Popdose Conceptual Theater: Archer

I have distinctly mixed feelings about the Adult Swim-ization of TV comedy. Not quite a genre, less than a movement, born of Cartoon Network’s late-night bloc but now found in animation and live action and animated shows across networks, ...

Popdose Conceptual Theater: Something Wicked This Way Comes

The chilly winds of autumn howl across the plains and carry the distant sound of a train whistle, heralding the arrival of the carnival show. It’s an occasion for gaiety, breaking up the monotony of a small-town October with bright ...

Popdose Conceptual Theater: 7 Faces of Doctor Lao

Autumn, it seems to me, is a good time for fairy tales. With the nights getting longer, we gather ‘round the hearth, or nestle by a little one’s bedside, and spin yarns to drive the dark away. Today’s selection comes out ...

The Popdose Mixtape: Labor Day 2014 Edition

Welcome once again to the Popdose Labor Day mixtape, that quixotic collection of work songs, union anthems, and hymns to the working men and women of America — our annual musical dispatch from the ass-end of the class divide. And what ...

Popdose Conceptual Theater: True Grit

Howdy, pilgrim. Today we’re fixing to bust out a words-and-music tone poem inspired by Charles Portis’ 1968 Western novel True Grit.

A true modern classic, True Grit — set in Arkansas and Oklahoma, around 1880 or so — tells the ...

Popdose Conceptual Theater: Music for Fireworks

Not so much a conceptual piece this time around as a practical musical tool, designed to solve one of the many pressing problems of summertime.

You see, our local triple-A affiliate plays a home game every Independence Day, and a ...

PopSmarts: Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

It’s been a little more than a week since Slate published a piece that — across your Old Professor’s little corner of the Internet, anyway — touched off a firestorm. Ruth Graham’s article is cheekily titled “Against YA,” but ...

Book Review: “Burn the Orphanage: Born To Lose”

I’m not here to pass judgment on what gets you off, friends; let’s get that straight. My job, when I’m wearing my “critic” hat, is to look at the things you like or dislike and make an informed call about ...

Popdose Conceptual Theater: The World’s End

Coming to you in living color, from the heart of the global communications network to the darkest recesses of your imagination — this is the Popdose Conceptual Theater of the Airwaves.

Pull down the screen inside ...

PopSmarts: Come On, Pilgrim

Critical objectivity can be difficult to sustain. As members of the family, we have an implicit contract with our readers to consider each work on its own merits, without undue preconceptions; to determine what a given project is trying to do, ...

Book Review: “Lovecraft’s Monsters”

The problem with monsters is that, when you come right down to it, they’re not that scary. Oh, zombies and kaiju and slaver-mawed xenomorphs can put you in a world of hurt; but when nightmares take flesh, they also take on the ...

PopSmarts: Wave a Red Rag

There’s a feeling you get. You know the one.

You’re listening. It’s a song you’ve heard before, maybe many times. Heard it, but really never listened. One of those songs that always just sort of been there. But this time, on ...

BOOK REVIEW: David Kinney, “The Dylanologists”

People get into the fandom scene because they are deeply and sincerely interested in an artist, of course. But it’s also an effective way to boost one’s own self-esteem, because there’s always someone to look down upon and regard with suspicion. ...

PopSmarts: What Becomes a Legend Most?

The second season of Vikings, last year’s basic-cable breakout hit, is coming into its homestretch, and the intrigues are piling up. Handsomely shot on locations in Ireland and Canada, and boasting magnetic lead performances, Vikings tells the story of

PopSmarts: Two Thumbs Up

The art of film involves many collaborators, the most important of whom — as I’ve written before — is the audience. We are more than passive receivers. It is we, the audience, who bring the movies to life. Writers ...

PopSmarts: It Only Begins With L-O-L

Thanks to the fortunes of History and the inevitable bending of the Universe’s moral arc towards justice, our children, gay and straight, are growing up in a world where it is easier than ever to be queer-positive (though nowhere near ...

PopSmarts: Trouble Shooting

I talk about a lot of different iterations of pop culture in these columns — film, literature, music, comics — but even the casual reader will notice that there’s a big video game-shaped hole in the Old Professor’s discourse. I ...

PopSmarts: A Reputation For Difficulty

We who take it as a vocation to criticize the efforts of others must take great care to keep our own behavior above reproach. It is particularly bad form to take a fellow critic to task when he or she ...