Choice Picks: The Entertainment Podcasts You Should Be Listening to (According to Whitney)

My name is Whitney, and I work… in an office.

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Everyday presents a new challenge.

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And my co-workers are great.

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In general, it’s just a really fulfilling way to make a living.

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But sometimes, even your dream job can be invaded by occasional moments of tedium and drudgery. I know it’s hard to believe that ennui can set in when you’re making 300 copies of a 90 page, 2-sided insurance document, but it can happen. To combat that, I developed a passionate relationship with podcasts and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned. Here are the top five podcasts to get you through the workday, according to me (aka The Final Word).

posterBlacklist5. The Black List Table Reads

I like to believe that one day, technology will provide me a way to sit at my desk and watch movies all day while appearing only marginally unproductive. The Blacklist Table Reads is the closest thing we have in 2015. It’s essentially a recorded table read of awesome unproduced scripts, performed by some surprisingly big names. Paul Sheer, June Diane Raphael, Rose McIver, and Parminder Nagra are just a few of the many voices you’ll recognize. If you have even the remotest interest in movies, Black List Table Reads should be a safe bet for you.

4. Science V.

Ok, this one isn’t, strictly speaking, an entertainment podcast. It is, however, absurdly entertaining. This show takes 6507062-3x2-700x467popular science fads and pins them against hard scientific data. Before you panic, it’s not remedial Statistics. The format is really engaging and host Wendy Zukerman feels like a BFF waiting to happen. So far, the show has tackled e-cigarettes, race, the female brain, and lots more. Season one just concluded, but that means all of season one is locked, loaded, and ready to binge.

1435103169-tumblr_np69fuubcu1sez6y5o1_5003. Mystery Show

This one is slightly harder to synopsize. It’s sort of like if Veronica Mars were a Wes Anderson movie. It’s a show that ostensibly solves a weekly mystery, but the mysteries are less whodunnit and more “exactly how tall is Jake Gyllenhaal?”. Not kidding about that. It’s laughably addictive. Just trust me.

2. This is Actually Happeningcover170x170

Another entertaining, non-entertainment podcast. I stumbled across this one by accident and became hooked, in spite of myself. It’s people, just ordinary people, sharing stories. The stories themselves can often be hard to listen to, and a few are admittedly very disturbing. It’s sort of like being at a sleep over, post-3 am. You know, when everyone is talking and sharing intimate details about themselves, and suddenly someone tells the most insane, personal, unbelievable anecdote and no one ever mentions it again? It’s like that.

CHqFPsVWcAIII3l1. Pop Rocket

Pop Rocket is my salvation. Everything I need, I can get from one weekly dose of this show. It’s a round table homage to all things pop culture, hosted by the ineffably charming and hilarious Guy Branum. Every panelist has a particular area of expertise: Guy the Comedian, Wynter Mitchell the Media Strategist, Oliver Wang the Academic, and Margaret Wappler the Journalist. They are all so well spoken, so smart, and so distinctive that they warrant a dedicated Fangirly post of their own (but who has THE TIME?). Point is, you could spend your day trying to make small talk at dinguses with whom you share a work-space, or you could listen to interesting people talk about their passions. I leave it to you.

-Whitney

 

 

 

Fan-Rants: Hulu Commercials

hulu-screenshot1As I write this post, I am marathoning The Mindy Project, mainly because I wanted to re-watch Danny and Mindy’s mounting sexual tension, but also in preparation for the new season.  I am using my Hulu Plus account for this marathon and I have a complaint.  Unlike most Hulu users, I have gotten over the fact that I have to watch commercials on a service for which I am paying.  (Okay, actually, confession: I log into my mom’s account for which she pays, but my complaints are still valid).

So, no, I don’t care that I have to watch commercials, I care that I have to watch the same commercials.  Over. And over.  I realize that I am bound to see some repeats when I watch 15 episodes of The Mindy Project in a row, but can’t Hulu spring for more than 4 commercials?  I swear, if I have to watch that Honda Fit commercial with Nick Thune one more time, I am going to toss my work computer out the window, then I’m going to get fired and it is bound to turn into this whole thing and then my unemployment will be on your conscience, Hulu.  Can you deal with that?  I can’t imagine that you don’t have various products (that I will never buy) that don’t want to be on your service, so please, on behalf of all of us who have a TV-watching problem, get some more commercials

Ellen

Grade A, Choice Picks: Best YouTube Channels for Pop Culture Fans

With so much web content out there, I thought I would narrow it down a bit for you and list my 10 favorite YouTube channels for the pop culture fan in all of us.

1. WatchMojo – In case you can’t tell, I like lists.  WatchMojo is my go-to for list videos because they release videos every day with lists ranging from the obvious (Top 10 Drama Series) to the more obscure (Top 10 Trialers That Ruined the Movie).  Their dry commentary only makes me love this channel more.

2. How It Should Have Ended – You have probably seen some of these floating around the internet, but you really need to dive into this channel.  The name of the channel is very informative as most of their videos are animated shorts of how movies should end if logic was a factor.  In addition to these hilarious shorts, I am loving their Super Cafe series where Superman and Batman gab about their day at their local diner.

3. Screen Junkies – The most obvious thing to love on this channel is Honest Trailers.  I’m not even going bother explaining those because you have all seen them and they are awesome.  But I am also a fan of The Screen Junkies Show which takes an amusing look at a variety of pop culture topics like “How to Fix Transformers” and the “Best 90’s Movies.

4. Cinefix – This channel has a number of regular series, but my favorites would have to be the Homemade Movies and 8-Bit Cinema.  They were also behind the “Kids Reenact 2014 Oscar Nominees” video that you may have seen floating around during Oscar season.

5. Bad Lip Reading – Do I even have to give these an into?  Nope? Good.

6. Cinematic Sins – Similar to Honest Trailers in that they rip apart your favorite movies, but their rapid fire delivery of naming everything wrong in less than 3-10 minutes (depending on how sinfult the movie is) points out some errors that are much more specific.

7. The Hillywood Show – Perhaps a little more loving than some of my previous picks, The Hillywood Show parodies still pack a lot of bite.  They have great production quality and perfectly skewer the movies like Twilight, Warm Bodies, The Hobbit, and Harry Potter.

8. Union Pool – This channel has a few running series, but Tvoovies is definitely why I subscribe. Have you ever wondered what would happen if Harry Potter were an episode of Law & Order?  Or if Leslie Knope were Deputy Parks Director at Jurassic Park?  Or if Michael Bluth was the one man who has “no choice but to quell the outlying districts” in the Hunger Games? These animated mash-ups have the amusing answers.

9. Nerdist – Honestly, it is the podcast that got me to subscribe, but the YouTube channel also puts out some great content like All Star Celebrity Bowling, DIY Projects, Neil Patrick Harris’ Puppet Dreams (it is just as trippy as it sounds), and a lot of other nerdy goodness.

10. What the Flick?! – Pretty straight forward film reviews and TV recaps, but this one gets my pick because they are smart reviews that are usually on point with what I think and they don’t feel the need to yell at me like a lot of other film review sites.

There you have it?  What are your favorite YouTube channels, pop culture related or not? Or your favorite vids?

Ellen

Web Bytes: Tonight Show Lip Sync Battle with Paul Rudd

This week has been rough.  I inadvertently made a twelve-year-old boy cry in public (a proud moment for both of us). I just realized that my library books are so overdue, I think it might be punishable by law. And, the cherry, I read that Kim and Kanye may have to call off their wedding, for which we’ve all been breathlessly waiting. HOW MUCH MORE CAN THE HUMAN SPIRIT ENDURE? Anyway, whenever I turn this particular shade of blue, I like to watch clips of The Tonight Show to remind me of how beautiful the human experience can be. Ladies and probably more ladies, I give you the Tonight Show lip synch battle with Paul Rudd.

And because I am a generous soul…

-Whitney