past weekend, over 100,000 badge-holders descended upon San Diego’s convention center and Gaslamp quarter for that yearly ode to all things geeky (and not so geeky) — with hundreds of panels celebrating TV, Film, illustrated arts, podcasts, you name it. Comic Con 2013 started off with a bang (or more of a whimper for Hall H, the line of which became the con’s most popular hotel Friday through Sunday) on Thursday, and the co-host of the podcast, Cole Stratton, was there to take in as much as he could. Vanessa, sadly, was tied up finishing up her classes at The Groundlings and was unable to attend this year. What follows is a journal-ish recanting of Cole’s adventures in and out of the Con!

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

After a fairly slow trek down the 405 S (hey, Oceanside, what’s the deal with the traffic that ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE THERE? WHAT IS YOUR DARK SECRET, OCEANSIDE AND TO A LESSER EXTENT CARLSBAD?), I arrived at my outlying Cruise Ship Parking lot and hiked over to the Lobby D to pick up my badge (pictured above). And since I wanted to make sure I got a peek inside it during the Con, I immediately joined the Hall H line, which was small due to the counterprogramming going on in Ballroom 20 (X-Files, Psych, etc.). A few minutes later, and I was greeted by some much-needed air conditioning and my first panel of the day.


Europa Report (1:10pm – 2:20pm. Hall H)
Sebastian Cordero (Director)
Bear McCreary (Composer)
Ben Browning (Producer)
Karolina Wydra (Dr. Katya Petrovna)
Steve Vance and Kevin Hand (JPL Scientists)
Dr. Phil Plait (Astronomer, moderator)

A docu-style space thriller exploring deep-space exploration and a moon-walk gone wrong on the far away moon of Jupiter Europa, Europa Report is a realistic-looking flick full of breathtaking star-drenched vistas mixed with confessional-style camera talks from the cast. Available on iTunes and demand, and arriving in theaters in early August, the film looks to be best experienced on as big a screen as you can find, though a good home theater set up should work nicely. The panel itself was interesting, if not a bit overlong. Moderator Plait, although a credible and enthusiastic moderator, talked a bit much and made it a bit too much about himself, not engaging the fairly sizable crew assembled to talk up the film. McCreary’s score is outstanding (he’s scored Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead, amongst others), and Director McCreary had some good insights into what it took to recreate the space capsule in a building in Brooklyn. An fairly solid panel, but a surprising one to house in Hall H, which was maybe 1/2 full, at best.


Entertainment Weekly’s The Visionaries (2:30pm-3:15pm, Hall H)
Marc Webb (Director, The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Alfonso Cuaron (Director, Gravity)
Edgar Wright (Director, The World’s End)
Anthony Breznican (Moderator, Entertainment Weekly)

One of the most interesting panels of the Con, EW gathered together three of the best genre-pushing directors working today to discuss the state of film today, their current projects, and where filmmaking is going in the years to come. Cuaron regaled us with stories about filming his newest film Gravity (a major “miscalculation,” as Cuaron envisioned a one year shoot that 4 1/2 years later still isn’t completed). As the film is full of shots of stranded astronauts floating in space, they designed a room where the actor is static and everything else around them is rotating, a technology that they hadn’t worked out a few years back. Seems like Cuaron is always pushing the enveloping, trying things that are super difficult to achieve — as evidence in his masterpiece Children of Men (one of my favorite films of all time). Cuaron spoke of that famous twenty minute battle sequence that is just a single shot — it took 12 days to film, with a maximum of two takes per day, and it wasn’t until the very last take that they “got it,” even though Cuaron tried to call cut when blood splattered the lens. Thankfully, an explosion muffled his call, and his cinematography signaled him to continue, and that happy accident has become an iconic image in the film. 3D was also discussed at length, with Cuaron conceptualizing his latest as a 3D space thriller, and Wright releasing his latest, The World’s End, in “glorious 2D, people!” A super engaging discussion with three truly incredible filmmakers.


Divergent (3:50pm-4:50pm, Hall H)
Veronica Roth (Author, Divergent series)
Neil Burger (Director)
Shailene Woodley (Tris)
Theo James (Four)
Miles Teller (Peter)
Zoe Kravitz (Christina)
Maggie Q (Tori)
Ansel Elgort (Caleb)
Mekhi Phifer (Max)
Ben Lamb (Edward)
Ben Lloyd-Hughes (Will)
Christian Madsen (Al)
Chris Hardwick (Moderator)

The first film based on the New York Times Bestseller, Divergent was met with some decent enthusiasm from the now-full Hall H crowd (the combo of this and Ender’s Game was probably was finally filled it that day). A futuristic fable about a post-war Chicago, divided into different factions based on characteristics to help society function, it follows the young Tris (Woodley) as she leaves her family behind and joins a faction based on bravery. A little bit Twilight and a little bit Hunger Games, it’s easy to see why this might become a succesful film franchise. The trailer (never before seen), has some promise. Lovely author Roth (who finished the first book while still a grad student) seemed thrilled and a little overwhelmed by her fiction becoming a major motion picture, and the panel of young actors (many of them sporting British or Australian accents, a serious trend and most panels this year and years prior) did their best to make an impression on the one question each they mostly got. Highlight of the panel came when an audience member started to ask an question about Ender’s Game, not realizing that we hadn’t gotten to that panel yet. Hardwick milked it for all it was worth.


Ender’s Game (3:50pm-4:50pm, Hall H, shared with Divergent)
Harrison Ford (Colonel Hyrum Graff)
Asa Butterfield (Ender Wiggin)
Hailee Steinfeld (Petra Arkanian)
Roberto Orci (Producer)
Gavin Hood (Director)
Chris Hardwick (Moderator)

The showpony of the day, the much-anticipated Ender’s Game, based on the classic sci-fi novel by controversial author Orson Scott Card, had a pretty snazzy trailer with brand-new footage in it, and a spirited panel, highlighted by director Hood’s enthusiasm and Harrison Ford’s now-trademark interview crankiness. Often rolling his eyes at moderator or audience question, Ford barked out short answers, though he was quick to defend the film itself after the first tough question of the day regarding the comments by author Card, stating, along with producer Orci, that the film itself is about acceptance and tolerance, and that the studio and all those involved in the production of the film strongly support the LGBT community. When asked if Han Solo would make a good soldier in Graff’s army, Ford replied, “I don’t think Han would make a good solider in anyone’s army. He’s an independent contractor.” Hardwick nearly stopped the “If Han Solo and Indiana Jones were to meet, what would they say to one another?” question, but, since he wanted to know to, he let it slide. Ford: “Um, Hi? Hello? How are you doing?” So there’s your answer, Ford fanatics.

As it was nearing dinner time, I left Hall H and walked around a bit to check out costumes (many, many Slave Leias, per usual) and grab some food (street tacos!), I then dropped off my stuff in the car and grabbed a sportcoat to head to the evening’s afterparties. Much fun was had at Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry lounge and after party; not much fun was had at Machinima’s shindig at Fluxx, which was a loud, jammed packed Studio 54 kind of scenario. I think I got pregnant just standing there. Day two had many more panels and drinking in store…

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day two I began early with the vague notion of getting into Hall H, which was an amazing collection of riches. However, nearly 20,000 people were already in line for the 7,000 person hall before 6 am, so that plan quickly changed — and the day was still full of many highlights as I diverted to Ballroom 20 (around 4k in capacity, I believe). I was able to quickly navigate the queue and got in for the second half of the day’s first panel, which was…


Inside The Big Bang Theory Writer’s Room (10:00am-11:00am, Ballroom 20)
Bill Prady (co-creator, executive producer)
Steve Molaro (executive producer, showrunner)
Dave Goetsch (co-executive producer)
Steve Holland (co-executive producer)
Maria Ferrari (co-executive producer)
Eric Kaplan (co-executive producer)
Jim Reynolds (co-executive producer)
David Satlzberg (science advisor)
Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter)
Melissa Rauch (Bernadette Rostenkowski, moderator)

Sadly, I missed the beginning of this panel, which evidently started with a video of Stephen Hawking singing the show’s theme song! Rauch, who plays Bernadette on the series, was well chosen to charismatically lead this often hilarious conversation on the history and future of the cultural phenomenon. From answering all matter of geeky questions (with one of the writers slamming Green Lantern, saying “He got his name after the thing that gave him his power. That’s like having all the powers of an iPad but calling yourself Battery.”) The crowd reached a fever pitch when an audience member asking a question in full on Princess Leia’s Jedi disguise, removed the voice modulator and mask to reveal it to be none other than series star Johnny Galecki! For such a highly rated show, it’s amazing that it reaches an audience that normally would shun something from the creator of 2 1/2 Men. It was nice to see the writers take center stage, even if the panel moved down from last year’s Hall H location.


Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra returns! (11:15am-12:00pm, Ballroom 20)
Bryan Konietzko (executive producer, co-creator, moderator)
Michael DiMartino (executive producer, co-creator)
Joaquim Dos Santos (co-exectutive producer)
Janet Varney (voice of Korra)
David Faustino (voice of Mako)
P.J. Byrne (voice of Bolin)

I confess: I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of the hit Nickelodeon series The Legend of Korra, the latest in the Avatar series of anime-style cartoons. Which is really sad, since my best friend Janet Varney (whom I co-created and produce SF Sketchfest with, and write with at RiffTrax, and do improv with and more!) voices Korra! Still, I was dripping with pride as my gal Friday took the stage for her second Con to an absolutely adoring crowd. Book Two: Spirits, debuts on Nick sometime in September, but that didn’t stop the powers that be from showing not only a trailer, but the entire first episode of the new series! It was met with much enthusiasm, as were sketches from the upcoming season.  It was great to catch the panel this year, as last year it proceeded the Firefly reunion, so I had absolutely no chance of getting in.


Bones (12:30pm-1:30pm, Ballroom 20)
Hart Hanson (creator, executive producer)
David Boreanaz (Brennan)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Ian Toynton (executive producer)
Will Keck (moderator)

After a montage of various dead bodies from previous episodes, the yearly panel for the hit FOX show Bones started off quickly with a “character” marriage proposal from Brennan to Bones in front of the panel table. Moderator Will Keck asked the stars to read a scene in character from the previous season instead of doing a retread video. After a bit of hesitation, they agreed to read it, but only if they could switch characters. Deschanel hilariously sended up Boreanaz’s macho persona, and the two bantered playfully throughout the panel. Boreanaz did send a bit of a jab Nathan Fillion’s way (“I only want to work four days, not five”) which was actually met with a chorus of disapproval, but David backpeddled quickly. Hart Hanson, who was trying to guard series secrets, let is slip that serial killer Pilant will be meeting a demise at some point in the future, a detail he kicked himself for revealing. A fun panel, even for those unfamiliar with the show.


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC (1:45pm-3:00pm, Ballroom 20)
Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s head of television)
Joss Whedon (creator)
Jed Whedon (writer)
Maurissa Tancharoen (writer)
Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson)
Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May)
Brett Dalton (Grant Ward)
Chloe Bennet (Skye)
Iain De Caestecker (Leo Fitz)
Elizabeth Henstridge (Jemma Simmons)

The highlight of the entire con for me, Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. panel was all you could ask for in a tightly packed hour: a panel full of high-profile guests (Joss Whedon, the amazing Clark Gregg, who got a massive standing ovation) and new cast members, a quick and fun Q&A, and a completely unexpected screening OF THE ENTIRE PILOT. Yes, 44 minutes of Whedon’s TV spin-off from his mega-hit The Avengers, headlined by Clark Gregg’s previously deceased Agent Coulson (his death is explained, sort of), who builds his team of S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives, including new recruits Grant and hacker Skye, to help save/stop an experimental super soldier/nice guy with bad luck, played by Angel’s J. August Richards. The pilot perfectly sets up a series that will have close ties to the Marvel universe and hero system, but still focus on the team of operatives and their charismatic leader (well, the one without the eye patch). Colbie Smulders (Agent Hill from The Avengers and star of How I Met Your Mother) makes an appearance in the pilot (one hopes she’ll join the cast full time when HIMYM concludes this season), as does Firefly’s Book (Ron Glass). The series suffers a little bit from the TV-budgeted effects, but it’s a seriously entertaining and confident debut that should translate into a massive television sensation. Marvel’s head of TV Jeph Loeb even got the crowd to cheer the premiere date: September 24th on ABC! Set your DVRs, America. It’s fucking good.

Completely wiped from an amazing day of programming, I hit the exhibition floor to buy some amazing goodies (including a fantastic Phil Coulson, Agent of SHIELD t-shirt from welovefine.com), and then it was time to dump the stuff again, suit up (a little) and head to a series of after parties nestled in the Gaslamp district, including The Ploom Arcade by Rebel Studios, and Chris Gore’s Nerdtacular party above Fred’s Mexican Cafe. Shout outs to Sara Morrison, Meredith Placko, Rachael Porter, Janet Varney, Steve Agee, Craig Cackowski, Rob Paulsen, Maurce LaMarche, Andrea Romano, and all the others I ran into and hung out with at these get togethers, on the street, and on the convention floor. An exhilarating and exhausting day, the Hall H line was already stretching to Toronto, so I decided to sleep in a bit before starting fresh around 10 am for my final day of the Con.

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Cruise Ship Parking, a bagel sandwich, a brief stay in the Indigo Ballroom line, but when it was announced that we had like a 2% chance of getting into the How I Met Your Mother Panel, I raced over to Ballroom 20 again to catch a couple of panels on Matt Groening’s animation classics.


Futurama (12:00pm-12:45pm, Ballroom 20)
Billy West (Philip J. Fry)
John DiMaggio (Bender)
Katey Sagal (Leela)
Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker)
Tress MacNeille (Linda)
Phil LaMarr (Hermes Conrad)
Lauren Tom (Amy Wong)
David X. Cohen (executive producer)
Matt Groening (creator)

With the series ending, the cast and creators pulled out all the stops for the final (*sob*) Futurama panel at Comic Con. The cast did a spirited table read of Act 1 from the series finale episode, and then they screened the fully-animated Act II from that same episode. Concerning a time button that lets the user set the clock back ten seconds (but takes ten seconds to recharge), it culminates in a botched marriage proposal, a never ending plunge off the Vampire States Building, and a hilarious character death (maybe — we’ll have to watch the finale for Act III). Great swag was given away to audience questioners, and it was revealed that the Fry’s name inspiration came from Groening’s dad, whose name was Homer Philip Groening. Hinted at (and confirmed in the following panel) is that a Simpsons/Futurama crossover is in the works! A nice send off to a show that has been sended off before to come back from the dead — is this truly the end, or will the internet and fans find a way to save it yet again?


The Simpsons (12:45pm-1:30pm, Ballroom 20)
Matt Groening (creator)
Al Jean (executive producer)
Mike Anderson (supervising director)
David Silverman (consulting producer)
We Put the Spring in Springfield! (musical guest)

What better way to wrap up my weekend of panels than a look at the upcoming season of TV stalwart The Simpsons? They showed us the opening credits of the latest Treehouse of Horror episode, guest director by horror auteur Guillermo del Toro, which features Simpson-ized versions of some of his film characters (The Pale Man and the Faun from Pan’s Labyrinth) as well as tons of other classic horror and sci-fi monsters. Dark and funny, it showed that the show is still doing wonderful things, even if it can be spotty at times. A quick clip from another upcoming episode (in which Homer helps deliver a woman’s baby in an elevator, voiced by Elizabeth Moss) was cute, and it made me look forward to tuning into the show more often this fall.

With Family Guy and American Dad on deck, it was time to make my exit. Some shrimp tacos later, I knew it was time to get back on the road and head towards LA. A really great Con yet again — if you go, just resolve yourself to the fact that it’s A) crowded, and B) you aren’t always going to get into what you want, unless you are willing to camp out for it. There’s plenty to see and do, just go with the flow. Thanks Comic Con!

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PMC 120: Timm Sharp http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-120-timm-sharp/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-120-timm-sharp/#comments Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:37:53 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4037 Timm Sharp interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Timm Sharp (“Enlightened,” “Undeclared”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Mos Def, Justin Bieber’s mop bucked piss, robots vs. tax forms, Project Runway billboards, Andrew Garfield’s gay Spiderman, bean punishments, psychic mediums, Darren Brown, Judd Apatow, Mike White, food houses, FOX, Jedi Nights and oh so many different shark combinations.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (whether you are spiritual or not, the first moment you can recall when you felt some sort of divine intervention or a higher power at work) on our website for a chance to win an Undeclared complete series DVD signed by Timm and former guest Carla Gallo!

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Timm Sharp with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Signed Undeclared DVD by Timm Sharp and Carla Gallo

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PMC 119: Mike Lawrence http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-119-mike-lawrence/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-119-mike-lawrence/#comments Fri, 05 Jul 2013 05:08:32 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4026 Mike Lawrence interview on Pop My Culture Podcast

Mike Lawrence (stand-up comic and Nerd of Mouth podcast host) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Man of Steel, After Earth, Roland Emmerich, bugles, The EW bullseye, collectibles, Monsters University, popcorn fires, comic book alter egos, Doink the Clown, Jelly Bellys, the “greatest” movies list and Cole’s I.Q./Pret a Porter Christmas miracle.

Leave your answer to the firsts questions (the first toy that you bought as a collectible and didn’t take out of the box) on our website for a chance to win the 100 Greatest issue of Entertainment Weekly signed by three of us as well as a BRAND NEW Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Mike Lawrence with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Entertainment Weekly signed by Mike Lawrence, Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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New PMC shirts are here! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/new-pmc-shirts-are-here/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/new-pmc-shirts-are-here/#comments Thu, 04 Jul 2013 03:13:04 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=4021 New Pop My Culture Podcast shirts

Your Pop My Culture hosts are joined by some of their favorite recurring podcast characters on this brand spankin’ new shirt designed by acclaimed artist Dave Perillo. These charcoal VintageBlend shirts by Headline Shirts are top-of-the-line quality. Now’s your chance to wear Cole, Vanessa, Beefaroni, Jason Statham, Tiny Katherine Hepburn, an angry wizard and the Olsen Twins on your person!

Head over to the MERCH section to get your hands on one of these while they’re still piping hot off the press!

Pop My Culture podcast t-shirt design (click for larger view)

Click to see design larger.

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PMC 118: Missi Pyle http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-118-missi-pyle/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-118-missi-pyle/#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2013 07:09:26 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3992 Pyle_PMC_logo

Missi Pyle (“Galaxy Quest,” “Dodgeball”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about North West, Paul Deen, getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, backgammon, dolphins, Mickey Rourke, Mark Rylance, “titbags,” Tim Burton, making a silent film, Uggie and the other dogs, geodomes, Rain Wilson and living at Alicia Silverstone’s house.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first band you were ever in and what your role was, or if you weren’t in one, if you ever pretended to be when you were young) on our website for a chance to win a Galaxy Quest Blu-Ray signed by Missi!

Freshly Popped




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PMC 117: Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-117-will-mcrobb-and-chris-viscardi/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-117-will-mcrobb-and-chris-viscardi/#comments Wed, 12 Jun 2013 05:32:30 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3979 Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi interview on pop my culture podcast

Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi (co-creators of “The Adventures of Pete and Pete”) join Cole and Vanessa to talk The Expendables 3, NKOTB vs. Canada, lyric interpretation, “malookas,” Petunia tattoos, The Psychedelic Furs, eating chapstick, drinking creme de menthe in the woods, garnishing wages, science degrees, Sanjay and Craig, Nickelodeon, Steve Buscemi, Michael Douglas’ oral sex debacle, the end of summer and what it would be like if the Pete and Pete characters were in the Mad Men universe.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first rule you can remember rebelling against in the childhood) on our website for a chance to win seasons 1 & 2 DVDs of The Adventures of Pete and Pete signed by Will and Chris!

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Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Adventures of Pete and Pete signed dvds

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PMC 116: Dana Gould http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-116-dana-gould/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-116-dana-gould/#comments Tue, 04 Jun 2013 05:04:39 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3961 Dana Gould interview on pop my culture podcast

Dana Gould (“The Simpsons”) cracks wise with Cole and Vanessa about lens flares, Justin Bieber’s Milestone award, Dr. Zaius, The Ben Stiller Show, Ray Harryhausen, Ralph Wiggum, wrangling Andy Dick, Albert Brooks, Dane Cook, Cobb’s Comedy Club, Andrew Dice Clay, Grady’s Oates and Dana’s hilarious riff on Chris Matthews claiming the last jelly donut.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first novelty or comedic song you were into) on our website for a chance to win a Simpson Season 14 Blu-Ray signed by Dana!

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Dana Gould with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

The Simpsons fourteenth season blu ray signed by Dana Gould

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PMC 115: Arye Gross http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-115-arye-gross/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-115-arye-gross/#comments Tue, 28 May 2013 06:04:08 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3951 Arye Gross interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Arye Gross (“Castle” and “Ellen”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about canceled shows, CSI: NY, House II: The Second Story, The Grapes of Wrath, drunk radio hosts, 50 year old Tom Cruise, Beverly Hills Cop TV show, Mother Night, being replaced by Daniel Stern, A Midnight Clear, Coupe de Ville, John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s dance scene in The Experts, Commencement, the return of 24 and the incredible life of photographer Horace Bristol.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first classic novel you can remember being assigned to read and loving) on our website for a chance to win a Soul Man DVD signed by Arye!

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Arye Gross and hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Signed Soul Man DVD by Arye Gross - Listener Giveaway

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PMC 114: Jodie Sweetin http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-114-jodie-sweetin/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-114-jodie-sweetin/#comments Fri, 17 May 2013 03:45:35 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3940 Jodie Sweetin interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Jodie Sweetin (“Full House”) goofs off with Cole and Vanessa on Kim and Kanye’s trademarked baby name, American Idol, Game of Thrones, Hollywood Squares, San Francisco, catch phrases, being Greek, The Goonies, double denim, Supermarket Sweep, Comet the Dog, Bob Saget, Urkel, Fozzie Bear, and the sad world of Kimmie Gibbler.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (The first embarrassing hairstyle or bad haircut you got) on our website for a chance to win a Full House season 1 DVD signed by Jodie and past guest Dave Coulier!

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Jodie Sweet with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Full House DVD signed by Jodie Sweetin

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PMC 113: Ian Brennan http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-113-ian-brennan/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-113-ian-brennan/#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 07:22:57 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3924 Ian Brennan interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Ian Brennan (co-creator of “Glee”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Iron Man 3, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles role-playing game, gullible babies, show choirs, Ryan Murphy, surf jazz, Barcelona, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stephen Baldwin, additional Olsens, Brittany vs. Jessica and what it would be like if Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs had a podcast.
Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you visited New York City, and what you remember from the trip) on our website for a chance to win some vintage season one Glee promotional buttons signed by Ian!
Ian Brennan with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton
Ian Brennan signed Glee buttons
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PMC 112: Brent Weinbach http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-112-brent-weinbach/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-112-brent-weinbach/#comments Thu, 25 Apr 2013 06:31:55 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3907 Brent Weinbach interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Brent Weinbach (The Legacy Music Hour) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Reese Witherspoon, blood-alcohol levels, Tara Reid, Justin Bieber vs. Anne Frank, Shrimpheads, bee genocide, Final Fantasy, the voice of an angel, Slippy Toad, Full House, Quoting Miss Daisy, Teen Mom’s sex tape and Brent’s terrible Garbage Pail Kid trade.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first Nintendo game you bought) on our website for a chance to win a “Brent Weinbach: Mostly Live” stand-up CD signed by Brent!

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Brent Weinbach with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 111: Ari Shaffir http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-111-ari-shaffir/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-111-ari-shaffir/#comments Fri, 12 Apr 2013 09:13:17 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3895 Ari Shaffir interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Ari Shaffir (Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank Podcast) chats with Cole and Vanessa about G.I. Joe Retaliation, Accidental Racist, LucasArts, Skittles Riddles, stealing material, Tommy Chong’s police run in, poisonous cheese, tiny Nicole Richie, Batman’s taxing prison escape, Mitch Hedberg, recasting Seinfeld, and Ari’s twenty bucks from George Carlin.

Leave your answer to the first question (the first time you bombed in front of an audience) on our website for a chance to win a nice new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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And check out Ari’s brand new stand-up special Passive Aggressive!

Ari Shaffir with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 110: Lamorne Morris http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-110-lamorne-morris/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-110-lamorne-morris/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 03:59:43 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3885 Lamorne Morris interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Lamorne Morris (“New Girl”) talks with Cole and Vanessa about Tilda Swinton’s modern art box, Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, Jon Hamm’s member, NBA nicknames, rollercoaster game shows, Schmidt’s fatsuit, The Heat’s historic win streak, a Nike and Adidas feud, Chicago, a fortuitous pilot season, Popeye’s Chicken commercials, conjoined twin backpacks, valet Jay Leno and Vanessa’s disturbing photo opportunity in Brentwood.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first time you ever hurt yourself doing something stupid) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt with a BRAND NEW DESIGN! (Details forthcoming!)

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Lamorne Morris with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 109: Carla Gallo http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-109-carla-gallo/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-109-carla-gallo/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 05:42:04 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3871 Carla Gallo interview on Pop My Culture Podcast

Carla Gallo (“Bones,” “Undeclared”) goofs off with Cole and Vanessa about Pawn Stars, The View, dental work, Carnivale, Capuchian monkeys, fairy tale reboots, Brad Pitt’s kiddos, Oz the Great and Powerful, discarded starfish, The Bachelor, Californiacation, Judd Apatow, waffle blasting, Scott Bakula, Period Blood Girl, Katherine Heigl, and the most talk about vaginal meshes on a podcast, ever! (It’s not as bad it sounds!)

Leave your answers to the First question (the first time in your college years that you had a “Oh, so this is what college is all about” moment — or high school if you didn’t go or haven’t yet gone to college) on our website for a chance to win an “Undeclared” complete series DVD signed by Carla!
Carla Gallo with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton
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PMC 108: David Wain http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/davidwain/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/davidwain/#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 04:57:24 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3855 David Wain interview on Pop My Culture Podcast

David Wain (“The State,” “Stella”) chows down with Cole and Vanessa and talks about Dancing With the Stars, Justin Bieber’s worst birthday ever, Audrey Hepburn’s posthumous work, pseudo Wings songs, Wanderlust, Wainy Days, Smash, LARPing, SEX aka Wieners and Boobs, The Pink Panther, Newsreaders, My Strange Addiction, the four thumbs rating system, movie title changes, making love to a spider web and the lasting legacy of Wet Hot American Summer.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (What was the first podcast you ever listened to, and what did you initially think) on our website for a chance to win The State complete series DVD signed by David!

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David Wain with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

The State DVD signed by David Wain

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PMC 107: Erinn Hayes http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/erinnhayes/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/erinnhayes/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2013 04:27:35 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3839 Erinn Hayes guest on Pop My Culture podcast

 Erinn Hayes (“Childrens Hospital,” “Worst Week”)  joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about the Oscars, Anne Hathaway hatred, Seth MacFarlane, musical numbers, The Killing, Downton Abbey’s shrinking cast, O’Brien’s poo face, Girls, Instagram, Bradley Cooper’s eyes, boobs boobs boobs, otters, squirrel tails, Smash, Parenthood, “I’m 34,” and Erin’s fan moment with George R. R. Martin.
Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first autograph you ever asked for, and if you got it) on our website for a chance to win a Childrens Hospital Season 1 DVD signed by Erinn and additional cast members Ken Marino, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Lake Bell and Rob Corddry!
Here’s the direct link to the memorial fund that Vanessa and John set up for their son. Thank you all for your support. www.charliesavageirwinmemorialfund.org 
Erinn Hayes interviewed by hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton
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Having an Oscar party? Check out these snack ideas and posters! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/having-an-oscar-party-check-out-these-snack-ideas-and-posters/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/having-an-oscar-party-check-out-these-snack-ideas-and-posters/#comments Sun, 24 Feb 2013 01:00:18 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3820 Having some friends over for an Oscar party? Try out some of these snacks themed after films nominated for Academy Awards in 2012! These will be gracing the table at Cole’s annual bash in Los Angeles…

Bite-size gyros will add in your search for Osama!

Prosciutto-wrapped mango is a salty sweet snack that would shut even Quentin Tarantino up!

If you don’t make Hushpuppies, then a Beet and Goat Cheese salad will taste great even outside the Bathtub!

The movie might have been fake, but a big ol’ fudge cake will be oh so real on your hips the next day.

Carmelized onion dip will bring out the poetry in you, much like Mark O’Brien!

Four score and seven batches of corn and black bean salad will have you Gettysburgin’ all night long! (I have no idea what that means)

Cocktail weenies — brought back to life!

A fresh strawberry and rhubarb pie will make you want to spend a couple of months on a dingy with tiger!

The first of three cheeses in our cheese plate — no matter what, it will be more palatable than Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest. Boom!

You’ll dream a double cream dream for this spreadable brie. Put it on a baguette and feel truly like Mr. 2 4 6 0 1!!!!!!!

This Spanish cheese will have you stop motion animating a cheese knife over and over again.

BONUS CHEESE IDEA: If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, pick up a piece of Huntsman Cheese and whip up a poster for Snow White and the Huntsman Cheese!

Have a great party!



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Cole’s Top 25 Flicks of 2012! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/coles-top-25-flicks-of-2012/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/coles-top-25-flicks-of-2012/#comments Fri, 22 Feb 2013 04:21:59 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3816

With the Academy Awards but a smattering of days away, I thought it best to finally crank out a list of my top 25 films to grace the silver screen in 2012. Let me start by stating that I haven’t yet seem Amour or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (though I do love me a film chock full of elder British thesps!) So here they are, the films that stayed with me the most from a fairly strong year at the movies…

1. The Sessions

Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, this light-hearted yet affecting true-life chronicle of polio-afflicted poet Mark O’Brien (played by John Hawkes, in a career performance) and his search to experience sexuality through a surrogate (Helen Hunt) is my pick for the best film of 2012. Chock full of great supporting performances from William H. Macy, Robin Weigert, W. Earl Brown, Adam Arkin and Moon Bloodgood, the film’s heart is the tender and sweet relationship between the two leads. Funny and hanky-grabbing at the same time, I was beyond shocked to see Hawkes was left out of the Best Actor race this year (Wookie Phoenix — I’m looking at you!)

2. Pitch Perfect

My favorite comedy of the year, this goofy free-spirited a cappella college laughfest features a spot-on skewering of the singing sect of college life, and a breakout performance by Rebel Wilson, who really shows her chops as an improviser. Definitely check out the out takes on the Blu-Ray or DVD.

3. Chronicle

I’m not a big fan of “found-footage” movies like Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity, etc., but Chronicle is something different and special. This “Chronicle” follows three high schoolers who happen upon something other-wordly that endows them with super powers, which are documented through shaky video cam footage shot themselves. It’s a chilling, mesmerizing and different super hero / arch villain story. The effects are super effective, and the performances by the trio of leads — Dane DeHaan (also great in Lawless), Michael B. Jordan and Alex Russell — are fantastic.

4. Promised Land

I was beyond surprised by this feel-good drama penned by Matt Damon and John Krasinksi (who also star), plotted by Dave Eggers, and directed by Gus Van Sant. Damon plays a consultant for an energy company who make their living fracking the land looking for natural gas. Along with his partner (a hilarious turn by Frances McDormand), they attempt to buy up the land in a small town but receive resistance from a local professor (Hal Holbrook) and an environmental activist (Krasinski). Also starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Titus Welliver and Lucas Black, it’s a super effective character study, complete with a truly mind-blowing twist in the later half.

5. Paranorman

An underrated animated film featuring 3D stop-motion technology and a great score by Jon Brion, it manages to be both funny and scary at the same time. A Sixth Sense for the grade-school set, it’s a great supernatural thrill ride with some fantastic voice work by Kodi Smith-McPhee, Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Tucker Albrizzi and John Goodman.

6. The Cabin in the Woods

It’s a shame this one sat on the shelf as long as it did — one of the best meta horror films I’ve ever seen, it’s Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard at their bloody best. Playing with every horror convention ever made and featuring an absolute bat shit final twenty minutes, it constantly surprises you with its playfulness despite the gory surroundings. Five minutes in you know you’re in good hands as Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford shoot the shirt at a vending machine. Featuring a young Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Kristen Connolly, Amy Acker, Tom Lenk and Sigourney Weaver. Not for the squeamish, but you’ll be glad you stick this one out.

7. Looper

A mind-melting time-travel sci-fi action drama from Rian Johnson, Looper features Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the same person, a “Looper” who’s job it is to shoot bag-headed people who arrive via time travel from the future and dispose of the body. But what do you do when that person on the other side of the gun is yourself? This slick, thoroughly engaging film takes a turn about halfway through and changes gears in a really interesting way. Plus, the disappearing-body-parts segment in the first part of the film is truly disturbing and memorable.

8. Argo

Argo Fuck Yourself! ….is what Ben Affleck should be muttering to the Academy, who failed to nominate him for best director for his outstanding true-story political drama chronicle the rescue of American diplomats in Iran. A ridiculous ensemble cast (Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, Victor Garber, Scoot McNairy, Titus Welliver, Tate Donovan, Bob Gunton and countless others) all add to the story without being distracting, and Affleck ratchets up the tension admirably in the second half.

9. Skyfall

A big step back in the right direction after the so-so Quantum of Solace, Skyfall is masterful under the deft hand of Sam Mendes. Daniel Craig continues to prove the naysayers wrong as a nitty gritty version of Bond, and he’s got a great match in a truly memorable villain in Silva, played with aplomb by Javier Bardem. Plus, Adele’s theme song is aces.

10. Silver Linings Playbook

At first, I kinda hated the film, which starts with a lot of uncomfortable scenes between an unbalanced Philly fan played by Bradley Cooper, coming home after a stay in a mental institution, and his parents (terrific Robert DeNiro and Jackie Weaver). But the time spent in the illness is necessary to establish the depths of problems with Cooper and his love interest / sparring partner Jennifer Lawrence. David O. Russell’s film becomes truly cheer-worthy as the two find normality in each other. Plus, Chris Tucker returns to film in a way that makes you want to see him in more stuff (and yes, you can understand the words coming outta his mouth!)

11. Zero Dark Thirty

Props to Kathryn Bigelow, who manages to make a 2 and half hour man hunt with lots and lots of dead ends super intriguing and effective. When the breaks in the case final do come, it’s exhilarating, as is the final 30 minute raid of Bin Laden’s fortress. Jessica Chastain continues to prove why she’s in so much demand these days as the excellent center of the film.

12. The Avengers

Any movie that can finally make The Hulk a breakout star deserves accolades! Joss Whedon does a masterful job with this Marvel Super Hero Team-Up, so much so that it shattered box office records. The action sequences are well done, and the banter and interplay between the heroes lives up to the hype.

13. Beasts of the Southern Wild

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this southern indie flick told from the perspective of an exceptional five year old girl named Hushpuppy (the Oscar-nominated Quvenzhané Wallis), but the depiction of this beat-down bayou community is so magical and encompassing you can’t help but to be mesmerized by it (just don’t sit too close to the screen — it’s hand-held camera work will get to you if you haven’t taken your dramamine). It reminded me in parts of George Washington by David Gordon Green, a film I liked quite a bit when it came out a decade or so ago.

14. Jeff Who Lives At Home

The Duplass Brothers wrote and directed this sweet indie about a pair of brothers (Jason Segel and Ed Helms) and their mother (Susan Sarandon) on a particularly memorable day for them in New Orleans. After a perplexing phone call looking for “Kevin,” Jeff (Segel) sets out on a quest to track down this Kevin, only to encounter his family and a his true destiny along the way. Also starring Judy Greer, it’s ending was a great emotional pay off to everything that came before.

15. Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino can make a movie all right. This ultra-violent Western is chock full of vintage Tarantino — long stretches of monologuing by characters resulting in an explosive sudden act of aggression, shocking viewers while entertaining along the way. Christoph Waltz is the real heart of the movie (and he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, as he should have been), and the rest of the cast all have stand-out moments (Jaime Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson especially, plus nice turns by Walton Goggins, Jonah Hill, Don Johnson and James Remar, in two roles!)

16. Lincoln

Some found Steven Spielberg’s epic chronicling of our most celebrated president Abraham Lincoln to be a bit stuffy and slow, but I found it to be incredibly intriguing, anchored by Daniel Day Lewis’ towering performance, and nice work by its recognizable ensemble cast (Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Strathairn, Bruce McGill, Lee Pace, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, Walton Goggins, Jackie Earle Haley and John Hawkes, among others). Plus, there’s no vampire hunting in this one (thank God).

17. The Raid: Redemption

One of the most violent action movies I’ve ever seen, it’s also incredibly creative and exhilarating to watch! Imported from Indonesia, it follows an idealistic cop named Rama (Iko Uwais) and his unit as they try to take down a vicious crime lord in his high rise tenement. Their cover gets blown, and they have to work to fight their way back out, as its chock full of baddies. An American remake is already in the works, but I’d stick to the original.

18. Wanderlust

I admit I’m a bit biased going into this one, as Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models hold special places in my heart, but I was very pleased with David Wain and Ken Marino’s hilarious take on counter culture and communes. Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star as a NYC couple trying to figure out where they belong in the world and their experience at a Georgia commune called Elysium. The residents are all hilarious (Justin Theroux and Alan Alda are true standouts, and there some super funny moments with Kerri Kenney-Silver, Joe Lo Truglio, Malin Ackerman, Kathryn Hahn and Jordan Peele). Just give Paul Rudd a mirror and tell him to improvise and you’ve got cinematic gold. Definitely delve deep into the deleted scenes and line-a-rama on the Blu-Ray/DVD.

19. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Written and Directed by Stephen Cbosky (who also wrote the book the film is based on), Perks is an affecting and spot-on drama dealing with the awkwardness of finding yourself and your place in High School. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller play the three main kids and all are fantastic, as are Mae Whitman and Paul Rudd in supporting roles. Though I did have a hard time swallowing that absolutely none of them could identify “Heroes” by David Bowie.

20. The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan’s final chapter in his Batman series is pretty satisfying, despite some logical leaps (Batman is broke and somehow hitches a ride from India back to Gotham? Um….ok). Tom Hardy’s Bane is a formidable villain (though the sound design made it so it seemed like his voice was coming from the heavens and not his face mask thingy) and Anne Hathaway makes a great Catwoman. And look — there’s Matthew Modine!

21. Ruby Sparks

An inventive and off-beat literary love story starring Paul Dano as a struggling writer who invents a love interest — who appears off the page! Written by and starring Zoe Kazan, it’s an interesting meditation on love and how much influence we have on each other. It also features wry supporting turns from Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas as hippy-dippy parents.

22. Lawless

Nick Cave, musical badass, scripted this southern 30s moonshine crime drama directed by John Hillcoat (The Proposition and The Road) following the Bondurant brothers, real-life bootleggers played by Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke, who battle against vicious criminals to keep their business afloat. Gary Oldman shooting a tommy gun is an indelible image, and Dane DeHaan stands out as Shia’s naive but well-meaning best friend. Oh, and Guy Pearce chews scenery like its his last meal.

23. Wreck-It Ralph

As a child of Nintendo, Genesis, Atari and such, this sweet-natured and funny animated send up of video game culture and being yourself was truly fun to behold. John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk and Jack McBrayer all do great voice work, and the large amount of video game character cameos were super enjoyable. Viva Q-Bert!

24. John Carter

I admit it. I liked John Carter. A lot. I don’t understand the savage beating it took from critics as well as perplexed audiences, but I found it to be a rollicking good time. Based on the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter suffered from a misguided advertising campaign (the original title, John Carter From Mars, would have been much better). Directed by Pixar vet Andrew Stanton, this world-jumping homage to pulp novels and old-fashioned serials stars Taylor Kitsch as the title character (a bit out of his comfort zone, but not bad) and his adventures on the red planet. Worthy of a rental. Does anyone rent anymore?

25. (TIE)  21 Jump Street and Seven Psychopaths

Ok, I’m cheating a bit here, but I wanted to include both of these, as I enjoyed them both a good deal. 21 Jump Street showed us that Channing Tatum is actually a great comedic performer (“Fuck you, science!”), and Seven Psychopaths featured some great dialogue courtesy of playwrite Martin McDonough (who is also responsible for In Bruges, one of my favorite movies ever) and yet another weird and hilarious turn by Christopher Walken.

Thanks 2012!

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Vanessa update http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/vanessa-update/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/vanessa-update/#comments Sun, 17 Feb 2013 20:15:23 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3812 Charlie's feet prints

Hi all – as most of you had heard on the podcast, Vanessa and her husband John were delighted to be expecting a baby boy. Unfortunately this week, she went into pre-term labor, delivered him very early and he did not survive. Some of you have reached out and all your positivity is very appreciated. If you have asked about a way in which you might help, a memorial fund has been established in Charlie’s memory and Vanessa is able to see all the donations and notes as they come in. The fund is with the wonderful organization A Place Called Home and every gift is going to go towards giving under-priveledged children in LA happier childhoods and exposure to the arts.

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PMC 106: Rachel Dratch (Live from SF Sketchfest) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-106-rachel-dratch-live-from-sf-sketchfest/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-106-rachel-dratch-live-from-sf-sketchfest/#comments Tue, 12 Feb 2013 04:00:04 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3799 Rachel Dratch from SNL guest on Pop My Culture podcast

Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live) joins Cole and Vanessa live from the 12th Annual SF Sketchfest to chat about NKOTB, Go Daddy, Beyonce’s Super Bowl hijinks, Elijah Wood, Astral Massagers, horse meat, Del Close, Debbie Downer, Pokemon vs. Nickelodeon, Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler’s modern engagement, unwarranted elevator parenting advice, a Girls reality show and Rachel’s new book Girl Walks Into A Bar…

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first person someone said you reminded them of) on our website for a chance to win a comfy cozy SF Sketchfest T-Shirt!

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Rachel Dratch with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 105: Stephen Tobolowsky http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/stephen_tobolowsky/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/stephen_tobolowsky/#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2013 05:01:48 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3787 Stephen Tobolowsky guest on Pop My Culture Podcast

Stephen Tobolowsky (“Groundhog Day,” “Sneakers,” “Memento” and a billion other things) joins Cole and Vanessa to spin yarns about home invasion urban myths, Bionic Dog movies, Margo Martindale, The Universal Studios tour, Phil Alden Robinson, The Terminator Principal, Island Hunters, “bullshit” on Deadwood, The Country Bears, Frank Langella’s denial of Spaceballs, Around the Fire, Glee, power outages in San Francisco, body switching movies, Judge Judy and Stephen’s hilarious encounter with Steven Seagal on The Glimmer Man.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (The first surprise party that was ever thrown for you or you threw for someone else) on our website for a chance to win a Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party DVD or Groundhog Day Blu-Ray signed by Stephen!

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Stephen Tobolowsky interviewed by hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Groundhog Day and Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party signed DVDs

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Come see us in San Francisco Feb.10th! (w/ guest Rachel Dratch) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/sfsketchfest2013/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/sfsketchfest2013/#comments Sun, 13 Jan 2013 21:01:50 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3780 SNL's Rachel Dratch guest for LIVE PMC @ SF Sketchfest Feb.10

We’re excited to announce that our guest is Saturday Night Live’s Rachel Dratch for our LIVE Pop My Culture Podcast! Our LIVE podcast will be at this year’s San Francisco Sketchfest on Sunday, February 10th at 1pm at The Eureka Theatre.

Tickets and info here:

LIVE PMC Podcast with Rachel Dratch!
Sunday, February 10th
1PM at the Eureka Theatre

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PMC 104: Pop My Cork (Part 2) – The Worst of 2012 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-104-pop-my-cork-part-2-the-worst-of-2012/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-104-pop-my-cork-part-2-the-worst-of-2012/#comments Fri, 11 Jan 2013 07:26:04 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3775 Worst of 2012 with guests Dave Holmes, Laraine Newman, Timothy Omundson, Fred Stoller and Rider Strong with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Part two finds returning guests Dave Holmes (longtime MTV VJ), Laraine Newman (“Saturday Night Live”), Timothy Omundson (“Psych”), Fred Stoller (“Seinfeld”) and Rider Strong (“Boy Meets World”) still at the table with Cole and Vanessa- but this time, conversation centers on the horrible things 2012 threw at us – with each of them sharing their personal Worst 5 lists, as well as offering up a New Year’s Resolution and their “theme song” for 2012.

Leave your personal Worst 5 of 2012 on our website for a chance to win a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s The Best and Worst of 2012 issue, signed by all of our guests!

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Signed Entertainment Magazine

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PMC 103: Pop My Cork (Part 1) – The Best of 2012 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-103-pop-my-cork-part-1-the-best-of-2012/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2013/pmc-103-pop-my-cork-part-1-the-best-of-2012/#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2013 07:39:29 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3770 Pop My Cork - Best of 2012 Laraine Newman, Dave Holmes, Rider Strong, Fred Stoller, Timothy Omundson

Returning guests Dave Holmes (longtime MTV VJ), Laraine Newman (“Saturday Night Live”), Timothy Omundson (“Psych”), Fred Stoller (“Seinfeld”) and Rider Strong (“Boy Meets World”) join Cole and Vanessa for part one of this special look back at the year that was 2012. Wine and conversation flow freely as each guest and the hosts navigate through personal Top 5 lists and argue the merits of their selections.

Leave your personal Top 5 of 2012 on our website for a chance to win a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s The Best and Worst of 2012 issue, signed by all of our guests! Stay tuned for Part 2 — The Worst of 2012, coming soon!

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Entertainment Magazine  Best / Worst of 2012 signed by everyone

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PMC 102: Jane Espenson and Brad Bell http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-102-jane-espenson-and-brad-bell/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-102-jane-espenson-and-brad-bell/#comments Wed, 19 Dec 2012 08:06:15 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3764 Jane Espenson and Brad Bell interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast

Jane Espenson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and Brad Bell (Husbands) goof off with Cole and Vanessa about Donnie and Marrie, The Hobbit, Twitter proposals, Up-Skirt Filmmaking, kitten slot machines, Streamie Nominations, Spock’s stained uniform, YouTube, weird phobias, John Mayer covers, Burning Man, torso ticklers, and that OTHER Brad Bell from The Bold and the Beautiful.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first big road trip you can remember taking) on our website for a chance to win a Husbands hard-cover comic book from Dark Horse Comics (releasing in March, 2013) signed by Jane and Brad!

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Jane Espenson and Brad Bell with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 101: Dan Harmon and Erin McGathy http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-101-dan-harmon-and-erin-mcgathy/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-101-dan-harmon-and-erin-mcgathy/#comments Thu, 06 Dec 2012 07:56:45 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3751 Dan Harmon and Erin McGathy interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast

Dan Harmon (creator of “Community”) and Erin McGathy (host of the “This Feels Terrible” podcast) stop by to chat with Cole and Vanessa about Pocket Planes, newscaster gaffs, Snagglepuss, kinds of rice, Chris Brown vs. Jenny Johnson Hi5, Halloween relevance call in shows, the most Yahoo searched people of 2012, Liz and Dick, Heat Vision and Jack, killing off Starburns, Kickstarter promises, making a guest cry, and Dan’s attempt to hold his breath for 3 minutes on air.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first web video you were obsessed with) on our website for a chance to win a Community Season 1 DVD signed by Dan!

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Dan Harmon and Erin McGathy with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Dan Harmon signed Community DVD

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PMC 100: “Weird Al” Yankovic http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-100-weird-al-yankovic-2/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-100-weird-al-yankovic-2/#comments Mon, 26 Nov 2012 22:44:08 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3740 "Weird Al" Yankovic interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast (Weird Al Yankovic)

“Weird Al” Yankovic (king of pop culture parody and star of “UHF”) joins Cole and Vanessa for their super-special shiny 100th Episode! They talk Dr. Demento, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, Bedazzlers, Guy Fieri’s Ass Blast Nachos, the final Twilight, GAZOOOOOO!, People’s Sexiest Man of the Year Channing Tatum, accordions, The Madonna Inn, utilizing Leslie Nielsen, mountains of fan letters, the White and Nerdy explosion, Kevin McCarthy, Sadgasm, holiday cards from Robert Goulet, the Wheel of Fish, a very bizarre Homeland episode, and Al’s hiring of a young Tress MacNeille!

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first parody film you were really into) on our website for a chance to win an Alpocalypse CD/DVD and UHF DVD signed by Al!

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Weird Al Yankovic with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton for Pop My Culture Podcast episode 100

"Weird Al" Yankovic giveaways UHF and AlPocalypse signed

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PMC 99: Deborah Ann Woll and EJ Scott http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-99-deborah-ann-woll-and-ej-scott/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-99-deborah-ann-woll-and-ej-scott/#comments Mon, 19 Nov 2012 04:54:55 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3712 EJ Scott and Deborah Ann Woll interviewed on Pop My Culture
Deborah Ann Woll (“True Blood”) and EJ Scott (12 Marathons in 12 Months) join Cole and Vanessa to chat about Gordon Ramsay, The Roctuplets, Ark Music, Roller Coasters vs. Condoms, Choroideremia, Frances McDormand’s wooden statue, MST3K, Survivor, DIY shows, filming sex scenes, tiny homes, shark ratings, bowling with Buffy, and Cole’s eventful quest for Hostess Twinkies.
Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first organized sport you can remember being a part of) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt! And please visit ejscott.com and help support Choroideremia research!
Deborah Ann Woll guest on Pop My Culture with EJ Scott and hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton
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Last Chance for 100th episode shout out! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/last-chance-for-100th-episode-shout-out/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/last-chance-for-100th-episode-shout-out/#comments Fri, 16 Nov 2012 01:28:33 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3709 Today is your LAST CHANCE to get a Thank You shout out for donations on our special episode 100 with…WEIRD AL!

Click the donate button to the right and let us know how you’d like to be referred to in our big 100th episode thank you’s!

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PMC 98: Retta and Meredith Salenger http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-98-retta-and-meredith-salenger/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-98-retta-and-meredith-salenger/#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 07:16:22 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3697 Retta from Parks and Recreation interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast
Retta (“Parks and Recreation”) and Meredith Salenger (“The Journey of Natty Gann”) talk with Cole and Vanessa about movie theater mix-ups, Anne Hathaway vs. Oprah, Beyonce’s Superbowl Extravaganza, Burger King Japan’s Pumpkin Burger, the indignant mute, Hollywood Heights, frumpy characters, Moesha, being taft-hartley’d, Duke and Harvard, TV show live tweeting, Girls, dirty sounding ballplayers, Magic Mike routines, rom-com cat fights, “vom bombers,” and Meredith’s uncanny knack for “star-making.”
Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you had an allergic reaction to something) on our website for a chance to win a Parks and Recreation Season 4 DVD signed by Retta and a Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon DVD signed by Meredith! Nice!
Retta with Meredith Salenger and hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton
Parks and Recreation DVD signed and a night in the life of jimmy reardon signed
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PMC 97: Matt Walsh http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-97-matt-walsh/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-97-matt-walsh/#comments Thu, 01 Nov 2012 07:15:08 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3686 Matt Walsh interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Matt Walsh (“Veep,” “Upright Citizens Brigade”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Old Baseball uniforms, Chicago, Argo, Frankenweenie, diet Robots, Golden Globes hosts, the Unabomber, The High Road, Wii Fit, Armando Ianucci, The Bear Down Podcast, Snoop Dogg vs. Snoop Lion, Sweding, mean monkeys, Gloc Poppers, college dreams, and Cole and Matt’s Looper moment.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first Halloween costume you made that was an epic fail) on our website for a chance to win Upright Citizens Brigade Seasons 1 & 2 signed by Matt!

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Matt Walsh with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland
Matt Walsh signed Upright Citizens Brigade DVD

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PMC 96: Layla Kayleigh http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-96-layla-kayleigh/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-96-layla-kayleigh/#comments Wed, 24 Oct 2012 17:52:41 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3677 Layla Kayleigh interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Layla Kayleigh (“America’s Best Dance Crew,” “World Poker Tour”) pops her podcast cherry with Cole and Vanessa and chats about The Walking Dead, Honey Boo Boo vs. Christopher Walken, surly goats, face plates, Breakin’ or Fakin’, haunted hotel rooms, professional gamblers, tutting, Mario Lopez, Disney hookups, Whoopi and the Astronauts, making eye contact with Jennifer Aniston, lots and lots of Wayans siblings, and Layla’s “extra on the Olsen Twins show” story!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you ever gambled, and if you liked it) on our website for a chance to win a super snuggly Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Layla Kayleigh and hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 95: Jim O’Heir http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc95/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc95/#comments Tue, 16 Oct 2012 04:17:19 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3667 Jim O'Heir interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast

Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Justin Bieber’s on-stage barfstravaganza, TLC, the Danny DeVito/Rhea Perlman split, Cabbage Patch Kid hoarding, the bear community, giant cheeseburgers, “murinals,” Honey Boo Boo, James Spader, The Hunting Trip episode, Amy Poehler, Stumpy’s Gang, Wet People fetishes, Jonathan Banks, and Kathy Griffin without her face on.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first camping or outdoors-y trip you ever took, and if you liked it) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Jim O'Heir with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 94: Brooklyn Brothers (Ryan O’Nan and Michael Weston) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-94-brooklyn-brothers-ryan-onan-and-michael-weston/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-94-brooklyn-brothers-ryan-onan-and-michael-weston/#comments Mon, 08 Oct 2012 05:03:51 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3655 Brooklyn Brothers Michael Weston and Ryan O'Nan

Brooklyn Brothers (actor/musicians Ryan O’Nan and Michael Weston, stars of the indie rock n’ roll road trip comedy “Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best”) stop by to chat with Cole and Vanessa about Choccywoccydoodah, Seth MacFarlane, saggy old vampires, John Hughes films, Green Day vs. the IHeartRadio festival, Portland’s potent brews, RPatz and KStew’s reconciliation, Steve Garvey, tandem flutists, poop rivers, playing music live, moonshiners, our terrible approximation of a “roaring crowd” noise, and Ryan’s problem with ketchup and avocado.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first movie soundtrack you can remember being obsessed with) on our website for a chance to win a comfy cozy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

Freshly Popped


Brooklyn Brothers with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 93: Legends of Voice Acting w/ Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Tara Strong, Cree Summer and Phil LaMarr http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-93-legends-of-voice-acting-with-rob-paulsen-maurice-lamarche-tara-strong-cree-summer-and-phil-lamarr-live-at-the-riot-la-comedy-fest/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-93-legends-of-voice-acting-with-rob-paulsen-maurice-lamarche-tara-strong-cree-summer-and-phil-lamarr-live-at-the-riot-la-comedy-fest/#comments Fri, 28 Sep 2012 07:01:14 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3636 voice over legends pop my culture podcast

Legendary Voice Actors Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs), Maurice LaMarche (Futurama), Tara Strong (Powerpuff Girls), Cree Summer (Tiny Toon Adventures) and Phil LaMarr (Samurai Jack) join Cole and Vanessa for a LIVE show at the RIOT LA Comedy Festival! They chat about Oh Sit!, The Emmys, first voice acting gigs, finding character voices, and more, with vocal appearances by Pinky, The Brain, Foxxy Love, Bubbles Powerpuff, William Shatner, Kif Kroker, Carl Wheezer, Elmyra Duff, Columbo, Timmy Turner, Hermes Conrad, “Alan Rickman,” and many many more!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first impression you ever did, and if it was any good) on our website for a chance to win a PMC Live poster signed by Rob, Maurice, Tara, Cree and Phil!

Freshly Popped


hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland with voice over acting legends Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Tara Strong, Cree Summer and Phil LaMarr

Signed Riot poster - voice over artists
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So You Think You Can Predict? We have a winner… http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-predict-we-have-a-winner/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-predict-we-have-a-winner/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2012 06:38:20 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3628 You watched. You predicted. And now, it’s time to find out who won…

Besides the honor & glory (hole not included) of winning, our top predictor will become the proud owner of the PMC Prize Bag! Fresh from LA’s celebration of National Dance Day, the winner will be receiving an Ovation channel drawstring backpack, a “A Chance to Dance” t-shirt (size medium, never worn unless you’re into that kind of thing & want me to wear it on a jog in the heat of the day after forgetting to apply deodorant), a pair of promotional fan thingies/single use ping pong paddles from Ovation and Cirque de Soleil, and a collectible sheet of American choreographer USPS stamps with a First Day of Issue certificate and envelope!

As early as the first & second live performance shows, one of you was on the mark with comments like “I feel like Eliana could go far (technique meets some edge)” and “Eliana has a Jeanine vibe… and just like that former winner, once she’s not with her quirky hip-hop partner I think she will do really well.” The accuracy continued as this person called plenty of eliminations and nailed the eventual co-champions well ahead of the actual finale.

Congratulations, Melissa W! You CAN predict, and you did it well! Thanks for all of your great comments throughout the season. I always looked forward to seeing what you had to say about each new episode.

But wait, there’s more!

After only the 4th performance show, this comment appeared: “Who I think will make it far – Eliana, maybe Chehon?” Whaaaaaaaat! That was out of the entire Top Ten pack of dancers, by the way… and like Melissa, this viewer also had plenty of correct picks, and called the Eliana/Chehon win the week before it was announced! So… congratulations are also in order for Megan, who will be getting a brand new Pop My Culture t-shirt! Way to go, girl.

To all of you that keep me going with your lovely and hilarious comments: Melissa W, Megan, Crystal, Pete, and Darcie, thank you so much! It’s nice to know that you’ve enjoyed reading these ridiculous recaps, and your comments provided me with precious, precious validation.

See ya ’round the internet!



PS Alex Wong 4EVA!!

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 9/18/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-91812/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-91812/#comments Thu, 20 Sep 2012 10:25:58 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3591 It’s here. It’s FINALLY here. The final SYTYCD finale!

This was going to be an epic recap full of REAL LIFE TALES from the live show itself, because one Heather Recently was able to snag tickets to the finale taping! But, those of you who listened to my “I didn’t think she’d sound like THAT!” voice on the just-released Chelsea Lately panel episode of our beloved Pop My Culture podcast and/or recognized the past conditional tense of the previous sentence will know that the misanthropic gods of reality television decided to turn away a couple hundred eager fans from the gates of the CBS Studio lot yesterday afternoon. Among those law-abiding, ticket-holding, hours-of-line-standing fans was yours truly… so please excuse my truncated recap. I had big plans, you guys. Reeeeeal big. But never fear, the recap is here!

Sort of. In the spirit of Twitter, CliffNotes, and Movie-A-Minute, please enjoy this photo montage accompanied by some brief captions/reactions. Please also share your own one-liners in the comments! Finally, I’ll announce the SYTYCPredict winner of a fabulous PMC/SYTYCD prize bag (literally!) very shortly. Thank you all for reading and replying this season- it’s been plenty of fun!

“Who here ordered the deLIGHTful Thaesar Thalad?”


A subtle nod to The Last Supper, or just beautiful staging of dancers?


In the Kama Sutra, this is appropriately called “The king of the world”.

Oh, and by the by- I FUCKING CALLED IT!!  Let me remind you of my original recap from this dance: “Expect to see it come back in the season finale and on tour, because… this one is unforgettable.” BOOM.


It’s a shame that Debbie Allen’s breasts are not on speaking terms.


George is hungry for that sweet, sweet tapioca pudding.


Nigel calls him “a beautiful human being.” I call him a tender chunk of love & happiness.


Fresh hot booty, straight outta the dumpster!


“His hair reminds me of a warm safe place…” Aw, those sweet children of hers!


“Who’s got two thumbs, a spray tan, and an assortment of random shit out of the “red” bin at Michaels? This gu—wait, where are we?”

(PS She pronounced it “the Holly-cost,” which is coincidentally a financial figure related to her shoulder ornament)


Candid photo from a screening of The Human Centipede


“If only Heather were here in my arms…”


If you’re FAAAAAbulous and you know it, raise your hand!


Nipples & a grin: the title of Lady Gaga’s latest single?


Nazi symbolism or not- this dance WAS OFF THE CHAINS. In the words of the great Sublime: they can tut and animate like a motherfuckin’ riot!


“We must go! Our planet needs us.”




Homeboy’s got the golden ticket to SWAAAAAAGTOWN.


Good to see Ryan & Nathan (both sitting on the right) make a minor comeback


Whoever came up with the idea to combine the Top Ten and 10 All-Stars for one season-ending, Tony-worthy, roof-blowing-off number deserves a goddamn parade, because what you are about to see is riveting. Also, this transcends being categorized as a mere dance… so let’s just indulge in a pile of pictures.

Because what show would be complete without ANOTHER District 78 remix?




Y’know what they say about guys with big codpieces…


I desperately wish this picture of Alex would replace the “pissing Calvin” meme…


Junk in the jungle trunk


In Africa, do they call it “hyena style”?


Lion King leapfrog!


Comfort is INTENSE.


Look, I know I’m only allowed to use the word “epic” once a year, but there is no other way to describe it. This NappyTabs showstopper was nothing short of epic. If I *had* been in the audience, there’s no way my eyes wouldn’t be leaking out of my face. In-fucking-credible.

That’s it. Nothing left between us and the results. By now you probably already know who won, but the top female dancer is-


We liked her from day one, and she is definitely the most deserving of the honor. Congratulations, girl! We’re so happy for you!

As for the boys, it was a battle between personality and technique, growth and versatility, the streets and the studio. America’s favorite male dancer is-


I suppose it’s right that he won, and he’s certainly as talented as they come. Still, I was really pulling for Cyrus and seeing his heartbreak is, well… heartbreaking. But this is Chehon’s big win! What an honor!

Aww, they’re beautiful!

Thank you all for following along through the months. What a great series this really is, even if they screwed me on my ticket…. but no hard feelings! Cat is yet again the absolute best host there is, and through all of the ups and downs, the producers have put together an extraordinary masterpiece of a season.

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PMC 92: Arden Myrin, April Richardson and Guy Branum http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-92-arden-myrin-april-richardson-and-guy-branum/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-92-arden-myrin-april-richardson-and-guy-branum/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2012 08:36:02 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3580 Arden Myrin, April Richardson and Guy Branum guests on Pop My Culture podcast

Arden Myrin, April Richardson and Guy Branum of Chelsea Lately’s roundtable join Cole and Vanessa for a spirited discussion about Amanda Bynes, Keith Urban, moose hands, seeing movies alone, Little Compton, Saved by the Bell Fan Fic, gypsies, pool parties, Steve Winwood, Nikki Minaj’s bootie, Magic Mike, Morrissey vs. Eeyore, conjoined twins, and Guy’s incredible Olsen Twin spotting.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first concert you can remember going to and being really disappointed by) on our website for a chance to win a super comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

Freshly Popped


hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland with guests April Richardson, Arden Myrin and Guy Branum

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EVEN MORE guests announced for live PMC at RIOT fest in LA! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/more-guests-announced-for-live-pmc-at-riot-fest-in-la/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/more-guests-announced-for-live-pmc-at-riot-fest-in-la/#comments Sun, 16 Sep 2012 00:09:48 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3543

Tara Strong, Maurice LaMarche, Cree Summer and Phil LaMarr join Rob Paulsen for live PMC!

Our panel is complete! We’ll be doing a live Pop My Culture Podcast on Sunday, September 23rd at 5pm at the Five Stars Bar in Downtown Los Angeles as part of the RIOT LA comedy fest — the show is just $5! The theme is “Legends of Voice Acting” which features our good pal Rob Paulsen (Pinky! Yakko Warner! Raphael! Carl Wheezer!) and just announced panelists Tara Strong (Powerpuff Girls’ Bubbles! Dil Pickles! Batgirl!), Maurice LaMarche (The Brain! Kif Kroker! Egon from The Real Ghostbusters!), Cree Summer (Elmyra! Penny from Inspector Gadget! And Freddie from A DIFFERENT WORLD!) and Phil LaMarr (Samurai Jack! Hermes Conrad from Futurama! Aquaman on Justice League!)

If you’re in the LA area, Cole and Vanessa would love to see you at the show! Pick up your tickets while you can — you can get them through the RIOT LA website HERE: http://riotla.com/shows/pop-my-culuture.html

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 9/11/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-91112/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-91112/#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2012 11:33:20 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3549 Here we are, after thousands of awful auditions and passionate performances alike- the So You Think You Can Dance finalé! The final four will be competing not for some worthless NCAA Championship (or is it NAACP? I always get those two confused), but they will win the COVER of DANCE MAGAZINE!!!! Oh, and “$200,000 to share” –which I can only assume means the female winner will get 74 cents for each dollar the guy makes! Hurray!

There is no opening group dance, possibly because four people don’t really count as a group. Cat introduces Nigel, Mary (who is in disguise as a gay disco ball), and director Rob Marshall, who was able to take time off from his day job as Romney’s body double.

The show starts with a gender bending Paso Doble- Eliana is the matador & Cyrus is the cape, which boils down to him wearing a dress and matching red ear discs.

She is powerful and majestic, even through the Swiffer move across the floor. Cyrus performed the most terrible cartwheel in the show’s history, but his solid partnering made up for it. Mary compared his challenges with the genre to “skinny dipping with snapping turtles” in a completely uncalled for moment of painful imagery.

Sonya Tayah is paired with Tiffany and All-Star Will (dreadlocked black guy from season 4…?) in a dance best identified by her costume’s distracting weird garter belt things.

It’s pretty but not memorable, and you can see Will struggling in places. Rob gives minor nod to 9/11, which was reverent and honest.

Eliana and Chehon are partnered for- ballet!!!! With a real Russian choreographer! To the Nutcracker! This is the first time real, classical ballet has been in the finalé, with two CONTESTANTS no less. It’s a real shining moment in SYTYCD history.

Chehon is on display in full bulge glory, and Eliana is decked out in pointe shoes, a tutu, and tiara, just like a Disney princess or fierce child pageant competitor. They are absolutely beautiful and, as Rob notes, the epitome of versatility. Chehon partners with similarly-sized Eliana much more easily than Will did with petite Tiffany. It’s also a nice surprise to see both of Chehon’s parents in the audience! Mary is overcome with emotion (or painkillers) and starts weeping.

Tiffany & Cyrus get hip hop with a choreographer that looks like she’d be more at home in a store selling homemade incense and healing crystals than teaching booty twerkin’.

The music is from Beyonce, and even though the piece has a 90s vibe for some reason, it’s very well done. Nigel notes that neither dancer has ever been in the bottom 2 or 3.

Overall, it’s a fun, interesting routine & both dancers are equally strong. Cyrus manipulates Tiffany so easily that I’m beginning to think her previous partner Will should get checked out for early stages of Stephen Hawking disorder. (note- I’m not a licensed medical professional)

The Top 4 DO come together after all for a “quirky Tyce Diorio” dance, which is like saying “an action-packed Michael Bay movie” or “a shitty E! reality show.” The song is (remixed) by- prepare yourselves- District 78! It starts with classical music, and the dancers perform beautiful ballet and lyrical movements… but then the music changes and it gives way to moments of jazz, hip hop, and just plain weirdness set to Star Wars noises.

The first half was intentionally mocking the serious, conservative ballet, and it came across in a very disrespectful way (in my opinion). The whole thing reminded me of Julia Stiles’ character’s audition piece from “Save the Last Dance” where she starts out doing ballet then switches into hip hop, but both genres were treated equally. Why couldn’t you have done something like that, Tyce, you jackass?

My memory isn’t great, which is just another way of saying I’m pretty dumb. That’s my excuse for forgetting that Eliana was partnered with Cyrus for the first several weeks of the show. In her pre-solo clip package, she’s very likable and sincere, not at all annoying, and just a consistent dancer.

The solo itself was in textbook Eliana garb- tutu, pointe shoes, sports bra. Her front walkover thing on pointe- wow! Even with lipstick all over her teeth, she’s still beautiful.

Chehon & All-Star Allison are with Stacey Tookey in a dance where he wants her to pursue her dreams (of… being a yoga teacher?) Stacey admitted that she’d “find myself gasping and screaming” while watching Chehon in rehearsal… SEX REHEARSAL. When the song info appeared- it’s from “Once- A New Musical”- we know it’s gonna be awesome.

Chills. I was out of my body watching it, thinking “I’m seeing something magical happen right now, for the first time, and I’m going to remember it for a long time.” There’s an incredible one hand lift, Chehon’s signature leaps and turns, and a full mouth kiss! They were really in their own moment, and it was stunning. Standing O of course, and when the camera cut to Stacey’s reaction, you could see that she was so proud. Mary told Chehon that he was “free at last!”- does she know that he isn’t black? Nigel said he was watching Allison breathing before the routine, “psyching herself up,” and I couldn’t help but think he was probably doing a little “psyching up” of his own.

Things take a strange turn when Eliana and Tiffany are paired for a burlesque/Broadway number. With a pole. Nigel is foaming at the mouth & penis. Luckily, it was in good non-gropey hands with Ray Leeper. The song, “When You’re Good to Mama” from Chicago, is already suggestive song but at least their costumes & pole moves are relatively tame.

The dance is very, very well done with some ridiculously difficult choreography. It’s also not the sexiest dance we’ve ever seen- thank god! Rob, who directed the 2002 Chicago movie, was busy “trying to imagine Queen Latifah doing that”, hopefully putting Nigel’s own pole back in its place. Cat cemented her role as Best Host Ever when she said about Nigel “let’s drown him out with applause!” Wise words, girl.

Speaking of forgetting things from the early weeks of the show- I’d forgotten how good Cyrus’s solos are. Tonight he blew us away in his understated style to the same song from his very first Atlanta audition, I think (let’s be honest- it’s hard to tell those songs apart).

Tiffany really flew under the radar in auditions and Vegas, and was never featured until making the Top 20. Even then, she was so similar to Audrey she didn’t have her own identity- something that’s evident even looking back at past recaps here. Dancing with Ade was her breakthrough moment when people finally knew who she was.

The boys have a Sonya dance, and of course, District 78 music. The lifts & partnering are delightfully homoerotic. Sonya does a great job in making sure both dancers’ strengths are used.

I never noticed before, but the two of them are built almost exactly the same- in the shadows they are identical besides the hair. Cyrus is Nigel’s “favorite person on the show” and Chehon is his “favorite dancer on the show”. We know Eliana is his favorite female dancer, so maybe that leaves Tiffany the title of Nigel’s “favorite dancer to fantasize about”?

Guest dancer Jean Sok, a French one-legged Asian b-boy, takes the stage for a solo. What, was the Samoan blind dwarf tap dancer unavailable?

Chehon’s pre-solo clip package really gets one thing across- that boy loves his mom. He started his solo with the coveted plane ticket to Vegas, and his song was appropriately called “This Is How It Ends.”

Eeeek! It’s the heavenly Alex Wong with Eliana! And it’s her first time dancing with Travis Wall! Talk about a finalé. They changed the game with their Bang Bang dance a few weeks ago, and how they’re with the best goddamn choreographer? I am vibrating with excitement.

Off the bat, the cliché/cheesy song choice (“Without You,” performed by Harry Nilsson but covered by everyone from Mariah Carey to Air Supply) made it hard take to take this piece seriously. It was beautifully done, the dancers were passionate & effortless, and Eliana’s extensions & pointed toes are simply unreal, but… the song was the worst. Nigel calls it his favorite routine of the night, and Eliana his favorite dancer of all time on the series- damn! I really, REALLY wanted to like this more, and maybe if I see it again on mute I will, but I’m left feeling a little underwhelmed.

Tiffany and Chehon have a rumba with former contestant and current shirtless wonder Dmitri. Will these goofballs be able to pull themselves together to dance as if they’re in love?

Between the stunning set design and romantic song (Love Me Tender by Norah Jones with Adam Levy), this looks like a wedding dance more than any kind of “sexy Latin ballroom.” Maybe I just don’t know what a rumba is, but this dance is soft and mellow. There’s not any great chemistry as Mary says, but it’s lovely and safe.

It’s the first ever animation routine with Cyrus & Twitch! Another big moment not only for the show, but for an ecstatic Cyrus. Oh, and guess which numerically zoned band is doing the music?

This WILL be one of the most memorable dances in the history of the series between the killer dancers, revolutionary style, and literally explosive start of the dance when the boys smash out of their glass enclosures (and my lady boner smashes out of my pants). As Dancetradamus, I predict that kids will watch this dance over and over, trying to learn the moves à la Thriller, and a new generation of hip hoppers will appear in next year’s auditions.

With the show moments from closing, Nigel manages to make it really, really awkward. And not even sexually, for once. He tells Cyrus that he’s not voting for him (in favor of Chehon) because of how hard Chehon has worked as a trained dancer. What the fuck, Nigel? First of all, nobody asked! There isn’t some obscure bylaw that states “Nigel must declare which male dancer he will vote for at the end of the show, but don’t worry about saying anything about the girls.” Second, let the guy enjoy his last moments of (well deserved) adoration on stage after experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime event! Finally, the comment killed the whole mood of the show and made everyone visibly uneasy. Nigel’s weird “I love your bones” compliment (?) certainly couldn’t make it all better.

What a way to end the show… but it was pretty damn spectacular between the ballet, Stacey Tookey’s showstopper, crying dancers and judges, a stripper pole, and Cyrus in a dress. Next week’s SYTYCD will announce the grand prize winners, and here at Pop My Culture we’ll reveal the winner of the So You Think You Can Predict prize pack! We’ve had a good run, guys. See you then!


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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 9/5/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-9512/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-9512/#comments Sat, 08 Sep 2012 05:17:29 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3518 Six SYTYCDers enter the battledom, but only 4 will survive. It’s not quite as politically un-correct as the black teen battle royale Jesse Thorn describes to Vanessa & Cole on the recent podcast, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining!

The opening number, with music courtesy of “I’m All Out Of Milkshake Profits” Kellis, has a distinctly Phantom of the Black Material Girl Swan vibe.

The guys went kooky & did their 3-second introductory solo in each others’ styles. They all made a “C” hand gesture (since that’s everyone’s first initial), then Chehon imitated Karate Cole, Cyrus imitated Chehon (sorta? He just acted “regal” and took a sweeping bow), and Cole did some simple but impressing “animation” moves. So clever, boys! I almost couldn’t tell you all apart! I caught a long suffering “sheesh” look on one of the girl’s faces, as if to say “didn’t you guys get the memo? We’re NOT here to make friends…!”

Tonight’s dancers will be doing a solo, a duet with another contestant, and a duet with an All-Star. The judges will be doing… jack shit. Last week’s votes have already determined the Final Four. No one will be saved. No one will be housed (shoutout to Doug Benson).

Joining the pointless panel is the fluffy haired Christina Applegate, whose TV husband Will Arnett just announced his latest project: divorcing Amy Poehler. I am genuinely sad to hear the news, mainly because of how much love I have for Amy. She’s arguably more likable than Jen Aniston, which is really saying something. May their marriage rest in peace.

Where were we… right! Dance! Tiffany and All-Star/Ross Geller’s second cousin Benji Schwimmer (really!) have a Jean-Marc Genz’ swing dance with not one, not two, but THREE cartwheels! (cue flashing lights, confetti, and go-go girls)

Correction: 3 cartwheels and a TAINT TO THE FACE. Uh, no thanks. It was very high energy and fun, with lots of twirling and grinning. The “judges” loved it, and C-Apps revealed that she and Benji are in a lyrical class together—wtf? (Also- Christina played Rachel’s sister for a few episodes, so that’s THREE Friends references packed into the beginning of this recap. Boom. This is some professional level work, guys.)

Cole finally gets a chance to break away from his past roles as abusive puppy-kicking addicts and embody love, which is totally what he’s all about, you guys! But since the dance (with Melanie) is from Sonya Tayah, this is what “love” looks like:

Melanie did a lot of the heavy lifting here, both literally and figuratively, but Cole did well too. The thing that struck me the most about this whole thing, though, is how good of a “judge”/commentator the Apps is. She noticed Cole’s sloppy pirouette foot, she talked about the “fluidity of gender” in the choreography, and she had some beautiful things to say to Melanie too. Plus, breast cancer survivor!

I swear, Eliana gets all the best partners. This week she’s dancing with Twitch to a post office themed hip-hop number by Christopher Scott. Twitch promises to make it “first class delivery”, and I just wish *I* could be signing for his package (sorry).

Not as impressed with this as I’d hoped. First of all, I don’t really like Twitch –LET ME FINISH!—as a goofy, fun loving character the way he is here. Second, Eliana was cute & bubbly but not nearly as flawless of a technician as she is normally. Finally, the difference between their skill levels with those sharp little popping moves was emphasized in a bad way. Twitch was like an epileptic lizard, while Eliana looked more like a snake on Valium. Christina (whose opinion, apparently, is the only one I deem worthy of mentioning) told Eliana that while she’s not going to be in a Jay-Z video anytime soon, she could do the YMCA all day long (the dance equivalent of singing the phone book) and it would be lovely to watch. I reach for my vodka when Nigel says the dance didn’t have enough meat for him to get his hands on.

Side note- who the hell is District 78 and why are they responsible for a good 93% of the songs on this show? Someone is getting laid or paid every time their music is featured, because that name is popping up more often than Nigel’s Little Ben at a cheerleading convention.

Up next, on a very special episode of Oprah: watch what happens when one man introduces his mistress into the bedroom; will his wife and exhausted mother of his 7 children be into it?

Whoopsie, that’s just Chehon with Tiffany and All-Star Katherine.

The dancers’ solos aren’t worth commenting on, but Tiffany’s clip package is. It was almost entirely comprised of her hugging the undead sister and the two of them talking about how much they love each other. Seriously weird, you guys. I thought they were gonna start making out. It’s almost weirder that they didn’t.

Tyce Of Th’Oreo starts talking vaguely about the dance he created for Chehon and Katherine as if it’s about the Holocaust or 9/11 or the day you couldn’t get Crispy M&M’s in America anymore, but I think it’s about what happens when you can’t find your suitcase at baggage claim.

Also, no big deal but I’ve done this trick plenty of times with my dog. These aren’t photos of me, but…


The dance goes over very well.  Standing O, lady tears, the whole bit. Somehow, Nigel makes it about how brave & noble the Fox network is to air stuff like this. Mary & Christina can barely get through their critiques without dissolving into full blown crying. Maybe it’s because I was having such a blast looking for the above photos, or maybe it’s because I’m heartless and unfeeling, but this dance didn’t move me the way it moved them. Sure, it was very well done and I can see how it’ll be memorable, but all the emooooootion and striiiiiiiife seemed forced to me.

Witney is headed to the altar with All-Star Marco for a lyrical piece that involves her having second thoughts about marriage and him getting borderline domestic abuse-y. But hey, she’s Mormon and of legal age, so it’s totally cool, guys!

This is pretty good stuff. For a ballroom dancer, Witney does a beautiful job, both technically and artistically, with this piece. Marco is a great partner that never pulls the attention from her, and the chemistry between them is believable. Ms Applegate makes a great comment about the “hairography” distracting from Wit’s face, and I continue my fight against sobriety when Nigel wishes the two of them would’ve stayed married so that he can see next week’s divorce choreography. It’s nice to hear him say that the reason they’ve “saved” her (twice, I believe) is that the choreographers & judges keep saying that she’s a star.

Ohhhhhh Cyrus. You and your adorable hip hop fashion. In this week’s rehearsal, his shirt says “How much dub could a dubstep dub if dubstep could step dub?” I can’t say for sure, but I think the answer is approximately 1 Skrillex. What I *am* certain of, however, is that his pairing with Comfort for the first ever Dubstep routine is either serendipitous or rigged. Either way, I can’t wait! In case you aren’t terribly familiar with the dubstep style, the delightful and brilliant comedian Guy Branum (who you may be hearing in the near future, podcast listeners…!)  put together this explanatory video for you as part of his Factuary series.

Before we begin, however, I just want to address two quick things. First of all, Cyrus was introduced by his “street name,” Glitch, in the beginning of the season but no one has referred to him by that name since. Maybe because it sounds too much like Twitch (which is technically supposed to be written as “tWitch”)? Or maybe Cyrus is a unique and cool enough name on its own? Also, how come no one ever talks about his wonky gaze?

I’m not sure if his eye is lazy or drifting or what, but it’s time someone addressed it… and that someone is me. What’s the story, pal? I’m into that “soft focus” look, for the record… it works well on Kate Moss, Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks/Court Yard Hounds, and even Michelle Obama, and thank god Cyrus doesn’t look nearly as whacked out as Paris Hilton.

Let’s get back to the show, shall we?

Whoa… there is some intense tutting and gliding going on here, and the audience LOVED it. The veteran was out-danced by the newbie for the first time, too! C-Apps is down with the drop and even more down with the idea of throwing pens through Cyrus’s ears. As a Cyrus fan, I gotta love when Nigel responds to the chatter about “why is he still here? He should’ve been gone weeks ago” with the fact that he’s NEVER been voted into the bottom! Suck it, suckers. Mary makes a comment about him being in “the Comfort zone,” which is decidedly less creepy coming from her than if it’d come from Nigel, and Cat refers to the dancers as the President and First Lady of Dubstep in a “is she or isn’t she being racist” moment.

That’s the end of the All-Star duets, but there are three more contestant dances to go. Witney & Chehon start out with a Cha-Cha, where he bumbles a lift/grab thing and generally fucks up. Witney predictably does fine, even though Mary unpredictably calls her Rachel Lindsay by mistake (BOOM 4th Friends ref!). After Cyrus’s solo to a classical/opera song (seriously, who does that? more importantly, who else could totally pull it off?), Eliana and Cole do a sheep-inspired Mia Michaels dance. It’s interesting and weird and very Mia. Nigel indicates some history of tension between himself and Mia, while Mary and Christina praise the dancers up and down; Christina calls Eliana “the perfect dancer.” Tiffany and Cyrus get an adorable, cheeky Broadway by Spencer Liff that explores interracial teenage romance in the 50’s with a dash of stripteasing. As weird as that might sound, it’s very entertaining and well appreciated. Somehow Nigel gets on the topic of “Honey Boo Boo Yogi Bear” before the show switches over to the guest performance by AXIS Dance Company. The able-bodied and wheelchair-bound pair reminds me of the talented paraplegic singer Ali from this year’s Glee Project, who was in that show’s final 3 but lost out in the end to a tall Bieber-haired actor boy… but that’s another blog for another day.

With all that behind us, who’s going to be on the finale show on Tuesday? Time to find out! Starting with the girls, all I care about is Eliana going through- Tiffany and Witney are a toss up. The first finalist is revealed to be… Tiffany! I sure hope that means the second girl is…. yay, Eliana! Witney misses out by a perfectly coiffed blonde hair, and we move on to the boys. No surprise that my favorite is Cyrus here, and Chehon’s ballet background makes him my second choice. Who’s the first male finalist? It’s Chehon! They cut to Eliana jumping around like crazy- do those two have a little sumthin-sumthin going on? Hmmm! Finally, it’s between the ninja and the hoodlum… Jackie Chan and Samuel Jackson… teriyaki and barbeque… uh, have I gone too far? Anyway, the final finale finalist is… CYRUS!!!! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!!! WHOOOOO!!!!!

Ahh, this is gonna rock! Thank you all for reading along with me, and I can’t wait to bring it all home for you next week!



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PMC 91: Iain Morris http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-91-iain-morris/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-91-iain-morris/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2012 06:26:11 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3506 Iain Morris guest on Pop My Culture podcast

Iain Morris (co-creator and writer of the UK smash “The InBetweeners”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about The Oogieloves Movie, Clint Eastwood’s chair rant, Tom Cruise’s wife vetting, theater manners, The InBetweeners Movie, petard-hoisting, the magical lands of Oz, unlimited worms, mean magicians, translating MI3, Jerry Seinfeld’s awkward adolescence, Twin Peaks, and Iain’s surreal weekend of box-office checking.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first amusement park you can remember going to and what your favorite ride or attraction was) on our website for a chance to win a comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

Freshly Popped


Iain Morris with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 8/29/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-82912/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-82912/#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2012 07:12:48 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3482 Have you done your monthly self-exam for breast and/or testicular cancer?

Great! Then it’s time to recap So You Think You Can Dance!

Coming back for his second year as a guest judge, it’s JT Fergs from Ann Romney-bot’s favorite TV show!

Adorned in an off-white tux, a bow tie that looks like it was used to clean up a chocolate-covered blueberry disaster, and the finest in peach fuzz invisi-beards, Jesse is clearly here to paaaaaaahhh-tay!

Another format change for the Top 8 means each dancer will dance with an All-Star AND do a solo after their e-Harmony video profile. Tiffany is first up, but her clip package seems to be from her older sister’s memorial service…? It’s 90% past tense reminiscing about unnamed big sis with a few of Tiffany’s sound bites thrown in at the last minute. We learn that growing up in Florida means you have to love 3 things- but according to Tiffany, they aren’t Jews, the elderly, and elderly Jews, so someone needs to get their facts checked. Her solo is to a song by the Glee Cast- Fox is going super meta. At the end we see Mystery Sister in the audience… or is it HER GHOST?!? What a thrilling mystery!

Witney’s hip hop duet with Twitch was created by new-to-SYTYCD-USA-but-not-SYTYCD-Canada Luther Brown. It promises to be extremely “ratchet.” It does not, however, define what ratchet means…

..but apparently it means “seriously good” because Witney took this dance, hung it by its hind legs, performed a clean incision from sternum  to belly button, removed the abdominal organs, skinned the hide from the carcass, and processed it into a variety of fine cuts. Even her facial expressions were ghetto fab. Nigel’s Perv Quote of the Day was delivered early in the show, with: “Do all young 18 year old Mormon girls from Utah dance like this?” Trust me, the crazed look in his eye made it clear that he was mentally removing Witney’s “diaper pants” (as Jesse termed them).

Oh hey, look what’s next! The most uncomfortable prom threesome in the world!

Will shares his transformation story about how he want from a naughty little chubster to high school homecoming king that’s knee deep in pussy 24-sevs, then Cole and Allison hit the stage. He’s playing “a soulless, sadistic man” and she’s “a desperate woman vying for his heart” in a piece that Sonja Tayeh might as well call “My Childhood Lacked Positive Role Models”.

Despite a song littered with screeching violins and screeching Bjork (also note Allison’s feathery white gown, possibly a nod to Bjork’s infamous swan dress), this was pretty spectacular. I don’t know that I’d say Cole was the star of the show, but to his credit, almost all of the already-difficult lifts also had super-duper-difficult holds. Look at this shit-

One arm! He lifted her AND held that position! This dance cemented my admiration for Allison more than anything else, but Cole certainly didn’t fuck anything up.

Lindsay’s home life is about as squeaky clean as it comes- she has three blonde-haired blue-eyed sisters, they all dance at her perfect and beautiful mom’s dance studio in Utah, and there is probably a collection of Marie Osmand dolls on display somewhere in their house. In contrast, her solo was enough to send a few million missionaries down the river and through the woods, if ya know whaddaye mean.

(I mean ejaculation.)

I was really looking forward to Eliana’s dance this week, but my spirit is dampened a little when she gets the Quick Step. The story is basically the suburban 1950’s version of Sonja’s routine: bored housewife craves husband’s attention/peen.

I gotta say- this was surprisingly fun and engaging to watch! Eliana and her All Star Ryan (*shrug*) were in absolutely perfect sync from beginning to end. Mary gave Eliana’s technique a shrill, Xanax-laden seal of approval, and Jesse even made a point to praise last week’s Bang Bang dance because he “honestly cannot stop thinking about it.” You tell ‘em, Uncle Mitch!

Chehon was born in Chicago, got adopted by Swiss Sally Jesse Raphael & Andy Warhol, then went off to Ballet Hogwarts to perfect his dance wizardry.

His solo was beautiful- it was like that dancing plastic bag scene from the beginning of American Beauty, but with less homophobia and suicide. Cat pointed out that his munchkin mother was in the audience for the first time, too!

Lindsay and Alex are paired with Sonja for a jazz piece (a little bit of a weird fit for both Alex AND Sonja) that Lindsay describes as a “chilled out” sexual attack. That’s what I imagine happens when Honey Boo Boo’s parents are feeling frisky- raw sexual passion that doesn’t involve putting down the Cheetos or Keystone Lite. Anyway, luckily for us, that scene only exists on the cutting room floor at TLC.

The dark red lighting is very much reminiscent of Alex’s dance last week, the music comes up, and they—NO. Seriously? They’re using that Goatee-Yay song?? Literally ANY OTHER SONG would’ve been less cliché. Hell, Yakkity Sax would’ve been an improvement.

The choreography is very… writhy. I have to agree with Nigel (even though it makes me feel dirty)- great technique, but he “didn’t feel their sexual tension”. Mary calls it “a ‘no’ in the chemistry department” (so much for a SYTYCD/Breaking Bad crossover), and Fergie tells Lindsay she’s “ding-dong-dorable.” If she doesn’t put that on her gravestone, I hope Joey Smith or whoever doesn’t let her into Mormon Heaven.

This is Will’s big shot at showing us his alleged “serious side” with a Christopher Scott hip-hop number. His character has to “dance the pain away”, which is ironic because Lauren Gottlieb is on stage with him the entire time.


(she landed on the couch, unfortunately)

It was kinda “meh”, although the judges seemed to like it. JT nailed it when he described Will as “an adorable puppy, covered in puppies that are adorable with stickers that say ‘adorable puppy’ wearing a hat that says ‘I’m an adorable puppy’.” Nigel praises him for downplaying his usual cheesiness, but imagine how different it would’ve been with Cole or Cyrus in that role. He’s still got a ways to go. Also I probably should mention that Nigel makes a joke about having Lauren appear whenever he’s down, and he’s planning to be “down tonight”, so…. ugh. Enough, Nigel. We get it. You’re a horny straight man and you want to stick it in all the girls and aren’t you such a dapper gent for not running around with a raging boner all the time.

Lindsay II Witney, also Mormon, comes from a small town and a huge family. Stop the presses.

They show a 2-second clip of her on a horse, which tells me everything I need to know.

(Warning- horse talk ahead.) First of all, she’s in shorts. That’s like showing up for a ballet class in jeans; you don’t do it and there are good reasons why (namely, chaffing, pinching leather, and the lack of protection for riding through brush or even getting your leg smushed up against a fence). Her boots are that “fashionable” slouch style which is entirely inappropriate for riding. Her toes are pointed deep into the stirrups- another red flag of having no idea what you’re doing. She’s riding with two hands in a curb bit-kind of a nitpicky error to point out because there are times when it’s OK, but in her case, it’s because of her inexperience. She’s pitched way forward in her saddle, the saddle pad doesn’t fit her horse right, and she’s riding with the horse’s halter on under the bridle- something I always associate with rental horse strings. She may be a brilliant ballroom dancer, but she is NO equestrian!

Now that I’m off my high horse (hyuck hyuck hyuck)… I think it’s funny the way her dad is so uncomfortable with the sexuality of ballroom dancing, but he’s part of a culture that obviously has no problem with making LOTS of babies.

Wow, things really got political there. Sorry about that. Witney’s dad makes it through her solo with a begrudging smile, then Cole tells us about his awkward childhood which led him into martial arts and dance. He even won a Junior Olympic silver medal at age 11, so that’s pretty cool.

Cyrus and last year’s pixie-haired winner Melanie have a Mandy Moore jazz dance.

Even though it’s quirky and weird- and not in the good way- Cyrus is just so darn fun to watch. He sticks his tongue out, makes a bunch of silly faces, his ear disc thing goes flying just as Cole (Stratton, your PMC host with a sizable amount) predicted several podcasts ago… and as Nigel points out, he hasn’t been one of the bottom dancers, even though he’s never heard of Bob Fosse.

Eliana went to the Joffrey for ballet when she was 16, which goes to show how exceptional of a dancer she really is. Her solo is a beautiful blend of traditional ballet en pointe with lyrical and contemporary elements mixed in. As Cat comments, it will have lots of little girls at home saying “Mommy, I want to be a ballerina!”

Chehon and Anya tackle the Tango, where with the Latin music and style he looks like a Shark from West Side Story.

Everyone loses their shit like they did with last week’s Eliana & Alex dance… standing O from the judges, people were crying, babies were conceived… it was intense. Mary put Chehon on the HTT and called it her favorite dance of the night. Not to be outdone, Jesse lets Chehon aboard the Hot Jalapeño Bus, and Nigel spares us any comments about what type of transportation he has to offer Anya.

In Cyrus’ clip package, he talks about the death of his dad when he was 10 and how his mom has been a strong presence in his life. So strong, in fact, he decided to take her to prom.

This is the first time since Vegas week that he’s done a solo in his style- which is pretty amazing considering how long ago that was. But it was worth the wait- his feet barely left the ground, he didn’t have any fancy tricks, but I got chills! His performance had that effect on the judges that white people get when they listen to a Too $hort CD with the bass turned all the way up- they get ghetto. Nigel started throwing gang signs and screaming “ratchett!” like a reeeeeeal black person.

Speaking of street cred, Tiffany and Ade apparently can’t stop singing along to their Celine Dion song. Side note- I’m pretty sure that’s him in the video of the guy doing the front aerial that they show right after the commercials are over, and I’m in awe every time.

You guys, I have the hugest jealousy boner right now. He manhandles her like she weighs nothing (which isn’t far from the truth) and even though the song is cheesy as fuck, they make it borderline erotic. It’s another standing ovation/tear-filled reception by the audience and judges. It’s Tiffany’s best dance of the season, according to Mary. I have a bone to pick with Cat and Nigel though- they BOTH say “to quote One Direction, (Tiffany) doesn’t know she’s beautiful.” Uhhh have you guys seriously never heard that Sammy Kershaw song from (…googling…) 1993?? Granted, the syntax is slightly less eloquent, but let’s give credit where credit is due! Between this and Witney’s horse thing, this episode is NOT very redneck-friendly!

That’s the end of the dances and my long-winded commentary. Let’s get eliminatin’! The bottom two girls are The Ballroom Twins, and the boys are Will and Cole. (Confession- my heart fluttered when I saw the look of relief on Cyrus’ face when he realized he was safe!) In a moment of “déjà vu”, as Witney notes, it’s between her and Lindsay one final time. Without any real explanation, Nigel says Witney’s the one they’re keeping. He doesn’t offer any reasoning with the boys either, but they keep Cole, sending Lindsay and Will off the show. No big surprise with the boys since Cole is more versatile, especially as an actor, and the girls are so similar that you might as well draw a name from a hat.

We’re almost to the end of the season! Next week it’s down to Witney, Eliana, Tiffany, Cyrus, Cole, and Chehon… who do you think will make it? Tell me in the comment section, along with what you thought of the show and whatever else is on your mind. It’s almost time to announce the winner of our PMC SYTYCD prize pack, too, so keep those comments coming!


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PMC 90: Jesse Thorn http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-90-jesse-thorn/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-90-jesse-thorn/#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2012 07:46:35 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3470 Jesse Thorn guest on Pop My Culture podcast

Jesse Thorn (host of Bullseye/The Sound of Young America and Jordan Jesse Go!) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Prince Harry’s Vegas madness, The Expendables 2, LL Cool J’s home invader, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, celebrity sightings, the Avril Lavigne/Chad Kroeger engagement, Kristen Stewart hate T-shirts, A Thousand Clowns, movie tag lines, Dick Dale, and what Downtown Abbey would be like with goofy sound effects added.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first hip hop or R&B song you can remember being really into) on our website for a chance to win some cool podcast swag signed by Jesse!

Freshly Popped


Jesse Thorn with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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Cole & Vanessa take on Comic-Con 2012! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/cole-vanessa-take-on-comic-con-2012/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/cole-vanessa-take-on-comic-con-2012/#comments Tue, 28 Aug 2012 16:43:16 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3243

Vanessa’s headband courtesy of the wonderful @dadalibrarian.

Hello Culturepoppers! (Is that what we’re calling you now? PMCaesars? Pop My Culturevultures?) Vanessa and I are back and showered from the all-on media assault that is San Diego Comic Con International! This year, we attended Thursday through Saturday and this is our recap of the complete and utter madness we experienced whilst buried in Slave Leias, cranky fanboys and bible thumpers with megaphones at the Convention Center. All in all, a fabulous, yet exhausting time! My thoughts (Cole) are written in black here, while Vanessa’s crazy ramblings will be in red. So, here we go, panel by panel, party by party, pizza by pizza…

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

We arrived at our cruise ship party spot and embarked on a walk longer than Mordor to pick up our credentials around noon, and trudged over to the line for Hall H, the biggest room at the con (approximately 6000 people). I shivered as memories flashed back of a 6 hour waiting culminating in the infamous pen stabbing incident that barred me from getting in there two cons ago. As the room emptied out due to the Twilight panel being over, we were relieved to get in quickly for a day full of great panels, starting with…

Walt Disney Studios: Frankenweenie, Oz the Great and Powerful, and Wreck-It Ralph
PANELISTS: Tim Burton, Sam Raimi, John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Rich Moore and surprise guests Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis

MODERATOR: Chris Hardwick

Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick, was the moderator for all three panels, starting with a look at Tim Burton’s new stop-motion family film Frankenweenie. The animation, reminiscent of his previous work on Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride, looked fantastic in 3D and the black and white look was lovely, harkening back to his original short film he made 30 or so years ago. We also saw a clip inside of a classroom (where the kids were based on previous classmates of Burton’s when he was young) and a scene where the young scientists attempt to reanimate a dead gold fish. Burton was slightly cagey in answering questions from both Hardwick and the hordes of Mad Hatters in the audience, but it was fascinating none-the-less.

And what you’re all wondering: Yes, Tim Burton was having a great hair day.  FANTASTIC in fact.  The Frankenweenie claymation was beautiful- later, I walked the exhibition floor and went through his booth which was chock full of the actual critters and sets they used in the movie, and let me tell you- every thing was amazing and meticulously crafted.

Next up was a look at Sam Raimi’s look at the origins of L. Frank Baum’s wonderful wizard in Oz, The Great and Powerful. The trailer was screened first, showing the young wizard (played by James Franco) as a sideshow magician, fleeing Kansas in a balloon and ending up in that mythical land. It started in black and white and in 4:3, and turned into magnificent, vibrant widescreen color as we first saw Oz. Surprise guests Michelle Williams (yum!) and Mila Kunis (double yum!) joined Raimi for a quick chat. Several of the audience questions were annoying in that they didn’t seem to understand that this is an origins story, and kept asking about the emerald slippers, tin man, etc. Highlight: an enthusiastic fan in full on Mad Hatter garb, obsessed with Oscar-winning costumer Colleen Atwood, accidentally called Kunis a man, resulting in her gorgeous eyes becoming daggers. We only saw limited footage, but Raimi’s films are almost always excellent and this one looks to be a winner.

Ok, yes to Cole on his above “yums.”  The women looked gorgeous, and if Michelle isn’t just the glowiest little glow-er in all of GlowyTown, I don’t know who is!  She was also very charming and channeling her My Week With Marilyn persona; all blushy and coy and delightful.   I have to admit- while John and Cole were pretty into the trailer, and though I am a Raimi fan- I’m not on board yet.  I love all the Oz books, the ’39 movie, Return To Oz, et cetera et cetera- BUT I am not totally on Team Franco on this one.  His performance in the clips we saw rubbed me the wrong way (felt like his costumes were doing the acting and he was just in charge of mugging.)  I’m sure this will be beautiful, but I don’t know if I’ll find it satisfying. 

Director Rich Moore joined Hardwick for an extended look at the new animated video game comedy Wreck-It Ralph. The crowd was stoked to see ten minutes of footage for what looks to be a hilarious, meta family film that will be popular with older and younger gamers alike. Plus, it has tons of cameos from legendary video game characters like Q-Bert, Zangief, Bowser and one of the Pac-Man ghosts. John C. Reilly, who voices the title character, and Sarah Silverman joined them after the footage, and Reilly quickly stole the show, having fun with lots of the audience questions, including the strangest one of the weekend, in which a fatigued teen with a headset on asked him what it was like to “have two personalities.” Reilly asked if that was his question, or if it was radioed in from his superiors.

John C. Reilly is unbelievably clever smart and charming.  I want to sit next to him at every dinner in the world.

Chinese 12 Zodiacs
PANELISTS: Jackie Chan

Yes, he’s broken every bone in his body. It was truly thrilling to spend an hour with one of the truest actions stars in the world, Jackie Chan! We saw the trailer (twice) for his last full-on action film Chinese 12 Zodiacs. The footage itself wasn’t terribly impressive but promised a lot of fun set pieces (including one fight staged completely on one dumpy sofa), and Jackie was full of so much energy and good will it was infectious. There was a bit of a language barrier with a lot of the questions being misunderstood, but Jackie still told lots of great stories, including a two-day shoot next to an active volcano (“Jackie get out of there!” “Don’t worry! The rock flew that way”!)

I LOVE JAKIE CHAN! My gosh, from the moment he took the stage he was such a positive force.  He was funny, charming, humble, and overflowing with goodness.  My favorite anecdotes and answers from him were regarding the MASSIVE amount of young martial artists he has trained and those who have become part of his JC Stunt Team.  His commitment to teamwork, respect, and humility were amazing.  The world needs more Jackie Chans!  And I want to send a lot of spoiled, entitled people to JC training camp.  Can he make that happen? 

The Expendables 2
PANELISTS: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren

Highlight of the con for me, HANDS DOWN! It’s…it’s…I mean…every action star that I grew up with was there. So many summer nights spent watching mindless blow-em-ups with my buddies in junior high and high school came rushing back as Stallone took the stage and we were treated to a high-octane reel of his work, as well as the trailer for the film, which was met with lots of cheers and applause. Terry Crews came out next, striking a pose and sounding a barbaric yalp as he was beyond excited to be there. Then came Randy Couture and He-Man himself, Dolph Lundgren! Before the final guest was announced, another reel was shown, treating us to iconic images of a Terminator on a motorcycle, a Barbarian king, and a Commando breaking a promise (“Remember when I said I’d kill you last? I lied.”) Arnold Schwarzenegger took the stage and my life somehow jumped the shark. The Q&A was MAGNIFICENT — Stallone and big Arnold riffed with each other like old friends, and Schwarzenegger uttered SEVERAL of his famous one-liners, including: “It’s not a tumor!,” “Who is your daddy and what does he do?” and “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!” They also showed a sequence from the film in which they take on Jean Claude Van Damme and his mercenaries in an airport and turn some of those catch phrases on their ear.

This was amazing.  It was also amazing to see the look of glee on Cole’s face the whole time!  The room was electric, everyone on the panel seemed to be having a great time, Stallone was surprisingly eloquent, and my favorite part of the whole moment was a sort of psuedo-romantic conversation that went off the rails between Arnold and Terry Crews… Arnold is REALLY impressed with Terry’s muscle mass and complimented him on it for literally 5 minutes.  It was like a girl gushing over another woman’s handbag, only… weirder.  Way weirder.

RiffTrax Live
Panelists: Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett and special guest Deborah Ann Woll (as Axecop)

Our last panel of the day was our yearly jaunt to see Mike, Kevin and Bill riff a live short in front of a rabid crowd. In the past, they were in a room of around 600 or so, but this year they commanded the massive Indigo Ballroom (1400 seats) and packed it in pretty good. The short was a hilarious piece about safety at home with a very 70s “super hero” named Safety Woman. It played great. Usually, the guys then would take suggestions from the crowd about movies they should riff in the future, but this year they decided to switch it up and have the audience suggest FAKE movies for them to riff — this caused endless confusion at first, but eventually they got the gist of it. I lined up to suggest Freejack when I realized that it had to be something fictitious, so I pitched Being Joe Don Baker, in which the protagonist ventures inside the mind of Joe Don Baker and then chastises the crew for riffing Mitchell and his movies (this earned me Mike’s used copy of Coyote Ugly!). They brought up a special guest judge, dressed as Axe Cop. It turned out to be the lovely and hilarious Deborah Ann Woll from True Blood! A fun way to close out our first day of panels.

SUPER fun panel.  Cole killed it with Being Joe Don Baker and I felt like a proud stage momma (taking pictures and trying to get him to SMILE BABY!) when he got his beloved DVD.  Deborah Ann Woll was such a treat- it’s so fun to realize that people you’re a fan of are also fans of entertainment!  She’s a huge RiffTrax supporter, and that just makes me love her even more.  Oh Jessica, I’d coffin-cuddle with you any day!

But our day wasn’t over yet! Vanessa and I headed over to Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry Party for drinks and dancing (after a hilarious elevator adventure with other lost guests at the wrong entrance). We knew we were going to have a blast when the first person we saw coming through the door was none other that Pop My Culture Podcast favorite Doug Jones!

I had a lot of fun dancing and I only fell once!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Our plan to camp out once again in Hall H was thwarted early, as the line stretched to the water and was 8,000 deep. Ballroom 20 was off the table as well, as the combo of Community/Legend of Korra/Firefly reunion had people camping out. So we jumped around a lot all day and caught a variety of panels! First up:

666 Park Avenue Pilot Screening and Q&A
PANELISTS: Terry O’Quinn, Vanessa Williams, Rachael Taylor, Dave Annable, Matthew Miller, David Wilcox

They screened the pilot in its entirety, which is about a high-rise apartment complex in New York on ritzy Park Avenue that isn’t what it seems. O’Quinn (Locke from Lost) plays a shadowy, devil-like man who grants wishes to tenants in exchange for their souls. The concept is decent, but the show itself wasn’t as involving as it should be. The crowd seems ambivalent to it as well, so it wasn’t just us. The panel itself was pretty short, with just a handful of questions for each panelist. Rachael Taylor’s true Aussie accent came out, which was a theme throughout the day as actor after actor on the television panels hailed from Australia or England.

Not gonna say much on this one- I don’t think I’ll be tuning in. 

PANELISTS: Stephen Nathan, David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel

As the Firefly reunion had emptied out, so did Ballroom 20, and after four years of Comic Con I finally saw the inside of that room! As we were crazy to see the Breaking Bad panel that night, we spent the rest of the day here. We got inside the room about halfway through the Bones panel, where David Boreanaz was holding court, joking around and answering Buffy-related questions that he probably gets every fifteen minutes of his life. As I’ve only seen a few stray episodes of the show, I was actually glad that we just caught the audience Q&A portion.

Arrow Screening and Q&A
PANELISTS: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, David Nutter

The DC comics’ Green Arrow gets the small screen series treatment from the CW! I was a little skeptical at first, but the pilot was pretty strong (and pretty is key here, as all of the cast members are appropriately CW beeee-utiful!) and the crowd ate it up. Series star Stephen Amell makes a good Oliver Queen, and one particular shirtless training sequence had the ladies (and probably select gentlemen) squealing (I’m sure this includes Vanessa as well). It suuuure did.  There’s a new superhero in town and mamma liiiiiike.

Entertainment Weekly’s Powerful Women in Pop Culture
PANELISTS: Kristin Bauer van Straten, Sarah Wayne Callies, Kristin Kreuk, Nikki Reed, Anna Torv, Lucy Lawless

A fantastic collection of strong actresses made up this loose discussion, including previously unannounced panelist Lucy Lawless (XENA!). The crowd seemed particularly full of Fringe fanatics, who shouted lots of “love you!” to Anna Torv. The questions seemed tough to answer and there was a certain seriousness and somberness that I found a bit off-putting, but others around me (a.k.a MISS RAGLAND!) loved it. Right, V?

I loved this!  I didn’t feel like it was somber at all- I thought this panel was smart and insightful and the panel was beautifully curated. My two panel favorites: Kristin Bauer was wry and funny just like you’d hope she’d be, Lucy Lawless is 6 feet of wonderful. 

Dark Horse: Joss Whedon

Next up was an hour of Joss Whedon, solo, discussing upcoming projects (Much Ado About Nothing!), the next season of the Buffy comic, The Avengers, and much much more. The adoration by the audience was off the hook — it was truly like watching a God show himself to his devoted followers. Whedon was funny, self-deprecating and pseudo-cocky, and I kept sitting there thinking “Why haven’t we had Joss on the podcast yet?” So I’ve got a mission to start on soon…

What Cole said!  Mr. Whedon has created a fan base that lights up whenever he’s near.  He can turn the world on with his smile! He can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worth while!  He also looks a lot like Ron Howard.  His commitment to great stories above all else is a great calling card that we could use more of in this town.  Yes, Cole, get him on the show.  Kthankz.

AMC’s Breaking Bad
PANELISTS: Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Jonathan Banks
MODERATOR: TV Guide’s Mike Schneider

Finally! As obsessive fans of the show, Vanessa and I were beyond excited for this panel (we’ve chatted about the show with many guests, as it seems always be on their lists of favorite shows). Just days before the Season 5 premiere, we were treated to a season preview before show creator Vince Gilligan came out, wearing a blazer with a Heisenberg shirt underneath it. The cast was then introduced, with Dean Norris (Hank) coming out in a full Xena outfit. His intro was only outdone by Cranston and Paul, who came out in full yellow cook suits to thunderous applause. The panel itself was tons of fun, with them all hinting at things to come in Season Five (including the announcement of guest stars Laura Fraser and Jesse Plemons), and Aaron Paul saying his favorite line from the season premiere (Magnets, bitch!). There’s a ton of camaraderie between the cast, and they seemed genuinely touched by the big response they got from the packed house.

Cole said it all, but GOD THIS WAS GREAT.

That was our final panel from Day 2 — we decided to have an impromptu meet up with friends and podcast listeners that evening, so we ended with food and drinks at the Marriott — which included a visit from our favorite voice over artist and friend of the show Rob Paulsen!

Thanks to everyone who came out!  We had a blast drinking and chatting.  Just when you think life can’t get any better, the martinis were delicious and they came with awesome olive swords too.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

We began our final day at Comic-Con exhausted but ready to take in some more great panels. Due to the Hobbit, the line for Hall H was OVER 12,000 PEOPLE, most of which arrived in the middle of the night, so we knew we weren’t getting in there. We did see a bunch of great stuff though, starting with…

Geek & Sundry
PANELISTS: Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, Daniel Strange, Vince Caso, Jeff Lewis, Amy Okuda, Sandeep Parkih, Robin Thorsen, Kim Evey

We started at the Indigo Ballroom with the panel celebrating the brand spanking new YouTube channel Geek & Sundry, run by past PMC guest Felicia Day. She was SO charming and intense- just what everyone loves her for. They showed some footage from their programs, including a new show called Written By A Kid (I LOVE this show!  Go to her channel now and watch it!), in which a kid narrates a story they made up and famous faces act them out (the one we saw had Joss Whedon and Kate Micucci in it). Wil Wheaton talked about potentially making a show about home beer brewing, which he does a lot on his own time. The cast of the Guild were also there — their rapport was great, but a lot of it was lost on the audience due to faulty microphones. Still, it was a fun panel and should drum up even more business for the new channel.

Nerdist Channel
PANELISTS: Chris Hardwick, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gary Dell’Abate, Alison Haislip, Alex Albrecht, Chloe Dykstra, Holly Conrad, Jessica Merizan

The Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick, ran the panel celebrating their new YouTube channel with a good mix of panelists from the various shows on it. Perhaps the most delightful was super popular scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who talked about the Pluto downgrade hilariously. They ran clips from the shows, including things like Bill Nye the Science Guy showing Hardwick how to tie a bow tie, and a teaser from the new season of Chris Hardwick’s All-Star Bowling (um…I was on the Team Podcast episode, just FYI!) with Team Nerdist taking on…DR. WHO! It was geek pandamonium in the room. Chris is the best panel leader and host ever. Smart, quick, and wonderful at guiding a panel without over taking it.  Also, I am in love with Neil deGrasse Tyson.


TV Guide Magazine: Fan Favorites
PANELISTS: Nathan Fillion, David Giuntoli, Joel McHale, Tyler Posey, Maggie Q, Matt Smith, Liam McIntyre, Sarah Wayne Callies
MODERATOR: Debra Birnbaum

A hodgepodge of super fun fan favorites comprised the yearly TV Guide panel, who riffed hilariously with one another, despite not being able to hear each other (I guess the monitor wasn’t working or something). It was Matt Smith mania in the room, with EVERY SINGLE AUDIENCE QUESTION directed at him, which prompted Joel McHale to answer for him at one point. Everyone had super great moments — I expected Fillion and McHale to be charming (they were), but I was really surprised by Liam McIntyre (Spartacus!) who was super sharp and hilarious in his comments.  Mmmm, Sparticus.  The worst thing about the panel — and I’m sure V will write an essay here — was the moderator, the editor in chief of TV Guide Debra Birnbaum, who may very well be the very worst interviewer that there is. She started by bitching “I’m exhausted, I’ve been on a YACHT ALL DAY” which was met with cold stares from many people who slept on curbs waiting to get into various panels. She was hard to understand, and her questions were awful. So please PLEASE hire someone else to do this next year!

Ok, at this point, I’m unravelling.  I haven’t slept much (or well.)  I’ve been living on poorly chosen snack packs I bought before I came (one day of Annie’s fruit snacks, salted peanuts and coco-almonds? Awesome. 3 days? Nooooo.) So, I’m getting loopy at this point.  I also have anxiety issues and my nerves were basically raw- this is all a set up for my behavior.  The moderator- Debra, Debra, Debra.  Deb, maybe you are a lovely person in real life!  Maybe you were stressed out or battling stage fright?  But you were the MOST AGGRESSIVE AND WEIRD PANEL LEADER I’VE EVER SEEN.  Her voice was atonal, loud, and angry.  Her expression was a condescending smile. Her questions were versions of, “So, can you tell us exactly what happens this season?”  To which every panelist replies “No, no I can’t…”  Then she would frown this little frog frown and bark into the mic some other dead-end question… “Any big surprises?” “I noticed you wear sweaters.”  And there was something about the architecture of her face that made me start to go crazy.   I LOST IT.  I started laughing, just a little at first- and after some behave-yourself-elbows from John, I really felt like a kid in church with the giggles.  And I was one of those horrible, uncontrollable church laughers who no parent’s elbow or head-smack can quell.  I vibrated with laughter and snorts for a good 15 minutes.

We then took a bit of a break to walk the sales floor before heading into our next panel…

You guys, at this point- I’m COMPLETELY overwhelmed.  Too many people, too many crowds, loud noises and staring at huge screens.  I love Comic Con, but my nerves can only take so much.  Also, I need to pack more snacks next time.

The Following Screening and Q&A
PANELISTS: Kevin Williamson, Marcos Siega, Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy

The new serial killer show from Kevin Williamson (Scream) got a bit of a mixed reception from the crowd, as it was incredibly dark and violent (in the Q&A, they said they envisioned it for cable and were surprised how much was allowed through for network). Still, having Kevin Bacon as a leading man and James Purefoy as a psychopath give the show some gravitas, and the set up is intriguing for a full season of watching. And — oh no — DEBRA BIRNBAUM is back. Thank God the Q&A session was only like 10 minutes…
Ughhh. No thanks.  Overwritten, over acted, over Edgar Allan Poe-d.

Person of Interest Screening and Q&A
PANELISTS: Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Taraji P Henson, Kevin Chapman, Jonathan Nolan, Greg Plageman

Celebrating a popular and critically acclaimed first season, Person of Interest returned to the con, with a clip package and a preview of the new season. Series stars Jim Caviezel (a man of few words), Michael Emerson (Ben Linus from LOST!) and Taraji P Henson were game to answer audience questions, though the panel itself was a bit lackluster. Still, it was nice seeing Emerson and co.

Revolution Pilot Screening and Q&A
PANELISTS: Jon Favreau, Eric Kripke, Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito, Tracy Spiradakos

Super excited to close out the day (and Comic Con!) with a screening of the new J.J. Abrams produced show Revolution, which my lovely wife helped to cast! Jon Favreau, who directed the pilot, showed up unannounced to introduce the screening before heading off to his Iron Man 3 panel in the impossible to get into Hall H. Of all the shows screened at Comic Con that we saw, this one resonated the most with the crowd, who were super into the “what if all the power in the world went away and never came back” concept. It’s a treat to see Gus Fring himself, Giancarlo Esposito, as the heavy in the piece, and Billy Burke as its anti-hero. The show should be a genuine hit when it hits TVs this fall.

Oh, I LOVED this pilot!  Beautifully shot, well written, and makes you want to watch the whole thing. Prediction: Tracy Spiradakos is going to be a big star, folks.  As I sit at my desk and gnaw a cigar: A big stah- schee??

And….that’s a wrap! We grabbed some sushi and hit the road back to Los Angeles, very satisfied with our Comic Con experience, despite missing out on things like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Django Unchained, Firefly and more. It just shows you that there is always a wealth of great programming to catch, even if you can’t always get inside what you had planned to see. Thanks SDCC!




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Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Wild Nothing http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/coles-indie-music-corner-wild-nothing/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/coles-indie-music-corner-wild-nothing/#comments Tue, 28 Aug 2012 00:07:07 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3459

Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Wild Nothing

The sophomore release by Jack Tatum (a.k.a Wild Nothing) is a masterful throwback to 80s synth pop, with echoes of The Church and The Cure and a little dash of My Bloody Valentine shoegaze to boot. Improving upon his great debut Gemini, Nocturne is a a treat from start to finish — the record is full of constant highs, with the incredibly addictive title track Nocturne regularly rotating through my iPod as I drive around LA. There’s a certain breezy easiness with each of these tracks, dancing between mid-tempo and upbeat that creates a relaxing yet exhilarating listen. Nocturne officially releases tomorrow, August 28th, so download it as soon as it becomes available — you won’t be disappointed.

Nocturne / Wild Nothing

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 8/22/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-82212/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-82212/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2012 09:03:09 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3436 What do you get when you cross Stomp, Anything Goes (from Broadway), and The Artist?


And yes, that IS Mr. Tyce “It’s Not Spelled Like The Cookie, God Damnit” Diorio on the left. He’s filling in for Karate Cole, who suffered some kind of minor injury that may or may not involve a chaffed chode.

Tonight’s opening number was dedicated to Gene Kelly and his widow, who took time off from shooting her latest movie, “Basic Instinct 3: Even Basic-er” to be in the audience.

Since we’re down to the Top Ten, that means it’s my favorite time of year: All Star Time (or, “Let A Minor Celebrity Grab You By The Crotch Season)! Our first duo is Tiffany and chocolate nugget/Wayne Brady stunt double Brandon with a difficult disco. There are 11 tricks in all- or as Brandon tells us, “AY-LEV-EN!”.

Disco isn’t anyone’s favorite dance genre, but when it’s as exciting as these two make it, it can be a blast. He whips her around like the little spinner she is (Urban Dict’ if you’re unfamiliar with the phrase) and she seems to enjoy every moment of it. Plus, who WOULDN’T want to wear those sequined, crotch-breezy pants?

Witney seriously lucks out when she’s matched with the unambiguously gay duo of Travis Wall and Season 1 winner Nick Lazzarini for her choreographer & partner, respectively. Things get a little weird when Nick offers to give her “sexy lessons” during rehearsal—I don’t think there’s much she could do short of wearing a Channing Tatum mask that would turn him on.

The concept is that they’re ghosts dancing together when nobody is watching, but I think it’s just an excuse for them to use whiteface. Also, Patrick Swayze taught us that ghosts can’t interact with objects in the physical world without intense focus, yet they toss that old timey microphone around like it’s a SIDS baby?? Do your research, Travis! Beyond those technicalities, the dance is well done. Guest judge Benjamin ThousandFeet (who has something to do with Black Swan… I kinda tuned out that part) pointed out the juxtaposition between tension & release, and the way time seems to stand still then jump forward. That’s what made it interesting to me… although Nigel’s favorite part was how Witney was “even sexy when she was breathing!” Where’s that shot glass?

Cole, who is apparently magically healed, is paired with a decidedly thinner & less Russian-looking-than-when-we-last-saw-her Anya for a Cha Cha. Their choreographer is the shirtless Soviet wonder Dmitry. Do you think those two talked shit about Cole in Russian during rehearsal?

“Vat dos dees guy sink ee iss doing wiv ees armsminksis?”

“He ees such a jokislav!”

We can only dream.

Despite the bare chested homage to his choreographer, Cole only managed to give a lukewarm performance. Mary harped on him for a lack of chemistry and sloppy balls (… of his feet, but I hear what I want to hear).  Poor Cole is left trying in vain to find Platform 9 ¾ of the Hot Tamale Train.

When Lindsay was shown with the next All Star, Jakob from Season 6, it had me asking “…who the hell was Jakob from Season 6?” After a quick Googling, I pulled up a few photos. Perhaps you recognize him now?

–because I don’t. Sorry pal, but even though I’ve seen every episode of every season, you just slipped through the cracks.

They’re given a Broadway routine by Spencer, and it involves some androgynous shadow dancing.

This was about as sexy and interesting as watching Honey Boo Boo’s mom polish off a bag of Cheetos. Using her feet. And in case that doesn’t translate to some of you chubby chasing Quentin Tarantino-esque fetishists, I didn’t mean that as a compliment. The shadow gimmick in the beginning relies on perfect synchronicity, which was off. The rest of the dance had no connection or emotion from Lipless Lindsay or “Who’s Up for a Sex and the City Marathon” Jakob. Nigel called Jakob a master at going “a little bit further than straight,” which was either completely innocent or a hilariously Freudian choice of words.  Mary surprised me by putting Lindsay on the Train, which meshed with generally positive reviews from the judges, proving once again that my opinions can never be trusted.

Will shares with us that he’s had “a lot of experience playing the flute,” which should come in handy during his Bollywood number with Kathryn; her character as a snake is “the sexiest snake” Will’s ever seen. I dunno, I hear Sir Mix-A- Lot’s anaconda is seriously charming.

Despite the Indian costuming, music, and choreography, all I can see in this dance is how incredibly WHITE Will is. When Dave Chappelle writes a sketch involving a stereotypically Caucasian male, this is his muse. I realize how racist it is to call this kind of goofy, happy-go-lucky charisma a “white” characteristic, but seriously- watch the video again. Nigel calls it “personality” and “likeability”; I call it “whi-whi-HITEness.” That’s not to say he didn’t dance well, but I was completely distracted by his intense grin.

The second lucky duck of the night is Cyrus- he’ll be dancing with All Star Jamie to a post-apocalyptic piece by Travis.

Side note- some of you were mentioning Travis’ new Oxygen show All The Right Moves, where he works with Jamie, Nick, last year’s winner Melanie, past favorites Adé and Allison, and a team of other dancers and choreographers to create a dance troupe in LA. It’s basically a dance-themed version of The Real World or even one of the Housewives spinoffs- interesting people mixed with a lot of egos and drama. But it certainly looks to be more respectable than its peers, and you can’t deny the talent in that group. It’s currently just 2 episodes in (I’ve only seen the first, myself) but we’ll see how it affects Travis and his reputation.

Anyway, Cyrus is gonna have a lot of challenges with both the dance genre and the tough partnering work with this piece. Will he pull through?

Yup. This guy has emotional depth and, as Benjamin put it, “raw energy” coming out of his saggy earlobes. As a partner, he is absolutely solid and connected. As a technical dancer, there is obviously a lot to be desired… but that doesn’t take away from his overall performance. He’s still a dream to watch, and not just because of his ridiculous body.

Ugh, I’d almost forgotten about the flip side of All Star week(s)- having the people come back who you thought you’d gotten rid of. And by “people,” I mean Lauren Gottlieb. It’s no secret to my friends and family that I haven’t been able to stand her from her very first audition many years ago, and it’s only gotten worse. In fact, she was prominently featured at the otherwise wonderful National Dance Day event in LA, and her obnoxiousness was out in full force. Maybe she’s a lovely person, and there’s no question that she’s infinitely more successful than I am in dance and in life, but seeing her simply makes me cringe.

Luckily, Chehon doesn’t seem to have the same hang-ups that I do, because he’s going to be doing hip-hop with her. It’s a complete 180 from ballet, but if Cyrus can get though his dance this week, Chehon should be fine.

(I’m not a huge fan of violence against women, but I like this moment because it looks like he’s smacking her in the face. Probably for being such a stuck up bitch.)

Chehon found his groove! Well, he’s narrowed its location down to a 30 foot radius, anyway. The judges praise him for “letting go” of his rigid, controlled ballet training and feeling the music. He had some swagger, some soul, perhaps even some buckness. But most importantly, he had fun, and that’s all that matters (other than the potential fame, money, respect, and skyrocketing career that’s on the line… but other than that, it’s important that he had fun.)

George and Allison find themselves in that age old situation- he’s in Paris, trying to catch a train, but when he sees the drop dead gorgeous lady also waiting at the station, he decides his meeting can wait until after he’s done letting her straddle his face. Oh, and there’s a cane involved for some reason. And the railroad crossing sign is in English.

So maybe Tyce’s choreography isn’t the most realistic, but it’s interesting and it showcases both dancers nicely. The reviews are generally complementary, although Nigel criticizes George for “not being raunchy enough” while I chug what’s left of my bottle of vodka.

I can’t dwell on the last dance for long, however, because not only is pointe princess Eliana next, but she’s with ALEX MOTHERFUCKING I’M IN LOVE WITH HIM WONG!! You guys. When Alex tore his ACL during the show 2 years ago, I cried right along with him. I’ve confessed my undying love for dancing Asians on this blog before- they are to me what the Olsen twins are to Vanessa- and Alex will always have a seat reserved for him on my personal Hot Tamale Train. I’m more excited than when Jessie Spano got all hopped up on caffeine pills. Plus, with Stacey Tookey behind the… barre? you know it’s gonna be good.

Oh, to be the nape of her neck...



Oh. My. God.

This dance… wow. Absolutely exquisite. Complete perfection. I wish Lil’ C was here to wax poetic on how remarkable that was. As soon as the lights started to come up, I felt like Tinky Winky because I wanted to watch it “again! again!” –and I did. (Shout out to the internet! Thanks, buddy!) Eliana and Alex got a much deserved standing ovation for their breathtaking work. She was the epitome of grace, control, timing, and passion. He was pure strength, finesse, and sensuality. Nigel called Eliana his favorite of the girls and the judges agreed that it was easily the dance of the night. If this doesn’t get Stacey nominated for an Emmy, I’ll have no choice but to make a series of empty threats (let’s be honest). Seriously though- what a piece of fine art that was.

No one would want to follow that, but Audrey and Twitch are at least worth watching. With the second Dave Scott hip-hop of the show, they have the task of closing things out with a bang.

Dang, that girl can get down! Twitch tells us that he thinks Audrey is good at hip-hop, and he’s not blowing smoke up her tiny ass. She manages to match him beat for beat and doesn’t let his extraordinary talent steal the spotlight. It doesn’t hurt that their Dracula/coffin routine is full of character stuff and personality, either. Mary is impressed with Audrey’s ability to “hold her own”, although Nigel & Benjamin wanted to see more from her. Hell, I can’t imagine how intimidating it must be to not only have to dance with super megastar Twitch, but to have to do it on his hippity-hoppity turf AND to have Eliana and Alex go up right before you. Way to go, Audrey!

That concludes the 10 duets, so let’s get to the reveal of the four bottom voted dancers from last week’s Mia Michaels Movement Montage. Of the girls, it turns out Witney and Audrey are “in danger” for their versions of The Bench Dance and The Dead Dad Dance. The boys are Chehon (who was partnered with Witney) and George, who did the Assisted Run Dance. The judges will “save” one dancer of each sex, and Nigel calls for all four to do their solos. Witney does her flirty, sexy shimmy thing, and Audrey explodes with a more passionate and powerful (not to mention more difficult) series of extensions and leaps. Chehon’s solo is peppered with aggressive spins and kicks, and George shows off with a backwards pushup body roll thing.

While the fates of the bottom dancers were being decided, the guest judge’s dance company performed a pleasant, but slightly boring, number that reminded me of figure skating. It was fluid, cadenced, and a little too slow to hold my attention after seeing over an hour of dance.

The judges have deliberated, and they are keeping Witney and losing Audrey. I’m a little surprised because I found Audrey to be more versatile, and it’s been said before but Witney and Lindsay are basically the same dancer… but I guess sex appeal wins out once again. In her clip package we are reminded that she’s the neck/shoulder farter from the auditions- ah, the olden days! Nigel then tells George that his solo was his best work on the show, and even though he and Chehon both have trouble connecting with the audience, it’s Chehon that “takes their breath away”, leaving George to go.

Next week it’s back to more All Stars, fewer dancers, and hopefully zero Lauren! Thanks for all the great comments everyone- let me know what’s on your mind for this show.


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PMC LIVE at the RIOTLA Comedy Fest! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-live-at-the-riola-comedy-fest/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-live-at-the-riola-comedy-fest/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2012 04:04:58 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3433

Pop My Culture Podcast LIVE!

Attention Los Angeles! We’re thrilled to be doing a live Pop My Culture Podcast at the brand spankin’ new RIOTLA Comedy Festival! The theme for this special live show is “Legends of Voice Acting” and will feature podcast favorite Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs! Pinky and the Brain! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!) and a panel of true legends of the voice acting world, to be announced soon! The show is just five bucks and may sell out in advance, so get your tickets ASAP! The details:

Sunday, September 23rd, 5pm at the Five Stars Bar in Downtown Los Angeles
Tickets and information: http://riotla.com/shows/pop-my-culuture.html

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PMC 89: Lake Bell http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-89-lake-bell-2/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-89-lake-bell-2/#comments Tue, 21 Aug 2012 07:45:51 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3425 Lake Bell interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Lake Bell (“Childrens Hospital,” “It’s Complicated”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about the Spice Girls Reunion, the Elton John/Madonna feud, Ghost Pennies, stripper pole attacks, In a World, No Strings Attached, Meryl Streep, cars, Summer’s Eve, directing TV and film, Nathan Fillion’s hair, Civil War Hospitals, Elizabeth Meriwether, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, American Flag onesies, and Cole’s weird weird random Alien fear.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first paranormal experience you ever had) on our website for a chance to win a Childrens Hospital Seasons 1 & 2 DVD signed by Lake!

Freshly Popped


Lake Bell with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland. Cole is wearing his Bonobos shirt!

Signed Childrens Hospital DVD by Lake Bell

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 8/15/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-81512/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-81512/#comments Sun, 19 Aug 2012 08:29:08 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3381 It’s been two weeks since we last saw each other, but the mini-hiatus is over and I’m back with another recap of So You Think You Can Dance! Tonight’s show will be a tribute to still-alive-but-does-this-mean-she’s-dying-or-what choreographer Mia Michaels, and four more dancers will be destined to a life of county fair appearances and emotional overeating. Hurray!

Mother Nature Cat introduces the guest judges: two dudes “all the way from Britain” (nevermind that of the four judges and host, only Mary is American) who call themselves the Ballet Boyz. That’s Boyz with a Z, yo! We be straight ballin’ up in this joint! Check out these hardcore muthafuckas!


In other news, Tabitha popped out baby boy London, seemingly right in the middle of getting a manicure-

-and there’s now an official SYTYCD iPhone app. Because of course there is.
The top 14 launch into a Phantom of the Opera meets Cirque de Soleil (and as Nigel uncomfortably interprets later, 50 Shades of Grey) fever dream of a dance, complete with long stem roses, ropes hanging from the ceiling, and lots of hardcore lip locking. It’s ethereal, beautiful, haunting, and pretty damn weird. Of course, Mia put it together since this is HER NIGHT, people. Why are we honoring her as if she’s arabesquing with Jesus, again? Perhaps we’ll never know.

Tonight’s 7 dances will be recreations of Mia’s Greatest Hits- or to put it another way, dancing with furniture! Taking arguably less talented people and putting them into iconic roles has worked out well in the past (see Psycho, Flubber, and Nic Cage’s unfairly robbed of an Oscar 2006 version of The Wicker Man), so this should be no exception.
Eliana and Cyrus will be playing the roles of Katie and Twitch in Season 4’s “The Door Routine.” This actually doesn’t sound like a potential disaster since both dancers have similar styles to their original counterparts.

It’s… fine. Cyrus does some crazy floaty shit and Eliana charges at him like a housewife in heat, but it doesn’t have the passion and intensity as the original. The BBz admit they’ve never seen the show, ever. One of them tells the dancers that he’s there to offer constructive criticism, and in the same breath, simply states that he’s “excited”.  Oh, you Brits and your mysterious ways!
Before the next dance, we have a cameo by yours truly! That’s right! Your very own PMC recapper appeared on screen in front of the world. During the footage from National Dance Day in LA, I get some serious screen time. I’m the one in red waving my hands in the air-

No, not the one in the shorts. I’ve circled myself so that you can see me better:

If you recognize me walking down the street, don’t be afraid to come up and say hi. The fame hasn’t gone to my head and I’d be happy to sign autographs for a very reasonable price.
And speaking of cameos- look who it is!

Last year’s from-my-hometown Ryan Ramirez! Looks like she’s working as Mia’s assistant; you can also see her in the studio audience.
Anyway- on with the dances! Tiffany & George will be taking on Katie & Joshua’s “The Assisted Run” piece. I gotta say I don’t entirely remember this one, although I do recognize that running part…

…and these guys didn’t do it justice. Instead of a smooth suspended run, Tiffany did what looked more like a series of leaps, which threw off the cadence and destroyed the effect of weightlessness. She also had her hair flying all over the place (Katie’s was in a ponytail), which was a distraction. The judges liked it better than I did, but noted that it was a “different dance” than the first version and that they were too dramatic with the emotions.
Poor Amelia. She and Will end up (no pun intended) with “The Butt Dance.” I barely remember Evan and Randi from the first time around, but I certainly remember this Emmy winning choreography.

Their version is just as awkward and borderline demeaning as before, but they dance it beautifully. To no one’s surprise but everyone’s horror, horndog Nigel confesses that Randi’s butt has been “on his mind” for the past 3 years. He was unimpressed with their lack of strong character, but the other judges were generally positive.
The second Twitch dance of the night, “The Bed Dance”, is drawn by Janelle and Dareian. I’m suddenly reminded of how much I couldn’t stand Kherington Payne- even her name is fucking annoying!- but this number was definitely iconic and powerful. (I also suddenly remember how much of a douchebag John Mayer is. Shoutout to Jen Aniston- congrats on your engagement, girl!)

Janelle reveals that she is going through some heartache of her own, and it shows in her intense emotions. Dareian does an admirable job with his side of the bed, especially considering how much taller his counterpart was.  Even BBz #2 recognizes that “whoever this Titch guy is, he’s responsible for some great movement.” (Apparently “titch” means little or small in Queen Elizabeth-land, which makes this misspeak both funnier and more unforgiveable.) Dareian gets chastised for his feet and Janelle for her hair in what I thought was a less complimentary critique than they deserved.
Get out your tissues, everyone (unless you had them out during The Butt Dance…), because Mia’s “Dead Dad Dance” is taking the stage. Between the flowers and Neil’s hotness, who could forget when he and Lacey turned Mia into a sobbing mess? The pressure on Audrey and Matthew is palpable- do they have what it takes?

Not entirely. To be fair, look at the contrast in lighting between the two versions. The original looked like springtime in heaven, and the new one gives off more of a “dead flowers on a gravestone” vibe. As Mary notes, the passion is lacking even if the technique is solid, and it simply feels less like a celebration of life than a reminder of our mortality. Nigel goes on to nearly make the dancers shit their pants when he quizzes them on Mia’s father’s life story in an effort to criticize them. (“How old was Mia when he died? What did he do?” Dude, way to back them into a corner!)
Sidebar: in the comments of the last recap, reader Crystal suggested that Audrey looks a bit like a brunette Stevie Nicks, and I can’t say I disagree!

Hopefully Witney & Chehon can turn things around with their interpretation of Travis & Heidi’s Emmy winning “The Bench Dance.”

Nigel translates the meaning behind this dance for the first time- the sunflower represents Mia’s heart in a true story about the time she fell in love with a gay man who (obviously) couldn’t love her back. Saucy! My unrequited relationships only ever end in repressed sadness and permanent weight gain, not Emmy awards, but whatever, good for her. The judges finally gave their stamp of approval, and BBz #1 offered Chehon a job with their company “whenever you want it.” Score another point for heartbreak!
The final dance of the show is yet another Emmy winner- “The Addiction Dance” originally starring (the admittedly forgettable) Kayla & Kupono. Their names may not ring a bell, but seeing clips from the first time it was performed certainly jarred my memory. This one beat us over the head with the metaphor of fighting an addiction, but it was moving and effective.

Lindsay & Cole nail the fuck out of it. Easily the best performance of the night- between Cole’s dark, chilling character and Lindsay’s intense stare, you couldn’t take their eyes off these two. This dance was actually an improvement on the original, which is saying a lot. If these dancers end up in the bottom six & aren’t saved by the judges, then I give up on humanity. Again.
…but they are safely in the Top Ten! The bottom six are revealed to be Amelia, Janelle, Lindsay, George, Dareian, and Matthew. (Janelle and Darein are the only couple in the bottom together, which isn’t surprising if you remember their hot mess of a Cha Cha to Call Me Maybe. I guess the audience didn’t call them AT ALL AMIRITE GUYS?!? BOOM! UP TOP!) Nigel tells all six dancers that they’ll be doing solos, so I guess it’s anybody’s game at this point.
Amelia showcases her remarkable control when she slows and holds some difficult poses. Janelle fires her belly dancing missles directly at Nigel. Lindsay shimmies and shakes in a hot pink bird carcass. Dareian combines some serious martial arts with explosive contemporary moves and even remembers to point his toes. Matthew does quite a bit of rolling around on the floor and looking pained, which comes off a little desperate but not in a good way. “Gorgeous George” does a lyrical jazz thing that seems to impress these ladies:

With no further ado, Nigel announces that Lindsay and George are given another chance, while Amelia, Janelle, Dareian, and Matthew are left to ruminate over missing out on the national tour of the Top Ten by a hair. Meanwhile, the remaining dancers will be paired with all-stars next week! Since I can’t get enough of Twitch and Travis, I’d love to see them back again.

Tell me who you hope to see, along with your predictions for who’s going home and who’s going all the way, in the comment section below. There may be some prizes straight from National Dance Day in it for you…!

Exiting stage left,


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PMC 88: Ian Edwards http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-88-ian-edwards/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-88-ian-edwards/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2012 05:17:22 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3358 Ian Edwards interview on Pop My Culture podcast

Ian Edwards (“Punk’d,” “Conan”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about The Olympics, The Amazing Spider-Man, Showtime at the Apollo, Ryan Lochte, Burger King, Olympic village hook-ups, conjoined twins, movie titles lost in translation, Danny Boyle, the West Indies, The Dark Knight Rises, invisible panthers, pranking T.O., booger eyes, and the Busta Rhymes Punk’d you’ll never, ever see.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first magazine you ever had a subscription to) on our website for a chance to win a nice, comfy Pop My Culture Podcast T-Shirt!

Freshly Popped


Ian Edwards with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 87: Barry Bostwick and Diani & Devine http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-87-barry-bostwick-and-diani-devine/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-87-barry-bostwick-and-diani-devine/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2012 05:17:21 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3338 Barry Bostwick and Etta Devine and Gabriel Diani guests on Pop My Culture

Barry Bostwick (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Spin City) and comedy duo Diani & Devine (Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine) join Cole and Vanessa to talk about Kristin Stewart’s recent infidelity, The Selling, Megaforce, Nick and Nora, originating Danny Zuko on Broadway, hooves vs. one long finger, tough guy quotes, Danny Glover vs. Dragons, dangerous awards, Research: The web series, Charlie Sheen, aerobicizing, dance training, and Barry’s obsession with hot tubs.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first toy or collectible you repeatedly visited a restaurant or business to secure) on our website for a chance to win a Rocky Horror DVD set signed by Barry!

Help “The Selling” (the film featuring Barry, Gabe, Etta and yes, PMC co-host Cole) get a theatrical release! Visit the kickstarter HERE

Freshly Popped


Barry Bostwick and guests Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine with hosts Cole and Vanessa

Signed Rocky Horror Picture Show dvd for give away

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Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Suckers http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/coles-indie-music-corner-suckers/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/coles-indie-music-corner-suckers/#comments Mon, 30 Jul 2012 19:08:57 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3333

Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Suckers

Suckers are exciting. The Brooklyn quartet make adventurous, experimental yet melodically enticing music thats fun as all-get-out. Their sophomore album, Candy Salad, is just that — a sugary sweet concoction chock full of random ingredients that work so much better than they should together. After seeing them destroy live at the Echo a few months back in LA, their infectious energy onstage translates well onto disc (or vinyl or MP3, or however you kids are getting your music nowadays) and makes for an exhilarating listen all the way through. There’s a ton of stand outs on the record — the island groove of Turn on the Sunshine will get your head bobbing, and the slow build of Lydia will be rattling around in your head for weeks. Much like the great single Roman Candle on their first album, a triumphant whistle kicks off Chinese Braille, an incredible mid-tempo tune with playful lyrics and a catchy chorus. But picking out a single song from the record is a tough task — get the whole damn thing immediately.

Chinese Braille / Suckers

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 7/25/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-72512/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-72512/#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2012 03:29:34 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3306 Bust out your Hitler ‘staches everybody, because it’s time for So You Think You Can Dance!

Our androgynous and possibly anti-Semitic Top 16 opened the show with some inspiration from Charlie Chaplin, an Umbrella from Cherbourg, and those cutesy black & white photos of a little boy giving the little girl a flower and the flower is colored in pastels and all the girls in the dorms had at least one of those pictures on the wall because OMG I’m totes into photography, you guys!

Ahem. It’s interested to note that with everyone dressed nearly identically, the only two dancers that stood out to me as being recognizable were Amelia and Cyrus. Fan favorites, perhaps?

Joining tonight’s “judging” panel (let’s face it, they use that word pretty loosely) is the freaking gorgeous Christina Applegate. Have you guys been watching her on Up All Night? She costars with Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph, for Peter Paul and Mary’s sake! It’s easily one of my favorites from the latest batch of sitcoms that came out this year. And who can forget her brilliant recurring character as Jen Aniston’s sister on Friends? Man, I’m so glad that show hasn’t been cancelled. (shhh, I’m very fragile).

OK- I’m back on my meds and ready to get my dance on. Or rather, ready for these kids to get *their* dance on while *I* sit on my couch and polish off the rest of this pint of Haagan Dazs… but let’s not split hairs.

The first dance of the show features Tiffany & George. It resembles an Ambien dream sponsored by Planned Parenthood, Romper Room, and Nickelodeon. Napoleon and Tabitha choreographed this babysitting dance based on their own impending real life nightmare bundle of joy. It’s art imitating life, y’all!

The judges were into it, but none more than Mary. She went off the deep end (even for her) while comparing Tiffany to a warrior. Rawr!

Amber & Brandon, who were newly coupled after their partners were voted off last week, got a SUPER sexy jazz dance. It’s time to trade in the 50 Shades nonsense for some REAL sexual storytelling, and these dancers paint one hell of a steamy sepia toned picture.

Christina couldn’t contain her erotic enthusiasm and exclaimed something about Jesus that ended up being bleeped. Now, I’m no professional lipreader, but I believe she said “…I’m not religious, but Jesus H. Motherfucking Christ I love the Pop My Culture Podcast.com site!” Your interpretations may vary. Nigel described it as “baby-making choreography”, which is both accurate and an instant boner killer.

Russian heartthrob Pasha returns to his old pirouetting grounds with choreography for Dareian (the daredevil! who’da thunk it!) and Janelle. They Cha Cha to the classic tune of… Call Me Maybe? Sure, this isn’t a show known for its traditional, stuffy song choices, but seriously? Call me when it’s over. The judges stopped just short of calling the routine a technical disaster with Nigel giving the harshest criticism in his arsenal: Janelle wasn’t sexy. I’m going to start taking a shot of vodka every time he mentions anything sexual; by the halfway point of the show, I’ll hopefully be blitzed enough to pretend like I never had those awful, disturbing mental images of what’s going on under his dance belt.

Lindsay & Cole are next with an absolutely gorgeous contemporary by Mandy Moore- not THAT Mandy Moore, as veteran SYTYCD-ers are fully aware. Maybe I’m biased because I love the song Wild Horses, but this version by Charlotte Martin (whose work you may remember from such hits as SYTYCD Seasons 3 & 4, a song in Sweet Home Alabama, and 2 songs translated into Simlish for The Sims expansion packs!) sent chills right through my stone cold heart. Plus, how could you not love a dance that includes an aerial teabagging?

With terms like “brilliant”, “genius”, “magical”, and “an enigma”, it’s safe to say the judges were equally blown away.

Amelia & Will have the pressure of following that spectacle with another Mandy Moore dance, but this one is a quirky jazz with a visual mashup of Victor/Victoria and March of the Penguins. It’s kooky, it’s wacky, it’s… too weird for me. The judges aren’t sure what to make of it either, but everyone can agree that Will is the best male partner of the pack. Even Mandy can’t keep her hands (and coslopus) off him in rehearsal.

The salsa, or as Nigel disturbingly calls it, “a cocktail mixer of sex and energy”, is next up with Audrey and Ryan Matthew. Remind me never to let Nigel buy me a drink. If you can imagine Beethoven’s Fifth being composed in a Cuban bodega, you’d have a pretty good idea of the soundtrack. Note to whoever is in charge of these things: if you’re going to focus on the dancers learning a specific trick in rehearsal, especially one called “the tornado”, maybe don’t choose a trick that ends up being altered to make it easier in the live performance. It was a clear giveaway that these guys have no idea what they’re doing.

The judges are underwhelmed, but more importantly, I figured out who Audrey looks like!

Chehon & Witney dance to her namesake’s iconic song “I Will Always Love You” (by Whitney Houston), and everyone loses their minds. The audience bursts into a standing ovation and probably some ovulations. Christina tearfully says “Stacey Tookey” three times fast, causing the choreographer to appear. She also gives us the metaphor of the night: “you were not just the muses; you were the painters.” Albert Brooks would be proud.

Things get a little weird when Mary calls Witney by the wrong name and Nigel praises Stacey and Cat for their Oscar nominations (it’s an Emmy, pal. Get it together!) but there is so much excitement over this dance that no one seems to care.

Finally, it’s time for Eliana and Cyrus, easily the oddest pairing of the show. They’re also kinda my favorites because I’m a huge sucker for a) classical ballet and b) crazy talented pop-and-lock type hip hop dancers. (I also have a real thing for dancing male Asians, which is why I’d gladly make baby hummingbirds with Hok or tear both my ACLs for Alex Wong.) Plus, did you see Cyrus’s badass belly button??

Fuck. Yes.

So their dance is a futuristic ballerina-come-to-life thing by Nappy Tabs set to a broken down remix of Brit-Brit’s Toxic. There are a few standout moments, like this tutting sequence:

and this, um… lift?

But even with everything going for it- a strong theme, great costumes, solid music selection, arguably the best hip hop choreographers, and definitely the best hip hop dancer on the show, it’s not one of my favorites. I really wanted to like it more. The judges and audience (thankfully!) disagreed. Mary “Street Cred” Murphy called it “crazy sick frozen good buck.” That sounds more like an entrée at a questionable hunting lodge than an assessment of the arts. They’re unceremoniously “both on the damn train” and we’re spared Mary’s trademark “whoo whoo” we’ve all grown to love/hate. The other judges agree, and Nigel comments that he’s pleased the gamble on Cyrus has paid off. Amen to that.

That concludes the duets, and it’s time to find out who was in the bottom of the barrel based on last week’s performances. The kids (I’m older than all of them, so I’m allowed to say it) line up and I’m reminded of the Sesame Street “one of these things is not like the others” song…

The bottom six are Amber, Lindsay, Eliana, George, Brandon, and Dareian. It’s worth noting that Amber and Brandon, who were only paired this week after losing their partners last week, are the only couple in the bottom together. In contrast to last week, the judges decide they want to see Amber, Eliana, Brandon, and Dareian do their solos. What does that mean for Lindsay and George? Is that a good thing? I’m just excited to bring back the New Year’s style “…3! 2! 1!” countdown as their stage time runs out, because I’m delighted by simple pleasures.

Amber is first up and WAIT WHAT THE FUCK- they don’t let the audience do the countdown!! This is bullshit. Next they’re going to get rid of Cat holding the mic out to the audience when she introduces “yooooour judges” and then I’m gonna get ruuuul pissy.

With the solos, Amber does a beautiful job, Brandon doesn’t do much of anything, Eliana is graceful and flawless, and Dareian is astonishing and my favorite of the four.

The judges deliberate while a group from Alvin Ailey takes the stage. All I see are six shirtless Taye Diggs clones in dresses. This pleases me.

Time to get to business. Of the girls, the judges save… Lindsay? Really? Nigel says she has “more room to grow” than Amber and Eliana. Maybe so, but she’s practically the same dancer as Witney and Eliana is so much more versatile and uniquely talented. Harumph…. wait! I forgot, they’re saving two dancers and only one is going home! They decide to keep Eliana too! Amber and her weaves are out. It’s fucked up that her “baby-making” dance didn’t make it to the voting rounds, (taking a puff on my cigar) but ‘ey, that’s showbiz, kid.

Of the boys, George is also saved right off the bat. That answers my earlier question about not being asked to do a solo- turns out it’s a good thing. Unsurprisingly, they also keep Darien after commenting on his incredible “save your life” solo and Brandon is booted. When his montage flashes back to his original audition, it’s clear that three seconds of that solo was much better than his entire solo tonight. What happened? He thanks Jesus (into the mic, because you definitely need some amplification to be heard up in the clouds) and joins his partner Amber on the Stool of Failure (patent still pending).

The show will be off for 2 weeks while the Olympians are busy Olympianing, but we’ll be back for the August 15th installment. Now that you’re all caught up on the action, who do you think is in trouble next time? Will Cyrus meet his match with the contemporary genre? Will Mary’s forehead show human emotion? Tell it to the comment box!


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PMC 86: Doug Jones http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-86-doug-jones-2/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-86-doug-jones-2/#comments Wed, 25 Jul 2012 06:43:20 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3301 Doug Jones from the watch on Pop My Culture podcast

Doug Jones (“Hellboy,” “The Watch”) returns to the show to chat with Cole and Vanessa about Comic Con, the Silver Surfer, contortionists, Spike Jonze, character olympics, The Expendables 2, Springsteen and McCartney’s power-cutting, mailbox fighting, creating Abe Sapien’s movements, Jackie Chan, Celine Dion, Mime Own Book, and Doug’s embarrassing Fantastic Four moment.Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first book or book series you can remember being obsessed with) on our website for a chance to win a Hellboy Blu-Ray, Mime Own Book pamphlet or postcard all signed by Doug!
hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland with Doug Jones
Doug Jones signed Hellboy blu ray and his Mime own book
Fallen Superheroes signed post cards

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 7/18/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-71812/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-71812/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 02:29:58 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3256

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the creepiest SYTYCD-er of them all?

We know we’re in for a cool show when this is the first thing on stage. It’s exactly what you would expect if Marilyn Manson, Michael Jackson (circa Thriller), and choreographers Tabitha & Napoleon engaged in some frisky Eyes Wide Shut style copulation. There’s even a gratuitous phallus!

Tonight’s judges are Nigel, Mary (who had her shit together last week but looks like her dress is by Hefty tonight), and Adam Shankman. We’re reminded of the weird new format- the bottom dancers have already been chosen by last week’s votes, but that won’t be revealed until the end. Then, the judges will “save” one guy and one girl, leaving 4 dancers to pack their leotards and go.

The first dancers are Karate Cole & Lipless Lindsey, whose dental-centric routine to “Teeth” by Lady Gaga is reminiscent of Jen Aniston & Charlie Day’s characters in Horrible Bosses, or perhaps the hoards of sexy cosplayers & dorky dweebs of this weekend’s ComicCon. (Your very own Cole & Vanessa were also in attendance at the San Diego event, although they were costumed as badass podcast hosts.)

Amelie/Amelia and Will were given an unusually drab, safe Sonya Tayah dance. The judges loved its technical accuracy and the way the dancers “lost themselves in the movement”, but I found it neither exciting nor memorable. Then, Amber and Nick did the tango. It had more drama and stunts than the previous dance, and it’s a ballroom routine. It’s like hearing the news that Fred Willard was arrested for masturbating at an adult theater and subsequently fired by PBS; it’s wrong, but that’s what happened. The judges faulted Nick for disappearing into the background. Last week he was ripped a new one by his Viennese Waltz choreographer… things aren’t looking good for you, pal.

Sonya’s second choreography went to Audrey and “Are You Sure That Isn’t Ryan Gosling?” Matthew. It had much more of the quirk, unexpected movement, and excitement than her previous piece. Of course, the fact that Audrey and Matthew were last week’s unofficial favorites (thanks to Travis Wall) didn’t hurt either. Nigel praises their “stank steps”, complete with extremely unnecessary impression, and the rest of the judges agree that it was brilliant…. I think. I kinda tuned out because I was mesmerized by those baby blues and painted-on abs.

Janelle-y Belly Dancer and Dareian Donald Duck hit the stage with a sugary sweet lyrical to My Girl that ends not in Macaulay Culkin’s funeral, but in a full blown kiss that stirs up the horndog in Adam and Nigel. Nevertheless, it’s quite a departure from last week’s jungle rave and looks more like scene from a lost episode of Leave It To Beaver. Mary describes it best: “cotton candy; light and airy.”

Next is a really fun Broadway number with Janaya and Brandon dancing to music from Jekyll & Hyde, choreographed by Sean Cheesman. The scene that is portrayed- a woman reading a romance novel who tries in vain to get frisky with the dude sitting beside her on a park bench- is one that is happening with increased intensity as soft core porn erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” takes the nation’s collective G-spot by storm. The SYTYCD version, however, replaces vaginal steel balls and BDSM gear for high kicks and whatever this is:

There are even a few moves that showcase Brandon’s hip-hop/stepping specialty. The whole number is dynamic, thrilling, and definitely entertaining. It’s the first Broadway this season, but I think it’s one of the better ones in recent years of the show. Adam points out that both dancers played their characters extremely well and really committed to their roles. Sean Cheesman did the African Jazz last week, and with this one, he’s quickly becoming one of those choreographers that the dancers will hope to draw.

Poor Cyrus and Eliana. They got the Jive, the Madden NFL curse of dance styles. Not only that, but Cyrus is easily the least experienced dancer on the show outside of his genre. This is the moment Cole and Vanessa predicted on the recent PMC podcast episode with Kathleen Rose Perkins, although neither of his saggy earlobes bore a bowtie. You at least gotta give the guy credit for confidently showing off his enormous black… smile. The judges gave him an A for effort and praised Eliana for her technical successes.

Daniel, the Australian ballerino by way of San Francisco, and Red Lipstick Alexa danced in and out of a bathtub to Yanni (probably a better choice of music than Whitney Houston)(too soon?). Surprisingly, given the superb technical ability of both dancers, they kind of got lost at sea (sorry). The judges didn’t believe there was an emotional connection between the two of them and it was just lacking overall.

Tiffany and George, who did the tapioca pudding dance last week, end up with the foxtrot tonight. Something about it reminded me of two kids dressed up in their parents’ formal wear twirling around on stage. It was very… twirly. Adam said it took him back to the 40’s and MGM days- what is it with this pair and time machines? The rest of the judges loved it and were very impressed by the difficulty and blah blah blah it was another ballroom dance.

Finally, Witney and Chehon dance a Bollywood piece. Their choreographer, Nakul Dev Mahajan, said there was no storyline and it was “all about the stamina, the speed, and getting the hands right.” I wonder if this guy is single, am I right ladies?!? The routine was sloppy and out of sync in parts, but given how insanely difficult it was, they did a great job. As the judges mentioned, it was certainly better than last week’s samba.

Elimination time, sponsored by Activia! OK, maybe not, but I can’t help but think someone’s missing out on a good marketing opportunity. The bottom six are revealed to be Janaya, Alexa, and Witney (what? she was on the freakin’ Hot Tamale Train!) and Nick, Daniel, and Chehon. Cat asks Nigel if they need to see anybody “re-dance”—wait, what (again)?? Apparently the judges knew who the bottom six were THIS ENTIRE TIME (very Sixth Sense/feather cat) and even consulted with choreographers to help them decide who to kick to the curb. No further dancing is needed- never something you want to hear.

The dancers are left to ruminate on their impending doom while we see a preview of the latest Step Up movie. All I need to know about it can be summed up in two names: Twitch and Travis. There are plenty of other SYTYCD alumni featured too, including Mia Michaels as both a choreographer AND an actor! Yes, please! It looks like the cast of Magic Mike doing Maureen’s protest from Rent and I couldn’t be more on board. Now, if the hunky lead Channing Tatum lookalike wants to take me as his date to the premier, I’ll be alllll set.

Ahem, back to reality. Nigel reminds us how democracy works, and then announces that they’re saving Witney and Chehon. That leaves Janaya, Alexis, Nick, and Daniel going home. Fair enough!

Who do you think will be in the bottom of this week’s performances? Leave your predictions (along with any other thoughts) in the comments, along with who you think is on track to be America’s Favorite Guy and Girl Dancer. Remember, your guesses could pay off in the form of a fabulous SYTYCD/PMC prize package!

Thanks for reading!


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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 7/11/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-711/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-711/#comments Sat, 14 Jul 2012 06:30:58 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3214 Heather here, with your recap of the first live show of So You Think You Can Dance: Season 9. A frenetic Mad Men-esque themed opening dance kicks things off this week. The guest judge is Kenny “I Created Zac Efron” Ortega, director of the High School Musical trilogy, Newsies, and best of all, Hocus Pocus! Cat explains that two guys & two girls will be voted off this week, and each of the 20 dancers will be given nine seconds to rattle off interesting facts about themselves and/or freeze on the spot, saying nothing more than “ummm, ummmm, um— argh!”

We’re off with a samba, danced by Witney & Chehon.- Mary puts Witney on the Hot Tamale Train, Kenny compares her to “Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, only hotter,” and Chehon is responsible for the first nip slip of the season.


Tiffany & George are next with a sensual, romantic dance by Sonya Tayeh. Sonya wanted them to melt like butter, and they certainly did. Things get awkward when Kenny tells us the piece brought him “back to his youth”, and praised the pair by telling them “they spilled it.” We can only assume he’s reminded of his own sexual encounters with… tapioca pudding?

Janaya & Brandon get Nappy Tabs, who by the looks of it, are going to be welcoming a new little Napster or Tablet into the world very soon. This dance will be remembered as “the alcoholic dance.” Am I the only jerk who was waiting for Janaya to smash the bottle like they showed in the rehearsal clip, only to be disappointed when they didn’t dance on glass shards? Kenny noted that he was glad to see hip hop being used to tell a story- hasn’t he ever heard of the infamously Oscar-snubbed Step Up 3D? Some people have no culture. In reference to Brandon’s choice of the girl over the booze at the end of the dance, Nigel tells us he’d pick Mary Murphy over a bottle of vodka “every time.” This is less believable than the entirely of the now-defunct TomKat marriage.

Alexa & Daniel are introduced with a jazz number. She likes red lipstick, folks! She also appears to suffer brain damage in rehearsal. Both are dressed in solid red with bleached blonde hair, looking like stunt doubles from Britney’s Oops I Did It Again video. This is when I realize I must be watching too much Dance Moms, because I expect every dance to end with the dancers on the ground caressing their faces. Their performances are good but not spectacular.

Amber & Nick chose the Lunesta of dance styles, the Viennese Waltz. Amber “hates sausage” while Nick’s dad works at the Playboy mansion. Sounds these two may be planning an off-campus excursion in the near future! Their choreographer, Jason Gilkison, really cuts into Nick during rehearsal, prompting Nigel to compare him to Abby Lee MilOHMYGOD!


She’s in the audience!!



I can’t believe they let us get halfway through the show without saying anything!

As the shock of the celebrity cameo wears off, Amelia, Will, and Amelia’s butt do the second Nappy Tabs piece that begins and ends in… a dumpster? The story isn’t a commentary on the pro-choice movement, however. It’s more “Lady and the Tramp” meets “Cats” with a dash of Fosse, and the dance heavily features some booty action. The judges predictably make several feline-based puns and predictably make us feel more skeeved out than a young Asian girl stuck in an elevator with Woody Allen.

Janelle & Dareian do an interesting and visceral African Jazz dance that looks like a rave in the jungle. Kenny starts to look dreamy and says the dance took him all over the world from Cuba to Paris to Brazil. Has he been drinking out of Mary’s cup?

Cyrus & Eliana draw a Broadway dance, “Run and Tell That” from Hairspray. One of the lyrics is “the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice”, and Cyrus confirms the metaphor. He’s the robot-y “animator” who has never done choreography before the show, but his giant smile (and equally giant earlobe gauges) sell us on the performance. Eliana ditches the pointe shoes for sneakers and pulls off some impressive acrobatics. Nigel calls her the benchmark for the other girls to try and aspire to.

Audrey & Ryan Gosling Matthew are given a gift better than the shit those dudes gave baby Jesus: Travis Wall. As a dancer, he melted our hearts & saturated our panties. As a choreographer, he can do no wrong. This week’s Titanic-inspired contemporary dance is no expectation. Expect to see it come back in the season finale and on tour, because unlike Steven Segal’s music career (a real thing that actually happened), this one is unforgettable.

Exhibit A- chaise lounge leap of death:


I rest my case. The judges agree- best dance of the night.

Finally, Lindsay (who appears to have been born without an upper lip) and Cole (the ninja, not the Pop My Culture podcast host, although it’s an easy mistake to make) tackle the Paso Doble. The judges lose their shit once again, calling it the best Paso the show has ever seen. Personally, I think it looks more like a battle between Xena: Warrior Princess and Jackie Chan, but I know less about ballroom than I know about ball room. In my pants. Because I’m a girl.

In the comments, tell us which four dancers you think are going home, and let’s also hear who you think will go all the way to the title of America’s Favorite Girl/Guy Dancer! Remember, your guesses can earn you points towards the So You Think You Can Predict victory! It’s like an NCAA bracket, only better since you don’t have to deal with Nancy from HR’s bullshit theories on why God has chosen Gonzaga to be blessed with a trophy. Or whatever.

See you next week!

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Contest Announcement! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/contest-annoucement/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/contest-annoucement/#comments Fri, 13 Jul 2012 08:58:44 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3207

Full recap of this week’s episode of SYTYCD to come tomorrow, but first, an announcement!

Studies* have shown that 42.6% of the fun in watching reality competition shows is trying to pick the eventual winner. This year, Pop My Culture is proud to further reward your brain’s pleasure centers with So You Think You Can Predict!

There are two ways to claw and scratch your way to the top of the Pop My Culture heap. The show will eliminate one guy and one girl from each week of competition. Then, for the first time in the show’s history, it will bestow the honor of America’s Favorite Dancer to the top male AND female performer. You, dear reader/listener/person who got lost looking for cat videos on the internet, get points from correctly predicting each week’s bottom two, with bonus points awarded for picking the season winners. Admit it: you’re doing it anyway, so you might as well earn something for it! Protip- this philosophy also applies to supermarket reward cards and making sex tapes.  After the season finale, the So You Think You Can Predict Prize of the Century** will be presented to the victor/victoria.

Entering the dance battledome couldn’t be easier! (Actually, it could, but then we would be overrun with rapid chimpanzees and faceless corpses and our insurance company frowns up that.) Post your predictions in the comments section of each week’s SYTYCD recap on popmyculturepodcast.com. Points will be given for correctly naming the dancers who are eliminated on the following show (with partial credit for picking someone who is in the bottom three but is not sent home). You can earn bonus points for correctly predicting the overall season’s winners. Change your answer as often as you want, but only the most recent guesses count, and the earlier you choose your favorites, the bigger the bonus point jackpot.

Are you ready to piqué a winner?

Onward, to the hot tamale train!



(*my arbitrary estimations)

(** pending, but will be more awesome than a gaggle of Gryffindors)

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PMC 85: Kathleen Rose Perkins http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-85-kathleen-rose-perkins/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-85-kathleen-rose-perkins/#comments Tue, 10 Jul 2012 05:43:15 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3197 Kathleen Rose Perkins interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast

Kathleen Rose Perkins (“Episodes”) joins Cole and Vanessa to talk about Adele’s pregnancy, Katie Holmes’ Scientology stalkers, Game of Thrones, John Pankow, musicals, Bristol Palin’s Life is a Tripp, Matt LeBlanc, Alf, 33, dirty It’s A Wonderful Life, One Man Two Guvnors, Diablo Cody’s new movie, Ted Danson, and the longest conversation ever about The Secret of My Success.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (What was the first time you got in trouble and were sent to the Principal’s Office, and what did you do?) on our website for a chance to win a snuggly Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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You know our producer/sound guy who we never let talk and sometimes we’re mean to on the air? Two things- one, Vanessa married him. 2. A short film called “Sold” he wrote and directed was chosen out of over 15,000 to be top 50 in a competition run by Ridley Scott! If he gets voted in the top 10, he goes to Venice to open the Venice Film Festival with his short. If he wins, he gets a 500k grant for a feature. UPDATE: Voting has closed but you can check out the film HERE

Kathleen Rose Perkins with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 6/27/12 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-62712/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-62712/#comments Mon, 09 Jul 2012 18:16:55 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3157 So You Think You Can Recap

Hello PMC fans- this is Heather AKA @HeatherRecently on Twitter (remember me?) welcoming you all back to the recap marathon that is SYTYCD! Can you believe it’s been a year since our TVs have bestowed upon us the joy of Lady Gaga’s flying footwear, Lil C’s lexicon, and Cat Deeley’s cavalcade of costumes? With the auditions and Vegas’ hell week behind us (so long, exorcist man; thanks for coming, alien spaceship girl; back to the studio, dancers whose 15 minutes of fame were reduced to a half-second clip in a brief montage), it’s time to meet this season’s competitors.

Cat, who is herself stunning, struts out in a dress that appears to be inspired by the vomit & glitter-covered floor of a gay bar. Resident judges Mary “I Hope The Hot Tamale Train Is Hauling A Shipment Of Vicodin” Murphy and Nigel “Britain’s Age Of Consent is 16” Lythgoe are joined by actress Zooey Deschanel, but only barely. Zooey is disappointingly bland throughout the show and brings none of the quirk and adorkability she is known for.

We are introduced to the first 4 contemporary dancers via Tyce’s lovely but forgettable choreography. The judges decide not to choose between their two standout female ballroom dancers, so a flirty fun salsa three-way comes out next. Similarly, all three ballet dancers (including a pointe dancer, something we rarely see on the show) were put through to the top 20 and showcased in a powerful piece. Resident twisted bizartist (a word I just made up) Sonya Tayeh is the perfect choreographer for the pair of jazz girls, minus a temporarily ill belly dancer/bacon aficionado who also made the cut. A contemporary hodgepodge of four (including “silent movie” girl and the Ryan Gosling lookalike) perform, and the variety pack of a kung fu artist, a stepper, & a hip hopper/”animator” round out the top 20 in a brilliantly creative baseball themed dance by Christopher Scott.

The show isn’t over yet. The top 10 (well, 9) girls are breathlessly stunning in a Travis Wall dance that will easily join his already impressive list of career highlights. It’s as if Degas, Lars von Trier, and Maya Angelou combined forces, à la the Care Bear Stare, and birthed a pulsating mass of kinetic beauty. Cat summed it up perfectly: ethereal. The boys respond wearing… oversized maternity pants? in a “fierce” performance choreographed by Sonya. She compares the dancers to wolves, but the whole thing has more bark than bite. Then everyone takes the stage for a Mia Michaels routine that is evocative of both Michael Jackson and Men In Black III- in theaters now! There are some interesting moments, but it isn’t her greatest work. The camera cuts to a shot of Mia in the audience where she is almost unrecognizable, looking more like a Diane Keaton stand-in than her usual effervescent and slightly androgynous self. What’s going on with you, girl?

That wraps up this season’s first live show! Who do you think will go all the way, and who will get steamrolled by the Viennese Waltz or dropped like it’s hot in a hip hop routine? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned for the announcement of an exciting SYTYCD contest from Pop My Culture!

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PMC 84: Jake Fogelnest http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-84-jake-fogelnest/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-84-jake-fogelnest/#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 04:38:22 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3148 Jake Fogelnest interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Jake Fogelnest (MTV’s Squirt TV, VH1′s I Love the 80s) chats will Cole and Vanessa about The Newsroom, Nora Ephron, The Choice, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Ann Curry’s firing, the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes split, fictitious bands, Wilford Brimley, fake Studio 60 Twitter accounts, haunting Ryan Seacrest, alien encounters, True Blood and Jake’s fantasy role on Breaking Bad.

Leave your answers to the firsts question (the first Broadway show you ever saw, and what you thought about it) on our website for a chance to win an official super-soft Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Jake Fogelnest with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 83: Elizabeth Laime http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-83-elizabeth-laime/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-83-elizabeth-laime/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2012 07:56:41 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3137 Elizabeth Laime interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast

Elizabeth Laime (host of the Totally Laime Podcast) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Oprah, Prometheus, 200-lb. tumors, The Guinness Books of World Records, Lindsay Lohan’s fender bender, the Golden Girls, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, TLC, the Earwolf podcasting competition, the man with the longest nails, “what really frosts my cookie,” Moonrise Kingdom, and inappropriate lady part nicknames.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first documentary you can remember being really into or effected by) on our website for a chance to win an official, super soft Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Elizabeth Laime and hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 82: Joe Dante http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-82-joe-dante/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-82-joe-dante/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2012 07:12:03 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3122 Joe Dante interviewed on Pop My Culture

Joe Dante (director of “Gremlins,” “Innerspace,” “The Burbs” and many more beloved films of the 80s and 90s) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Snow White and the Huntsman, Chuck Jones, editing trailers for Roger Corman, Mogwai merchandising, Piranha, Dick Miller, the movie-going experience, Trailers From Hell, Matinee, practical effects vs. CGI, monsters, Widescreen, and the thrill of seeing “ghosts of Hollywood” in places around town.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first 3D movie you ever saw and what you thought about it) on our website for a chance to win a Gremlins DVD signed by Joe!

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Joe Dante with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland
Signed Gremlins DVD giveaway - Director Joe Dante

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PMC 81: Mary Lynn Rajskub http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-81-mary-lynn-rajskub/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-81-mary-lynn-rajskub/#comments Fri, 01 Jun 2012 16:39:34 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3116 Mary Lynn Rajskub interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast
Mary Lynn Rajskub (“24,” “Mr. Show”) joins Cole and Vanessa to talk Dirty Work, Battleship, Breaking Bad, The Miami Cannibal, Mark Zuckerberg’s sudden marriage, computer jargon, Zac Efron, Michigan, Dicki, life as Chloe, hack attack, Selling LA, the GI Joe 2 delay, and harmonizing over Green Day.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first painting or art project you can remember receiving some sort of accommodation for) on our website for a chance to win a Mr. Show Seasons 1 and 2 DVD signed by Mary Lynn!

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Mary Lynn Rajskub and hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland
Mary Lynn Rajskub signed Mr. Show DVD

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PMC 80: Ken Marino http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-80-ken-marino/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-80-ken-marino/#comments Mon, 21 May 2012 05:16:17 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3105 Ken Marino interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast

Ken Marino (“The State,” “Childrens Hospital”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about his upcoming web series Burning Love, The Adventurers 2, demon makeup, Party Down, working with David Caruso, Sweet Genius, Wet Hot American Summer, frankenladies, Veronica Mars, music licensing issues, LARPing, R2D2 Operation, The Rememberer, and Ken’s magnificent time at the Renaissance Faire.

Leave your answers to the firsts question (the first board game you can remember really being into) on our website for a chance to win a Childrens Hospital Seasons 1 & 2 DVD box set signed by Ken and cast members & guest stars Rob Corddry, Erinn Hayes, Lake Bell, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and executive producer Jonathan Stern! (Holy crap! Nice prize!)

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Ken Marino interview with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland
Childrens Hospital signed DVD - Prize

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PMC 79: Jenny Mollen http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-79-jenny-mollen/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-79-jenny-mollen/#comments Fri, 11 May 2012 06:18:07 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3090 Jenny Mollen interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Jenny Mollen (“Angel,” “Crazy, Stupid Love”), beloved twitterer as @jennyandteets, joins Cole and Vanessa to goof off about The Avengers, The Playboy Mansion, poodles, sex shop exploits, Viva Laughlin, The Smoking Jacket, her husband Jason Biggs, “boatox,” movie tag lines, losing MCA, the Huffington Post, Fifty Shades of Grey, Girls, Game of Thrones, slutty Annie Hall and Jenny’s Halloween experience at Shane Black’s house.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first reality show you can remember being obsessed with) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt! (They are nice! And snuggly!)

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Jenny Mollen with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 78: Damien Fahey http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-78-damien-fahey/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-78-damien-fahey/#comments Wed, 02 May 2012 06:32:38 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3075 Damien Fahey

Damien Fahey (MTV VJ & host of “Total Request Live”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about the Octomom’s upcoming porn, hero Patrick Dempsey, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, the Dr. Seuss ban, John Salley’s feng-shui, drinking champagne with Madonna, crazy Heidi & Spencer, building a home radio station, some ecards, the Grind, Regis and Kelly, and Vanessa’s battle with Nyquil.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first song you can remember calling a radio station and requesting) for a chance to win a MTV Party To Go CD signed by Damien! (You want this, people–it’s chock will of 90s dance club madness!)

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Damien Fahey with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland
Party to go - listener giveaway

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PMC 77: Daniel O’Brien and Soren Bowie http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-77-daniel-obrien-and-soren-bowie/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-77-daniel-obrien-and-soren-bowie/#comments Fri, 20 Apr 2012 05:31:47 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3065 Cracked after hours Daniel O'Brien and Soren Bowie

Daniel O’Brien and Soren Bowie (stars of Cracked.com’s “After Hours“) join Cole and Vanessa to chat about Paisley the Prosti-Tot, six degrees of Kevin Bacon, Battleship and board game movies, the proper pronunciation of “Mario,” Teddy Ruxpin, breast milk, the Mayan Calendar, Yo Momma, family lineage, hip-hoperas, Pop Culture Battle Royales, and Cole’s dead-on impression of Jodie Foster.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first breakfast cereal you can remember calling your favorite) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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Cracked after hours Daniel O'Brien and Soren Bowie with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 76: Jane Espenson http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-76-jane-espenson/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-76-jane-espenson/#comments Fri, 13 Apr 2012 06:23:41 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3056 Jane Espenson interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast

Jane Espenson (writer/producer from “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Torchwood”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about her web series Husbands, Jerry Lee Lewis, the return of Game of Thrones, in-home dance clubs, Star Trek:TNG, Dinosaurs, dangerous Hugo Awards, Gilmore Girls fan fic, Twitter writing sprints, Very Mary Kate, Firefly, Captain Jack Harkness, Once Upon a Time, and Jane’s involvement in the origins of Zima.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first stuffed toy you had an attachment to) on our website for a chance to win a Battlestar Galactica: The Plan Blu-Ray signed by Jane!

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Jane Espenson with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland
Battlestar Galactica signed blu ray by writer Jane Espenson

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PMC 75: Felicia Day http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-75-felicia-day/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-75-felicia-day/#comments Fri, 06 Apr 2012 05:00:29 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3046 Felicia Day Interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast
Felicia Day (“The Guild,” “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog”) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Geek & Sundry, Joss Whedon, Leisure Suit Larry, L.A. Noire, Tabletop, Snooki’s fake baby doll, Yoda, The Sims, programming for the internet, “Goosters,” disgusting cereal milk, bedazzled tentacles, a live game of MASH, and Felicia’s audition for…yup…The Olsen Twins!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first video game you can remember passing) on our website for a chance to win a Dr. Horrible DVD signed by Felicia!

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Felicia Day with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton
Dr. Horrible's sing-along blog signed by Felicia Day

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PMC 74: Amber Tamblyn http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-74-amber-tamblyn/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-74-amber-tamblyn/#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 04:43:33 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3034 Amber Tamblyn interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Amber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) joins Cole and Vanessa to chat about Project X gone awry, Michael Bay vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Marilyn Manson, poetry, her pop Russ Tamblyn, scary movies, Twin Peaks, found-footage films, Pippi Longstocking, “Paranormal Activia,” soap operas, Knot’s Berry Farm, lower-back breast implants, Human Centipede, dreamy Hugh Laurie, and Amber’s sudden rap battle with Tyrese!

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first soap opera or daytime-specific program you were really into) on our website for a chance to win The Ring Blu-Ray signed by Amber!

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Amber Tamblyn with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton
Amber Tamblyn signed copy of The Ring BluRay

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Mashable.com names Pop My Culture one of the “10 Hilarious Podcasts that will make you LOL!” http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/mashable-com-names-pop-my-culture-one-of-the-10-hilarious-podcasts-that-will-make-you-lol/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/mashable-com-names-pop-my-culture-one-of-the-10-hilarious-podcasts-that-will-make-you-lol/#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 01:18:09 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3030

Thank you Mashable!

Today Mashable.com posted a story picking ten podcasts that are sure to make you laugh–and Pop My Culture was number nine! We’re in GREAT company, sharing the list with such amazing shows as Nerdist, WTF with Marc Maron, The Pod F. Tompkast, Never Not Funny, You Look Nice Today, Comedy Bang Bang, You Made it Weird, and our good friend Janet Varney’s new show The JV Club! Big thanks to Mashable’s Christine Erickson for including us! Check out the complete story here:


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PMC 73: John Hodgman, Aimee Mann and John Roderick http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-73-john-hodgman-aimee-mann-and-john-roderick/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-73-john-hodgman-aimee-mann-and-john-roderick/#comments Mon, 26 Mar 2012 06:48:21 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3014 John Hodgman interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

John Hodgman (author of “That is All” and the resident expert on “The Daily Show”) and surprise drop-in guests Aimee Mann (Oscar-nominated singer/songwriter and front woman of ‘Til Tuesday) and John Roderick (singer/songwriter of Seattle indie rock outfit The Long Winters) join Cole and Vanessa at the Chateau Marmont to discuss The Hunger Games, young adult fiction, Zork, Justin Long, Battle Royale, Dick Gregory, early computers, the Tripod Trilogy, stickball fights, hobo bindles, and the anniversary of John Belushi’s death in the very hotel they are recording in.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first computer you ever had, and what you primarily used it for) on our website for a chance to win a copy of “That is All” or “More Knowledge Than You Require” signed by our favorite deranged millionaire John Hodgman!

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John Hodgman with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton
Aimee Mann and John Roderick with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland
John Hodgman book signed giveaway

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PMC 72: Judy Greer http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-72-judy-greer/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-72-judy-greer/#comments Fri, 16 Mar 2012 07:31:59 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=3003 Judy Greer guest on pop my culture podcast

Judy Greer (“Arrested Development,” “13 Going on 30″) charms Cole and Vanessa and chats about Jeff Who Lives At Home, The Descendants, the extended Taco Bell menu, Bayou Billionaire, American Judy, New Orleans vs. Hawaii, the Duplass Brothers, pickled bologna, Madonna parties, re-enacting, Alexander Payne, double dutch, and the incredibly insane zombie Whitney Houston video.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first 80s-era band or singer you really got into) on our website for a chance to win an Arrested Development Season 1 DVD signed by Judy!

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Judy Greer with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Judy Greer Arrested Development

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PMC 71: Fred Stoller http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-71-fred-stoller/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-71-fred-stoller/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2012 08:46:44 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2985 Fred Stoller

Fred Stoller (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Seinfeld”) goofs around with Cole and Vanessa and chats about The Oscar telecast, thrill seekers, Cirque du Soleil, Billy Crystal, Dog Day Afternoon, Dr. Demento, arm belly buttons, Hunchbacks going to college, Murphy Brown, pitching to Larry David, The Shawshank Redemption, Norm McDonald, The Wizards of Waverly Place, desert-island comics, and a bloody-finger-texting Selena Gomez.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first comedy or novelty song you were really into) on our website for a chance to win a pic of Fred in Dumb and Dumber and a notepad from the writer’s room of Seinfeld signed by Fred!

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Fred Stoller with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Fred Stoller giveaway

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Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Fanfarlo http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/coles-indie-music-corner-fanfarlo/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/coles-indie-music-corner-fanfarlo/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 07:09:08 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2981

Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Fanfarlo

London’s Fanfarlo avoid the sophomore slump with a super strong showing with their second album, “Rooms Filled With Light.” Parts Arcade Fire, Talking Heads and The Decemberists, they craft catchy, rhythmic songs that put their multi-instrumentalists on full display. There’s some throwback 80s guitar flourishes a la Echo and the Bunnymen or, say, New Order, as well as strings, horns, keys and unusual percussion. The second track on the record, “Deconstruction,” is a high-energy driving toe-tapper, with a warbling whistle of a melody that grows on you every time you listen to it. The entire album, indeed, is one that reaps rewards upon repeat soakings. Get it.


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Rob Paulsen will make your friends jealous & YOU will help cure cancer! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/rob-paulsen-will-make-your-friends-jealous-you-will-help-cure-cancer/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/rob-paulsen-will-make-your-friends-jealous-you-will-help-cure-cancer/#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2012 19:16:22 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2974

ENDING MARCH 16th! if you donate $50.00 or more to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society ROB PAULSEN ( Or Yakko! Or Pinky! Or Raphael!) will record a personalized outgoing message for your phone!

Just donate here- then email Vanessa (vanessahoperagland@gmail.com) your name and character preference! Let’s fight cancer with character(s)!

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PMC 70: Timothy Omundson http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-70-timothy-omundson/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-70-timothy-omundson/#comments Wed, 29 Feb 2012 08:27:42 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2964 Timothy Omundson guest on Pop My Culture Podcast

Timothy Omundson (“Psych,” “Judging Amy”) hangs with Cole and Vanessa to talk about Zac Efron’s condom drop, swingin’ Stephen Hawking, Xena: Warrior Princess, iPhone thief Chris Brown, JK Rowling, the beautiful expletives of Deadwood, Psychos, Kenny Powers vs. Lucy Lawless, dramatic overbites, The Luck of the Irish, three-hole punches and pineapples, the Berenstain Bears, clown college, and Tim and Vanessa’s epic Alan Rickman-off.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first big lie you can remember telling) on our website for a chance to win a Psych Season 4 DVD signed by Timothy!

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Timothy Omundson with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland
Signed Psych DVD

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Vanessa For Leukemia Lymhoma Society Woman of the Year! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/vanessa-for-leukemia-lymhoma-society-woman-of-the-year/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/vanessa-for-leukemia-lymhoma-society-woman-of-the-year/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 17:12:27 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2952

Hey guys! I’ts me. Vanessa- unfortunately this post is NOT announcing my engagement to Z. Efron, it’s announcing my candidacy for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year!

Four years ago, my writing partner Katie Hooten got the news that both her husband Tim and her then-four-year-old daughter Eva had leukemia, albeit in different forms. Anyone who has had cancer affect his or her family knows how hard it hits you; Katie got it doubled. But there’s good news to report: Eva’s now cancer-free and Tim’s living with the disease thanks to a second-generation drug that was made possible by donations by people like you to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Every four minutes, someone gets the news that he or she has a blood cancer, and every ten minutes, someone dies of a blood cancer. The LLS — we can abbreviate it from here on out — is behind a lot of the research that has developed medication and treatment that can save, and is saving, lives.

I am supported by my family and friends on what we are calling “Team Big Accomplishment Squad!” And hopefully, I’m also supported by YOU! I really want to make Woman of the Year, which goes to the nominee who can raise the most cash for LLC in a ten-week period. My goal is $60,000, but every dollar will help fight blood cancer. Every dollar donated is a “vote” for me, too.

So, you wanna help!? YAY! Click here to donate. There’s also information there if you’d prefer to send a paper check. And if you want to throw a few bucks toward my dad’s ponytail shearing, you can click here to help reach that $5,000 goal and “Let Larry Shear!”

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Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Django Django http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/coles-indie-music-corner-django-django-2/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/coles-indie-music-corner-django-django-2/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 01:25:59 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2933
Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Django Django

If you’re like me, you need something to fill the void of the now-defunct Beta Band. Thankfully, the UK’s Django Django are here–this quartet met at art school in Edinburgh and have a sound that takes that aforementioned band and weirds it out, with elements of psych and post-rock, experimental rhythms and a playful sense of humor. At first listening, it’s challenging, but always interesting, and the song “Default” is epic, bombastic and catchy as all get out. Crank it up and blast it with the windows down while driving your vehicle of choice.

Default / Django Django

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PMC 69: Pop My Oscars 2012 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-69-pop-my-oscars-2012/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-69-pop-my-oscars-2012/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2012 09:03:42 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2960 Myq Kaplan and Samm Levine give their oscar lists 2012

Myq Kaplan (“Last Comic Standing”) and Samm Levine (“Freaks & Geeks”) join Cole and Vanessa for an hour of straight-up Academy Awards talk! The four get Extremely Loud & Incredibly close as they make their predictions of who will and should win those gold statuettes, try to make sense of Tree of Life, argue about Hugo, mention Drive a lot, giggle at Albert Nobbs, break the silence of The Artist, and “Descendants” into madness as they give out some special awards of their own.

Let us know your special Oscar award (any sort of recognition you’d like to give to something from film this year that wasn’t nominated) on our website for a chance to win the Entertainment Weekly Oscar issue signed by Myq, Samm, Cole and Vanessa!

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Pop my Culture talk oscars with Myq Kaplan and Samm Levine
Whitney Houston issue of entertainment weekly signed

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PMC 68: Dave Holmes http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-68-dave-holmes/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-68-dave-holmes/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 07:17:59 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2916 Dave Holmes interviewed on Pop My Culture podcast

Dave Holmes (MTV VJ, host of “Say What? Karaoke” and “A Drink With Dave” Video Podcast) joins Cole and Vanessa to talk The Super Bowl, Clint Eastwood, Madonna’s half-time spectacular, the guy from Lone Star, David Lee Roth, MTV Survivor, cell phones with pens, Go Daddy, Rachel Crow, world peace, Downton Abbey, being LMFAO’d out, Karen Duffy, TRL and the spectacular crazy shitstorm that is Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Leave your answers to the firsts question (the first music video you can remember being in love with) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

Freshly Popped


Dave Holmes with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 67: Drew Carey (Live at SF Sketchfest) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-67-drew-carey-live-at-sf-sketchfest/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-67-drew-carey-live-at-sf-sketchfest/#comments Fri, 03 Feb 2012 21:13:25 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2903 Drew Carey interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Drew Carey (“The Price Is Right” and “The Drew Carey Show”) joins Cole and Vanessa for this special live episode at SF Sketchfest, the San Francisco Comedy Festival. They chat about Blue Ivy’s godmother, crappy showcase prizes, funny contestants, turkey trots, Presidential Fitness competitions, getting booed by WWE fans, bringing in a ringer, Regis vs. Carson, Whose Line is It Anyway?, skintags, teeth-pulling, Brian Wilson, and Drew’s low, low opinion of the Oscars.

Leave the answer to the Firsts question (The first race or athletic competition you can remember doing) on our website for a chance to win a copy of Sam Shepherd’s Buried Child (used during the podcast, listen to see how), signed by Drew!

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Drew Carey with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Win this signed copy by leaving an answer to the firsts question!

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PMC 66: John Lehr http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-66-john-lehr/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-66-john-lehr/#comments Thu, 26 Jan 2012 09:57:59 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2891 John Lehr interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

John Lehr (“10 Items or Less” and an original Geico Caveman) chats with Cole and Vanessa about Blue Ivy Carter, Evel Knievel, fake choking, Beezow Doo-Doo Zoppitybop-Bop-Bop, baseball vs. football films, Heidi Klum, kid wars, bloody noses, falling in grocery stores viral videos, Noah Baumbach, Angelina Jolie’s wondrous lips, The Andy Griffith Show, junkyard dramas, uncomfortable makeup applications, Portland’s beards, and hanging with the guys from Friends at a secret Bevery Hills club.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first truly dangerous or ill-advised stunt or thing you tried to do as a kid) on our website for a chance to win a super comfy Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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John Lehr with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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LIVE show with Drew Carey Jan. 28th! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/live-show-with-drew-carey-jan-28th/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/live-show-with-drew-carey-jan-28th/#comments Tue, 24 Jan 2012 18:30:34 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2888 Drew Carey interviewed by Pop My Culture Podcast in San Francisco

Pop My Culture hits the road! Join Cole and Vanessa LIVE at SF Sketchfest, the San Francisco Comedy Festival, for a super fun LIVE recording with an amazing guest–stand-up legend and host of the Price is Right DREW CAREY!

The show is at 1pm at the Eureka Theater on Saturday Jan. 28th. We’d love to see you there!

Tickets are available HERE

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PMC 65: Pop My Cork (Part 2) – The Worst of 2011 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-64-part-2-pop-my-cork-the-worst-of-2011/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-64-part-2-pop-my-cork-the-worst-of-2011/#comments Wed, 18 Jan 2012 08:08:45 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2787 Worst of 2011 - Pop My Culture Podcast Part 2

Part two finds returning guests Tony Hale (“Arrested Development”), Rob Paulsen (“Animaniacs”), Meredith Salenger (“The Journey of Natty Gann”), Paul F. Tompkins (The Pod F. Tompkast) and James Urbaniak (“The Venture Brothers”) locked with Cole and Vanessa in conversation about all the horrible things 2011 threw at us–with each of them sharing their personal Worst 5 lists, as well as offering up a New Year’s Resolution and their “theme song” for 2011.

Leave your personal Worst 5 of 2011 for a chance to win an official Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

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T-shirt design

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PMC 64: Pop My Cork (Part 1) – The Best of 2011 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-64-part-1-pop-my-cork-the-best-of-2011/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-64-part-1-pop-my-cork-the-best-of-2011/#comments Wed, 11 Jan 2012 07:58:45 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2780 Tony Hale, Paul F. Tompkins, Rob Paulsen, Vanessa Ragland, Cole Stratton, James Urbaniak

Returning guests Tony Hale (“Arrested Development”), Rob Paulsen (“Animaniacs”), Meredith Salenger (“The Journey of Natty Gann”), Paul F. Tompkins (The Pod F. Tompkast) and James Urbaniak (“The Venture Brothers”) join Cole and Vanessa for part one of this special look back at the year that was 2011. Wine and conversation flow freely as each guest and the hosts navigate through personal Top 5 lists and argue the merits of their selections.

Leave your personal Top 5 of 2011 on our website for a chance to win a copy of Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainers of the Year issue, signed by all of our guests!

Freshly Popped



Signed Entertainment Magazine 2011

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Help us be better! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/help-us-be-better/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/help-us-be-better/#comments Sat, 07 Jan 2012 01:12:08 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2776 Help us out and take this survey!

Help PMC be better! Because just like you, it has a New Years resolution which it may or may not stick to. If you would be kind enough to fill out this VERY QUICK survey about our podcast we promise to keep cranking out free entertainment (or ‘noise’ or whatever you want to call it.)

Thank you for listening and please help us improve! Plus, this is an easy test to take. No scantrons! Just a few clicks and every filled survey will help us tremendously.

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PMC 63: Jim Rash http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-63-jim-rash/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2012/pmc-63-jim-rash/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 06:48:16 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2762 Jim Rash interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Jim Rash (Dean Pelton from “Community” and co-writer of “The Descendants”) joins Cole and Vanessa for their first podcast of 2012! They chat about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, shortstop playing chimpanzees, controlling the world’s bees, Sky High, The Golden Globes, Nicholas Sparks flicks, The Enabler, practical jokester George Clooney, Cybill, terrible auditions, saving Community, Fincher family members, twisted Barbers Shop Quartets, Guess Who?, and Jim’s hilariously stressful day on Spielberg’s Minority Report.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (The first TV show you can remember being upset that it went off the air) on our website for a chance to win a Community Season 2 DVD signed by Jim!

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Jim Rash with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Jim Rash signed DVD of Community

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Happy Holidays from PMC! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/happy-holidays-from-pmc/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/happy-holidays-from-pmc/#comments Tue, 20 Dec 2011 20:21:31 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2755
We wish you the merriest of whatever makes you merry, and the best of all good things. We’ll be off wintering in Aspen sleeping on futons at our respective family’s homes, but we look forward to poppin’ in 2012!

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PMC 62: Phil LaMarr http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-62-phil-lamarr/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-62-phil-lamarr/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2011 08:30:33 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2721 Phil LaMarr interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Phil LaMarr (“Pulp Fiction,” “Madtv”) goofs off with Cole and Vanessa and chats about working with Tarantino, People’s Sexiest Man Alive, The Descendants, the sorting hat, going to Broadway, The Groundlings, the Mr. T. cartoon, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, Morgan Freeman, Detective Comics, a steady stream of turkey, the lost Matrix scenes, Marvin’s head explosion, Star Wars vs. Physicists, Sea Monkeys, seeing Helen Mirren, the Lego movie, and the absolutely ridiculous people backstage at the Pee Wee Herman Show.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first comic book or comic book series you were into as a kid) on our website for a chance to win a Pulp Fiction Blu-Ray signed by Phil!

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Phil LaMarr with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Pulp Fiction signed by Phil LaMarr

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PMC Joins the Nerdist Network! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-joins-the-nerdist-network/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-joins-the-nerdist-network/#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2011 05:18:25 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2717 Nerdist industries takes in Pop My Culture Podcast

Yep, it’s official–our lil’ show has joined The Nerdist network! We’re one of 12 amazing shows on Chris Hardwick’s acclaimed arsenal of Nerdist Industry programs. Don’t worry–we’ll still be right here on our website and on iTunes, and your RSS feed will stay the same, but we’ll also have our own spot on nerdist.com. So there’s another way to find us! We’re very excited to be part of such an amazing group of people. Thanks much to Chris and co. for having us!

Check us out on the Nerdist site HERE!

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PMC 61: Ethan Suplee http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-61-ethan-suplee/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-61-ethan-suplee/#comments Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:33:35 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2704 Ethan Suplee interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Ethan Suplee (“My Name is Earl,” “Mallrats”) chats with Cole and Vanessa on their first podcast with the Nerdist network about Boy Meets World, neverending Risk games, Settlers of Catan, D&D, sad Bowie stories, Greg Garcia, looking for aliens, Remember the Titans, playing a skinhead, Without a Paddle fights, making videos with Jack White, the alternative Jason Mewes, nose dirt, Kevin Smith, and Ethan’s experience at a Don Phillips Pizza Party.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first candy or sweet you were into as a kid) on our website for a chance to win a My Name is Earl Season 1 DVD signed by Ethan!

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Ethan Suplee with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

My Name is Earl DVD signed by Ethan Suplee

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PMC 60: Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-60-dave-anthony-and-greg-behrendt/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-60-dave-anthony-and-greg-behrendt/#comments Mon, 21 Nov 2011 05:12:24 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2692 Walking the Room guests Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt

Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt from the Walking The Room Podcast stop by to chat with Cole and Vanessa about the art of retweeting, Jack and Jill, The Hunger Games, ranking overrated bands, the Duggars, the coining of the term Zombie, celebrity peeing, snot skin, Cameron Diaz, Mr. Catpoop, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Sex and the City ladies, Kardashians, Insomnia, body hopping, books vs. movies, and Greg’s awkward plane trip with Miley Cyrus.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (The first complaint letter you ever wrote, and if you got a response) on our website for a chance to win a brand spankin’ new Pop My Culture T-Shirt!

Freshly Popped



Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 59: Meredith Salenger http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-59-meredith-salenger/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-59-meredith-salenger/#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2011 07:21:56 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2679 Meredith Salenger interview on Pop My Culture Podcast

Meredith Salenger (“The Journey of Natty Gann,” “Dream a Little Dream”) joins Cole and Vanessa to talk about twitter stalking, Brett Ratner, suing Kim Kardashian, The Muppets, kissing John Cusack, hanging with Harry Dean Stanton, virgin daiquiris, fan sites, Melancholia, Corey Feldman’s MJ moves, working with a wolf, Seth Myers’ unheralded extra work, River Phoenix, hoarding cats, body-swapping movies, Harvard, Sally Field, and a trio of Bjork impressions.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first family vacation you can remember, and what stood out about it) on our website for a chance to win a Natty Gann DVD signed by Meredith!

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Meredith Salenger with Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland as guest on Pop My Culture Podcast

Meredith Salenger in Journey of Natty Gann signed DVD

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PMC 58: Fred Dekker http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-58-fred-dekker/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-58-fred-dekker/#comments Mon, 31 Oct 2011 09:36:59 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2663 Fred Dekker on Pop My Culture Podcast

Fred Dekker (writer/director of “The Monster Squad” and “Night of the Creeps”) stops by for this Halloween episode with Cole and Vanessa to chat about Lindsay Lohan, Estate of Panic, the true nature of game shows, Shane Black, the “Pad o’ Guys,” George A. Romero, UFO spottin’ Billy Ray Cyrus, James Bond, Monty Python, scary staircases, the life of spoiler alerts, Anthony Michael Hall, Taileypo, wizard films, Hitchcock, Stan Winston, Liam Neeson, the Wolfman’s infamous nards, and Vanessa’s serious Victor Borge/Ernest Borgnine confusion.

Leave your answer to the Firsts questions (the first thing that really scared you, and if you ever got over that fear) on our website for a chance to win a Monster Squad Blu-Ray autographed by Fred!

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Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland with Fred Dekker Writer Director

The Monster Squad signed by Fred Dekker

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PMC Shirts FOR SALE! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-shirts-for-sale/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-shirts-for-sale/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2011 08:50:24 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2657 Pop My Culture T-Shirts

Get ‘em while they’re HOT!

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PMC 57: Tom Lenk & Adam Busch http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-57-tom-lenk-adam-busch/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-57-tom-lenk-adam-busch/#comments Fri, 21 Oct 2011 05:39:43 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2626 Tom Lenk and Adam Busch from Buffy on Pop My Culture Podcast

Tom Lenk and Adam Busch (Andrew and Warren from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) stop by to chat with Cole and Vanessa about Project Runway, Paula Deen’s butter-flavored lip balm, the Sonic Youth split, sleeping Belafonte, Frydaddies, Drones, Milli Vanilli, cassingles, Tim Gunn’s new catchphrases, faked radio kidnappings, The Dali Lama vs. Steven Seagal, Common Rotation, troll dolls, Mad Magazine, and Adam’s awkward double date with the Olsen Twins!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first thing you ever collected, and if you still have them to this day) on our website for a chance to win the new Common Rotation album, Keep an Open Gallery, signed by both Adam and Tom!

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Adam Busch and Tom Lenk interviewed by Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Tom Lenk and Adam Busch give away CD on Pop My Culture Podcast

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PMC 56: Jonathan Silverman http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-56-jonathan-silverman/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-56-jonathan-silverman/#comments Wed, 12 Oct 2011 05:04:43 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2615 Jonathan Silverman interviewed on Pop My Culture Podcast

Jonathan Silverman (“Weekend at Bernie’s,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs”) joins Cole and Vanessa to talk Steve Jobs, Neil Simon, The Addams Family Musical, Mark Rylance, The X Factor, The Playboy Club, Long Island Medium, Top Shot, working with Jack Lemmon, Gene Saks, Beverly Hills High, favorite film nametags, Little Big League, NBC cross-over night, spooky Halloween month, the lovely Jennifer Finnigan, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, and the greatest all-time Olsen Twins story EVER.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first club or organization you belonged to, and how you felt about it) on our website for a chance to win a Weekend at Bernie’s DVD signed by Jonathan!

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Jonathan Silverman with hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Signed Weekend at Bernies DVD - Starring Jonathan Silverman

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PMC Culture Pops with ChinaShop! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-culture-pops-with-chinashop/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-culture-pops-with-chinashop/#comments Tue, 04 Oct 2011 22:01:18 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2609

We’ve paired up with ChinaShopMagazine again! We hope you enjoy our video as much as we enjoyed our drinks… but that’s not likely.

Just click to enjoy!

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PMC 55: Matt Berry & Rich Fulcher http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-55-matt-berry-rich-fulcher/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-55-matt-berry-rich-fulcher/#comments Mon, 03 Oct 2011 09:50:59 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2584 Snuff Box Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher

Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher (“The Mighty Boosh,” “Snuff Box”) join Cole and Vanessa to talk sketch shows, Drive, sex vs. violence, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place, Snow White & The Huntsman, the end of All My Children, unusual racehorses, skin suits, hard-to-obtain DVDs, cash-filled briefcases, booger collections, an unusual new Bill Cosby show, David Bowie, silent sound engineers who happened to be married to Vanessa, L.A. area codes, hoarders, Black Oman, and Cole’s serenading of Chuck Yeager.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first thing you ever stole and how you felt about it) on our website for a chance to win a “Snuff Box” Complete Series DVD signed by Matt and Rich!

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Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland with The Mighty Boosh stars Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher

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PMC 54: Julia Duffy http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-54-julia-duffy-2/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-54-julia-duffy-2/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:26:05 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2578 Julia Duffy interviewed on Pop My Culture

Cole, Vanessa and comedic actress extraordinaire Julia Duffy (“Newhart,” “Designing Women”) talk Toddlers and Tiaras, comedy phone calls, the Mohos, working with George Clooney, Baby Talk, Wizards and Warriors, the final Entourage, Local Hero, The Love Boat, the Coen Brothers, movies vs. theater, applesauce, Love of Life, technology, embarrassing commercials, and where the Newhart gang might all be today.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first movie that you loved so much that you saw it three or more times in the theater, or your first multi-view movie) for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt! (Coming soon, we promise!)

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Julia Duffy and hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

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PMC 53: Nigel Dick http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-53-nigel-dick/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-53-nigel-dick/#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2011 16:39:47 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2542 Nigel Dick guest on Pop My Culture Podcast

Cole and Vanessa are joined by iconic music video auteur Nigel Dick (director of over 300 music videos–by Britney Spears, Oasis, Guns N’ Roses, Paul McCartney, Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion, Cher, Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, The Pussycat Dolls, Nickelback, R.E.M., Leann Rimes, Barry Manilow, Jessica Simpson, Elton John, Sheryl Crow, Mandy Moore, Kenny Loggins, David Cook, Black Sabbath, The Offspring, Travis, Rod Stewart, Meat Loaf and many more!). They talk Blu-Ray Darth Vader’s “Nooooo!,” Britney Spears’ school girl outfit, making Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” Vanessa’s “impression” of Alan Rickman, cycling, 2Gether, lyrics, Whoopi Goldberg, and Nigel’s film “Callback,” which stars Kevin Farley and…Cole!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first paycheck you ever got, and what it was for) on our website for a chance to win the soundtrack CD for Callback!

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Nigel Dick interviewed by hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

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PMC 52: Superego http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-52-superego/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-52-superego/#comments Thu, 01 Sep 2011 07:28:43 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2531 Superego podcast interviewed

Cole, Vanessa and the fellas from the hit comedy podcast Superego (Matt Gourley, Jeremy Carter and Mark McConville) talk the VMAs, Dancing With the Stars, Dance Moms, Beyonce’s crazy pregnancy reveal, the future, Channel 101, Chazz Bono, Nancy Grace, Bond Girls, Megaforce, single dads, GaGa’s stupid new character, dog lovers, skin goatees, skinny Jonah Hill, and a visit from call-in guest Nancy and Redd Foxx.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first pet that you called your own) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt, which are coming soon!

Freshly Popped



Super Ego podcast with hosts cole stratton and vanessa ragland

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Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Active Child http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/coles-indie-music-corner-active-child/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/coles-indie-music-corner-active-child/#comments Thu, 01 Sep 2011 06:47:58 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2526

Cole’s Indie Music Corner: Active Child

The first full-length record by Pat Grossi, aka Active Child, is a gorgeous collection of dreamy melodies and spacey production, melding his fragile voice, harp, beats and electronic soundscapes– think Owen Pallet meets The Divine Comedy meets Depeche Mode. It’s a marriage of sound that works brilliantly–the title track, You Are All I See, is a seductive earworm that will have you humming for days. High on atmosphere, the album delivers on the potential of his Curtis Lane EP from last year. Visit his site at www.activechildmusic.com.


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We’ve been nominated for Best Podcast by SF Weekly & we need your votes! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/weve-been-nominated-for-best-podcast-by-sf-weekly-we-need-your-votes/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/weve-been-nominated-for-best-podcast-by-sf-weekly-we-need-your-votes/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2011 08:12:14 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2516  

Hooray! We’ve been nominated for BEST PODCAST by SF WEEKLY!

But we need your votes! The top 3 in each category, based on YOUR VOTES, will be in contention to grab the honor. So please go to the SF Weekly’s Web Awards website HERE and vote for us as often as you can before the end of the day on August 30th! We’d appreciate it!


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PMC 51: Rider Strong http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-51-rider-strong/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-51-rider-strong/#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2011 05:15:51 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2445 Rider Strong guest on Pop My Culture

Cole, Vanessa and the charming Rider Strong (“Boy Meets World,” “Cabin Fever”) talk Disneyland secrets, Breaking Bad, the Glee 3D fiasco, the late Kate Plus 8, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Les Miserables, role-playing, Pepper Dennis, Attack the Block, There Will Be Blood Reboots, Fraggle Bits, Steven Segal, The Dungeon Master, gore vs. atmosphere, and the iconic Cabin Fever “Pancakes” scene.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (The first time a movie scared you so much you had to turn it off or leave) on our website for a chance to win a Pop My Culture T-Shirt, which are coming soon! (And they’ll look like the pic below!)

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Rider Strong interviewed by Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Pop My Culture T-shirt

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Cole & Vanessa destroy Comic-Con 2011! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/cole-vanessa-destroy-comic-con-2011/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/cole-vanessa-destroy-comic-con-2011/#comments Sun, 14 Aug 2011 08:15:14 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2406
Your PMC hosts took on the 2011 San Diego Comic Con! What follows is Cole’s recap of the two days they spent there, with Vanessa’s comments inserted throughout! Enjoy!
I was hesitant to return to the annual San Diego Comic Con this year, as my experience last year was tragic—hours and hours and hours and hours in line, and not a panel to show for it—in fact, I was about ten people away from admittance into Hall H when the infamous Resident Evil Pen Stabbing happened. The convention center was so jammed packed you could hardly walk anywhere. I was disheartened, but thought I’d give it one last try—and with my podcastin’ partner Vanessa Ragland with me, we descended upon the ‘Con Friday morning for the start of a truly terrific con! Here’s the breakdown on what we saw over the two days we attended, who was involved, and what we thought, as well as some embedded trailers!
This is Vanessa writing. When I write, it will look like this, which I call “red.”  Let me first say- I was DREADING Comic-Con.  Dreading.  I have heard the stabbing story enough times to really freak me out, also I don’t do well in crowds (anxiety central) and I am afraid of large groups of people in costumes.


After a brisk walk from the Cruise Ship parking lot (more than adequate parking, and at a max of $20 a day, not too bad!), we obtained our press passes and headed over to Hall H. I expected us to have to wait in line and was shocked to see that we could just walk right in as the eleven a.m. panel had just begun! And it was a doozy…
11:00-12:00 Paramount: The Adventures of Tin-Tin (Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, cameo by Andy Serkis)
We sat down as a sequence from the Steven Spielberg-directed The Adventures of TinTin was playing on the monitors, in 3D. The motion capture technology that was utilized in films like The Polar Express and Beowulf has come a long, long way, and the stylized look was absolutely gorgeous. With Spielberg at the helm, Peter Jackson producing, and a script by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, it looks to be a quality film!  It includes voice work by Jamie Bell and Daniel Craig.
Spielberg and Jackson spoke passionately and eloquently about the project, and took questions from the audience. Spielberg revealed that there is a story for an upcoming Jurassic Park 4 and hopes that it will go into production in the next year or two. Jackson said he’d love to return to his horror roots in the next couple of years. Frequent Jackson collaborator Andy Serkis, wearing dark glasses, asked a silly question about Daniel Craig, just to get a reaction from the crowd. Perhaps the best moment of the Q&A occurred when a young boy asked what film was Spielberg’s favorite experience, and he replied E.T., because when the shoot ended, he had grown so attached to Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore that he realized he wanted to have a family. It was so great to see filmmaking legends up close and personal, and I hope Spielberg returns to the Con in the future.
Oh my gosh.  I have only been here for an hour… but I LOVE COMIC-CON!  I just saw Spielberg and Peter Freaking Jackson.  I keep looking at Cole like, is this happening?  And it was.  And no one stabbed me or made me wear lyrca or anything!   This panel was amazing, and I couldn’t believe the creative energy and joy radiating from these guys.
The trailer for TinTin:

12:15-1:15 Relativity Media: Haywire (Steven Soderbergh, Gina Carano, Channing Tatum) and The Raven (John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, James McTeigue)

Next up were two films from Relativity Media. First up was Haywire, a gritty actioner from director Steven Soderbergh and the screen debut of mixed martial artist Gina Carano. She plays a covert ops specialist who is double-crossed by her own agency and works to find out who betrayed her. Think The Bourne Identity minus the amnesia, with action sequences extremely visceral AND realistic—Soderbergh didn’t want anything that couldn’t actually be done, resulting in some quick fight sequences. Carano was charming on the panel and showed a real charisma on screen. In addition to the trailer, we were shown a hotel room fight between Carano and rising star Michael Fassbender. It was exciting and raw, and if its any indictation of the rest of the film, it’s going to be really entertaining. Channing Tatum was on the panel as well, and was asked about the next G.I. Joe movie, but wasn’t at liberty to say anything. Soderbergh was asked about the unavailability of his terrific King of The Hill on DVD, and said he’s hoping to find a way to get it out there soon, citing studio indifference to releasing DVDs now that the sales numbers are so low due to streaming.
Haywire is going to be awesome.  I just know it.  I love girls who kick butt, and Carano REALLY kicks butt.  She was so strange to see in person- after her introduction I expected a sort of rough and tumble Chyna/Suicide girl, and instead there was a beautiful, mild-mannered, elegant and soft spoken woman.  My favorite parts of this panel were how humble and thankful  Carano was juxtaposed by her badassery.  She would be like, “It’s such an honor to work on this amazing film.”  Then they would show a really brutal clip and she would tuck her raven hair behind her ear, smile shyly and say something creepy like “I really loved it when they broke the TV over my head.” Channing Tatum was super charming, as was Soderbergh.

The trailer for Haywire:

Rounding out the hour was The Raven, a gritty thriller following Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack), who helps out a detective (Luke Evans) seeking a serial killer whose gruesome acts reflect Poe’s writings. When Poe’s love interest (Alice Eve) is abducted by the killer, it’s up to the duo to find her before it’s too late. It was directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta), who was joined on the panel by Cusack, Evans and Eve. The trailer looked slick, with a nice visual style. It appears to be a mash up of Seven and Sherlock Holmes, and as much as I like John Cusack, I’m not sure if the casting is quite right. Cusack did his research and seemed to know a lot about the author, but the little footage we saw didn’t look that great. Here’s hoping it comes together!
Yeah, I don’t know what to say about this one.  The premise is interesting, but I never got a feel for what this movie is going to be- and I didn’t totally trust that the filmmakers and actors knew either.  I love me some Poe, but I have a bad feeling about this one.
The trailer for The Raven: (NOT YET AVAILABLE–SORRY!)
1:30-2:30 Screen Gems: Underworld Awakening (Kate Beckinsale, Len Wiseman, Michael Ealy, Theo James, Mans Marlind, Bjorn Steing) and Attack the Block (Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, John Boyega)

Screen Gems showcased two of their latest offerings, the first of which was the latest in the vampire action series, Underworld Awakening. Kate Beckinsale returns as Selene, who busts out of prison to discover that humans are now aware of both the Vampire and Lycan clans and have started a war to destroy them both. The trailer featured a lot of the spandex-clad warrior sliding around and slicing up those in her way, and the crowd responded positively, especially to Kate Beckinsale’s presence on the panel, which also included directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Steing, producer and writer Len Wiseman (also Beckinsale’s significant other), and actors Michael Ealy and Theo James. When asked about more sequels, Wiseman said he definitely has ideas of where they can go, and is interested in taking the characters to completely different places, “except space!” Since I hadn’t seen any of the others in the series, its impossible for me to say how this will stack up the rest of them.
I also haven’t seen any of this franchise- but I had a great time listening to them.  Maybe because Kate Beckinsale was soooo pretty?  I will seek these out now though, if nothing else she wears a black body condom and attacks people.  So that’s cool.
The trailer for Underworld Awakening: (ALSO NOT YET AVAILABLE! GRRRR!)

Next was Attack the Block, a seriously cool looking import from the UK about a bunch of young petty thieves and thugs in South London, who have to fend off an alien attack. A true genre mashup of sci-fi, action and comedy with a bit of social commentary thrown in, the film earned rave review at SXSW and in England, and is now playing in limited release here in the states. In addition to the trailer, we were shown a sequence in which the young anti-heroes battle their way to “The Weed Room,” a potential safe house from the creatures. Popping off firecrackers and flares to distract the monsters and illuminate the hall ways of the run down tenament, it’s full of tension and excitement. The cast is largely made of first time kid actors between 12 and 17, and also features Wright’s buddy Nick Frost as a pot dealer. The panel brought us producer Edgar Wright, director Joe Cornish and the lead kid John Boyega. The coolest part of the film is that the monsters are fully realized and not computer generated, harkening back to the days of actual tactile creature effects. It’s a welcome change, and I’m definitely excited to see this as soon as possible.
Oh my gosh.  This panel was awesome- and the movie was awesomer. Can’t say enough great things about this- everyone up there seemed truly passionate and excited, and the trailer is SO GOOD.  Find this movie.  See it.  Be in awe of how gritty and funny and terrifying something can be.  Oh, and how cool- it is just oozing with cool.
The trailer for Attack the Block:

We then left Hall H to take our chances in the line for the HBO True Blood panel in Ballroom 20; after two hours in line, we were sad to be turned away about fifty people away from the door! We decide to walk the exhibition floor for a little bit and then head across the street to the Gaslamp District and grab some dinner, then on to drinks with friends. A good first day at the con, and Saturday would be even better!
Sorry I made you wait in the line Cole.  I had a feeling we could make it… well, ok, I really knew we probably wouldn’t make it but I had to try.  I was very close to my darling Eric, and if I hadn’t tried to see him I couldn’t live with myself.  And also, I think the line-waiting and disappointment thing is a staple of Comic-Con.

After a great breakfast with our podcast guest and buddy Tony Hale, we headed back into line for Hall H, where we were pleased to see that we’d be able to have great seats once they let us inside. Sure enough, we got a great view of the stage and were in store for some great panels.
11:45-12:45 TWIXT: Francis Ford Coppola, Val Kilmer and Dan Deacon

It was truly an honor seeing legendary film director Francis Ford Coppola hold court to a captive Hall H crowd, seeming like a kid in a candy shop talking about his latest film, the super experimental TWIXT. The story follows a horror writer (played by Val Kilmer), who goes to a small town on a book signing tour, only to be told by the local Sheriff (Bruce Dern) that there’s a very high unsolved murder rate. Struggling through writers block, he’s visited by Edgar Alan Poe (Ben Chaplin) in a dream and talks with a young goth girl (Elle Fanning), who may or may not be a ghost. There are sequences shot in 3D (Coppola explained that he’d rather not give us eye fatigue and headaches when it wasn’t necessary and only use it to enhance certain scenes) and  a score by Dan Deacon. We were given Poe 3D masks instead of traditional glasses, and what truly makes TWIXT intriguing is that Coppola and Deacon plan to tour with the film—Deacon will score it live, and Coppola will cut it and rearrange it as you watch it, basing his decisions on audience reactions. If you like a certain character, he’ll up their involvement, if you aren’t responding to certain kinds of scenes, he’ll use shorter versions or cut them out all together. Coppola had an iPad on which he could rearrange as he went, and he showed us the trailer again, this time changing it up as it played and Deacon scoring it on his laptop. He even showed us a version of what could happen just by hitting shuffle. An intriguing concept for sure—it’s hard to tell if the film itself is any good, but the chance to see a master of cinema play around in front of us would be hard to pass up. Kilmer and Coppola event chanted “NOSFERATU!” over a segment of score making it a truly surreal afternoon.

Val Kilmer?  Actually really funny and charming.  Color me surprised!  F.F Coppola?  The sweetest, most lit-up, excited man ever.  I am not really sure what to expect from the film- but I love the enthusiasm and daring that went into making it.  I will definitely be seeing this.  Maybe one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen is Mr. Coppola fiddling around on the iPad with some technical difficulties.  It was a little bit of an “aww, grampa” moment.  But then you realize grampa is a legendary film maker, and he’s in the middle of trying to reinvigorate an artform.  And it’s a little less “aw grampa” and a little more “damn, brother!”
The trailer for TWIXT:

1:00-2:00 Relativity Media: Immortals (Tarsem Singh, Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz, Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton)

If you like Gods played by bohunks in loin cloths have we got a film for you! Immortals, a 3D visual feast turning Greek mythology on its ear, is from Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) and stars a bunch of up-and-coming actors who are all headlining other high profile films in the near future. On the panel were Henry Cavill (the newest Superman), Stephen Dorff (Somewhere, Blade), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Luke Evans (The Raven, The Hobbit), Kellan Lutz (Twilight), producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton and director Singh. The trailer showcased the 3D images well and had plenty of high-octane stylized action sequences, reminiscent of 300. Lots of slow-mo, though. We were also shown a big action sequence towards the end where some of the Gods battle some bad guys in a cave. Looks to be breathtaking visually, but hard to say if the script has much behind it. The panel itself was ok; Tarsem Singh has a great spirit to him and was pretty informative; Mark Canton came off as a typical old-school Hollywood Producer; Henry Cavill seemed a bit flustered; Stephen Dorff grunted a few times; Freida Pinto was absolutely lovely and told some nice stories; Kellan Lutz seems like a total airhead (when asked about his research to play Poseidon, he said that The Little Mermaid is his favorite movie).
It looks like this movie will be visually stunning and void of pretty much everything else. I’m not a big fan of Tarsem’s past work- I know there is an audience that it really works for, but I ain’t it.  The cast was really, really good looking even if they all seemed a bit off.
The trailer for Immortals:

2:15-3:15 IndieVest Pictures: Knights of Badassdom (Ryan Kwanten, Danny Pudi, Summer Glau, Peter Dinklage, Jimmi Williams, Margarita Levieva, Michael Gladis, Joe Lynch)

After a bunch of actual LARPers (Live Action Role Players) took the stage, we were treated to a tremendous panel on one of the most fun looking comedy horror hybrids to come along in a while! Knights of Badassdom follows Joe (Ryan Kwanten), a rocker who’s just gone through a bad breakup. His roommates (Steve Zahn and Peter Dinklage) drag him to their latest LARP battle to try and cheer him up, but all hell breaks loose (literally) when they accidently conjur an actual succubus, who takes on the form of Joe’s ex-girlfriend Beth (Margarita Levieva). As the bodies pile up, the pretend warriors and wizards must find a way to defeat her. The trailer was fun and well received, and the top-notch cast riffed and joked through a colorful panel. Peter Dinklage was especially wry, trading barbs with Jimmi Williams. Margarita Levieva accidently let loose a major spoiler, which I won’t go into here, but basically said,” There’s the scene where I’m eating REDACTED’s heart, and…” We were also treated to a clip of Dinklage explaining to Kwanten the basics of LARP scoring, and it’s hilarious. Very excited for this one.
I was already hyped for this movie, and now- color me even more hyped.  I had a blast at this panel, and the enthusiasm and fun of the cast/crew was palpable. I especially loved all the hype of how they used REAL larpers- it’s like the geek version of Gran Torino.

The trailer for Knights of Badassdom:

3:30-4:15 Universal Pictures: Snow White and the Huntsmen (Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chis Hemsworth, Sam Clafin, Rupert Sanders)

A complete re-imagining of the traditional Snow White legend, there was no actual footage ready to be shown as they hadn’t shot anything yet, but we did see some footage director Rupert Sanders put together that will give us a basic idea of the look he’s going for, as well as still of each of the main actors in their wardrobes. It’s supposed to be an epic on the scale of Lord of the Rings, and looks to be just that. The cast comprising the eight, yes eight, dwarves is a who’s-who of heavyweight Brits, including Ian McShane, Eddie Marsan, Nick Frost, Tony Jones, Ray Winstone, Stephen Graham, Bob Hoskins and Dave Legeno. Charlize Theron was particularly funny and brash on the panel, and Kristen Stewart was her usual awkward self, brushing the hair out of her face continually and giving half-assed answers. The crowd was packed with annoying Twilight teens, screaming constantly for her (much like they screamed early for Kellan Lutz). It will be exciting to see the actual footage when its complete (most likely at next year’s fest).

The footage mock-up they showed was STUNNING.  Seriously.  And the accompanying dialogue/v.o was poetic and beautiful.  I thought Charlize came off as a total powerhouse, and I didn’t think Kristin Stewart was that awkward.  I feel like Charlize and Kristin have great chemistry and it’s going to be fun to watch them hate each other on screen.  I am really excited about this movie-  the concept art, descriptions, and casting seem spot-on for an epic tale.
Since there’s no trailer to show, here’s a pic of Kristen Stewart in costume:
We decide to leave Hall H and go say hello to our friends Mike, Kevin and Bill, signing at the RiffTrax Booth, and a quick hello to Rob Paulsen, one of our latest podcast guests who we hit it off with really well. It’s onto Room 24ABC, which is a madhouse right now due to the Teen Wolf panel (yawn), but soon empties out for our last panel of the day.
6:30-7:30 Good Vibes (Tony Hale, Adam Brody, Alan Tudyk, Jake Busey, David Gordon Green, Tom Brady, Brad Ableson, Mike Clements)

The cast of MTV’s newest animated comedy, Good Vibes, was on hand to celebrate the series that will be paired with the reboot of Beavis and Butthead this fall. We’re shown a full episode, and it’s a brash and funny look at a trio of young surfer guys (voiced by Josh Gad, Adam Brody and Tony Hale) in a coastal California town, who (in this episode) set up a floating city in the ocean just outside of city jurisdiction so they can party and drink with friends, only to have it get out of hand. Of course, there’s a lesson at the end, but it’s funny and biting the whole way and is an incredible use of flash animation. The panelists were game, with Tudyk very funny (when given the chance to speak), but the whole thing was marred by an incredibly off-putting Comic Con employee who was in charge of the room, and was condescending and mean to everyone in attendance. She also stopped the Q&A at the beginning, saying she needed to screen the questions and blaming the panelists for “getting to it too soon.” Ohhhh-k. And after all that, the first question was “Hey Adam Brody, you are good, why don’t you get more famous good parts?” AWKWARD. Despite the weird vibe, Good Vibes is good fun.
The episode they aired was really fun, and I’m glad to see MTV foraying back into the waters of animation and original (non-reality) programming.  What’s next?  Playing music?  Nah.
This is going to be a fun raunchy show, but with heart. It was so fun to see a full episode and get a feel for what the show is going to be.  There was clever writing, great voice acting, and it seems like a very smart move for MTV. Another good move for them would be remembering that they should also show music on their channel.

Trailer for Good Vibes:

We were given tickets to turn in for a T-shirt from the show, which we redeemed at the Hilton Bayfront, and our day at the Con was over. After a fish taco dinner in the Gaslamp, we hit the road back to LA. What a great experience! Thanks San Diego!

Who knew? I had fun! I didn’t get stabbed!  Not everyone was wearing a costume!  SUCCESS!  It was a blast, and I am already excited about next year.  The energy you soak up by being surrounded by creative and happy people is delicious.

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD Finale Results 8/11/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-finale-results-81111/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-finale-results-81111/#comments Fri, 12 Aug 2011 21:21:07 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2401

Cole here! This is it! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! (And really me, cuz this is the final recap I have to write and can reclaim some free time! Hooray!) The Top 20 take to the stage for a big group number set to “Wanna Get Hype” by District 78—bathed in red light and dressed in goth Rocky Horror outfits, its full of crazy energy and weird movement, which means it has to be a Sonya Tayeh routine (it is!) It’s primarily the 5-20 dancers until the end when the top four appear in a stream of white light and finish off the number. It’s a nice start to finale chock full of things you’ve seen before!
Cat struts out in a tight red sequined dress — steam billows from my ears as my eyes shoot out of their sockets and my tongue pours out like stairs. She introduces our Judges, and there are more of them than the Wayans, Baldwins and Kardashians combined. Joining Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe are the king of krunk and vocab Lil C; creator of the Pussycat Dolls Robin Antin; our fave sitcom ginger Jesse Tyler Ferguson; Broadway guy with a dramtic streak and beard outline Tyce Diorio; and Mad Maxian alt choreographer Sonya Tayeh. The finalists come back out and each of the judges gives them some final words, mostly random combinations of the follow: Thank you, artistry, incredible quality, spirit, talent, amazing, glorious, stars, grateful, humble, inspiration. Nigel apologized to the boys after he said a woman was going to win and that they didn’t have a chance, which both of them just kind of shake off (as the results would reflect, they didn’t stand a chance and I’m pretty sure they knew it).
We then kick to a video package that’s a recap of the audition process and the show in general, with a backdrop of the William Tell Overture and Coldplay’s “Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall.” We see bits of the following: the creepy Ringo Starr and daughter, that annoying blonde chick who thought she was all that (sans bag of chips), the Woo man, the father who danced from Texas, the dude in a speedo, the gap teethed stripper, contortionist crab walking breaker guy, Janine’s sister, the Vegas rounds, Natalia going to the hospital, the Top 20 selection, Debbie Reynolds, Tyce’s stupid words of wisdom, Shoeless Jess, the non elmination week, the Marko and Melanie kiss, GaGa throwing her shoe, Marko loves his mom, GaGa crying, and Nigel proclaiming the only winner will be dance!
Cat informs us that the judges will be picking their favorite routines from the season, prompting those on a DVR time delay to fast forward about an hour and 45 minutes to get to the good stuff, and the rest of us to take a trip down recent memory lane. Mary is the first to pick a piece, and she opts for the Tyce Diorio wall routine with Sasha and Kent that we saw like ten seconds ago on the show, set to “Fool of Me” by Meshell N’degeocello (I know that’s not spelled correctly, but I’m lazy). Since we’ve seen these all before and I’ve already written them up, I’m not going to go into crazy in-depth descriptions. So there.
Prizes! We can’t forget the prizes! In addition to like a quarter of a million bucks, the dancers get featured in a Gatorade G Series print ad. There’s voting online for it. Cat kicks to another video package, this time about the budding romance between Nigel and Mary, with clips of them kissing, flirting, and teasing each other. It’s like walking in on your parents doing it, and I can’t get it out of my retinas. Nigel is up next, and picks a Nappy Tabs routine with Marko and Melanie to Leona Lewis’ “I Got You.” Marko wears an undone bow tie and Melanie is in a Footlocker cupcake dress. After the routine, Nigel and Jesse are cuddling and I wonder when the show turned into the Red Shoe Diaries.
Robin has the next pick, and goes for Tadd and Lauren’s Mandy Moore routine to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” in which Tadd is channeling Moonwalker-era MJ. We then get another video package (see where this show is going?), this time about the weird and wonderful stories behind most of the dances. Yep, this season we’ve had routines about sea creatures, rock stars, waste management techs, suppressed housewives, singers in the Rat Pack, the Medieval era, the 50s, a rehearsal within a rehearsal, being hit by a car, a first date, swinging on a lightbulb, on top of a piano, the cult of fashion, woodpeckers, a vulture stalking a boy, and a princess. They fail to mention what made up the 50% of the pieces—DYSFUNCTIONAL FAILING RELATIONSHIPS.
It’s Lil C’s pick, and as the “adjudicator of the Hip Hop community,” every once in a while he sees a routine that is so buck, you want to rip your hair out and break your neck (note: I have never ever seen a routine, buck or otherwise, that made me want to do that). He orders up Robert and Miranda’s hip hop piece set to Busta Rhymes’ “Break Ya Neck.” It’s so buck I decide to use that two minutes to get myself a Ginger Beer and tear a little bit of my hair out.
What’s this? CAT gets a pick? We can’t just make up the rules as we go along, people! Cat speaks about the one routine that made her cry—a circus piece with top eight dancers, choreographed by Tyce Diorio. It’s just the video from the first time it was danced. Circuses often make people cry, but not because of the dancing. (I see you, clowns). After a quick pimp for the summer tour, we are treated to a new, cool tap routine featuring the winner of the UK version of the show, Matt Flint, and our two tappers Nick and Jess. They are wearing suits and tap to Michael Bubble’s “Can’t Buy Me Love.” It made me sad for the lack of tapping on the show this year.
Mary gets another pick, this time it’s Neil and Melanie being dramatic to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, the piece with the big leap of faith into Neil’s arms. Jesse picks next, singling out Marko and Allison’s contemporary Sonya Tayeh routine to Jeff Buckley’s “I Know It’s Over.” It’s the one that made Lady GaGa tear up, and the fly on her hat as well. Tyce picks next, and it’s another Sonya Tayeh routine, the top ten girls doing the Geisha routine from the first show of the season.
Finally, we get to some results! We quickly recap the Top 4’s journey, and Cat pulls out an envelope. In 4th place, it’s…TADD! Which we figure! So no real drama there! We see a clip package of his stuff, he gets his flowers, and he says a few words. He had the time of his life! He breaks into the sunset and we…go back to more judges’ picks. Sigh. This time, Lil C opts for Chris and Ashley’s “Please Mr. Jailer” routine with the jail bars. It’s a reminder of how kind of boring Chris was. So…nice pick, C.
Oh boy, the promotional tie tin! The Top four think they are being given another routine when they show up at practice, but—SURPRISE! – it’s Heather, Harry and Maya from Glee! They get to go to the premiere of the Glee 3D movie, whether they like it or not! After dolling up, they hit the carpet, we see footage from the ridiculous concert movie, and the four gush about it half-heartedly, while wearing 3D glasses. The things you do to become America’s favorite dancer…
Five more judges’ picks to go! (SERIOUSLY? GOOD LAWD!) Let’s power through these, shall we? Nigel picks the Chris Scott Twitch and Sasha 70s passion breakfast to “Misty Blue” by Dorothy Moore; Sonya selects the Chris Scott Top 10 Guys doors and suits Matrix-esque piece to “Velocity” by Nathan Lanier; Jesse jumps for the Miriam and Leonardo Argentine Tango danced by Caitlynn and Pasha to “Malahunta” by  Orchestra Color Tango; and Mary moans for Melanie and Marko’s Travis Wall statue thing to “Turn to Stone” by Ingrid Michaelson. And then—more results! The remaining three come out, and third place belongs to – MARKO! He’s our last man standing, and it’s down to a two lady race, like all of us assumed it would be. After his clip package, Marko is humble and thanks everyone, saying that money and contracts are paper, but this is their lives.
Nigel has the last pick of the night, and it’s a no-brainer; the Sonya Tayeh warrior princess routine for the top two, Melanie and Sasha. It’s a nice way to finish everything off, and after a commercial, it’s time to crown one of these ladies top dawg. We see their journey packages, and learn that they’ve danced over 60 times during the show (that’s a crazy number, given the brevity of the show over all). The voting numbers are staggering, too: Second place received 32% of the vote, while the winner collected a whopping 47%!
And the winner is…
She’s shocked, crying tears of joy as confetti falls and the crowd goes apeshit. Even though it seemed like a foregone conclusion weeks ago, its nice to see it play out this way, and Melanie takes it all in, signing heart shapes with her hands. She sees her Gatorade Series G ad (yeah, cuz that’s important right now), and Cat gives her a giant hug from behind as she thanks the judges and viewers. Melanie is mobbed by the contestants as the credits roll, bidding adieu to Season 8 of this great, great dance show… that I’ll be hard pressed to recap again unless I’m showered in Benjamins. (Money, not Button). Thanks for reading!
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T-SHIRT CONTEST WINNER! Hurrah! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/t-shirt-contest-winner-hurrah/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/t-shirt-contest-winner-hurrah/#comments Fri, 12 Aug 2011 01:42:30 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2388 After many, many months (sorry!) of deliberation, waiting for designs, and deciding which direction we wanted to go with our merchandise, we are THRILLED to announce the winner of the t-shirt Contest!

drums rolling….

Len gave us an AMAZING design that encapsulates our show and three of our favorite things. Vanessa, Cole, and pop art.

Congrats, and thank you Len. You’re an amazing artist and we are in love with what you made! Everyone on the ol’ tweet box should follow him to see more of his work: @jawboneradio.

A special shout-out to our runner up (it was close) the insanely talented Andy Finkle. It was a tough draw! All of the submissions will be posted in a gallery soon- we can’t thank you guys enough for your time and creativity!

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VOKLE chat with Cole & Vanessa is now available for you to WATCH! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/vokle-chat-with-cole-vanessa-is-today-at-530pm-pacific/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/vokle-chat-with-cole-vanessa-is-today-at-530pm-pacific/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2011 20:51:14 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2380 Check it! The folks are Vokle were kind enough to record the live Q&A session we did with listeners on August 11th. So feel free to see what you missed! Join us for our next one, to be announced soon!

See it HERE

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 8/11/11 FINALE http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-81111-finale/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-81111-finale/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2011 20:26:08 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2376

It’s Cole, and Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the So You Think You Can Dance finale(ish!) Yep, it’s the last time the Fantastic Four are going to take the stage – there’s Mr. Fantastic Marko, who’s rubbery physique allows bullets to bounce right off of him; the Invisible Woman Melanie, with a complexion so fair she’d fit right in with the Cullens; the Human Torch Sasha, who’s strong moves have her constantly on fire in the competition; and Tadd, the Thing with the crazy floor moves and abs made of bricks. (See what I did there? I could have also done analogies to Power Pack and Guardians of the Galaxy, but no one would want them, true believers!)
Cat, who should have gotten an Emmy nomination on her lovely wardrobe every week alone, intros them and then our judges (she doesn’t say it—drink up!) In addition to show staples Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are guests Kenny Ortega (cashing in on Dirty Dancing next year! Start your weeping!) and Katie Holmes (no Suri, so she’s in no hurry!) We’re informed that they’ll be dancing solos, with all-stars, and with each other, so we’ve got a looooooong night of twirling ahead of us.
Marko & Melanie team up first for a Doriana Sanchez disco routine! Hey, we haven’t seen disco all year! Oh….that’s why. Marko is dressed Miami Nice in a stark white suit with a pink shirt, and Melanie is wearing some sparkly napkins, and they struggle to Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love (12” Version).” The disco ball on the ceiling sprays color everywhere, but the two don’t look comfortable in the style. It’s the first time I’ve really seen Melanie out of her element and not adapting well, but we have eighty thousand more routines to go, so I’m sure she’ll bounce back (she does). The judges (sorta) like it! Kenny was all, like, “WOW! You guys jumped off the screen of Saturday Night Fever!” He never invites them to jump back on. Katie offers the first of her bland, non-helpful, non-critiques by basically echoing Kenny, then adding that she believed the story they were telling, which I guess is a story about two dancers forced to soldier through a crappy disco routine. Mary and Nigel both point out that they felt it was a bit of struggle, but expect to see better from them as the night goes on.
Sasha is teamed up with all-star Mark for a Sonya Tayeh contemporary routine to Deadmau5’s “Raise Your Weapon.” It’s Mohawks galore! Lots of crazy strong movement that you’d expect from a Sonya routine, and they attack it convincingly. Katie Cruise thinks it was strong and powerful! (Is that what Tom’s image team programmed her to say?) Mary has to say WOOOOOOOOOOOO! (I feel sorry for anyone with a 3D television, who probably just had their screens shattered). She then strings along a series of motivational words that don’t necessarily fit together to praise her (“You had determination, and when you slappedown you wanted to be a champion and a star ‘cuz that’s what you are!”) Nigel thinks she’s thrown down the gauntlet to her competitors and is the one to beat so far. Kenny praises Sonya’s innovation and her consideration to her dancers. Two routines in, and Sasha’s pulling in front!
Bboy Tadd pairs up with the champ of Season 4, Joshua for a Lil C hip hop routine that is all about the hustle and using N.O.S. (you know, Nitrous Oxide, like they use in The Fast and the Furious to speed past the holes in the screenplay). It’s to “Hustle Hard” by Ace Hood, and the two of them look pretty McFly in their Back to the Future vests and red sneakers. Tadd does pretty well, but Joshua is just sick in this style, hitting everything so hard its almost comical. Mary says that this is hard for Tadd because of his sweetie-pie persona, but that he did well. Nigel pokes fun at Lil C’s ridiculous vernacular and tosses out a bunch of 50 point Scrabble words, but that Tadd didn’t hit it as hard as he would have liked. Kenny wants to be hooked up with a pair of those red shoes! Cat is quick to chime in that it’s as if “Dorothy was in the hood!” EMMY NOMINATION! Kenny also compliments the all-stars and says they elevate the show, and that Joshua and Tadd made a great pairing. Katie Holmes is busy making brunch plans with Xenu, but thinks Tadd’s sweetness is refreshing.
Melanie & all-star Robert draw a Stacey Tookey contemporary routine about unrequited love (NEW GROUND ON THE SHOW!) to Sinead O’Connor’s “Sacrifice.” This is right in Melanie’s wheelhouse, and she has fantastic chemistry with Robert, so it’s a home run! Nigel thinks it was  a beautiful routine, and although he’s not sure she has captured America’s heart, she certainly has captured his. Kenny praises Robert’s partnering contribution, and says he would push himself to the front of the line to work with Melanie! Katiebot 3000 was blown-away! Mary then says the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard on the show: “Your face must have looked like Yogi Bear when he gets a picnic basket when you drew that routine.” Women LOVE being compared facially to bears! Seriously, tell your lady she looks grizzly and get ready for some loving!
It’s time for Broadway! GOOD NEWS! Tyce Diorio is no where in sight! Instead, it’s a piece by Spencer Liff set to “Whatever Lola Wants” by Ella Fitzgerald. The story concerns a waiter (Marko, hamming it up in character glasses) and an upscale lady (Sasha, looking like Grace Jones on a night on the town) who wants to order something “off the menu.” That’s Marko. The waiter. For sexual purposes. In case it wasn’t clear. It’s a fun, vampy routine that the judges love (except for Nigel, we’ll get to that). Kenny thinks it was great fun, and didn’t even recognize Marko at first since he was so into character! (He’s the Daniel Day Lewis of this show!). Katie loved it. Incredible! Way to go! Powering down now. Mary thinks that comedy isn’t easy (she should know) and that adding it to a dance routine makes it even harder, but that Marko nailed it. Nigel, however, is unimpressed. He thought the characters weren’t strong enough. He lets out a loud HARUMPH and drinks his Earl Grey in silence.
And now for some filler! Cat sat down with each of the final four for an Inside the Dancer’s Studio thang where she chats with them about their experience on the show. Melanie is up first. Her favorite routine was with Neil where she leapt into his arms, she was closest with Ricky (and now Marko, by default), she talks about kissing on the show, and that she draws on her deceased dad when the piece is darker, and thinks he would be proud of her. It transitions into the first solo of the evening, with Melanie dancing to “Song for Viola” by Peter Bradley Adams. It’s lovely. I hope she wins.
Marko is the next to be interviewed and dance solo. The whole thing is surreal to him; he’s from Guam and watched previous seasons on the internet and used to mimic the performers. His fave routine was the Turn to Stone one with Melanie, since it was the first and showed he could really to it. He talks about his mom being there, and surviving the gunshot wound. “If you have a reason to live, you don’t have a reason to quit.” Nice words, Marko. His solo is to “The Fear You Won’t Fall” by Joshua Radin. We also meet his Dad, who is there for the first time!
Sasha & Tadd are up next with a Mark Ballas Cha-Cha routine, which is definitely the biggest train wreck of the season. Even Basement Jaxx’s “Raindrops” can’t save this sloppy, awful mess—there’s all sorts of missed handholds and haphazard lifts. They look exhausted and well out of their elements, and the judges don’t hold back (save for Katie, who I guess isn’t allowed to say a single disparaging word). Katie: Thank you. You are both strong dancers. End of comment. Rinse. Repeat. Mary loves them too, but thinks it didn’t work at all, and that Sasha fared a little bit better than Tadd. Nigel agrees, and thinks this is the first time that Tadd really showed that he was out of his comfort zone and that it was uncomfortable to watch him. Kenny agrees, but tells them to shake it off and come back out and blow us all away!
Marko and last year’s winner Lauren pair up for a contemporary routine from first time choreographer Tessandra Chavez, and thankfully it puts the show back in order. From the first notes of “Shirk” by Me’Shell N’degeocello, it’s emotional and raw and really strikes a chord with the audience and the judges. Mary is a bit choked up, and thinks we can see Marko’s soul when he dances, filling up every moment and nuance of the number. Nigel has been fairly disappointed with the finale thus far, but thinks Marko just entered the race a serious contender after that. Kenny thinks Lauren was a great gift for Marko, and that they were made for each other. Katie is glad she and his parents got to see it live.
Tadd is next for the Cat quiz and solo. She comments that its rare for a breaker to get this far in the competion. Tadd was most nervous the first week since he felt he needed to prove himself, and thinks America is connecting with his solos. His favorite routine was Travis Wall’s Vulture Dance with him and Jordan, and we get a screen shot of a website called “Keep Your Shirt Off, Tadd.” Yay America! His solo, full of his patented floor work, is set to Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best.”
Tadd and Melanie meet Ray Leeper for a silly routine about a guy getting caught cheating and his lady laying down the law. It features tear-away pants, heart boxers, and “Show Me What You’re Working With” by Sister Monica. Melanie is also dressed like Sandy from Grease (the slutty Sandy at the end, not the poodle skirted one at the top). Nigel thinks the routine brought the evening to life, and loved Melanie’s character, reminding him of Sweet Charity. Kenny thinks there is theatre in everything she does, and was gripped to the stage before she even started dancing due to her characterization. Katie loved this, it was so much, a breath of fresh air (Remember when Katie was on Dawson’s Creek and was sexy and alive? I sure do). Mary thinks Tadd brough sexy back for sure, and that “redemption is the best medicine.” (I’d opt for Revenge, or just actual medicine).
Sasha is the final dancer to get the Q&A and solo treatment. She is happy that her sister Natalia was with her the whole way. Her favorite routine was Misty Blue with Twitch, and she loved it when Lady GaGa threw her giant red shoe at her. There’s talk of her emotional wall routine from last week’s show. Her solo is to “Be Be Your Love” by Rachael Yamagata, and she is wearing a Winona Ryder Reality Bites doily top.
Two routines to go! There’s a quick pimp out for the upcoming tour, and then its time for Sasha and Melanie to team up for a Stacey Tookey routine about a couple of housewives in the 50s trying to break away together from their humdrum life. There’s picket fences and benches on opposite sides of the stage, and the two wear appropriate dresses and dance it well. Oh, and it’s to “Heart Asks Pleasure First” by Ahn Trio. The judges eat it up—Kenny loves that they are two actresses that can dance, Katie loves seeing the two dance together and this exploration of friendship, Mary thinks they are beautiful together and loves the musicality of the routine, and Nigel loves their comraderie and encourages them to join dance troupes when this is over.
Last one! And of course…it’s a Gumboots routine! It comes from South Africa and is how miners communicate underground. Duh. It’s choreographed by Chuck Maldonado, and it finds Tadd and Marko in full on miner outfits, stomping around to “B.O.B.” by Outkast. It seems a little sloppy to me, but the judges like it well enough. Katie loves everything they’ve done in this competition, Mary thinks it was solid gold and slaps Nigel a bunch. Nigel thinks it has been a great journey and that although they did pretty well, he thinks one of the ladies is going to win it. Kenny thinks they did great and wishes them luck tomorrow night!
We get a recap of the numbers, and its our turn to vote! Stay tuned for the final results…and the final recap of Season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance!
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PMC 50: Emma Caulfield http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-50-emma-caulfield/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-50-emma-caulfield/#comments Tue, 09 Aug 2011 07:55:50 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2367 Emma Caulfield on Pop My Culture Podcast

Cole, Vanessa and the stunning Emma Caulfield (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Bandwagon”) talk bunnies, the Teen Choice Awards, TiMER,  a new Lifetime Movie, comic books, Sci-Fi, the JLo/Marc Anthony split, Cash Cab, True Blood, Ripped, The Land of the Lost, Truckbeef, mysterious lotteries, Tubie, hubs and clouds, and Emma’s crazy cool Kickstarter reward.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (The first nickname you had and how you felt about it) on our website for a chance to win–yep, a BUNNY–signed by our guest!

Freshly Popped



Emma Caulfield interviewed by hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Bunny Caulfield Prize

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 8/3/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-8311/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-8311/#comments Fri, 05 Aug 2011 01:22:28 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2356

Cole here! We’re getting down to the wire! It’s the Top 6, pairing up with the all-stars and each other (with solos to boot!), with the top 4 making the finale next week. Cat Deeley, wearing half dress/half pearled fisherman’s net, introduces each of the dancers and then turns to our judges (for those of you playing the will-she-or-won’t-she-say-it drinking game, this time the word came out of her mouth!). Nigel is dapper in a suit and purple tie and hanky; Mary Murphy is sporting a sparkly-shoulder-padded dress with her—TITS AHOY!—um, ballroom boobs on display; guest judge Christina “Kelly Bundy” Applegate looks darn pretty; and the self-proclaimed king of krunk, Lil C, is there to provide us with several high-scoring plays for Words With Friends. We see video of some Dance Day submissions from Sweden and Egypt, where people all over the world shake their groove thing and tolerate that crappy LMFAO song about party starting and having a good time.

First up is complete and total frontrunner Melanie! She’s paired with season 4’s Twitch. They’re doing a Nappy Tabbs hip hop routine about Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, only Red gets “buck!” Yes, it’s Little Red Swagging Hood, and they take the stage between several prop trees to pop and lock to Nicki Minaj’s “Roman’s Revenge.” It’s pretty awesome, and Melanie destroys it, all the more impressive since she is far out of her comfort zone. Lil C is the first to weigh in. He thinks the routine is fast moving and difficult, and despite some shakiness at the top, it soon gains super buckness (I can’t believe I just typed that). Christina is blown away by Melanie, and says that she gives her hope for dance (was dance dying? What did it have? Did we use some super new experimental drug on it? If so, we better be careful, or dance will rise up and take over the planet). Mary says in all eight seasons of the show, her brother has never called her to praise a contestant, but that he thinks Melanie is truly special. They compare her to Shirley Temple, and love her commitment and versatility. Nigel agrees, says she is phenomenal and that we’ll see her in the finale. I’ll be shocked if we don’t.

Sasha teams up with Kent, that little energy ball from Wapakoneta, for a Tyce Diorio routine that’s the furthest thing from Broadway he’s ever done (Jazz hands need not apply). It’s about a couple that has hit a (literal) wall in their relationship—wait, I’ve got a bone to pick here. Why are 80% of the routines this season about a troubled relationship? Everything is like “It’s about a couple at a crossroads who are trying to rekindle what they had but he/she is weak and he/she is abusive but they aren’t sure who they are anymore and there’s pain and hardship and longing and they have to dance to save their relationship but end up going the other way and a 5-6-7-8!” There’s a lot of raw emotion in the routine (and a lot of Spiderman-esque wall climbing) in the piece, and everyone gets caught up in it, to a point of it getting kind of annoying. Christina comments that although there have been better technicians on the show, she doesn’t care, it’s Sasha’s sheer emotion that makes her stand out. Mary thinks it was intoxicating from the start, and that it was dynamic and artistic. Nigel thinks Sasha is brilliant when she dances, really letting us into the routines, and—surprise—she’s back to his favorite dancer again! Lil C chokes back tears and comments on the unfairness of life, and wishes he had had the chance to work with Sasha since he admires her so much. It looks like a two-lady race to win this whole thing.

Marko, who picks up choreography like bullets take to his shoulder, is next with all-star Janette for a Dmitry Chaplin Paso Doble! It’s about a toreador and…an animal rights activist (I admit, dancing is more effective than signing petitions) who tries to save the bull from him (sadly, no prop bull or dancers in a cow outfit). It’s set to “Zorongo (Traditional)” by Antonia Gomez, with Marko wearing a golden matador outfit (or Freddie Mercury Sunday casual). There’s one great lift where he literally swings Janette around his shoulders like a cape. Mary makes a joke about them wearing similar outfits, and loves the style of the piece, even though he lost his footing from time to time. Nigel wanted a little more passion out of it, but thinks Marko will be fine come voting time. Lil C thought it was a pleasure to watch him and loved the dominance he had, particularly in his…crotch area. Christina admits she knows nothing about this genre, but thought he was great, but that he could have been even deeper with his…crotch area. We leave crotch chat and transition to…

A clip package of Ricky’s mom! Cat informs us that we’ll be checking in with the parental units of the contestants before each of their solos. After some motivational words by his mother, Ricky dances a leggy solo to “After Tonight” by Justin Nozuka. There’s no judge feedback on these, so we kick to commercial and come back to our next pairing.

Tadd teams up with Elenore for a Sonya Tayeh period piece about a couple who’ve never touched before—and then go all horndog all over the stage! There’s lots of lip locking, but even more twirling and dangling from a prop chandelier. Set to Beirut’s “The Gulag Orkestra,” its more Cirque du Soleil than dance piece, and although it’s super interesting, the panel is pretty split on it. Nigel thinks that it was…well, just it was. He wishes there was more actual dancing involved, and struggles to find the words to describe it. He’s clearly embarrassed by it. Lil C gives big ups to Sonya, and loves of she utilizes each dancer’s strengths no matter what the genre. He does wish that they had lingered in the moments longer. Christina tells them to get a room and marvels at Tadd’s Bboy versatility. Mary praises his ability and the fact that they utilized a dangerous prop so well.

Caitlynn’s mom weighs in from the states and her pops via internet from an oil rig. They love her, they are proud, blah blah blah (they are all like this really. So why do these packages? I don’t think it’s news that their folks would be proud of a kid who is realizing their dream on national television). She does her solo to Katie Thompson’s cover of “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” Its good, but really short, so not a lot happens.

Ricky and Jaimie get a Dee Caspary contemporary routine about *sigh* a couple who’s relationship is fading so he tries to stop her from leaving by…conducting her with two sticks. Now we’re talking! It’s to “Inside These Lines” by Trent Dabbs, and it’s a lot of Ricky pushing Jaimie around the stage with his two tiny batons. One wishes there was some renegade yarn or uppity chow main noodles on the stage for him to wrangle as well. Despite the odd concept, it’s danced well and the panel generally likes it. Lil C congratulates him on using a prop well, and then throws out this tongue twister: “What a magically magnificent puppeteer of physically rhythmic artistry you are.” Theater companies take note: You have a new vocal warm up! Christina thinks he is a beautiful dancer, but doesn’t dance with the clearest of intentions sometimes. Mary thinks it was some great free-flowing movement, with Ricky bouncing off the piano keys of the song. Nigel thinks it was a lovely routine and digs the concept, and thinks Ricky has great lines but could use a more grounded base.

We check in with Tadd’s Dad, who thinks he’s Rad, and doesn’t want him to do Bad, and that hypercolor shirts were a Fad, but won’t wear plaid. Tadd’s solo is to “We Speak No Americano” by Yolanda B. Cool & Dcup, and has lots of his signature Bboy floorwork in it. On the heels of that is another solo, this time from Sasha (oh, and her parents think she is like Peter Pan), who fills the show’s “must use a Lady GaGa song” contractual obligation and dances to “Teeth.”

It’s the last of the all-star pairings, with Caitlynn burning the floor with Pasha on a Dmitry Chaplin Samba! They challenge her to be sexy, and she is in her tattered Flamingo outfit, but mugs too much. Pasha’s shirt is open which I’m sure distracts the female (and many male) viewers. Oh, and it’s to “Drop it Low” by Kat DeLuna. Christina thinks she did really well, and is in awe of her body. Mary thinks she did great, and that their bodies were locked together brilliantly. Nigel agrees, praising the samba roles, but comments that she doesn’t have to pull so many sexy faces. Lil C agrees with everyone, and makes a swimming pool anology (swan dive, don’t cannonball!). Cat jumps on board and makes a belly flop joke. Sadly, no one tries to cap it with a Triple Lindy reference.

We see Marko’s Mom in Guam, who comments with aplomb! He’s the bomb! Marko’s solo is to “Wonderful World” by James Morrison, and he dives onto the stage and really attacks it. Melanie is the last to do a solo, and HOLE. E. SHIT. It’s PHENOMENAL. It’s to “Cracks” by Freestylers, and it gets an extended (and standing) ovation from the crowd and judges.

Time for the first of the contestant pair-ups! Ricky and Sasha take to the studio to learn a Kummari Suraj WHACKING routine. Yes. Whacking. It’s a lot of quick arm movements and looks like half-completed cheer moves. They dance to “Schoolin’ Life” by Beyonce, and it’s ok, but nothing fantastic. The judges are kind, probably to support their new choreographer (who is dressed as Miss Daisy, by the by),  though they talk about Princess Lockaroo and how superior she is at it (she was a contestant earlier in the season who got to Vegas by whacking, and then was whacked from the competition). There’s lots of wordplay about the whacking lacking or slacking, and it reaches a boiling point when Christina admits that they could have “whacked it harder.” Suddenly, a TV-MA appears on the screen…in my mind.

Melanie and Tadd get a Spencer Liff Broadway routine with quite a story—Tadd is an acclaimed choreographer and Melanie is his star! She’s fallen for him, and he realizes it, so he plays on her emotions to get a good performance out of her but doesn’t actually reciprocate the feelings. Quite a lot is packed into the routine, which includes a mirror and a chair, and the two pull it off very well. Nigel starts by praising Melanie’s solo, saying it was one of the best the show has ever seen before (find it on YouTube, people. It’s so worth it!). Not only is Melanie a beast, she’s an incredible actress, and he’s once again Nigel’s favorite dancer! Tadd “didn’t suck,” and he means that as high praise. Lil C loves the routine and its buckness (lots of male deer in these pieces!) and also calls Melanie’s solo “Beefy,” and compliments Tadd on his growth. Christina compares Melanie to Donna McKechnie in A Chorus Line (only better!), and still can’t believe Tadd’s versatility. Mary agrees with her colleagues, and says that America has fallen for both of them.

One routine to go! It’s Caitlynn and Marko and a Sonya Tayeh jazz routine set to “Heavy in Your Arms” by Florence and the Machine. It’s another abusive couple thing, but they amp up the intensity and excel. “Whatever happened to Disco?” wonders Cat, commenting on all of the heavy pieces in the show. Lil C pimps out his twitter feed (@kingofkrunk, if you’re wondering), explains hashtags to all of us and proclaims it to be ##buck (that’s a DOUBLE hashtag! Which would do NOTHING on Twitter and get buried! So yay, you!) Christina says that Marko is a beast, with powerful aggression, and that this is Caitlynn’s breakout moment, which everyone agrees with! Mary also comments that Marko is her favorite dancer!

We get the numbers and head into the final voting period before the last show! So get dialing, people!

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Cole & Vanessa LIVE on Vokle to answer your questions! http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/cole-vanessa-live-on-vokle-to-answer-your-questions/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/cole-vanessa-live-on-vokle-to-answer-your-questions/#comments Wed, 03 Aug 2011 19:27:46 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2350
That’s right–it’s your chance to ask the hosts of the Pop My Culture Podcast WHATEVER you want! Cole and Vanessa will be live on Vokle.com on Thursday, August 11th, at 5:30pm Pacific time (that’s 8:30pm to you East Coasters–and mountain timers, somewhere in the middle). Please join us on this cool interactive site! So MARK YOUR FRICKIN’ CALENDERS, Y’ALL!

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 7/27/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-72711/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-72711/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2011 23:25:53 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2332

Cole here! It’s the Top 8! It’s new(ish) All-Stars! It’s a recap! Here we go…

After the usual quick dancer intros, Cat Deely appears in a tight fitting white placemat dress and quickly introduces our JUHs (this time she took on the first syllable and let the audience fill in the rest, like that thing on Sesame Street or Electric Company or whatever it was—“Juh” “Jez”…”Juh”…”Jez”…”Juhjez!”). And my, what a colorful panel it ‘twas! Rob Marshall, director of Chicago and the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean flick, is so brightly orange he makes Mary Murphy look like Edward Cullen. Lady GaGa is here! She’s dressed like a Sgt. Pepper carnival nightmare, with giant red stilty shoes, round sunglasses, minty green hair and a red leather Captain’s cap. Mary and Nigel are there per usual as well. We learn that there are going to be twelve routines (oh lordy), each dancer with an All-Star and then paired together.

Sasha and Pasha are up first, doing a Jonathan Roberts quickstep. The choreographer preps it as a bizarre, alternate reality routine, set to “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Terry Snyder. Sasha is wearing a headband made out of Father Christmas, and Pasha a suit with a bedazzled tie. THIS is supposed to be bizarre? It makes Must Love Dogs look like Mulholland Drive. It’s your typical well-danced but not terribly exciting quickstep, which should do Sasha no favors come elimination time. The judges are impressed, however; Rob thinks Sasha is astonishing and classy, and dances with meaning. Mary thinks she pulled it off, with an amazing upper body but that she needs to get her knees softer. Nigel admits that Sasha is his favorite dancer in the competition, but thought she was a bit too stiff. GaGa disagrees! She thinks Sasha nailed it, and is shiny in and out, which I guess makes her this program’s pyrite.

Next up is a Marty Kudelka hip hop routine for Caitlynn and Ivan. She’s fed up with her man, and Ivan shows up and wins her over, with the assistance of “Let Me Love You” by Mario. It starts with that favorite of dance props, a park bench, but quickly abandons it for a lyrical routine that’s danced fairly well. Bonus points to Ivan, who wears a fedora that makes him look like Hat Damon from The Adjustment Bureau. Mary thinks it was good, but wasn’t brilliant, though she can’t get enough of Ivan, and starts aggressively ovulating. Nigel thinks Caitlynn needs to get a firmer base and get down into it a little more, prompting GaGa to crack that of course he wants her to open her legs a little bit more. Cat then says a sentence that she probably never thought she’d get to utter: “What do YOU think, Lady GaGa?” GaGa is GoGo for CayCay! She thinks she is extremely sexy and starts aggressively ovulating. Rob thinks it was great, but that Caitlynn needs to lose herself a bit more in the dance.

Jordan and good ol’ Ade take the stage for a jazz routine from Tyce “Why does Cole hate me so much and always write crappy things about me?” Diorio! They’re supposed to be bad asses at a secret rendezvous, dancing to that traditional spy anthemn, “Nutbush City Limits” by Tina Turner. It’s mostly Ade throwing Jordan around the stage a lot, which reminds me of that scene in Daredevil where Michael Clarke “Kingpin” Duncan hucks Ben Affleck around his office. Anyhoo, they do nail it, and it’s not bad for a Tyce routine, so take that as you will, Diorio. Nigel remarks, “Is there anything that little body can’t do?” and starts aggressively ovulating (British men can do that, btw). GaGa can’t stop staring at Jordan’s legs, and loved when she looked right into camera to show her star power. Rob compliments Tyce (see, he used to dance for him) and loves how Jordan dances with abandon. Mary can’t believe Jordan’s amazing extensions, and is super impressed.

Melanie, who is going to win this whole thing, is up next with all-star Neil, doing a Mandy Moore contemporary routine. It’s an extremely athletic piece about a relationship at a crossroads, working things out to Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Melanie sports a white nightgown and Neil white PJ pants sans shirt (there must be a lot of cotton allergies in the dance world), and they absolutely slaughter a routine full of crazy lifts, dramatic elegant movement, and the most impressive trust dive ever seen on this show! They get a much-deserved standing ovation from the judges, and with GaGa in her ridiculous lifts, she looks like Peter Mayhew* towering over everyone else. Melanie is GaGa’s favorite dance and would hire her tomorrow, which sends Melanie into a giggling spiral. Rob thinks she is so poetic and has flawless technique, and loved that she let go of the dance in the final moments of the routine and became an actress. Mary can’t believe how brave Melanie was to do that ridiculous leap into Neil’s arms, and will be surprised if this routine isn’t up for an Emmy. Nigel changes his mind—Melanie is NOW his favorite dancer too! He name checks Ellen DeGeneres, who is in the crowd, wearing lumberjack casual. Cat gives the number information, and Melanie leaps into Neil’s arms again, and we all start dialing frantically.

Ricky is paired with ballroom queen Anya, which should bode well for a jive routine from Jason Gilkerson. There’s no story—it’s just two people having a giant celebration of dance. We all, however, have to attend a funeral of music as our ears must tolerate Celine Dion’s cover of “River Deep, Mountain High.” Ricky is dressed as a server from The Olive Garden and Anya as gold car wash curtains. They begin to dance, and then pull off the greatest statue impression I’ve ever seen! It lasts twenty minutes! THANKS SO MUCH DIRECTV! Evidently, my DVR wasn’t the only one to go on the fritz, and when the show picks back up, Jess is getting his feedback for his routine. So I venture online to try to find the missing pieces much like Guy Pierce in Memento (in retrospect, I shouldn’t have tattooed a bunch of SYTYCD facts all over my body)…and don’t find much! The Ricky and Anya routine is ok, with some nice lifts and some really awkward ones. I can’t find the judges responses, so I’m just going to make them up: GaGa is crazy about Anya and says she’d like to bronze her and put her on her mantle as a human trophy! Nigel pants hard and says something pervy! Mary screams and then critizes Ricky’s carriage. Rob is drinking a slurpee and says something about shiny stars.

So we move on to Jess and Lauren G., doing a Nappy Tabs hip hop routine to Rhianna’s “Take A Bow.” There’s a prop flower involved! It’s a nice, lyrical smooth routine, and Jess dances it surprisingly well (could it be the sweet sneakers he’s wearing? I say yes!). Again, I can’t find the judging online, so I’ve just decided that they all sort of liked it and do a lot of high-fiving. Moving on

The last standing B Boy, Tadd, partners with Lauren for a Mandy Moore piece set to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” Tadd is channeling Moonwalker-era M.J., but doesn’t use his hat at all to defeat bad guys. In fact, he loses it halfway through the routine but carries on anyway, pantomiming his hat work. Nigel thinks the style suits Tadd great, and won’t be “biting the dust at all this week!” (Wocka wocka wocka!) GaGa loves the styling and is amazing that Tadd can change styles so well, and Rob thinks it’s the mark of a real pro that Tadd went on despite losing his chapeau and getting smacked in the face by Lauren (hey, she won last year, so she’s earned some pain-distribution!). Mary thinks he put the C in Cool tonight, and that when he swags, it’s not like anyone else on show. She predicts finale for him!

It’s the last of the all-star pairings, with Allison joining Marko for a Sonya Tayeh piece to “I Know It’s Over” by Jeff Buckley (who left us far too young. Man, that guy was amazing). Marko and Allison attack the strong movement that’s Sonya’s calling card, and the judges are swept away with it, giving the second standing ovation of the night! GaGa is sobbing uncontrollably (I guess she was just born that way), and she is so proud of Marko. His mom is in the audience, and Marko apologizes for being a punk kid and professes his love for her, adding fuel to the panel and audience-wide waterworks. Rob thinks Allison is amazing, and that the two have an incredible partnership. Mary is amazed by the routine, loving its honesty, and calls out Marko as her favorite dancer! Despite running low on time, Nigel can’t be quick with the comments, savoring this ratings-getting moment, tell us all to tell our mothers we love them. Mine just happens to be sitting next to me, visiting from Northern California, creating a truly surreal moment for me personally.

We transition to the contestant on contestant dance numbers, starting with Caitlynn and Tadd, and their Jonathan Roberts foxtrot. Oh, the foxtrot, also usually known as the bathroom break routine. It’s classic Fred & Ginger, set to “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails” by Ella Fitzgerald. Caitlynn looks exquisite in a flowing white ballroom gown, and Tadd classy in a tux with tails. Rob thinks it sparkled from beginning to end, with the style suiting Caitlynn and Tadd being surprisingly good at it. Mary thinks they did well, but that the routine wasn’t very memorable. Nigel was in heaven watching the two of them. GaGa loves it, and then makes some weird comment about Caitlynn seeming like she’s won a bunch of competitions and that GaGa takes her platinum records off the wall to inspire herself to do it all again.

Marko and Ricky team up for a Nappy Tabs hip hop routine where they play waste management engineers, er, garbagemen in a piece obviously inspired by the Emilio Estevez/Charlie Sheen reggae-tinged movie Men At Work. There’s a lot of broom work (and some dance air guitar!) and they attack it. Ricky, being so tall and skinny, isn’t as comfortable as Marko out there but still holds his own. Oh, and it’s set to P Diddy’s “Bad Boy For Life.” Mary loves it and shows her approval by sheirking and piercing our collective ear drums. They “had the vibe and kept it right and tight,” said Mary, doing her best Don King impression. She also says they really “cleaned up!” The sanitation puns come fast and furious, with Nigel unable to avoid the temptation as well. He does predict that Ricky might be in the bottom. GaGa liked them, but didn’t love the routine, mentioned her childhood love of Stomp and her disapproval of the props in the piece. Rob is astonished by their range, and continues to change hue like a musical chameleon.

Two to go! Jordan and Jess bring their J’s together for Jason Gilkerson rumba. It’s about a woman who is stuck in a controlling relationship (why are almost all these routines about dysfunctional couples?) and it’s to the great Adele track “Set Fire to the Rain.” Jess continues his run of shoes wearing, and Jordan looks like Spiderman went through an office shredder. Nigel is impressed with the lifts, but doesn’t feel they had chemistry. GaGa thought there was nothing wrong with it and that it had moments, but wasn’t great, and didn’t like Gilkerson’s interpretation of the song. Rob thinks they brought the best out in each other! Mary also thinks their chemistry was lacking, but thought one back lift was the best lift of the season.

Finally, Sasha and Melanie team up for a Sonya Tayeh futuristic robot warrior faux hawk dansterpiece, to “Game On” by District 78. Bathed in green light, they do a lot of precise weird movement (and an extended crab walk sequence) and bring the house down. The ovation goes on an on, and the judges flip out! (Honestly, I love them both, but I thought the routine was good, but not quite up to the accolades bestowed on them). Rob thinks its unbelievable and talks about the Emmys won on the show. Mary thinks its the best piece of the night and the best piece Sonya has ever choreographed! Nigel thinks its fantastic and thinks Beyonce must have modeled her Sasha Fierce character after her. He starts to make a reference to the Bond flick Diamonds are Forever, but is upstaged by GaGa throwing her platform shoe to them. He predicts that one of them could win it all! (Ya think?)

Cat gives out the numbers, and we’re done! Hooray!

*He was Chewbacca. So, you know, you get the reference.

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PMC 49: Dave Coulier http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-49-dave-coulier/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-49-dave-coulier/#comments Tue, 26 Jul 2011 21:15:28 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2318 Dave Coulier guest on Pop My Culture

Cole, Vanessa and our favorite wise-cracking uncle Dave Coulier (“Full House,” “America’s Funniest People”) talk the origin of Cut It Out, Skating with Celebrities and Nancy Kerrigan, The Olsen Twins, rooming with Bob Saget, Jim Henson, a new booger sitcom, Brecht, Out of Control, Bernie Brillstein, the Bure Brothers, clean stand-up, The Jackalope, Santana Claus, nostrils, Detroit, unintentionally farting Muppet Babies, and where the characters from Full House (probably) are today!

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the car you first owned or considered yours) on our website for a chance to win a Full House Season 1 DVD set signed by Dave!

Freshly Popped



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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD Results 7.21.11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-results-7-21-11/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-results-7-21-11/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2011 08:52:44 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2302

Vanessa here! Well, I haven’t watched the show since the last time I recapped, which feels like ages ago.  And from the look on Cat Deeley’s face, it was ages ago.  We are all ready for this to be over. Cole seems to be “unavailable” to do these recaps more and more frequently, and quite frankly, I am suspicious.

That “results night” even exists is very frustrating.  This whole show could be handled in two minutes or a quick list online.  But they know it’s cheap to make and they know we will watch it.  AND WE DO.

We start the night with a group number in BROADWAY STYLE; mind-blowingly to the song “On Broadway.”  From what I can gather, “Broadway Style” dance entails sparkly bowler hats– or if you think outside of the box, a sparkly top hat.  This whole opening number is very show-choir-meets-Burlesque and judging from the glitter-explosion at the end, Ke$ha had some h@nd in this fuckery.

That’s over!  Now Cat introduces our “jid-gez!”  Cat’s exhaustion manifests in her voice— her poshness sloppily dipping into pre-‘Enry ‘Iggans territory.   Joining the classy Nigel and the Insufferable Mary Murphy (a distant relative of the Unsinkable Molly Brown) is the darling and dashing Neil Patrick Harris.  A man so loveable not even the approaching stink of “The Smurfs” can stain him.   Cat calls him Doogie in a moment that is, I think, weird for all of us.  Cat, he’s so sick of being called Doogie.  It’s like only ever calling Ron Howard Opie.  We must move forward.

Then we go through the uncomfortable motions of bringing out the contestants three at a time and toying with their emotions in front of a live studio audience.

First trio up: Melanie, Tad and Marko.

We watch clips of what they did last night and the judges’ reactions.  The judges rave about Melanie, it looks like she did well.  Oh, now they are talking about Tad!  Tad is still on!!  Shit.  Boyfriend is so hot. I want to make a dance movie with him.

I play an upper-middle class girl from the suburbs forced by an unfortunate situation (Mom dies in a car wreck?  Stock market crash leaves my family broke? Re-zoning issue?) to transfer to a rough and terrifyingly hip-hop infested inner-city school. I listen to classical music on my discman, as I walk through the scary halls.  Everyone makes fun of me and calls me Whitebread.  Everyone except Tad.  From our first meeting, Tad loves the smell of me and wants to grind on me like a maniac.  It’s Twilight meets Save The Last Dance meets Splash. (Note: I am a mermaid.)


Then we move to the considerably less delicious (in my eyes) Marko.  Marko did the samba last week, and he did a great job- such a great job, that in the judge’s footage I’m pretty sure Mary Murphy required a commercial break panty-change.

They are ALL safe! Then Cat makes fun of Marko for “literally looking so worried.” He doesn’t figuratively look worried like all these other saps.  MARKO IS FOR REAL!

Second Trio! Sasha, Clarice, and Jess.

In the clip footage Sasha looked freaking hot bumpin’ it with Twitch.  I want to dance with Twitch!  I HAVE ANOTHER MOVIE IDEA. But it’s not ready for the blog yet  I think Beyonce got the whole Sasha Fierce idea from this Sasha.  Girl is FIERCE.  She rocks her mohawk harder than most women could rock Barbarella hair. Clarice did Bollywood style, and she looks like she owned the actual dancing, but in the brief clip they show she was kissed by her partner twice and she looked game for it zero times.  That ain’t good kissin’ math, ya’ll! It doesn’t look to me like Jess did a super good job last night, but the judges sure act like he did.

RESULTS:  Clarice: NOT SAFE!!! Hugs! Shock! (But not really.)

We take a brief look at the all-stars that will be dancing with the contestants next week.  And by brief I mean, superfreakingfast.  Like 10 seconds.  Then Cat announces that coming soon is a performance by Blush featuring Snoop Dogg! When Cat says “Snoop Dog” I can just tell she is saying it with one “g” and thinking no one will notice.  Girl, I noticed.  You so white.  She moves on by announcing a guest judge that will be coming soon – LADY GAGA!  That’s right, The Lady Gaga.  In the eloquent words of Ms. Deeley,  “Lady Gager is gowen to be sat ovah thay.”

Third Trio, Ricky, Caitlynn and Jordan:

Ricky’s footage looks good, though a bit domestic-violencey.  Aw, sweet Rikki!  He reminds me of My So Called Life’s ‘Rickie’ and not just or the obvious reasons (matching name/brown/gay/enthusiastic.)  OK, maybe for the obvious reasons.  But seriously, do you guys remember how great that show was?  I do.  I IMDB’d Rickie, and I am sad to report he has not had the success of Claire Danes.  No Temple Grandin glory for him!  YET.  Never give up, Rickie! Caitlynn did a tango last night.  Damn, she is physically delicious, not unlike every other person on this show.  Jordan did a contemporary (and very crotchy) dance. The judges sang her praises, BUT Jordan is not safe!  Cat towers above her, offering a bony hug.  She will be Jordan’s escort through the river Styx.

Then, all hell breaks loose.  I run to get a refill (2 parts non-alcohol) because it seemed like it was a commercial break.  BUT IT WASN’T.  I come back– less than a minute later—to see a blond Harry Potter dancing like just found he got into Gryffindor.  What is happening?  Is this one of the dancers in an elaborate costume? There is some very strange mime work going on… transitioning into body popping to a French monologue. Then, it’s over. The stranger is quickly thanked, and he disappears.  I suppose I will never know the truth about what I just saw.

I spend the commercial break processing the whole ordeal, and am actually happy when the show comes back on.  At last, I can forget my troubles and lose myself in the DANCE.  But no!

A special segment about the dancers being…tested?  At the Gatorade Science Institute?  Cat looks as confused disturbed as I feel. We then cut to footage of Dwight Howard in an egg. Then quick shots of random other athletes in weird positions with tubes protruding… as if their experiences legitimize the sinister G.S.I.  The contestants are then tested on “state of the art” ikea furniture equipment. First, the Bod Pod: an airtight egg that measures your body fat. A great gift idea for the special lady in your life!  Then, the rigorous “D2” machine. The name says it all.  Just kidding, I have no idea what D2 stands for. Apparently it measures hand-eye coordination.  The D2 has nothing to do with the Mighty Ducks franchise, and is basically a glorified “Whack-A-Mole” without the thrill of whacking moles.  Lastly, they are tested on the i-Span.  Which is “even more intense than the D2.”  The G.S.I spokesperson, despite her labcoat, seems more like a Redbull girl than a scientist, and is very vague in her descriptions and assessments.  “They’re really fit very lean.”  Melanie is delighted, this PROVES that dancers are athletes! Because we all thought these gorgeous humans writhing and jumping as if they are possessed by otherworldly beings come to earth to destroy gravity were big fat sloppy couch potatoes.  THANKS FOR CLEARING THAT UP GATORADE.  Stick to AYSO soccer games and get off my TV.

Finally, we watch the solo performances that Cat has been pimping the whole time.  Clarice is up first!  It’s so pretty- and, it’s over.  These are 30 seconds?  What the freak? These solos are too fast. Well, good job Clarice, considering.  Have Cole or Heather been making Silence of the Lambs jokes?   Because I am tempted to say something about fava beans here, or mention her good bag and cheap shoes.

Apparently, Mitchell didn’t have time to put his costume on, so he was forced to dance in his undies, waving a towel. That towel better have a pay off!  And, it didn’t.  Your time is up, and your towel has sorely disappointed me. If you put a gun on a stage someone needs to get shot, and if you wave a towel around and somebody better get un-wet.

Jordan’s routine is a little snoozy.  Come on!  You have 30 seconds!  Do all the tricks your trainers have taught you!  Spin! Kick! Do the Pamchenko! **Gasp** THE PAMCHENKO!?

It’s Ricky’s turn, and he gets it. Fast music, showy moves!  You have my vote, Ricky.

Then we have a “special performance” by Blush featuring Snoop Dogg.  I have no previous knowledge of Blush- but she seems to make standard-issue pop music.  She’s off key, I think.  I mean, either she is or her music is.   Wait, is SHE Blush, or are they all Blush? If they’re all Blush, then that one girl is really trying to upstage them.

Snoop Dogg (who has been lurking in the background, pervily watching the young girls dance) lumbers downstage and lazily raps.  I love me some Snoop, but seriously, sometimes he just phones it in on cameos and lets his braided ponytails do all the work.  As soon as he finishes he clumsily exits with no fanfare and a ‘Hell, it’s a paycheck,” swagger.

I’m just going to say it- whoever or whatever Blush is- she/they don’t have star power.   BOLD STATEMENT, RAGLAND!

Blush is giving away 15,000 free downloads of the crap we just listened to!  And I am giving away 15,000 free craps I made myself.  WHO WILL SELL OUT FIRST?

Time to get down to business.  Who do we send home tonight, America! ?

Nigel takes a moment to remind us that this isn’t the end for whoever is voted off, and to let the dancers know they are all truly talented.   His speech is earnest and lovely, and reminds me why this show is good.  It’s not cynical; it’s a celebration of ability.  With no drum roll, Nigel swiftly announces that Mitchell and Clarice are going home.  This show doesn’t mess with us, and I appreciate that.  We have seen enough tonight, please give us what we came for.

There is a brief montage of Clarice’s best moments- she is so pretty.  It is buttoned by her quote, “I would just like to be remembered for really capturing the audience,” (so far, so good; but then she tacks on) “around the world.” As if it’s an understood afterthought.  Oh is that all? JUST for capturing the world?  Mission not accomplished. Ragland Business Tip: If you set your bar lower you will achieve more goals!   We see Mitchell’s montage, and it is clear, this boy was born to dance in his underpants.  His farewell speech is wonderfully humble and sweet and I love Mitchell! But now, it is time to go.

And it is also time for a refill.

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 7/20/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-72011/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-72011/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2011 23:44:02 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2297

Cole here! On my command—release the All-Stars! It’s time for the top ten dancers to be matched up with some of the best and most dynamic dancers the show ever saw! After their brief individual dance intros, Cat Deely appears in a tight shiny black dress with gold details (with echoes of those Egyptian dancers from that Michael Jackson “Black or White” video) and sets the stage—in addition to their routines, each dancer will be doing a solo. It’s time to meet our—JUDGES! (Audience 1, Cat 0) and, lo and behold, it’s Neil Patrick Harris, looking dapper in a striped suit! It’s Mary Murphy, looking more and more like Chester Cheetah every time we see her. It’s executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who evidently put on his yuk-yuk cummerbund tonight as he attempted to plant zingers throughout the show. Nigel announces the on sale date for the summer tour (July 29th, for those of you interested in trying to land some sweet seats), and Neil congratulates Nigel on the success of the show and its impact on dance. To the routines!

First up is our favorite bullet-ridden boy Marko! He’s paired with Season 4’s Chelsea Hightower (no relation to the character from the  Police Academy series) and they’re doing a Jason Gilkerson samba. It’s about a photographer and his muse, and features a strategically placed chez lounge and loud camera shutter sound effects, set to a Kate Hudson (yes, THAT Kate Hudson) song from what I am assuming is the musical movie Nine (I didn’t see it, did anyone?). Marko looks sharp in a suit and pairs well with Chelsea, and the judges are impressed! Neil is the first to comment, and thinks it’s an amazing way to start the show and that Marko is the guy to beat in the competition. Mary says she’s going to get a little crazy and starts flinging jewelry off of her Cheeto skin. She thinks Marko is the real deal, and looking at the white tan-line goggles around her eyes I believe her. Nigel applauds him for pulling off the routine seamlessly, especially after seeing how many times Chelsea accidently kicked him in the face in rehearsal. It’s a strong opening for one of the frontrunners.

The first solo routine of the evening belongs to Sasha, who tumbles to Duffy’s “Syrup and Honey.” No feedback from the judges on the solos tonight, but the camera catches Nigel giving her an enthusiastic thumbs up!

The next pairing is our resident tiny sex kitten Jordan, who is paired with Season 6’s Brandon, who is still allergic to shirts but not muscle definition. It’s a contemporary routine from Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden about love, to a live acoustic version of Jessie J’s “Who You Are.” It’s a pretty dynamic piece, and Jordan holds her own despite sharing the stage with one of the strongest dancers to ever come on the show. Mary praises Brandon and the choreographers, and thinks Jordan was fierce tonight. Nigel remarks that they are two of the best contemporary choreographers in the world, and that Jordan is more than able to do everything that was asked from her in a difficult routine. NPH thinks it’s breathtaking, and even though Brandon is magnificent, his eyes kept returning to Jordan. Jess is next up for a solo routine, to Harry Connick Jr.’s “Come By Me.” He’s wearing an argyle sweater and jazz shoes, and it’s a fairly casual piece, memorable only to me because of his choice of actual footwear.

It’s time for a Chuck Maldonado hip hop routine for the show’s only remaining B Boy, Tadd, and All-Star Comfort. It’s some combination of Gutter Sexy/Ghetto Fabulous, but Comfort doesn’t believe Tadd has much swag, until the camera dotes on his abs and commits to a comedic Cujo dog camera effect. The show does dancing great. Comedy, not so much. It’s set to Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now,” heavily featuring the bits Busta Rhymes guests on, which makes sense as the routine is fast and furious. Nigel thinks is very very very very very very very fast, like listening to Mary Murphy talking! (Touche, you British Bulldog, you!) He thinks it was great fun, and that Tadd outdanced Comfort on it! Neil thinks it is amazing, and comments on an upcoming Spencer Liff hip hop routine on an episode of How I Met Your Mother. Nigel asks if Neil dances in the Smurfs movie, and Neil is quick to change the subject (for the record, he does some air guitar). Mary can’t believe Nigel is on her case tonight! She thinks Tadd knocked it out of the park, fired it out of a canon, and other mixed metaphors. Melanie’s solo is next, danced to a fun slow cover of Grease’s “You’re The One That I Want” by Angus & Julia Stone. It’s strong, as usual.

Mitchell and Season 1’s Melody (who? There was a show back then?) are paired for a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine! Remember how all the numbers up to this point were good? Well, get ready for that buttered popcorn Jelly Belly you weren’t ready for, ‘cuz this one is just terrible! It’s about FLYING! You know, the idea of flight, the mechanics, the take off, the landing, the tiny bathroom with blue water, the cashless cabin, the crying babies, the seats as floatation devices, the tiny bags of peanuts and pretzels, the in-flight presentation of Daredevil or something with Gerard Butler and/or Katherine Heigl…FLYING! It’s set to “Take Off With Us” from All That Jazz, and has Mitchell in a Captain’s shirt and tie, and Melody in…just a dance outfit. The routine is half-assed, danced well-enough, but really lackluster and unmemorable. Neil is first to comment, and tears Tyce a new one, much to my delight. He didn’t get the routine at all, and thinks it was disjointed and not well thought out. Mary thinks the number was fun, but overbaked, with too much mugging. Nigel agrees, thinking that Mitchell “over egged the pudding.” Here’s hoping there’s more quintessential English sayings upcoming from Mr. Lythgoe! “That was a bit of bangers and mash, pip pip, like a bird in a lorry on her way to University, Mitchell!,” or something. Solo time for Ricky, who showcases his leg extension to “Daylight Breaks” by Cassidy Haley. He scurries off the stage, and Cat has to plead for him to return so she can read off his call-in numbers.

That brings us to another solo, this time by Clarice, to “Royal T” by Crookers featuring Roisin Murphy. There’s lots of leg lifts, and an odd red sash thingy on her right hip. Sometimes I think these dancers either lost a bet or are being dressed by vindictive pre-schoolers. The next couple to dance are Caitlynn and Season 3 hunk Pasha, who get to do a stylish tango from choreographers Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo. They are a disconnected couple who are brought back together by the dance, and it starts with Pasha playing a phonograph. It’s an elegant routine of a by-gone era, and Clarice excels and partners great with him. Mary gives it a standing ovation! It’s the first Argentine Tango of the season, and she thinks it was well worth the wait. Both Mary and Nigel are impressed at Clarice’s maturity in the piece, thinking she’s turned a corner with that routine. Neil thinks it started a bit slow, but was then mesmerized by it, and now would like to learn the Argentine Tango! Mitchell’s solo is next, to John Legend’s “This Time.” He’s only wearing white shorts, which bunch a bit and make it look like he’s dancing in a giant diaper. Still, he’s got some serious skills, if not unpredictable bowel behavior.

Sasha and Twitch, the uber-popular Season 4 contestant who also appeared in the flick Step Up 3D (which is actually quite a lot of fun), get together for a Christopher Scott hip hop routine about a relationship regaining its spark over the breakfast table. It’s got a serious 70s soul vibe (and is set to a great song—“Misty Blue” by Dorothy Moore) and these two SLAY it. It’s one of the best routines of the season and the best of the night by far. The audience goes nuts for it, and Nigel jokes that all he got for breakfast was Corn Flakes. Nigel thinks it was a super memorable routine, and that this is the first time Sasha has had real chemistry with her partner. Neil thinks it’s the best routine of the night and hopes they do it on the tour and the finale, and Mary thinks they need to call in the Sheriff, Fire Department and Paramedics, mostly because she likes to waste our tax dollars. Jordan’s solo is to Lykke Li’s “Tonight,” (great choice), and she tumbles a bunch in a black dance negligee.

Jess and Season 6’s Kathryn draw a Stacey Tookey contemporary routine chock full of lifts, Jess’ personal Professor Moriarty. Although the piece itself doesn’t have a lot going on, story-wise, it’s full of some powerful movements that match the emotion of the song (“The Lonely” by Christina Perri), and Jess performs the lifts admirably, despite returning to his barefeet and his Shoeless Jess Jackson nickname I just coined for him. Neil thinks he can be too muggy, but that he toned that down and danced this routine well. It’s also Mary’s favorite Jess routine to date. Nigel thinks the piece has more lifts than Joan Rivers face (ZING! SQUIRTING FLOWER! HAND BUZZER! WOCKA WOCKA WOCKA) and admires Jess in the piece. Next up, Tadd dances a solo littered with floor work and a stage hang set to Robin Thicke’s “Everything I Can’t Have.” It is refreshing to still have a dancer in the competition who can do some tricks.

Overall favorite Melanie pairs with Pasha for a Viennese Waltz, and I cross my fingers hoping it’s an interesting piece, as these can be the kiss of death of many competitors. Thankfully, Jason Gilkerson put together a lovely routine, and Melanie looks jaw-droppingly beautiful in a flowing white gown, gliding to a cover of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” by Tina Arena. Mary thinks the transitions were perfect, and is in awe of Melanie’s ability to move in and out of lifts without looking like she ever touches the floor. Nigel thinks it is a masterclass in lift technique, and Neil says that she is easily his favorite dancer on the show. Another strong outing for Melanie, who looks to walk away with this competition if she keeps it up! Caitlynn’s solo is to “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine, and she’s got another strange apparition around her waist, making me wonder if there is a side program being filmed called So You Think You Can Sash.

Ricky and the lovely Allison from Season 2 (one of my all-time faves on the show) get paired with Tyce Diorio, who looks to redeem himself with a jazz routine to “Precious Things” by Tori Amos. It’s a dark piece that’s supposed to be like a bad dream, and thankfully it’s well thought out and danced by the pair of them. Nigel congratulates Tyce on the routine, and says Ricky held his own with the tremendous Allison. Neil is impressed, too, and thinks it was a bold choice of Tyce to give this piece to Ricky, who usually dances pretty young. It’s apparent from the look on Tyce’s face that he’s still stewing over Neil’s early comments on his abominable Broadway flying routine. Mary normally calls Tyce Dr. Feelgood (…cuz, um, he’s the one that makes you feel all right?) and admires the twistedness of the routine, and singles out Ricky’s powerful single arm lift.

Two routines to go, one solo and one paired! The last solo belongs to Marko, who takes the stage to Gavin DeGraw’s “More Than Anyone.” It’s pretty strong. The last couple is Clarice and Season 7’s Robert, who close the show with a Bollywood routine from Nakul Dev Mahajan, set to “Aila Re Aila” from the Khatta Meetha soundtrack (which I’m assuming is a movie that will soon be remade in America with Jaden Smith or something). It’s super fast and precise like all of his previous Bollywood numbers, and the two of them put their all into it, wearing glittery sequined outfits that would make Liberace blush. Neil loved it, and is happy that he finally connected with Clarice (I guess you just need to be there sitting across from her!). Mary starts her review with “From Bollywood to Hollywood…” doing her best Gene Shalit impression. She found it to be exhilarating and a lot of fun. Nigel thinks it’s a great way to close the show and loves the style of it.

Cat rattles off the numbers and turns it over to you, America! So vote now and vote often!*

*voting is probably closed by the time I post this. Why? It takes a long time to write these and I’m a little hungover. Leave me alone!

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PMC 48: William Zabka http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-48-william-zabka/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-48-william-zabka/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2011 04:22:49 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2279 William Zabka guest on Pop My Culture

Cole, Vanessa and quintessential ’80s teen bully William Zabka (“The Karate Kid,” “Back to School”) talk the Roast of Charlie Sheen, the Academy Award nominated short Most, Rodney Dangerfield’s diving double, tongue razorblades, No More Kings’ Sweep The Leg video, HFF (Hold For Francis), high school drama teachers, European Vacation, reading for Johnny, Tank Girl, caves full of candy, turning down Better Off Dead, Karate tournaments, and Vanessa’s awful jogging wounds.

Leave your answer to the Firsts question (the first embarrassing outfit your parents dressed you in) on our website for a chance to win a Karate Kid DVD signed by our guest!

Freshly Popped



William Zabka with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland

Karate Kid DVD signed by William Zabka

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So You Think You Can Recap: Results 7/14/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-results-71411/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-results-71411/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2011 02:57:13 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2290

Cole has a doctor’s note excusing him from this week’s Results Show recap (something about extreme sexual exhaustion), so this is Heather checking in and hitting the barre in his absence.

A freshly Emmy nominated Cat opens the show in a reincarnated toga. She’s gorgeous, even though she looks like a stunt double from Troy. Tonight’s group dance begins with Sexy Jordan doing a solo in an enormous cape/skirt thing. The way the guys spread open the parachute of a dress and billow its edges is a dead giveaway: choreographer Kelly Abbey has been stealing ideas from her local Gymboree.  The music is called “Fuego,” which combined with the imagery of giant red labia (no? is it just me?) is a clear acknowledgement to the plight of those battling venereal disease.

We see tonight’s… (cue audience) JUDGES! and the atmosphere is electric with all the Emmy news. Guest judge Jesse Tyler Perry Como Estas Ferguson gets a nod for his Modern Family role, and SYTYCD takes 5 of the 6 nominations for Outstanding Choreography. Nigel shows us his “small package”… of choreography highlights from the season. The 6th nomination, although it’s not mentioned, went to Mhickynnleigh’s moving “ah want mah sequined ah-lashes!” temper tantrum from Toddlers & Tiaras.

The first couples on stage are Clarice & No-Longer-Shoeless Jess, and Caitlynn & Mitchell. While they are playing clips from last night, it suddenly occurs to me: the juxtaposition of Caitlynn & Mitchell’s Invisible Children of Uganda dance with their domestic violence-friendly jazz piece is hilarious. Anyway, Nigel had his fingers and bicuspids crossed for Clarice and Baby Joey Tribbiani, and sure enough they are safe, sending the other battle-worn duo off to warm up.

Next week’s format change means the dancers will be paired with both fellow contestants and with the All Stars. In a truly upsetting announcement, Nigel breaks some news about Dancing Asian Extraordinaire Alex Wong. He was scheduled to perform, but in a horrific twist of fate and tendons, he was injured over the weekend. Alex, my darling leaping lord: no more anatomy-defying jetés! The rest of the selected cast members showcase a great variety of styles and represent each of the previous 7 seasons.

As for the current dancers, the next couples are a straight-haired Ryan & Ricky and America’s Smooching Sweethearts Melanie & Marko. In a reveal that’s more predictable than Jamie Lee Curtis’ bowel movements, Ryan & Ricky are the pair that end up in the toilet. Lastly, it’s down to Jordan & Tadd, who had one wild and one mild routine, and the ferocious Sasha & Alexander. Between their gender bending Paso Doble and prop-tastic Tyce DiOrio jazz, they were owning and killing and breaking shit left and right. Hang on to your top hats, though, because they are in the bottom 3! They are the only ones who don’t seem surprised, and Sasha even admits to being excited about doing her solo. Meanwhile, Tadd is hanging off Jordan’s shoulders as she walks off stage when he suddenly comes down with Alex Wong Syndrome; both legs magically give out and Jordan is left to drag him away. Sheesh! Men! Always making us cook and clean and haul their limp bodies around; am I right ladies? (I’d like to give a shout out to Roy Handler and thank him for letting me borrow his catchphrase).

The next performance is by Jason Samuels Smith and his asking-to-be-proven-wrong “Anyone Can Get It” dance company. Despite the name, they deliver an extremely complex and entertaining show. If Sammy Davis Jr, the cast of Stomp, and Jay Z got together and had a baby, that baby would want to grow up and see these dancers perform. The rhythmic and crisp beats on the raised wooden platform outshine their admittedly generic rap, but their creativity is refreshing. The whole thing is done without music, which is even more impressive. They constantly look like they’re about to lose their footing altogether, but **spoiler alert!!** nobody dies. One of the dancers is last year’s tap prodigy Melinda Sullivan, who looks great.

After the break, Nigel is seen wearing an… artistic? t-shirt with a “dance 4 your life” graphic. He explains how it’s part of National Dance Day (July 30th, boys and girls!) which is being sponsored by the Dizzy Feet Foundation and, I swear I’m not making this up, the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. Apparently, the Giorgio Armani Melanoma Alliance and the Keith Richards Hepatic Coalition were unavailable.

The night’s first solo goes to Caitlynn, who spends 27 of her 30 seconds with her legs in some sort of aerial split. Mitchell comes out (onto the stage…) in a blue lycra bodysuit and powers through a warrior-type display of leaps and turns. Ryan gives us a unique 80’s style dance with modern hip hop isolations, but it’s noticeably lacking in the big tricks everyone else seems to rely on. Ricky’s solo (set to a Queen song… is there something he’s trying to say?) has his usual ballet/martial arts/contemporary style, and he throws in a cool one-handed back walkover. Something about his open shirt and skinny jeans emphasizes his surprisingly delicate build; has anyone ever seen him and Kate Moss in the same room together? Sasha’s first time as a soloist isn’t nearly as strong as we’ve seen from her before, but her funky, syncopated wiggling to Bobby McFerrin gets the job done. Finally, Alex does a “matador fighting a giant DeBeers diamond” routine. He really amps up the difficulty level, but it doesn’t end up being a smart move when he fumbles and falls out of several moves. Ryan and Sasha are actually the only dancers who don’t pirouette and /or fuettée in place for 20 minutes, which I hope the judges will appreciate. This isn’t So You Think You Can Spin a Hole into the Stage.

As Cat sends the judges off to deliberate, Jesse James Tyler Durden feigns an escape attempt. Cat reminds him that we’ve “shut the door, shut the garage door…” and he immediately calls her Kristin Chenoweth. This brings me great joy for some deep-rooted, unexplained reason. Speaking of unexplained (you can call me Woz ‘cause I’m a master of the segue), a ridiculously complicated system of risers, stairs, lights, fog machines, and the entrance to Mordor appears for “musical” “guest” Nicole Schrodinger of the Paradox Cat Dolls. I could only handle being told to “dance with your body” for so long (what the fuck else am I supposed to dance with? the deer carcass that’s been rotting on the side of the road for 3 days?) before I had to mute J Lo Lite.

As soon as Nicole Schlitterbahn’s time is up and the judges are back in their seats, it’s time for results.  With the girls, they are unanimous. Caitlynn’s solo was good but her “body of work” needs improvement. Ryan is lackluster and appears depressed, to which she quickly responds by breaking into a big smile and mouthing “I’m not!” in spite of her accumulating tears. Sasha is a fabulous dancer even though she didn’t “knock out” the judges with her solo. No surprises here, but Ryan is chosen to go home. She accepts the decision gracefully and wants to be remembered for her heart and soul, which is weird because she never even sat down at a piano. For the boys, we’re told it’s a 3 to 1 vote. Mitchell tends to “peak and trough” but had a good solo. Ricky’s dance for his life was one of Nigel’s all time favorites, and he doesn’t get a word of criticism. Alexander “found himself” last night, but had a technically poor solo, and he’s going home. It’s the first splitting of a couple this season, but it won’t really matter since everyone will be getting new partners weekly from here on out. It’ll be just like that other show about swapping couples… what’s it called? Oh yeah. Sister Wives.

Next week promises to bring thrills, spills, and hoards of screaming girls when Pasha and Robert appear on stage. It will be interesting to see how our dancers do with new partners. Will Melanie & Marko’s magical magnetism melt? Will Caitlynn be on the giving or receiving end of a fist? Will Tadd leave his shirt off for the love of humanity? It’s anybody’s guess! We’ll just have to stay tuned.

–Follow Heather on Twitter! @heatherrecently

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 7/13/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-71311/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-71311/#comments Thu, 14 Jul 2011 23:37:14 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2268

Ok, ok, Cole here. I know I missed the results show recap last week, and I’ll endeavor to do it tonight, but for the business at hand—it’s the last performance show for the top six couples! After this week, they’ll be split up and paired with SYTYCD All-Stars. Cat Deely, in a silvery dress with what appears to be ostrich feathers looks lovely as always (I exclaimed, out loud, to no one, “Oooh! A sparkly!” a la Jeremy the crow in Secret of Nimh when she appeared) intros all of the dancers, and then it’s time to meet our judges (Cat goes back to letting the audience fill in her catch phrase again, thus officially starting the “Will she say or won’t she say it?” Cat Deely drinking game). It’s special guest Jesse Tyler Ferguson from one of the best comedies on television Modern Family! He’s a big fan of the show and seems super tickled to be there. Next is intense choreographer Sonya Tayeh, wearing her usual Mad Max casual. Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe are there as always, and are about to lock lips when Cat stops them. I only wish Cat had stopped several of the contestants and choreographers, who once again are obsessed with osculation!

We’re told that there will be * gulp * TWELVE routines this week, a delightful surprise for viewers and a nightmarish scenario for a recapper. First up are Sasha and Alexander, who get a Tony Meredith and Melanie Lapatin Paso Doble routine. It’s not your everyday Paso Doble, says Melanie, but more of a battle dance (kinda like in the movie Strictly Ballroom, am I right?), set to that classic tune, “Alley Dash/March of the Trolls.” Which version? The Taylor Long/Rick Powell original, of course! They’re both wearing silver-bedazzled black outfits, and dance it pretty well, ending with an aggressive, perhaps impromptu, kiss from Sasha. Nigel thinks some of it was a little sloppy but otherwise thinks it is great. Mary asks the audience for an OLE ‘cuz they’ve earned it (maybe if there’s a Latin routine in a library next week, she can elicit a BIBLIOTECA from the crowd) and rattles off a list of words that sounds like she’s describing Pace Picante sauce instead of choreography. She says Sasha could be a bull, a matador, a Spanish dancer, or a cape, but leaves off other questionable career choices like paint, a jockey, or a fire hydrant. Jesse thinks it was highly dramatical and loved it, and Sonya thinks it was amazing, and admires Sasha’s strength, but doesn’t always trust Alexander’s partnering. Alexander is quick to point out that the routine is dedicated to Tony and Melanie’s friend who is battling cancer.

Jordan and Tadd get to work with Travis Wall, which is always a sign that you’ll do well. It’s a contemporary routine that’s a metaphor for women who take advantage of weak men, with Tadd as a lost traveler and Jordan as a sexy vulture, set to “Brotsjor” by Olafur Arnalds (say that five times fast). As usual, it’s an extraordinary piece of choreography and they nail it, ending with that ol’ dance favorite, simulated neck breaking! White Swan, Tadd and Black Swan face the judges and its high marks all around! Mary thinks it was beautiful and dark, Jesse pokes fun at Randy Jackson (the guys are in it to win it!), Sonya loves the true artistry and wishes she could swear, and Nigel thinks it was remarkable, particularly Tadd’s flip jump. Seems that Jordan and Tadd are a lock for the top ten…until later…

Ryan and Ricky get to get their jazz hands on with a Spencer Liff Broadway routine! Ricky is a dude waiting outside a movie theater and the movie poster comes to life! No,  it’s not a Transformer or the Zookeeper he gets to cut a rug with, but Ryan in her best Audrey Hepburn garb. Set to Frank Sinatra’s “All I Need Is the Girl”, it starts promisingly enough, but there just isn’t much to it, and the judges jump all over it. Jesse is a big fan, but thinks the routine had a glass ceiling on it and didn’t allow them to reach their true potential. Sonya feels they were questioning it and just let it simmer, and they two of them receive their first boos of the season, and hate it. Nigel and Mary agree, remarking that it’s all about the style and that they didn’t quite capture it.

Caitlynn and Mitchell are up next for the most muddled and misguided routine of the night, a Christopher Scott hip-hop routine that is suppose to shed a light on the children in Uganda and Congo being used to fight wars. How better to bring attention to this serious plight than sloppy execution and blunt tanktops with “Invisible Children” scrawled across them! It’s disaster from the get go, even with a strong Lupe Fiasco tune to dance to. The audience gives a sluggish standing ovation, because they feel like they are supposed to given the subject matter. Sonya loves Chris Scott, but didn’t feel the kinetic energy the piece was supposed to have. Nigel thinks the piece needed harder work, and didn’t understand what it had to do with abductees in the Congo. Mary thinks it was still pretty strong and demanded attention, and Jesse agree with all but thinks they both have a mack truck-load of intensity.

Melanie and Marko are up next, and promise to cleanse our soured palates with a tango from Louie Van Amstel Light (seriously, that’s a promotional angle you need to take advantage of, Louie!) He says there is no storyline, but given that last “important” dance, I feel like I need to give it and all the routines that follow one, so let’s say it’s about the injustice of Terriers not being renewed for a second season. It’s a sexy lil’ number set to “Triptico” by Gotan Project, and Melanie is breathtaking in a backless red doily dress. It ends with a killer lift, which the judges are in awe of. Nigel remarks that they haven’t really been challenged until now, but thought they took some Limitless pills and crushed it! List-making Mary tells us about all the different kinds of tangos, then says that they pulled it off despite a few awkward shapes. Jesse is a gigantic fan and thinks they have a great spark—he also makes a joke about Mary being a lost Osmond, which is pretty dead on. Sonya pays a high compliment by saying she loses her breath every time she sees them dance.

Jess and Clarice are the last of the top six couples to take the stage, and they get a lyrical hip hop routine from Chris Scott, about women’s insecurities, and not the Triangle Factory Fire of 1911. It’s got a lot of precise and fast tutting, which has Jess worried. It’s that famous Bruno Mars track “Just the Way You Are,” but covered by a band called “Boyce Avenue,”  and starts with a prop dressing table. WHAT’S THIS? JESS IS WEARING SHOES! QUICK! EVERYONE MAKE SURE THE TIME SPACE CONTINUM IS UNCHANGED! DO YOU ALL STILL HAVE YOUR LIMBS? WHO IS PRESIDENT? Ok, I think nothing was affected, and the routine is sweet and fun, despite the creepy dripping portrait revealed at the end. Jess soaks up the applause and makes some Broadway gang signs. Mary thinks it was cute and amazing, and drops the term “swag,” which people need to stop throwing around like Rip Taylor confetti. Jesse didn’t care for it—HAPPY OPPOSITE DAY—and loves it! He asks if Clarice has a boyfriend (she does, he does too) but suggests they get married ‘cuz she makes him so happy. Sonya thinks they slayed it, and Nigel loves the simple story and bounce on the choruses.

Round two! Fight!

Sasha and Alexander return for a—oh f&%# me—Tyce DiOrio routine. Tyce and his “facial hair” inform us that it’s a dance ABOUT LIFE, you guys! And about, um, err, the discontinuation of New Coke in 1986. “That’s Life”, Aretha Franklin version, starts, and despite a good amount of prop lamppost humping, it’s actually well choreographed and danced, and Tyce receives a pass from me for the rest of the night (you’ve won this round, DiOrio!) There’s some sort of weird screw up at the end and Sasha just remarks “That’s life!” and all is forgiven. It’s Jesse’s favorite number of the night! Sonya wants to swear again, and then sort of cusses by saying that Tyce is a diverse choreographer. I mean, he does Broadway, and jazz, and jazz-Broadway, and Jazzway, and Brazz! Nigel decides to keep it real, and points out that Sasha has been carrying Alexander all season, but that tonight is his breakthrough, which everyone agrees with. Mary loves the freedom he danced with, and is thrilled.

It’s time for another Broadway routine from Spencer Liff, with Jordan and Tadd—it’s a story about a princess who has been sleeping for a century, awaiting a Prince to wake her up with a…well, you know the drill. It’s also about The Air Up There not being available on DVD.  “Out Tonight” from the Rent Broadway Cast plays while Tadd, wearing a steampunk meets West Hollywood Prince outfit, and Jordan, in multi-colored tutu, do their best to get through this hodge-podge, unmemorable routine. The judges ain’t havin’ it! Sonya is underwhelmed, Nigel thinks it could have been quirkier, Mary thinks it was like cotton candy, and Jesse thinks they’ll be ok since their first number was so strong.

Ryan and Ricky return for Louie Von Amstel’s Cha Cha. It’s a dance of fire, and Louie promises they won’t be in the bottom three again (they will). It’s also a dance of earth, water, and wind, and is sponsored by M. Night Symalan’s Avatar II: Attack of Little Baldy (not true). Ricky hints that it will be Hot Tamale Train-able, and he’s sort of right. Sort of it. It’s to Enrique Inglesias’ “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)” and the whole thing comes off a bit frazzled, but good in spots. High marks for Ricky from everyone, but they all agree that Ryan was a bit sloppy. Mary puts Ricky on the Hot Tamale Train, but leaves Ryan off, so she’ll have to travel much more sensibly on Amtrak. They are in trouble going into the results show tonight.

Take two from Travis Wall, a contemporary piece with Caitlynn and Mitchell, about a rock star who finds out her lover is married (and the rising prices of bacon this summer). That. Will. Not. Stand! So she gets back at him by dancin’ in lingerie to Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.”  They nail it, and Mary loves the intensity and naughtiness of it. Jesse makes a Smokey the Bear joke which falls flat, but I liked it, and he likes the routine. Sonya thinks it was really, really hot, and thinks its disturbing how smokin’ Caitlynn is, especially considering her age. Nigel agrees, and doesn’t want to say anything else for fear of incriminating himself as a dirty old man (which is has already done time and time again, with a pervosity needle at 11).

Melanie and Marko are back, this time with a contemporary routine from Dee Caspary about a couple slipping in and out of the light. See, he’s in a dark place, and he isn’t sure he should go towards the light, and Melanie is trying to make him, and poor little Carol Ann is still stuck in the television set unsure of where to run. The song is “Skin &Bones” by David J. Roch, and it starts what is now to be known as “The Moth Routine.” There’s a single hanging lightbulb onstage and two bright follow spots, and although the piece is well danced and well choreographed, I couldn’t help but wonder how much cooler it could have been if that lightbulb was the only illumination. Jesse’s mind has been blown! Sonya is grateful that this is the future of dance and thanks them. Nigel is excited about breaking up the couples on next week’s show, but sad that their partnership has to come to an end, as they are magic dancing together. Mary thinks it is flawless!

One to go! It’s Jess and Clarice, doing a jive from Tony and Melanie, about the healing powers of cilantro, er, Rock n’ Roll! It promises to be fast, fast, fast, and sort of is, is, is. Robert Randolph’s “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” scores the routine, with Jess wearing shoes yet again! Is this the start of the Jess footwear revolution? The dancers lose steam a bit towards the end but pull it off, and the judges are losing steam as well (not to mention time), so Sonya rattles off “Adorable perfect amazing!” Nigel thinks it was very good, with great kicks, but thinks the lifts looked a little uncomfortable. Mary thought the spirit of the jive was lacking a bit, as was the animation on Jess’ face. Jesse doesn’t own the keys to broadway, Neil Patrick Harris does, but wishes he could give them to Jess. Jesse also points out that Emmy nominations are coming tomorrow and singles out Cat Deely as deserving (and, as it turns out, she scored her first nomination this morning!)

Cat is a bit choked up by the sentiment, and throws to the numbers and routine recaps for the night. With a few moments left, Nigel urges everyone to vote, and reminds us that the couples will be no more and that the So You Think You Can Dance All-Stars will be announced soon. Somehow, I think it will end up being a bunch of New York Yankees.

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PMC 47: Rob Paulsen http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-47-rob-paulsen/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/pmc-47-rob-paulsen/#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2011 07:27:48 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2240 Rob Paulsen guest on Pop My Culture podcast

Cole, Vanessa and voice-acting king Rob Paulsen (“Animaniacs,” “Pinky and the Brain”) talk the Efron/Tisdale kiss, Transformers 3, Shy Beef, Joey Chestnut and competitive eaters, Parisian things, playing at Joe Louis with Mr. Hockey, the Chuck Norris Trophy, Frank Welker, Man vs. Food, Dick Beals’ book upsell, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, voicing Carl Wheezer, Michael Bay’s Got Milk spot, alternative pipes for Biden and Obama, and Rob’s amazing Yakko’s World performance!

Leave a comment with your answer to the Firsts question (the first sports team you played on as a kid, and what position you played) for a chance to win a Pinky and the Brain DVD set signed by our guest!

Be sure to visit Rob on his cool website, www.robpaulsenlive.com!

Freshly Popped



Rob Paulsen interviewed by hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton

Pinky and the brain dvd - comment and win!

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 7/6/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-7611-performance-show/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-7611-performance-show/#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2011 04:37:25 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2243

Ok! Cole’s back in dance recap action—I apologize for my absence the last couple weeks (I was traveling for business, seriously!) Many thanks to Vanessa and Heather for filling in and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from them as I flake out in the future.

It’s time for our Top 14 couples to take the stage for their intro mini-dances—it’s apparent just from the audience response Melanie and Marko get that they are clearly the front runners. Cat appears in an absolutely fetching light blue kimono-like mini dress and I make audible ga-ga noises. She introduces our judges (and now she says it all the time—this is CLEARLY my influence) and it’s fun to see former-contestant-turned-choreographer-turned-velvet-painting Travis Wall on the panel! He’s joined by Carmen Electra, who is wearing some sort of sheer Kiss of the Spider Woman VHS cover top. Apparently, she started dancing when she was five, and did ballet and modern dance at a performing arts school in Cincinnati, which would explain how she was able to nail all of that “running on the beach” choreography she did on television. Also on the panel are Mary Murphy, who looks more and more like a third place medal every show, and Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe, dapper and pervy as always.

After the break, all seven of the guys take the stage for a Justin Giles routine detailing the seven stages of grief—the choreographer informs us that the stages they’ll be dancing are shock, anger, denial, depression, guilt, bargaining and acceptance. Bummed we didn’t get to see sleepy, dopey, sneezy or Doc. The piece is set to Damien Rice’s “Prague,” with each of the dancers in individual spotlights. Jess continues his tradition of no-shoes dancing (he would NEVER get service in a fast-food joint), Marko looks like he’s ready to compete against Van Damme in Bloodsport, Chris appears to be hopelessly lost inside the recesses of his hoodie (I guess that was…bargaining?). It’s sort of interesting, and has a kind of cool Matrix bullet-time effect towards the end. It’s a decent way to start the show, but nothing too exceptional.

Cat is surrounded by a sea of shitty producer-generated audience signs (Crazy 4 Clarice! Go Alexander!). She introduces the first couple of the night, golden children Melanie and Marko. We learn that Marko is originally from Guam, and worked on a cruise ship in a Drag Queen show! He stresses (repeatedly) that he WASN’T the drag queen, but had to dress as a girl (which makes him a drag, um, duchess or something?). Melanie, who impressed Lil C so much he commented that “Zeus himself would let you dance at Olympus” (and then probably bandied about words like “phantasmagorical,” “malevolent,” and “forsooth”), is from Atlanta, but went to Fordham University for Art. She talks about her boyfriend Mitchell, who has to deal with all her Marko-smooching (much, much, much is made of this and kissing in general throughout the show. Get a room, program!). They’re doing a jazz routine by Ray Leeper, which follows a latino couple who fall in love despite being from feuding families, set to “Americano” by Lady Gaga. Can we please go ONE SHOW without a routine set to the Gahgs? Marko is wearing red pants, no shirt and black straps, resembling some sort of S&M Pinocchio, while Melanie looks sort of like Raggedy Ann gone Saloon Girl. Not surprisingly, they kill the routine! Travis thinks it’s a great way to start the show, and admits that Melanie is his favorite dancer this season. Carmen thinks it’s so, so strong, and is enamored with Melanie’s legs (aren’t we all?). Mary says WOW and proclaims that Marko is The Domination Man! Cat is quick to clarify that she didn’t mean The Demolition Man, since for a moment there we confused Marko with a highlighted-hair Wesley Snipes or maybe Sandra “Lenina Huxley” Bullock. Nigel thinks they have great chemistry as a couple, and calls out Marko for his drag show days. Cat counters with a “didn’t inhale” joke, which is actually quite clever in the moment.

Next up are Sasha and Alexander! Sasha is from Bakersfield and a large Trinidadian family, where they’re always partyin’! Oh, and they sing everyone’s favorite Alan Arkin penned tropical diddy, “The Banana Boat Song!” Alexander is from Alhambra, and started dancing late. His dad was an actor in the 70s and appeared on shows like Barney Miller, TJ Hooker and Hill Street Blues, making him the coolest dad on the show, period. They’re charged with a Shaun Evaristo hip-hop routine. It’s about a first date. See, Alexander wants a…wait for it…KISS at the end of the night, and Sasha just ain’t havin’ it! Also, Alexander just doesn’t have swag, so Shaun explains the rules of Swag Camp (sadly, not talking about Swag Camp isn’t one of them). It’s done to a light R&B tune called “To the Moon” by Miguel, and features a static, lonely tree in the middle of the stage, which they kinda use for a beat or two during the lackluster routine. It ends with a super-fake kiss at the end, which makes Melanie & Marko’s lip-locking seems like hardcore pornography. Carmen thinks “DANG GIRL! You were poppin’ so hard!” (Not pills, like me, trying to make it through the rest of the show) She doesn’t see much chemistry between them, though, which is echoed by the rest of the judges. Mary thinks it was lacking, Nigel thinks it felt like Hip Hop 101, and Travis thought it was ok, but think they need to work on their musicality and shading.

Jordan and Tadd. Jordan is from Chino Hills, CA (wait, isn’t that where that no-good-kid from the show The O.C. was from? Or was that just Chino? Is anybody listening?) Jordan was a normal kid who played every sport imaginable and never dreamed of being the resident sexy dancer on a FOX reality competition. Tadd is from Salt Lake City, but spent some time in San Francisco, and is proud to represent Filipino’s on the show. They’ve drawn a smooth waltz from Toni Redpath, who’s not on the warpath for once and seems relatively calm. Jordan is a siren (“oh, like a Mermaid!” she remarks, furthering her Rhodes Scholar status) and Tadd is trying to resist her song and her deadly…yep…KISS. (Does this show come with Chapstick?) It’s to “Nocturn” by Secret Garden (or is it from the musical Secret Garden? My notes fail me) and the stage is absolutely engulfed by fog, like I’m at a Def Leppard Hysteria concert. Instead of pouring some sugar on me, they lightly drizzy a boring waltz for a few minutes near me, despite a few nice lifts. Mary proceeds to give us a history lesson on waltzes (they were quite scandalous in the 1800s, and people made sarcastic remarks about th—ZZZZZZZ) She thinks it was dreamy and romantic and likes it. Nigel is impressed by both of them, especially Tadd who is outside his comfort zone. He then talks about fish lifts and progressive twinkles, and the proceedings take on a distinct Narnian flair for a moment or two. Carmen enjoyed it, but admits that she doesn’t know much about waltz, but DOES know how she feels, proving that not all Hollywood starlets are dead inside.

Clarice and Razz-ma-Jess and his perpetual jazz hands are next up. Clarice hails from Whittier, California and goes to Cal State Long Beach. Her folks sacrified a lot for her dance and blah blah blah support blah blah love blah blah feelings. Jess is from Little Falls, New Jersey, and –SHOCKER—he’s been a performer all his life! They show some B-Roll of Jess as a five year old sequined guido, and he raves about all four years of his high school experience. It’s time for a Justin Giles contemporary routine, about a couple who have gone through a super intense love that is coming to an end. I hope there’s a kiss involved someplace! Nope, just a bunch of precise, hard-hitting movements to “Light Through the Branches” by Celeste Lear. Jess again repels all footwear. The couple dances it very well, and the judges are happy. Travis was, like, you guys just came alive! Nigel loved it, and believes their chemistry. Carmen believed in their story, and felt their anger and passion, Mary thinks they are improving every week as a couple and has high hopes for them.

Only a few more to go! Ashley and Chris are on deck. Ashley is from Antioch and is a Deacon’s daughter. She also loves to cook and treats us to a moment of her would-be charisma-less food show (mmmm! Blandtastic!) Dallas-bred Chris is from a gigantic seven kid family, and had a hard time getting through school due to dyslexia, a word I always reverse the y and the s in. It’s a Liz Lira Salsa routine, and although the lifts are spicy, her on-cameraness is not. “Mambo Beat” by Tito Puente begins, and the dancers do their best to get through it, to sadly bad reviews from the judges. There’s even a moment in there where I thought I saw a glimpse of an arm movement from the African Anteater Dance from Can’t Buy Me Love. Travis loves them, but thought there was a bit of a disconnect and not enough Latin flavor. Carmen thinks (and this is a direct quote) “Ya know, Salsa is, it’s hot, it’s on fire, it’s passionate, it’s sharp, it has so much.” (Lil C she is not). Mary thinks it had moments of heat, but wasn’t nearly as hot as their week two routine that put them on her Hot Tamale Train (has that thing derailed yet? I’d rather deal with the Polar Express and it’s creepy motion-capture animation than her shrieking spice locomotive). Nigel was impressed but some of the lifts, but didn’t think they got into the Salsa freedom (one of Elton John’s lesser songs). Nigel is also uncomfortable talking about Chris’ hips, but as we learned from Shakira, they don’t lie.

Two more(ish)! Ryan is from Morgan Hill, CA, and spent some time in Sacramento (K-Street mall, represent!) with Mia Michaels. They also shot an episode of House together, playing creepy nurses. Rickey was born in Miami, but moved to Tampa and then OF COURSE got into cheerleading (made ultra-dramatic by an irritating nonsensical echo during his voice over) becoming co-captain shortly after joining the squad. They get to work with the choreographer with the best onomatopoeic name, Chucky KLAPOW! It’s a jazz routine about the cult of fashion and—CHUCKY KLAPOW! – set to David Bowie’s “Fashion.” Rickey looks like he’s on his way to a Rocky Horror screening and Ryan is a dead-ringer for 1985 Dee Snyder. It’s a fun, quirky routine, that the judges are thoroughly impressed with. Carmen thinks they rocked and loves the music choice, Mary thinks it was a hot experiment of movement, Nigel makes an obvious joke about Chucky the Killer Doll and loves the quirk of it, reminding him of the Ramalama routine from a previous season, and Travis thinks they’ll move past the top ten for sure!

The final couple of the evening are Caitlynn and Mitchell. Caitlynn is from Moses Lake, Washington and does all things outdoors and sporty. Mitchell grew up in Atlanta, and lost his dad when he was two. He lived for a year with his mom in a car until she finally landed a job and then things turned around. They’re doing a Mandy Moore contemporary routine to a song by she-who-shall-not-be-named (ok…fine…it rhymes with Deline Cion) and, despite the audio torture, it’s an incredible piece with lots of emotion and crazy difficult lifts. It warrants a standing ovation from the judges! Mitchell is completely lost in emotion, holding back the tears. Mary is choked up as well, and congratulates them and tells them this is their moment. “Run like the wind! This is your time!” It’s a very Mikey-in-the-Goonies-speech moment. Travis thinks it was breathtaking, Nigel thinks it was the routine of the night, and Carmen thinks—honestly, do we really care what Carmen thinks anymore?

All that leaves is the final number of the evening, danced by all seven of the ladies. It’s by Ray Leeper, about girlfriends on a mission to rid the world of evil men. Honestly, it’s just a great excuse to see ‘em vamp it up in lacey black outfits and show off their nature-defying gams. So much so, that the panel gives ‘em another standing ovation, with Nigel literally leaping for joy (whilst trying to conceal his proper English boner).

Cat! Give us the numbers! Vote, people, vote! Oh, and congrats to Katherine McCormack, who scored a role in Step Up 4, which better have another dancing slurpee scene, damnit. That’s it for now! Thanks for reading! And let me know your thoughts in the comments! Oh…and…CHUCKY KLAPOW!

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Culture Pops Gets Drunk at La Descarga (Episode 2) http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/culture-pops-gets-drunk-at-la-descarga-episode-2/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/culture-pops-gets-drunk-at-la-descarga-episode-2/#comments Sat, 02 Jul 2011 05:11:41 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2234

Behold! PMC’s second edition of  “Culture Pops” for ChinaShop Mag! Join Cole, Vanesa, Janet Varney, and Samm Levine as they pop the heck out of your culture at LA’s amazing rum bar La Descarga. Also featured are: alcohol (yut-yoh, Vanessa) and the bartender Arrrmannndo (double yut-yoh.)  Enjoy!  Comment! Like!  Raise our pitiful self-esteems.

If you didn’t already see it, check out Episode 1 here: http://www.chinashopmag.com/2011/06/welcome-to-the-chinashop-vanessa-and-cole/

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 6/30/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-630/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-630/#comments Sat, 02 Jul 2011 03:30:16 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2223

(This week’s Results Show recap is brought to you again by Heather (@HeatherRecently) due to Cole “scheduling conflicts.” Has anyone ever seen him and Justin Timberlake in the same place at the same time? Didn’t think so.)

When it comes to televised talent shows, I like to play it fast and loose. Office pools for NCAA playoffs and Oscar Awards alike are tainted with bullshit statistics and insider opinions. That’s why I prefer to let Lady Luck have her way with me unprotected, in the raw, the way God intended. Yes, I’ll be making predictions before watching this week’s elimination show without any prior knowledge of the outcome.  This is the kind of chaos you can expect when Cole outsources his blog, so prepare yourselves, America.

Bottom 3: Clarice & Jess, Mitchell & Caitlyn, Ashley & Chris. The judges will slobber all over Jess’s growth (as a technical dancer, not his hidden questionably phallic tumor, although that would be quite the sight) and Clarice’s legs, keeping them safe. Mitchell will deliver with his solo but will get the “if you continue on this show, you’ll need to step it up” speech, sending Mini Leguizamo back to doing windmills on the street. In a battle to the death of who can flash her coslopus the most times in 30 seconds, Caitlyn will ultimately stay and Ashley will cry and lisp her way home. Number of times the judges say the choice was difficult: 2. Number of times Cat will awkwardly shoo contestants offstage: 3. Number of times someone will go in for a hug only to be ignored by their intended recipient: 1. OK, I think I’m ready. Let’s do this.

Kat looks very summery in her floral print dress and colorful necklace throat vajazzle. Here come the dancers in monochrome chasséing to… The Incredibles? That was certainly, um, a couple minutes. Dancers were out of sync, the staging didn’t really work, and it was just a tepid mess.  Who the hell is Michael Rooney? Hulk Hogan and Mr. Clean’s lovechild?

The horny judges are introduced along with Kristin “my back door is shut” Chenoweth and her lip synced music video. Note- I ADORE Kristin and would give my third nipple to meet her in person, but her video looks entirely overproduced and off kilter. She deserves better than what appears to be Rebecca Black’s B-team.

But this is about dance, right? Wrong! It’s about the spit swapping, according to Melanie & Marko’s intro. Of course, they are safe to smooch another day. Ashley & Chris are revealed to be in the bottom 3 (I’m 1 for 1!), and Ryan & Ricky (and their safe word) are staying another week.

Time for a break, and – what the CGI’d fuck?? Neil Patrick Harris, a veritable genius of TV, film, Broadway, and my heart, is in the new Smurfs movie? I am so conflicted with this turmoil of emotion and loyalties. This is what it must feel like to be a German Jew. Not cool, Sony Pictures. Not cool.

Back to the show, although I’m still in a daze over that tragic news. Next 3 are Jordan (who has to pee! This girl is SO REAL!) & Tadd, Miranda & Robert, and Sasha & Alexander. Last week, I admitted my lust for dancing Asians.  This week, Tadd’s mattress dance spun my bean into a frenzy. Those abs! That back! That duvet! Apparently I’m not the only one with yellow fever because they are safe, and… what’s that? Yes! Ryan goes in to give Tadd a hug as he comes offstage, but he completely bypasses her for Marko’s open arms! You can just call me Dancetradamus. Actually please don’t, because that’s a lot of pressure.

As we watch highlights from Sasha & Alexander’s piano dance, the definition for “mellifluous” appears during Lil C’s feedback (along with the requisite sound of a spinning record being stopped… although only the 30-and-over crowd would recognize it as such). It means “sweet,” or something. Why can’t he just say sweet? Damn you, Lil C, and your stereotype-defying intelligence! After a quick, grammatically simple recap of Miranda & Robert’s well received Broadway number, we find out that—they are in the bottom 3? Look what happens when you don’t dance with a prop! Let that be a lesson to you all. My bracket is totally thrown, but there’s still a good chance my final prediction will be right. Cat ushers them away with a gentle shove (1 out of 3) so Robert can warm up and Miranda can go get dressed, since she obviously only had enough time to put on a bra and panties before the show.

Finally, it’s down to Clarice & Jess and Caitlyn & Mitchell. The girls’ costumes appear to be cut from the same cutesy Western saloon cloth, while a dark, sleek Mitchell towers over suspender aficionado Jess. What’s with the smarmy smile? He’s a weird mix of kid brother and creepy clown, and his charm is fading quickly. Anyway, I picked them both to be in the bottom 3, but with a wave of her magic wand, Glinda Kristin’s endorsement of Clarice & Jess as her favorite dance of the night keeps them safe. Cat plays traffic cop again (2 of 3) as Axis, an “in-ova-tive” dance ensemble featuring performers with and without disabilities, takes the stage.

Since when are two people (a shaggy haired, wheelchair bound Jimmy Smits and a ginger able-bodied woman) an “ensemble”? Their pas de deux is powerful. It’s inspiring. It’s… Glee, without the singing, sex and slushees.

Time for the solos! Ashley does a sweet but low-key contemporary dance that might be the final nail in her performance coffin.  Mini Legz pulls out an impressive, passionate array of tricks including a mind boggling contortionist leg twisty thing and a pair of back handsprings into a back tuck. Then it’s Miranda in her underwear, whose solo is much better than Ashley’s as she airs out her pikachu all over the stage. She does some goofy jumping around at the very end- did she forget her choreography, or just realize that she’s clearly outdanced Ashley and therefore staying on the show? Robert hams it up with his usual assortment of MJ-esque moves, popping and locking, and a headstand. (His music is by Jamie Foxx- a little on the nose there, don’t you think, Robert?)

Another commercial break, which triggers horrific memories of the NPH incident, and then Caitlyn is up. She is clearly emotionally strained and you can feel her pleading to be kept, but she loses her center out of both sets of multiple pirouettes and the desperation translates to a lack of confidence not suffered by the other two girls. The final solo is by Mitchell, and he just kills it. Is there anything more beautiful than a tall, sinewy black man dressed in flowing white linen soaring through the air? Probably so, but until *you* are writing a guest blog, keep your comments to yourself. He has more control over himself than Carnie Wilson at the Sizzler buffet. Then, Nigel stuns us all when he says Kristin doesn’t want to send anyone home as the judges go off to deliberate.

The Best Ballroom Dancers In The Universe are introduced, and although I swear Cat said 3 names, there’s only 2 of them. They are dancing to a song from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Last of the Mohicans (shout out to Doug Benson!) in an effort to be hip and relatable to the youth of today, or something. That’s right kids! Ballroom will get you all the pussies! The choreography looks like it was taken from an ice skating routine- the lifts are stunning. At one point, the man is spinning in place with both arms outstretched as the woman balances her uterus on his head. You have to see it to believe it. He also gives her a pap smear, and I begin to suspect he’s secretly an amateur OB/GYN.  Who knew ballroom could be so educational?

The big moment is here. Which girl is going home? Nigel tells us they love all 3 girls, they are not unanimous, and the decision was very difficult (YES! 1 down, 1 to go!).  Miranda is the most improved and most changed, so tonight they are—sending her home?? What is even going on? Did you SEE Ashley dance compared to her? Everyone is audibly sharting themselves in surprise. Cat gives her a consoling hug, Miranda says some final words, and she sent away to go sit on the Stool of Failure (patent pending). Even though it wasn’t technically off the stage, I’m counting it- 3 for 3 on the awkwardness, Cat!

As for the boys, the judges are in agreement. Mitchell dances wonderfully “for his life” but isn’t connecting to the public, Mini Legz is doing a good job but needs better growth, and Robert’s great personality isn’t enough to keep him on the show… which is why he gets sent home. So much for Dancetradamus- I didn’t even predict Miranda or Robert to be in the bottom 3. As Cat tells him that his enthusiasm is “infectious,” we get a close up of some bleeding sores on his face. Did I miss something? Is it National AIDS Awareness week? The audience indulges him in a group “Woooo!” complete with vibrato, and the rest of the dancers rush the stage to hug their latest casualties.

That means I correctly guessed 2 out of the 3 bottom couples, but did not see Miranda & Robert’s departure coming at all. Mitchell *was* told to step it up, sorta, and the girls certainly gave everyone plenty of crotch. The judges once alluded to a difficult choice and again said it outright, so I’m giving myself 1.5 out of 2 on that one. Cat lived up to my 3 stage clearing moments, and Ryan got shut down from hugging Tadd. I’ll see you next week, Lady Luck, when Cole returns to fill our pop culture holes with goodness. Until then, keep spreading those legs!

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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 6/29/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/sytyc-recap-629/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/sytyc-recap-629/#comments Thu, 30 Jun 2011 06:57:46 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2199

First of all, let’s be clear.  Vanessa is writing this.  Cole is somewhere setting a jet or something.    Because I am a woman I will issue a DISCLAIMER: I am not a regular viewer of the program and I AM drinking.  I am also hanging out with my friend Mandy (hey girl!) and she is also drinking.   (So you can picture it- we are on the couch with one of my dogs.  Mandy is a small beautiful Australian.  I am none of these three but I am feeling rambunctious tonight.)

OVERALL NOTE: Take anything bitchy I say with a grain of salt.  Bottom line:  these are all amazing performers and I love how positive the program is.  As a whole, the show frustrates me, because I’m pretty sure my body didn’t come with some standard issue joints.  How do they DO that?

IT BEGINS: The show kicks off with what I am CERTAIN is Anne Hathaway in a Marilyn Monroe costume.  I didn’t know she was on this show!  And why can’t she afford a better wig?   Oh, it’s NOT Anne Hathaway!  It is a completely different person who can’t afford a better wig.  And her name is Cat Deely and apparently she is the Ryan Seacrest of the show.  (I tell this comparison to Mandy, and she says, “She’s not like Ryan Seacrest at all! Isn’t he wee? Isn’t she a monster?  He would be like a little parrot on her shoulder!”)

Boom! Flash! Dancers run out, do a fun Westside Story-esque strut and shimmy- then STRIKE A POSE. I love it when people strike poses!

Now, we go to the judges!:


Nigel Lythgoe. He is the resident intelligent British judge and he’s also a talent-TV gazilionaire. Lil’ C— I don’t know you.  Are you a rapper?  I only ask because of the “Lil” part of your name. He is apparently a “busy buckster.” Do I need to Google this or will he clarify? Oh, He’s a dancer and is going to be a rapper soon. Some producer is going to be MAD at Cat for saying,  “Oh Lil C, ABSOLUTELY you should perform at the finale!”  There’s a lot of red tape that you wouldn’t even understand, Cat! Maybe she’ll grow on me? Mary Murphy, don’t know you either.  You look like an Osmond gone wrong, but that could be a good thing.  Ooh, guest judge Kristin Chenoweth! You have my interest piqued, ma’am.  Oh no, Cat says Kristin is making a country album?  Say it ain’t so.  Nope, it’s so. Is that necessary?

We start with 8 people doing a chair dance to “Hit the Road Jack” wearing jazz choir costumes. I am getting pop flash-backs to Britney circa “Stronger” and Backstreet Boys’ “As Long As You Love Me

Sidenote— that came out in 1997??? I HAVE DONE NOTHING WITH MY LIFE! I snap out of my depression and the dancers, still in the prime of their youth, undulate, grab, thrust their chairs up and down filled with young blood and fueled by the promise of the future.  Me?  I am so old.  So very old.  We are made aware that before each partner-dance we are going to be seeing childhood pictures of the dancers for (ugh) “a trip down memory lane.” As a first time viewer, this is not an exciting prospect.


MEMORY LANE: Childhood photo SHOCKER: Sasha was a tomboy!    She is afraid of frogs, including “the name Frog.”  What kind of circles does Sasha run in that she is meeting people named Frog.  Apparently little dapper-fancy-Alexander has always been little dapper-fancy-Alexander. This is a man who is impeccably groomed, and I appreciate that.

THE CHOREOGRAPHER: Dee Caspry. He looks like a rugby player-turned choreographer which I don’t often say. They are doing some sort of piano-themed dance.  Dee says the keys represent the keys of his heart.  Shit is getting deep.

THE DANCE: Suspenders for our dapper gentleman (I approve! Suspenders and tight pants are good for pretty butts! Do you guys remember Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s butt in “Inception”?  Now THAT was a butt.  I tried to Google image it but came up dry. Further proof the Internet is made for he-pervs not she-pervs.  The injustice of it all!)  and Sasha looks ravishing in a nude sparkly thing.  Narrative wise…  I think Sasha is casting a spell on him?  He is maybe Pinocchio and she is the fairy in Pinocchio? Then, CREEPY WHAT THE HELL?! Sasha disappears as if eaten by the piano, then all of the sudden her hands jut out over the keys like dismembered ghost hands and Alexander just plays on in some sort of half-dead Lady Gaga duet.   I am going to have a nightmare.  Great.

JUDGES SAY: Nigel said something about Alexander’s “baby package” and I think we were all confused….. it certainly seemed penis-y in intention, but apparently it was a reference to the slide-show.  While the judges talk, Alexander smiles, his teeth coated with a thin pink film of blood that no one talks about.  Oh, Mary Murphy.  Who ARE you and who put your voice in a blender and then let you use it?  Kristin loved the routine and revealed she has been peed on but not in a sexy way Lil’ C,  you use Vocabulary Words and want us to make note of it.  Oh, something was “mellifluous!”  Well, Lil’ C,  if you’re so “intelligent” (smart) why don’t your “spectacles” (glasses) have “lenses” (glass) in them? Like a curling ribbon that’s been run across scissors too many times (that’s a comparison for all our dedicated crafting readers) Cat Deely’s wig is slowly losing its bounce, sloppily and sadly drooping towards her shoulders.


MEMORY LANE: Caitlynn was a ALSO a tomboy!!! But she was never allowed to dress like one, and her kid pictures are a bit “Toddlers and Tiaras.” ( PS: T&T is on at 10 and I need to watch that.  When is this over?)  Mitchell started dancing late, but a video clip shows us he has always looooved to roll his body.

CHOREOGRAPHER: Did this guy just sell his fine-cheese boutique? I didn’t catch his name. Sorry.

THE DANCE: OK.I am not feeling the deep-v on Robert or the cruise wear on Caitlynn.  I didn’t like this dance, then they started booty popping.  Gosh, I’m an easy sell.  I am trash! I need to stop imagining these people naked but I can’t.

THE JUDGES: Cat pronounces the routine (over-pronounces) “boo-tee-licious.”  Seriously guys… is Mary Murphy ok?  Should she be doing this?  I think she just had a stroke, followed by like 5 after shocks.  Kristin says “Shut the front door!” in a way that lets us know she is definitely trying to make that her catchphrase. Lil’ C wants ventilation.  Buckus again! What is this “buckus”? Everyone loved everything.  Nigel proclaims Mitchell the “Chris Rock of SYTYCD.”  And I couldn’t agree more!  They’re both black guys! Wait, I mean, what?  What the hell does that mean Nigel? I feel like Cat has said “Oh I don’t need the flash cards I’ll just do some ad-libbing there. I looooove to ad-lib,” so many times that everyone was like, fine.  Go ahead Cat.  We have Mary to worry about.


MEMORY LANE: Miranda has always looked like Miranda. Why isn’t Robert the Chris Rock of the show?  He wants to be funny at least.

CHOREOGRAPHER: Tyce sort of looks like a choreographer but more so he looks like he should be on “Million Dollar Decorator.”

THE DANCE: Miranda plays a hooker.  A lot of walking around and pushing. Robert is in love with music though, so stop trying! This dance looks easy.  Am I drunk?  I really think I can do this dance, ya’ll!  I want to try!  It seems very doable to me right now.  Miranda looks like Amy Adams playing Eleanor Roosevelt in a TV movie.

THE JUDGES: Lil’ C says Miranda is “metamorphosizing” before his eyes, and then he had the nerve to use the stale compliment that Robert “has the kind of personality that is only achieved if the planets are perfectly aligned when you are born.”  If I had a dollar for every time I heard that from a loquacious rapper!  Shit. 6 more routines!?

MELANIE AND MARKO: Melanie is a crazy Carrie Mulligan who pulled a Felicity on what seems like it was long beautiful curly hair.  Marko insinuates dance was a cure for his ADHD.

CHOREOGRAPHERS: The Dumo’s are a choreographing team who look like they’d rather be at an Ed Hardy sample sale.

THE DANCE: The idea seems to be Avril Lavigne has seduced a waiter at a Bucco de Beppo. I love this dance.  I want to do lyrical hip hop!  Mandy does too!  Can you imagine just popping and  ****REAL KISS!! REAL KISS!  REAL KISS!  **** It wasn’t even awkward- it seemed super real…. Audience shot: The Dumos kissed each other too!  I can almost hear him mutter in her ear, “Baby, that was us dancing up there, that was us.”

THE JUDGES: Lil C thinks it was buck.  So “buck” IS a thing. Buck means good. C gives a shout out to “Nappy Taps.”  Or is he “Nappy Taps?? Oh noooo… Mary Murphy just had her world rocked.  Nigel just KISSED HER and she is freaking out!  Why would anyone do that?  Is this bullying?  She lets out a screech that the Owls of Ga’hoole would be envious of. Kristin makes it real deep with her comments.   Then she kisses Lil C’, her tongue jutting right through his faux glasses.

Shit. this goes to 9.30?!  I CANNOT MISS TODDLERS AND TIARAS AND THAT COMES ON AT 10. Mandy just admitted to me she has a crush on Daniel Radcliffe.  I think things have changed between us forever.  After a particularly rude glance from me, she tries, meekly, “He’s rich as well!”  Still, no thanks, Mandy.  No thanks.


MEMORY LANE: The good news is that Ashley grew into her mouth. Chris is one of 6 kids!  Somewhere an executive at TLC just woke up with a wonderful, awful idea. 6 Kids and Dancing!

CHOREOGRAPHER: Sonya! Now HERE is a choreographer.  As Chris recoils when she enters the room she asks, “Why is everyone scared of me?”  Because you look like a sorceress in Southwestern jam-pants, Sonya.

THE DANCE: Scary. Thriller meets Adam and Eve. They move well, but baby, mamma needs more big fat bass. (Long ‘a’, not like Big Mouth Billy Bass)  It is nice to watch but also, not.  And the song is boring.

JUDGES SAY: Nigel no like.  Mary (please don’t scream please don’t scream please don’t scream) is ok with it… another meh.  Kristin, compares herself to Paula Abdul because she is so positive, but you are way too coherent for me to entertain that comparison.  Lil’ C is a fan of the sorceress’s work.  She has cast her spell well.


MEMORY LANE:  Clarice was a cute very normal kid with a video of her at three saying: “howwa boud my dassing?” Aw, Jess loved his dad.  I am over these flashbacks.

THE DANCE:   Sorry this is not impressing me.  (how jaded I’ve become after an hour and twenty minutes of this show. ) But compared to the other routines SNOOZE FEST.

THE JUDGES: Mary Murphy loves it.  (Mandy wants to know what sort of dancer Mary Murphy is.  I don’t know.  We decide we don’t want to Wikipedia this.)  Kristin says it was her favorite performance of the night.  It’s becoming abundantly clear I don’t know what dance is.  Lil C?   Please be on my side?   Nope.  Lil’ C says  they  “put a face on the smile of Jean Marc’s heart.”  Think about that for a second and realize it means nothing.  Nigel loved it too.  It’s a jizz fest up in here. I feel very, very alone right now.  Thank god Mandy is here, who knows what I’d do?   Mandy thinks that Lil C and Kanye would be friends and tweet back and forth in all caps.  FINALLY I agree with someone.  Mandy and I make a strange pact to always beckon to each other with the words, “Come on, soldier.”  It has something to do with ice cream?  Things are getting stranger.


MEMORY LANE: Ricky was BORN TO MOVE.  I can tell this guy is good and I’m already steeling myself for Mary’s screams.  Ryan, blah blah blah.

CHOREOGRAPHER: The sorceress, Sonya, has returned and spews her dark magic onto these nubile creatures.  General show note: These girl-dancers are DETERMINED to show us their bras.  Very well then.

THE DANCE: This is an emotional piece and very pretty.  There is a long black scarf attached to Ryan and Ricky is tugging it and I just KNOW it means something (because I am very artistic and very in-tune with Art and deep meanings.)

JUDGES SAY: Kristin loves it.  Lil’ C just said something Very Important and then pronounced the whole ordeal BUCKNESS.   In the audience, Sonya gets very emotional… The sorceress sheds a tear and somewhere a baby horse bursts into flame. Nigel loves it.  Mary loves it and also controls her voice the whole time.  I am so relieved.  This show is 2 hours?  Shit.


MEMORY LANE: Jordan did a “piece” to “Spice Up your Life” in first grade.  I love that she calls it a piece. That’s like me calling what I did to a piano at that age a movement. Tadd was nerdy  but he’s gorgeous now so who cares.  They are going to be doing a bed dance. And Jordan is not used to doing bed dances, so this is SERIOUS. 

THE DANCE: It’s like a hip-hop morning after pill commercial?  Tadd should probably never wear a shirt. Shit, he put his shirt on. Oh good he took it off!  I like this dance. Mandy’s note: “That must be a really bouncy bed.”

THE JUDGES: Lil C gives another shout out to Nappy Taps.  Is he saying “Nappy Taps”?  Because that’s what I’m hearing.  He likes it, but I don’t think it’s his favorite because he doesn’t throw out a verbose and made-up platitude. Nigel loves it.  Kristin wants people to join her in saying “Shut the front door.”  But no one really caught on to that catchphrase so it doesn’t go over well.  A good rule of thumb is that you need to say something 3 or more times before it is a catchphrase. Jordan and Tadd  throw up their voting number (8) like a gang sign (perhaps a cool new gang called the Crazy 8s) and it’s disturbing.

WOO! FINAL ROUTINE!  Mandy and I erupt in applause.  Can two people erupt?  Because we did.  This is a very long show and it’s t-7 minutes till T & T.

GROUP ROUTINE: The idea is that the women are killing the men.  I think this choreographer (rugby dude) has some REAL lady issues.  It’s like Renfair Porn.  I want a crowd shot of the Sorceress.  Methinks the good lady would be pleased. It’s a very pretty dance, and I am strangely emotional during it.  Poisoning a loved one is so sexy that I just might consider it.


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So You Think You Can Recap: SYTYCD 6/23/11 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-62311/ http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/2011/so-you-think-you-can-recap-sytycd-62311/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2011 06:11:49 +0000 http://www.popmyculturepodcast.com/?p=2157

Since Cole is too busy being chauffeured around Vegas in a gold limousine to trouble himself with watching this week’s results show, this recap is being guest written by TV/pop culture/dancing Asians fan Heather (@HeatherRecently on Twitter). Cole will be back next week, assuming he didn’t lose a tooth (or find a baby) during his absence.

Cat introduces the show looking gorgeous in one-shoulder red dress and cherry red lipstick. She uses a cocktail analogy that somehow implies a hangover. I can only assume this is directed at Debbie Reynolds, who took Wadi with her to the assisted living community last night and played strip bingo into the wee hours of the morning (citation needed).

The opening number is a Dave Scott piece featuring the top 20 dancers as androgynous businessmen dancing to that one song, you know, the one with the piano riff from all the commercials (Sinnerman by Nina Simone). It’s very Matrix meets Minority Report meets Beach Party, given the interesting decision to put the dancers in matching Bermuda shorts. Cat comes out and introduces your… JUDGES, actually delivering her catchphrase for the second time in a row. Debbie, whose cream and gold patterned outfit was provided by Grandmas-R-Us, says that she enjoyed the “new experience of being off the stage.” Clearly, this is further proof of her late night rendezvous with Wadi. The filler performances special guests will be Rage Crew and LMFAO singing with Quest Crew. This announcement puts my ovaries in an uproar since Hok (of Season 1-3 and ABDC champion fame) and Ryan (Season 1 finalist and co-ABDC winner) are the greatest thing to happen to the b-boy world since the beanie. Who can forget Ryan’s signature back flip into a headstand, or Hok’s stunning Season 3 Wade Robison hummingbird performance with Jaimie Goodwin? Mary Murphy without her meds, that’s who.

Back to the show. The first 3 couples are Sasha & Alexander (Team Sweaty Narcissism!), Caitlin & Mitchell (Team Blue Zebra!), and Missy & Wadi (Team Chuckle Nair!). Caitlin still sports a cut on her face from when Mitchell “accidentally” punched her during their routine. I think everyone knows what really happened there. It’s called love, people. We pretty much knew Missy & Wadi were in trouble with their so-so cha-cha, and sure enough, they are in the bottom 3. Cat reveals the other 2 couples to be safe, and hugs, tears, and screams are had by all.
The next segment is a big fat commercial for Gatorade and their sponsorship of the show. We get to see the dancers sit through a live infomercial for a line of nutritional products and throw away their contraband Pringles. Next up, it’s Miranda & Robert (Team – oh forget it) whose Nappy Tabs performance to Break Yo Neck was one of my favorites this season so far. Take two insanely gifted choreographers, two very capable dancers, toss in some Busta Rhymes and some feathers and you’ve got a routine more explosive than the asshole of a newborn with diarrhea. Has a Nappy Tabs or Travis Wall performance ever landed its dancers in the bottom 3? According to my memory and trusty confirmation bias: nope. Crowd favorites and early standouts Melanie and Marko, who aren’t rolled in flour for yet enough week, did the well received Sing Sing Sing routine. To no one’s surprise, both couples are safe.

Then it’s between Jordan & Tadd’s impressive Viennese Waltz and Ivetta & Nick’s “well, they tried hard!” Bollywood number. Luckily, Jordan & Tadd are revealed to be safe. If she had danced her solo, she would’ve given herself two big black eyes, and the audience 200 big black boners. Cat unceremoniously tells “Ivetter” & Nick that they are in the bottom 3. They nod along with a sense of defeat and walk the green mile across the stage.

Finally, it’s between Ashley & Chris, Clarice & Jess, and Ryan & Ricky for the last spot in the bottom 3. After a review of Athley (is her lisp cute? sexy? distracting?) and Chris’s sexy jailhouse performance, they are told they are safe. It was a solid routine, but there is something very offputting about seeing a young, innocent girl lust after a pockmarked, incarcerated John Lequizamo lookalike. Anyway, that means one of the final couples is safe and the other will be forced to dance for their lives (but not really of course, even though this is a FOX show).

Ryan & Ricky had the crotch-revealing Addicted to Love dance with costumes that suggested more of an addiction to meth, while Clarice & Jess did the awkward Stacey Tookey number. The judges worked themselves into a lather over the “raunchy” jazz piece and only gave subdued commentary to the lackluster contemporary. Naturally, Ryan & Ricky are— in the bottom 3? What? Jess’s Groucho Marx eyebrows spoke for us all when they jumped 3 feet into the air.

Moments later, the stage is taken over by a swarm of inappropriately dressed children known as Rage Crew. Clad in leather pants, halter tops, and wallet chains, they do what can only be called a combination of cheer, hip hop, and Toddlers & Tiaras pageantry. The kids are very talented and do the high energy choreography with attitude, but the showcasing of Mini Scary S