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

 
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Whether its animated nonsense or reality bite, broadcast bits this cheesy and fun demand indulgence—and we gladly say ‘Yes’ to such small screen excess.


 

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Call Me, Maybe

Cast: Carly Rae Jepsen

(Any Music Television Channel)

15


“Call Me Maybe” (Music Video)
Any Music Channel


Carly Rae Jepsen’s song became the rare viral sensation whose success translates into mainstream adoration. The song became the epitome of ubiquitous with celebrity sponsorship that ranged from Justin Bieber to Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry; however, few video tributes were as refreshing and all-over adorable as the official video itself. Rewatch after rewatch, Carly’s own brand of cute made us smile and swoon as we blushed with her when she realized the object of her affection (tattooed hunk Holden Nowell) wasn’t into her. The video certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and once we start actually wondering why is the almost-30 Carly essentially singing about severe social awkwardness we might wanna go “hmmm”. That is until we hit the replay button. Jose Solis


 

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Holmes Inspection

Cast: Mike Holmes, Mike Holmes, Jr., Sherry Holmes, Damon Bennett, Bill Bell, Adam Belanger

(  HGTV)

14


Holmes Inspection
HGTV


For many, Mike Holmes is the gold standard in careful construction. As a contractor, his crusade to make renovations and remodeling live up to proper professional standards is beyond reproach. Taking on another shifty situation—the lack of legitimate home inspectors in his native Canada—Holmes has begun a new campaign for training and accountability. Yes, we still get the wood and plaster nightmares that make his shows so special, but the new focus on discovery and disclosure makes for even more maddening caveat emptor. If ever there was a national hero for home owners, it’s Mr. Holmes. Bill Gibron


 

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The Soup

Cast: Joel McHale

(E!)

13


The Soup
E!


While similarly styled shows like Tosh.0 and… well, name another that’s still on the air, continue to be more miss than hit, Joel McHale and the gang create hilarious pop culture chaos with expert consistency. Utilizing the always ripe arena of televisual tripe—from reality shows to scripted series—the crazy clip show often surpasses its subjects to create memorable memes all their own. This season, we’ve seen Brian Williams get his own catty callback, while something called Small Town Security out Lynched a certain auteur named David. All the while, McHale maintains the kind of smug sincerity that makes even his most biting jabs seem studied. Bill Gibron


 

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Pregnant in Heels

Cast: Rosie Pope

(Bravo)

12


Pregnant in Heels
Bravo


Pregnant in Heels is perhaps the clearest document of the madness of the American elites on television. Worse yet, it shows with disquiet that they’re breeding. The focus of the show is Rosie Pope, a “maternity concierge” who consults wealthy neurotics on overcoming their self-absorption just enough to raise their forthcoming child. Pope’s famously bizarre accent (think Mid-Atlantic Valley Girl who has bitten her tongue) is endlessly lampoonable, true. Still, she is an anchor of sanity relative to her clients, who suspect their future nursery is haunted, want total video surveillance of their potential nannies, and consider hiring black market wet nurses. Pope is allowed moments of borderline snark about these kooks, encouraging the viewers’ own impulses in this area. This profile of New York’s sheltered rich is valuable and entertaining while remaining disposable. Ross Langager


 

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Family Guy

Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry

(FOX)

11


Family Guy
FOX


As The Simpsons continue their surreal skid into near irrelevance and South Park struggles with its post-Book of Mormon identity, Seth Macfarlane and his fart-based sense of humor homage just keeps chug-a-lugging along. Sure, there is still a stifling reliance on asides and oddball references, and just when you think the show can achieve a certain level of smarts (the recent Monty Python’s Flying Circus opening), it returns to the poop and pratfall pandering that’s kept it alive for near two decades. While Homer and the crew are destined for TV immortality once they leave the air, the Griffins will be plumbing the lower depths—and delighting in same. Bill Gibron


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