Pop Rocket

Pop Rocket is a high-octane weekly discussion of the culture we all love to love. Join host Guy Branum and panelists Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Margaret Wappler for smart, funny, sometimes sweary chat about everything great in entertainment. Combining comic, journalistic, academic and digital media expertise, the Pop Rocket team will keep you up-to-date on what's most exciting in pop culture this week.

Pop Rocket Episode 145: Gone But Not Forgotten

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Louis Virtel
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This week, Louis and the gang sit down to discuss celebrities and death. What deaths affected them the most? Does every newspaper really have an obit for Tom Hanks ready to go? Plus, Alonso gets back into Riverdale, Karen has beef with Klingons, Wynter tells us about her journey with Spencer Pratt, and Louis has some concerns about the new Mamma Mia.

With Louis Virtel, Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Alonso Duralde.

That’s My Jam:

Alonso Duralde - Bleu - DDBDD
Karen Tongson - St. Vincent - Pills
Wynter Mitchell - Da Brat - That's What I'm Looking For
Louis Virtel - Klymaxx - The Men All Pause

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Episode 144: When Athletes Become Activists

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Louis Virtel
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

This week, Louis and the gang sit down to discuss athletes and protests in the wide world of sports throughout the years. The 1968 Olympics, Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show, Colin Kaepernick, even Louis' high school, the panel covers it all. Plus, Louis rediscovers Project Runway, Karen started watching 90's House, Alonso can't get enough cupcakes, and a lengthy discussion on the ongoing Weinstein debacle.

With Louis Virtel, Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Alonso Duralde.

That’s My Jam:

Alonso Duralde - Prince - Good Love
Karen Tongson - Yaz - Only You
Wynter Mitchell - Alt-J - Hunger of the Pine
Louis Virtel - Baby - I Want It All

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Episode 143: It's the End of the World

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Louis Virtel
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

This week, Louis and the gang chat about dystopias and how the future is the worst. They chat about the weirdly prescient Back to the Future 2, Octavia Butler's Parable series, and why utopias are so boring. Karen tells us how she stayed calm during an active shooter scare at USC, Wynter is all about the newest season of You're the Worst, Alonso needs you to listen to KEOM, and Louis can't wait for the First Wives Club TV show.

With Louis Virtel, Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Alonso Duralde.

That’s My Jam:

Alonso Duralde - Bruce Springsteen - Viva Las Vegas
Karen Tongson - Color Me Badd - All 4 Love
Wynter Mitchell - Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down
Louis Virtel - Half the Way - Crystal Gale

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brienfor MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Episode 142: Biopics

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Louis Virtel
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde

This week, Louis and the gang talk about biopics and what makes them great. They discuss Battle of the Sexes, Billie Jean King's haircut, Selena, and what biopics NEED to be made already. Plus, Alonso is in love with Bojack Horseman, Karen thinks you should give Transparent season 4 a chance, Wynter talks up Lady Gaga's documentary, and Louis wants more genuine "73 Question" interviews like Tracee Ellis Ross.

With Louis Virtel, Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Alonso Duralde.

That’s My Jam:

Alonso Duralde - Curtis Mayfield - Don't Worry If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go
Karen Tongson - Melissa Etheridge - I'm the Only One
Wynter Mitchell - Debbie Deb - Funky Lil Beat
Louis Virtel - Teena Marie - Behind the Groove

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brienfor MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Episode 141: Fall TV Preview 2017

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Louis Virtel
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler

This week, we reside in Paris, France and it's our annual Fall TV preview! Louis, Karen and Alonso give us the lowdown on all the new shows they're excited about (Star Trek: Discovery, Will & Grace, 9JKL, 90's House), the shows they don't really want to see (Young Sheldon, Dynasty), and returning faves (The Good Wife, Grey's Anatomy, American Housewife, This Is Us).

Plus, Margaret Wappler calls in to tell us about the pop culture she's been taking in since she's become a mom (hey Silas!) Alonso can't stop talking about "Ex Libris" Karen is all about the sapphic/sapphic-adjacent content on the Emmy's, and Louis reads a bit of Olivia de Havilland's letter to Ryan Murphy

That’s My Jam:

Karen Tongson - The Carpenters - Maybe It's You
Alonso Duralde - Liza Minnelli - Don't Drop Bombs
Louis Virtel - The Dixie Chicks - Don't Let Me Die in Florida

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brienfor MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Episode 140: Remembering 9/11 with Louis Virtel

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Louis Virtel
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This week on Pop Rocket, comedian, writer and performer Louis Virtel sits in for Guy while he is away. Louis and the gang discuss 9/11 and the immediate and long term impacts it had on pop culture. Have we yet to chronicle 9/11 in a meaningful way? How has new consumption changed since 2001?

Plus, Wynter discusses the new season of American Horror Story, Karen is rewatching The L-Word, Louis can't stop watching British game shows, and Alonso wants to let us all know that Episodes is still on and still pretty great.

With Louis Virtel, Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Alonso Duralde.

That’s My Jam:

Alonso Duralde - Roger Joseph Manning Jr. - Too Late for Us Now
Karen Tongson - Earth, Wind and Fire - In The Stone
Wynter Mitchell- 24hrs - What You Like
Louis Virtel - Fergie - You Already Know

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brien for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 139 Summer Jams 2017

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

At long last, it's the Pop Rocket Summer Jam! Guy, Karen, Wynter and Alonso each pitch their favorite songs, yet only one song can be named Song of the Summer. and the gang pitch their summer jams. Will it be Selena Gomez's "Bad Liar" or "Despacito", featuring her ex's vocals? This episode is loaded with songs and strong opinions.

Plus, Alonso is all about the Hallmark Drama channel. Wynter is keeping a close eye on Katy and Taylor, and Guy finally threw in the towel and watched NBC's "This Is Us". He's now convinced one of the actors on the show can survive a nuclear attack.

Summer jam contenders:

Alonso - Amelia Airhorn - Miracle
Wynter - Calvin Harris - Feels
Karen - Carly Rae Jepsen - Cut To The Feeling

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Alonso Duralde.

Superfan Beth made a Spotyify playlist featuring EVERY song nominated for Summer Jam.

We also made a Spotify playlist for the songs we talked about during this episode.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brien for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 138 Back to School

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde

This week on Pop Rocket Karen hosts and the gang goes back to school. It's that time of year again and the crew looks back on the quintessential school movies that taught them about life. Wynter shares her desire to have a Sixteen Candles high school experience, and Alonso discusses his relation to Tom Cruise in the film Risky Business. The gang also dives into adult education, discussing the films and TV where adults go back to school. Karen shares with us the lessons learned from Will Smith's character in the film Six Degrees of Separation. Plus, the crew explores the current lack of value placed upon education and how that may be the death knell for future classic movies about the school experience.

This week Karen reveals some *SPOILERS* for the show Insecure and is also all about it. While Alonso is all about Netflix's The Defenders. Plus, Wynter gets her popcorn ready as she is all about Taylor Swift's social media scrubbing and her ongoing feud with Katy Perry.

With Wynter Mitchell, Alonso Duralde, and Karen Tongson.

Jams:

Alonso - Axolotl - The Veils
Wynter - Mediate - INXS
Karen - Haim - Little of Your Love

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy August Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brien for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 137 Netflix and Chill with Dave White

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Dave White
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde

This week on Pop Rocket Guy and the gang are joined by film critic Dave White as they do some serious netflix-ing and chilling. The group dives deep on their favorite titles available on the platform, and also discuss the highs and lows of cutting the cable cord. Guy dissects the reasons behind Shonda Rhimes jumping from the ABC ship, and Dave discusses his need from Netflix for more sugary reality TV shows, like Chasing Cameron. The gang compares and contrasts all the streaming services from Hulu to Crackle. Plus we also discover that Guy has a great affinity for the theme song to the Patti Lupone vehicle Life Goes On.

Guy and Karen have a semi-shared What We're All About in discussing their love for Difficult People. But Guy is all about a lot this week as he also shares his passion for Big Brother. Dave and Alonso are both all about documentaries, but they couldn't more different films. Alonso talks about the new Ferguson documentary Whose Streets?, and Dave is all about Escapes, a film chronicling the life of Blade Runner writer and actor Hampton Fancher.

With Dave White, Alonso Duralde, Karen Tongson, and Guy Branum.

Jams:

Alonso - The Summer Knows - Laura Fygi
Dave - Polegnala e Todora - Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares
Karen - Matthew Morrison - You've Got to Be Carefully Taught

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy August Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Casey O'Brien for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket: Episode 136 Unpopular Opinions

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde

This week on Pop Rocket Karen hosts and the gang considers unpopular pop culture opinions. Sparked by a conversation in the Pop Rocket Facebook group, the panel talks about the opinions that they hold that run counter to the collective cultural narrative. In this episode no opinion is too unpopular to air, not even one concerning the Queen Bey herself. We learn about Wynter's love for Desus & Mero, and Karen tells us about the drama in Kentucky surrounding the bourbon heiress Hollis Bulleit who is claiming her family is shafting her since she came out. Plus, Wynter throws down the gauntlet when it comes to the song of the summer, and Karen serves us music that pays tribute to Margaret Wappler.

With Wynter Mitchell, Alonso Duralde, and Karen Tongson.

Jams:

Alonso - In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening - Rosemary Clooney
Wynter - Creature Comfort - Arcade Fire
Karen - Haley - Big Thief

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy August Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org.