Your favourite clever pop culture sites/podcasts/lectures
January 29, 2013 8:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm at home ill at the moment, watching lots of films and reading a lot (this week I've watched 14 films and read 2 books). I'd like to find sites (or podcasts/lectures/etc) that intelligently examine media and/or popular culture. I regularly read articles on Popmatters and sometimes the A.V. Club (but not so much). What are your favourite film/media crit resources? Podcasts? Lectures? Thank you in advance for any help!
posted by everydayanewday to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: These are my favourites. I think the writers/hosts are smart and entertaining; they tend to discuss films and books I like, and introduce me to new stuff too.

Filmspotting blog and podcast
Pop Culture Happy Hour (featuring Metafilter user Linda_Holmes; she also writes for the Monkey See blog of which PCHH is a part)
The Library Police, which has a blog and a podcast
Pajiba, which has film reviews and book reviews
Slate Audio Book Club
Up Yours, Downstairs! (very entertaining podcast that recaps Downton Abbey episodes and discusses the history of the period, if you are into that sort of thing)

Oh, and it's almost time for Canada Reads again! (The debates are on Radio One from Feb. 11-14.) Until then, here's the audio from the 2012 archive.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:05 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The How'd This Get Made? podcast
posted by mannequito at 9:24 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm watching Red Letter Media's reviews now (trigger warning for some of the Plinkett Reviews).

Overthinking It
Outlaw Vern (Movies only)
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:44 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you are interested in reading about video games Nightmare Mode is pretty great.
posted by St. Sorryass at 10:50 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pilosophy Bites on all manner of subjects, including ethics, political life, the internet and kids...

Age of Persuasion on advertising

For something quite different, check out the archive of the Great Eastern... not sure how to describe this show from Newfoundland on CBC, but I loved it.
posted by chapps at 11:12 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't think its online but if you can obtain the Dead Dog Cafe comedy hour, highly recommended! Probably at many Canadian public libraries on CD.

The Massey Lectures are often great to listen to, and one is Dead Dog Cafe author Thomas King.

I also highly recommend Margaret Atwood's Massey Lecture, and still sometimes talk in Ursula Franklin's voice when talking about technology...
posted by chapps at 11:43 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


And give the AV Club another shot.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:08 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I listen to a fair number of podcasts like this (many of which have already been mentioned, like Filmspotting, the Slate Audio Bookclub and Pop Culture Happy Hour), but my absolute favorite is the Slate Culture Gabfest. You have to learn to enjoy Stephen Metcalf's curmudgeony attitude, but once you've done that, it's legitimately pretty great.

For podcasts that are more specialized to one field of culture, I also like Firewall & Iceberg for TV (that's the RSS feed), All Songs Considered for music, Kermode and Mayo's film review show, and the Giant Bombcast for video games. That last one is more light-hearted, for instance the latest show contained a lengthy exegesis on the movies John Carpenter made in the 90's (apparently Vampires is quite bad, despite starring James Woods as a vampire-hunter), but it also contains the most interesting and in-depth discussion of games on the internet.

Also, this one isn't exactly pop culture related, but In Our Time on the BBC is pretty fantastic. It doesn't really cover anything that happened after 1930 (which makes the name somewhat ironic) but if you want to hear a 45 minute discussion of Lord Byron's poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage between a host and three British professors of literature (and really, who wouldn't?) this is the place to go.
posted by gkhan at 6:04 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Alan Sipenwall reviews (and recaps) TV shows over at What's Alan Watching?
with lots of great insight. The comments are usually interesting, and the community standards are similar to MeFi's, which makes for pleasant reading. Note that his blog is a strictly spoiler-free zone, but once the reviews go up they will cover the entire episode in depth so if you don't like being spoiled wait until you've seen something before you go there.

For the trashier side of things there's Grantland's Hollywood Prospectus. The recaps are so funny that you don't even need to watch the shows to enjoy them, but there's all sorts of fun stuff there.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:30 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Grantland is a good example of a site that isn't necessarily pop-culture focused but tends to have a lot of interesting stuff in that realm. The Awl's spinoffs The Billfold (personal finance), The Hairpin ("women's issues"), and especially Splitsider (comedy) are up there too.
posted by psoas at 6:36 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Books on the Nightstand podcast is good for book recommendations (mostly contemporary fiction).
posted by Asparagus at 8:24 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Love The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell
posted by biscuits at 11:59 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My favorite movie review podcast is the Slate Spoiler Special podcast. Dana Stevens is my favorite Slate correspondent. She and a friend both go see the movie, sometimes together, sometimes separately. They then have a no holds barred discussion of the film, spoilers included.

I don't mind having movies spoiled. I don't usually remember the "spoiled" plot points when I finally get around to seeing the movie, so this is not a problem to me. But caveat emptor if this bothers you. Anyway, she's a fun, easygoing, but still opinionated reviewer, and usually she and her reviewing partner have a lively discussion on what made the film shine or suck.

And seconding both Pop Culture Happy Hour (with the best podcast theme song ever), and Slate's Culture Gabfest. Dana Stevens usually appears on the Culture Gabfest too.
posted by marsha56 at 2:51 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

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