TV Review – Search Party Season Four

Search Party Season 4 (HBO Max)
Written by Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers, Christina Lee, Emily Heller, Jordan Firstman, Matt Kriete & Andrew Pierce Fleming, and Starlee Kine
Directed by Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers, John Lee, and Alia Shawkat

Every season I ask myself, “Where could this show go next.” When I step back and look at the four seasons of Search Party that have been made, it is quite hilarious and stunning how its creators can morph and shift the narrative into something surprising. Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers continue to explore, ruminate, skewer, and satirize Millennials. It’s clear they are a part of a particular gentrifying class in New York City, but they are honest about their peers’ neuroses and incredibly harmful psyches. These characters exist in a world where it’s stunningly easy to compromise your values; you’re encouraged to do so. And anytime someone tries to escape, they are inevitably roped right back in.

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Weekly Wonderings – January 25th, 2021

Recently, as I’ve been waiting for some sort of full/part-time remote work to come along, I have been wondering what I could do with my teaching skills in the gig economy. There is a service called Outschool that lets parents pay to sign their kids up for special interest classes. I’m waiting for the background check process to complete, but with COVID-19 and living in a deplorable state when it comes to an efficient government, it takes a while. There’s also Teachers Pay Teachers, a website of materials created by educators selling them to other educators. I’ve made seven products in the last couple of weeks to put up there and will probably keep trucking along with that. Such is life living in the gig economy, eh? Today, I want to talk about what it is like to be an elementary school teacher (pre-COVID mostly).

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TV Review – Wandavision Episode 3

Wandavision Episode 3 (Disney+)
Written by Megan McDonnell
Directed by Matt Shakman

As promised by the trailers, this episode moves us into yet another era of the American sitcom. This time around, we’re in something around the late 1960s/early 1970s. The faux theme song has hints of The Partridge Family, while Wanda & Vision’s house’s interior is a definite nod to The Brady Bunch. We’re also introduced to the fact that Wanda is experiencing an accelerated pregnancy, going through trimesters in a matter of hours. This is something the couple tries to keep hidden from the neighbors along with their powers, but it proves difficult when Wanda’s powers go haywire as she goes into labor.

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Weekly Wonderings – January 19th, 2021

If you enjoy what you read here on PopCult, please think about becoming a supporter on my Patreon. I want to grow this blog into something special in 2021. To learn more about the exciting reward tiers that let you decide what we will feature check out my Patreon page.

Last week I talked about nostalgia some, and that made me think about libraries. When I was a kid, going to the library every week was one of my favorite things in the world. I can remember libraries I visited going back to when I was about six or seven years old and even books I checked out and read from those places. I definitely do not to libraries much at all anymore, even before COVID-19. I think with the digital age, I can access books much more quickly. Part of that is thanks in part to my local library adapting to this new world and subscribing to ebook services. Here’s my weekly Spotify playlist first:

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TV Review – Wandavision Episodes 1 & 2

Wandavision (Disney+)
Episodes 1 & 2
Written by Jac Schaeffer
Directed by Matt Shakman

Many people genuinely love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I am glad they have movies they can rewatch and enjoy like that. I wouldn’t count myself as someone enamored with superhero movies of any kind, though I do always give them a viewing. I am entertained by them, but I don’t think too much about the films when they are over. The most I revisit them is with my niece and nephew, who they honestly are intended for. The people who should get the most excited about superhero movies, Star Wars, and the like are little kids. 

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Weekly Wonderings – January 11th, 2021

Well, that was a rough start to 2021.

One week in, we have already had a Nazi terrorist attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. My mom is a full bore QAnon Nazi, I haven’t spoken to her in over a year now, and I just don’t see much hope for them. I got too much on my own plate to have to try and reason with people who have made plugging their ears and saying “lalalala” a permanent state of mind. And this is about as much time as I’ll be spending on this topic here. I have certainly ranted my fair share in other corners of social media since Thursday. Check out this week’s playlist, and I’ll jump right into my wondering.

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My Most Anticipated Television of 2021

Blossoms Shanghai (directed by Wong Kar-wai)

This is one of the rare projects that moved over from my most anticipated films to television shows over the last two years. Wong Kar-wai hasn’t directed anything since 2013’s The Grandmaster and is returning with this series based on a novel set in 1990s Shanghai. The story follows a mysterious self-made millionaire, Mr. Bao, and his path from rags to riches. In his life are four women that play crucial roles at different points, and it is those relationships that will be the focus of the narrative. This is also a way for Wong to showcase the city he was born in, and I expect the plot will take some more complicated detours than the premise presents. Wong’s In the Mood for Love is one of the best films ever made, so he always has my attention when a new project rolls out.

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Most Anticipated Films of 2021 – Part 2

If you enjoy what you read here on PopCult, please think about becoming a supporter on my Patreon. I want to grow this blog into something special in 2021. To learn more about the exciting reward tiers that let you decide what we will feature check out my Patreon page.

Come, I Will Take You There (directed by Alain Guiraudie)

Alain Guiraudie directed the amazing queer take on Hitchcock in Stranger by the Lake that pushed boundaries and delivered a fantastic suspense story. This next feature follows a young man who begins to develop feelings for an older sex worker. At the same time, the city they live in experiences a violent terrorist attack. It’s also a Christmas movie. All these disparate elements intrigue me and knowing what he was able to do in Stranger by the Lake I am interested to see how Guiraudie blends them all together to make something remarkable.

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Weekly Wonderings – January 4th, 2021

Hello and welcome to this new weekly feature, Weekly Wonderings. I’ve been working on this blog for over 10 years, most recently on a five-year continuous streak. It has grown in readership by the thousands, which is a pretty good feeling, knowing that my words seem to be connecting with people out there. I decided to start writing something that got a little more personal while still touching on pop cultural things. 

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