Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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Monday, Mar 10, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
PopMatters seeks essays (1,200 to 3,000 words, usually) about any aspect of popular culture, present or past.

(If you are interested in pitching a review of some specific current work or performance, please contact the appropriate section editor.) We prefer careful analysis of the chosen subject matter with the intention of supporting an original thesis; we aren’t particularly interested in articles that merely want to promote their subject. An assessment of what ideological work a given pop culture phenomenon performs (i.e. what has allowed something to become popular, what’s at stake in its popularity besides money, how it is situated in a historical or geographical context, etc.) is especially welcome. Ideally essays will draw on sophisticated interpretive strategies derived from a theoretically informed point of view, but will be presented for a general reader in lively, accessible language.


For examples of the diversity of topics and range of approaches we welcome, please have a look at PopMatters features and columns archives.


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Monday, Mar 10, 2014
by Sarah Moore
Canada's Trailer Park Boys have become a comedy institution in its own right, and with the stoner-ready release of Don't Legalize It -- their third film -- Bernard Robichaud tells us about the filming, his fitness, and tossing joints in the trash.

Bernard Robichaud may be best known for his role on the Trailer Park Boys movie and series as Cyrus, the antagonist to the Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles protagonists. Cyrus is back in both the new season and the new movie (Trailer Park Boys 3: Don’t Legalize It slated for a release on—you guessed it—4/20) and has teamed up with another villain in the cast, Sam “Caveman” Losco, for double trouble for the boys.


PopMatters had a chance to speak with Bernard Robichaud over the phone before the holidays, and he filled everyone in on the lowdown on the set of Trailer Park Boys, the best ways to stay fit, current and upcoming projects (such as a double appearance on Jason Priestley’s Call Me Fitz holiday special), and his metaphor for a chain link fence.


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Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014
Unfortunately, some shows seem destined for cancellation right away, regardless of critical acclaim or the support of small, fanatical groups of fans.

The premature cancellation of great TV shows is, sadly, nothing new, as shows like My So-Called Life, Freaks and Geeks, and Firefly can attest. Yet it continues to happen, season after season. Low ratings, high concepts, and plain old bad timing are just a few reasons why some shows never get a chance to grow past one season.


Unfortunately, some shows seem destined for cancellation right away, regardless of critical acclaim or the support of small, fanatical groups of fans. Below are seven shows that not only were cancelled too soon, but may have also been overlooked as excellent one-season wonders.


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Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014
Reality television has come for our children. And there’s not a damned thing we can do about it.

Now well over ten years old as a major television genre (I chart as its origin the debut of Survivor on CBS in 2000), the fact that “reality TV” is now concentrating more and more on kids should not come as any great surprise. 


We have already had a decade of adults humiliating and demeaning themselves on reality TV for any number of things—for jobs, for love, for “glory”, even for food (Survivor, Big Brother).  So, after all that, where else was there to go?


The recent debut of the Esquire Channel’s controversial Friday Night Tykes and Lifetime’s unfortunately enduring Dance Moms series are answering the question above.


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Friday, Feb 14, 2014
Ten entertaining ways to avoid romance this holiday.

Many of us who are single hate this time of year with the fire of a thousand suns. Maybe that’s a little too dramatic, but what else can you say about a holiday solely focused on happy couples trading romantic gifts during what is often the coldest, slushiest month of the year? Plenty of singles will be stuck alone indoors this V-Day, forced to sit through mushy jewelry commercials on TV or sappy ballad requests on the radio. 


We know what you’re going through, and we’re here to help. Here are some pop culture suggestions: movies, books, and video games designed to get your mind off the subject.


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