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Monday, Mar 2, 2015
As with any beloved performer, there was more to Leonard Nimoy than a pair of pointy ears and a catchphrase. Much, much more.

Leonard Nimoy is gone. Spock has finally left this planet and beamed up to cosmic places unknown. He wasn’t the first of the original Star Trek cast to leave us. DeForest Kelly earned that sad distinction back in 1999. Then everyone’s favorite fake Scotsman, James Doohan, followed suit in 2005. So we’ve been prepared for another intergalactic parting, especially when you consider the rest of the cast—William Shatner (age 83), George Takei (77), Nichelle Nichols (82), and Walter Koenig (78)—are all in the twilight of their years.


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Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015
This show embraced its reputation for the weird and the strange, but it's storytelling methods are among the messiest in television.

Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story made its debut during the midst of the post-Twilight craze of serialized-supernatural dramas (True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, etc.). The program was a startling in its change of tone to those who followed Murphy, fresh off the success of Glee at the time. The series was conceived as a highly-serialized anthology that would essentially reset its setting, cast, and focus each season.


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Monday, Feb 23, 2015
“The disclosures that Edward Snowden revealed don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself."

In accepting the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature on Sunday night. Laura Poitras focused, as always, on the significance of transparency and visibility. As the film she made with Glenn Greenwald and Ed Snowden reveals, such democratic ideals remain at risk by the American government’s activities and attitudes. For all the daunting information Citizenfour reveals it asks you not only to see, but also to take responsible for what you see. Sometimes, the film offers long, nearly meditative takes of exteriors, the Hong Kong hotel from afar, implacably shiny, or distant views of dully thunk-thunking machinery at a new NSA data collection facility under construction in Bluffsdale, Utah, and near film’s end, a long shot of a kitchen window, showing Snowden and his partner Lindsay Mills, in their for-now home in Moscow, quiet, ordinary, perfectly framed.


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Friday, Feb 20, 2015
by Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell
PopTalk is a new podcast on PopMatters that casts its gaze on exciting developments in culture and the arts. In this first installment, we examine the 2015 Oscar nominees, and the broken rules of the institution that is the Academy.

In this inaugural edition of PopTalk, a new podcast on PopMatters, Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell take a look at the controversial slate of Oscar nominations for the 2015 ceremonies. From there, they examine the other problems that occur in large award ceremonies like the Oscars, the Grammys, and the Emmys. Topics include the limited rules for what constitutes a “Best Original Score”, the exclusion of minority artists by predominately white voting blocs, and the refusal of certain award ceremonies to break their predictable trends.


Evan Sawdey is the Interviews Editor at PopMatters and Brice Ezell is the Assistant Editor.


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Monday, Feb 16, 2015
These three segments may not be Jon Stewart's most popular ones, but they do represent him at his most intelligent, heartfelt, and, of course, downright funny.

In case you somehow missed it, Jon Stewart has announced that sometime in 2015, he will leave The Daily Show, the trademark faux-news comedy program he commandeered from Craig Kilborn and transformed into a cultural powerhouse whose format is often imitated but truly, never bettered. “Did I die?” Stewart asked on the 11 February broadcast the day after his announcement, stunned at the outpouring of sadness on social media regarding his decision. Indeed, reading tale after tale of writers and young Americans who became politically active or went out and pursued degrees because of what Stewart has done is nothing short of incredible.


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