The Pop Culture Lens

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Episode 57: Douglas Adams

March 17th, 2020

For the fifty-seventh episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard are joined by former guest, friend of the podcast, and Patreon supporter, Shane Tilton to discuss the cosmic influence of British writer Douglas Adams

In this episode, they discuss Adams' comedic background and his legacy on science fiction and fantasy entertainment. Adams' absurdist sensibilities met both a punkish approach to authority and a naturalist understanding of the universe. Overall, his rebellious approach to writing and storytelling inspired many who followed him, from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett to Christopher Moore and Dan Harmon.

Primary editing on the episode was done by Jean-Michel Berthiaume, and the end song comes from the 2005 film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com. If you can, help us cover our costs by becoming a monthly subscriber via Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thepopculturelens

Episode 56: Dragon Ball Z

February 16th, 2020

For the fifty-sixth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard are joined by friend of the podcast, and Patreon supporter, Dave Stanley to discuss the classic anime series, Dragon Ball Z.

The trio discuss the role Dragon Ball Z had in helping Japanese anime and manga become more mainstream in the United States, thereby impacting American entertainment industries as well as the nerds of Generation Y. To do so, they consider the fan controversies around the series, from dubbing issues to problems with otaku identities.

Primary editing on the episode was done by Jean-Michel Berthiaume, and the end song comes from the anime.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com.

Episode 55: New Japan Pro Wrestling

January 15th, 2020

For the fifty-fifth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard are joined by unofficial third co-host Joe Belfeuil to discuss the history and significance of New Japan Pro Wrestling aka NJPW.

The trio consider how NJPW emerged, and its early relationship with other big professional wrestling federations like WWF and NWA. The discussion also looks at NJPW today and how it has impacted contemporary global professional wrestling through wrestlers, factions, and memes. Thanks in part to the Web, professional wrestling has truly become a transnational and transcultural phenomenon.

Primary editing on the episode was done by Jean-Michel Berthiaume, and the end song comes from the anime Tiger Mask X.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com.

Episode 54: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

December 20th, 2019

For the fifty-fourth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, and the 2019 Christmas special, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard debate the longevity of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and what it has to do with the secularization of Christmas.

The duo takes the approach of understanding the conservative belief about a "War on Christmas" to examine the secularization and commercialization of Christmas in the United States. The children's book, and later animated special, refutes the commercialization while supporting the secularization. Overall, they argue that the moral lesson at the story's core demonstrates the true meaning of Christmas, with or without Jesus Christ.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com.

Episode 53: Satyajit Ray

November 20th, 2019

For the fifty-third episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard are joined by friend and Ph.D. candidate Anis Rahman to consider one of the most important creators in Indian cinema: Satyajit Ray.

Thanks to his Bangladeshi heritage, Anis provides important insights into the life and work of Ray. Along with these insights, the trio discuss Ray's work across feature films, short films, and documentaries and how Ray's approach was influenced by neorealist film movements of the 20th century, as well as the post-colonial era of Indian politics. 

Primary editing on the episode was done by Jean-Michel Berthiaume, and end song was written by Ray for his film, Charulata.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com.

Episode 52: Frankenstein

October 20th, 2019

For the fifty-second episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard are joined by friend and Ph.D. candidate Sarah Stanley to discuss one of the most important horror novels of all time: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

The trio discuss the novel's impact for over 200 years, as an early science fiction novel and in all the adaptations since 1818. They explore how the novel and its adaptations reflect the historical, social, and cultural contexts in which they emerged. They also analyze the text for how it relates to different philosophies of life and identity before concluding on why the story remains so meaningful to this day.

Primary editing on the episode was done by Jean-Michel Berthiaume, and end song comes from CarrieLynn's favorite Frankenstein adaptation: Mel Brooke's Young Frankenstein.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com.

Episode 51: Friends

September 11th, 2019

Welcome back to a new season!

For the fifty-first episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard are joined by colleague and pop culture scholar Jennifer Dunn to discuss the 25th anniversary of one of the most successful sitcoms of all time: Friends (1994-2004).

In this episode, the trio consider the impact of the series on television and pop culture history. They also discuss how the series reflected the 1990s, from the soul-searching of Generation X and the emerging gay rights movement. Friends was not perfect, but it was definitely one of the most important television series of the 1990s.

The co-hosts would like to thank Dr. Dunn for being the episode's guest, and recommend all Poppers check out her upcoming book: Friends: A Cultural History.

Primary editing on the episode was done by Jean-Michel Berthiaume, and end song comes from The Rembrandts.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com.

Episode 50: Betty Boop

June 18th, 2019

At the end of the season, the fiftieth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast brings Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard to discuss the importance of the classic cartoon character, Betty Boop.

In this episode, the co-hosts discuss early animation at the beginning of cinema, and how Betty Boop fit into this wilder time frame, before the Hayes Code and the moralizing of movies. They also examine the history of the character, and the controversies about her origin. For the analysis, the discussion focuses on issues of objectification, the male gaze, and how Betty Boop fits into Tijuana bibles and modern hentai.

Primary editing on the episode was done by Jean-Michel Berthiaume, and end song comes from Betty Boop.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com.

Episode 49: Weird Al

May 19th, 2019

In a first, the forty-ninth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast finds friend of the podcast Noelle Lynn Blood joining Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard to discuss the importance of Weird Al Yankovic to pop culture and nerds.

In this episode, the trio examine how Weird Al has adapted himself to different eras in pop culture, constantly reinventing himself to remain relevant. They also examine how his works have challenged American conceptions of free speech and copyright by discussing the satire and parody he produces. Finally, as fans themselves, they also consider the relationships people have developed with Weird Al through their parasocial interaction with the master of geek rock.

Primary editing on the episode was done by Jean-Michel Berthiaume, and end song comes from Weird Al Yankovic.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com.

Episode 48: San Diego Comic Con

April 21st, 2019

In a first, the forty-eighth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast finds friend of the podcast Joan Miller (@a_wild_acafan) joining Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard to discuss the importance of the grand-daddy fan convention, San Diego Comic Con.

In this episode, the trio discuss how SDCC came to be the pop cultural juggernaut that it is today, tracing its history from beginning to boom period. In doing so, they also discuss its importance to our modern understandings of both fandom and how Hollywood operates. The good, the bad, and the ugly of SDCC, and other fan cons, are brought up to give a thorough and hopefully somewhat objective appraisal of the state of pop culture conventions in the 21st century.

Primary editing on the episode was done by Jean-Michel Berthiaume, and end song comes from Ookla the Mok.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog seemsobvioustome.wordpress.com. And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website www.playingwithresearch.com.