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POP STUDIES
Commentary on the worlds of entertainment, style, and media.
The Swimsuit Issue When Barbie appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, all the usual Barbie hate ensued. For me, it feels so 30 years ago.
Git It! A rapacious Valentine’s treat courtesy of the Who.
By Colin Fleming


Don’t Let Harlan Ellison Hear This Portrait of the pulp writer as an old man.
Here is My Hand Another side of Dickens and Christmas, courtesy of “The Signal-Man”
By Colin Fleming
The Naked Truth As Discovery’s most notorious show prepares to return, we ask ourselves: Is it okay to be entertained by exploitation if we acknowledge we’re being manipulated?
By Joan Marcus
Radios Going Bump in the Night By the 1960’s listening to stories on the radio might have seemed square, but not if it was the wonderful and weird terrors of the work of Erik Bauersfeld.
By Colin Fleming
Poe Boys Edgar Allan Poe has inspired many a male teen imagination. But can a new exhibit show us his mature side?
By Paula Marantz Cohen
Once Upon a Time Do children’s books still matter? Maybe that’s a question we shouldn’t be asking.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
Card Stock Betcha never thought of baseball cards as art before, eh?
By Colin Fleming
Have Ghost, Will Find The weird, (somewhat) chummy fiction of W.H. Hodgson’s Carnacki: The Ghost Finder.
By Colin Fleming
Ask America Why are we so obsessed with advice columns? We just want to become the best version of ourselves that it is possible to be.
By Michal Lemberger
Historically Inaccurate Next up, stay tuned for the series premier of Masters, Slaves.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
585 Minutes On and off the clock with the Beatles in the last 50 years.
By Colin Fleming
Is Superman Jewish? Dispatches from a conference celebrating the Man of Steel's 75th birthday.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
Enlighten Me HBO's comedy series Enlightened is full of philosophy, disappointment, and quietly crazy characters — a lot like real life.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
Miserable at Les Mis The cinematic adaptation of the broadway play doesn't live up to the hype.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
Hitchcock's B-sides True Hitchcock fans know there's more to the director than birds and shower-murder scenes.
By Colin Fleming
Process Over Politics HBO has two new shows about current events. But only one actually feels current.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
The Mousetrap at 60 The quintessential bourgeois comfort play keeps chugging along.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
The Wet, the Dry, and the Ugly Prohibition ended more than 90 years ago, but it lives on in our palates.
By Kevin Kosar
Live from Fargo Seventy years ago, two buddies recorded the Duke Ellington band. Today, it stands as jazz's greatest live album.
By Colin Fleming
Sandwich: A Global History The world's 50 most notable sandwiches from a new book on the world's favorite food.
By Bee Wilson
Tan Lines Yes to the Oval Office's new lamps, no to that precious rug with quotes!
By Paula Marantz Cohen
ACK! Three decades of big social changes, but summer still came and Cathy was still trying on swimsuits. Now she's gone.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
I Like Candy You grow out of candy as you grow out of childhood. Then you taste it in middle age and...WHOA.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
Laugh Riot Why can't we categorize comedy the way we do books, or music, or film?
By Meg Favreau
Kids Wear the Darndest Things! Why are kids going bonkers over little pieces of rubber called Silly Bandz? An 8-year-old and 5-year old weigh in.
By The Smart Set
Print is So Last Season Fashion houses are breaking out of the two-page spread (with mixed success).
By Courtney McLean
The Sound Effect Law & Order's ''doink doink'' is just the latest iconic sound from TV and film. I mean, you know the Wilhelm scream, right?
By Meg Favreau
Say Grace A new exhibition celebrates Grace Kelly's style, but that's not what enthralls us.
By Paula Marantz Cohen
Take My Wife Critics of reality TV need to stop worrying about Jersey Shore and start worrying about Wife Swap.
By Jesse Smith