Articles on Pop culture

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Kyle MacLachlan in the new season of Twin Peaks: has the Internet helped fuel nostalgia for TV shows from decades past? Rancho Rosa Partnership, Showtime Networks

It’s happening again … our love affair with TV reboots

Twin Peaks has just hit our streaming services, again, alongside reboots of the X-Files, Gilmore Girls, and more. But, despite our nostalgia, they'll never revive the specific time they were born in.
Felicity Huffman in Transamerica, which signified a shift in depictions of transgender people. Belladonna Productions

Friday essay: transgenderism in film and literature

Historically, pop culture has tended to depict transgender people as objects of comedy or monstrous freaks. But attitudes are changing, as a new novel featuring a transgender child shows.
Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House in a promotional video ahead of Matt Groening’s visit to Australia this week. Twentieth Century Fox/Sydney Opera House

Why The Simpsons has lost its way

The subtlety laced with satire that graced earlier shows has been replaced by a brash, carelessness. And Homer, while always loud-mouthed, is now positively abusive. After 28 seasons, is it time for The Simpsons' creators to call it a day?
A scene from Heathers the Musical based on the 1988 film. Kurt Sneddon

Why do we find it so hard to move on from the 80s?

Eighties culture is big, from nostalgic TV dramas to tours by ageing pop stars. But it's time for a clear-eyed assessment of the decade, which prized excess and economic rationalism along with synth pop and big hair.
Both Hamlet and ‘True Detective’‘s Rust Cohle make audiences wonder whether they’re deserving of sympathy or blame. Nick Lehr/The Conversation

In today’s most popular shows, Shakespeare’s iconic characters live on

The psychological complexity of Shakespeare's characters has rendered them timeless. Today, we see The Bard's influence in shows like 'Breaking Bad' and 'True Detective.'
Are women really each other’s worst enemies? Probably not. Everett Collection/Shutterstock

The myth that women secretly hate other women has a long history

Depictions of women bullying women are a mainstay of reality television shows, just as reports of Twitter fights between female celebrities are regular tabloid fare. It's a phenomenon with a long history.
However hard we pursue happiness, when the party’s over we must still confront the grimmer aspects of life. Shutterstock/YanLev

Is a cult of happiness leading us to lose sight of life?

We can pursue our own happiness to the exclusion of the real world, but how meaningful can that be? Far better to engage with life and both the happiness and sadness it brings along the way.
Young adult dystopian characters like Insurgent’s Tris are inspiring their female fans to shatter the glass ceiling. Lionsgate Films

Girls on fire: political empowerment in young adult dystopia

By featuring girls who buck the conventions of their world – and ours – films like Insurgent inspire fans to enact real change.
Star Trek fans were especially drawn to Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock – who showed many that it “was okay to be a nerd, that even in the future not everyone fit in, or needed to.” Sam Howzit/Flickr

One of the family: Leonard Nimoy’s impact on fandom

Star Trek fans were especially drawn to Leonard Nimoy's Mr. Spock – who showed many that it "was okay to be a nerd, that even in the future not everyone fit in, or needed to."
Musicians such as Amy Winehouse die young at much higher rates than the rest of the population. EPA/Andy Rain

Stairway to hell: life and death in the pop music industry

Art is a cry of distress from those who live out within themselves the destiny of humanity … Inside them turns the movement of the world; only an echo of it leaks out – the work of art Arnold Schoenberg…
Swift is privileged, as only apex predators are, with the ability to pick and choose from any (cultural) food source. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Taylor Swift is the great white shark of pop music

In the same week American rapper Nicki Minaj released Anaconda, a music video dedicated to celebrating “the butt”, US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released a video, Shake It Off, accidentally dedicated…
For Buffy fans, Sarah Michelle Gellar will always be the Slayer. Wikimedia Commons

Vampires beware: Buffy is the unslayable pop culture text

Give them enough blood and vampires keep on feeding – but give academics Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) and the same phenomenon occurs. Much Ado About Whedon: The 6th Biennial Slayage Conference…

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