Pop Culture Updates
Pop culture influences our beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. It can take the form of music, films, TV shows, fashion, books and even viral Internet trends.
Pop culture updates can be found everywhere from podcasts to the newest gossip websites. Some of these outlets like to promote certain artists to their followers while others are more unbiased.
NPR’s “Pop Culture Happy Hour”
Host Linda Holmes and panelists Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon leave plenty of room for discussion in this round-table podcast that focuses on movies, TV, music, books, comics and more. They talk about their obsessions, pet peeves and guilty pleasures while also exploring the ways entertainment intersects with day-to-day life.
The NPR pop culture team combines their disparate skills to create an energetic, fun-filled show. It’s an advantage of the podcast format that allows NPR to produce great specialist shows like this one, which is a spin-off from the NPR blog Monkey See.
The three hosts and a rotating cast of guests discuss their favorites from the week. They’ll give you recommendations for what to watch, read and listen to. The panelists often discuss the latest movies and TV shows, and they’ll also cover topics ranging from “what’s making us happy” to “pop culture carbon dating.” They have a relaxed and playful tone that makes for an engaging listen.
Slate’s “Culture Gabfest”
Plenty of radio roundtables scrutinise high culture and the more leftfield quirks of pop culture, but “Culture Gabfest” does so with a loose, easy chemistry that’s hard to find in other podcasts. Guests like New York Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie and Slate associate culture writer Nadira Goffe inject the show with fresh perspective and unapologetic opinions, but the hosts’ chemistry is what really sets this show apart.
This week, senior Slate editor Rebecca Onion fills in for Julia, and the panel begins by discussing Bottoms, a chaotic second feature from director Emma Seligman that satirizes something (what that something is remains unclear). They then debate Telemarketers, a Michael Moore-style documentary about a ruthless telemarketing company.
Listeners can use Rephonic to see estimated streaming numbers for this and two million other podcasts, along with a host of other useful data. Upgrade your Rephonic subscription to unlock this tool and many more, including the ability to pitch shows for sponsorship or guest appearances.
Pineapple Street Studios’ “Back Issue”
Pineapple Street Studios’ podcasts explore the stories behind formative cultural moments, like Lena Dunham’s re-envisioning of women in media and Ronan Farrow’s investigation of Harvey Weinstein. They have multiple shows in the top ten of Apple’s charts, and their work has been praised by critics.
Xandra Ellin is the Brooklyn-based producer for Pineapple Street Studios’ Back Issue and Because of Anita podcasts. She’s also the head writer of a weekly newsletter distributed by WNYC Studios’ On the Media, and has been in public radio for over eight years.
Jenna Weiss-Berman quit her job to start Pineapple Street Studios in 2016—a month before her first child was born. In this episode, she shares the pros and cons of her risky career leap and discusses why she refuses to take outside investments for the company.
Vox’s “Pop Crave”
Pop Crave, and its chief competitors Pop Base and DeuxMoi, are a category of entertainment news accounts that update fans on celebrities, music artists and streaming data. They are increasingly muscling into hard news.
When a Twitter account called Decision Desk HQ broke the news that Joe Biden had won the presidency, Pop Crave was one of the first to tweet about it. Taking its cue from that source, it declared “BREAKING: Pop Crave has declared Joe Biden President of the United States!”
Its followers have long been fans of pop culture and have come to trust these accounts as their main source of celebrity gossip and aggregation. But now these mostly anonymous outlets are starting to report on political events.
This shift has led to memes comparing Pop Crave to the AP and the New York Times, and it may be a sign of the future of online journalism. But it also shows how easy it is for a single bogus post to make its way from a stan account to an established news outlet.