The Pop Culture Juke Joint

Straight pop culture and showbiz talk from two hard-boiled writers. Grab a drink and settle in…

Ep. 18: ‘GLOW’ on Netflix is the Perfect ’80s Throwback

July 5th, 2017

Anthony Venutolo and Jack Lugo are joined by TV critic and journalist Vicki Hyman (Anthony's former partner in crime during his news days) to discuss the new Netflix original series 'GLOW'

Our panel discusses why this female driven "dramedy" may just be the breakout hit of the year. Starring Alison Brie, Marc Maron and Betty Gilpin, 'GLOW' explores the relationships between its female characters in quite a refreshing and empowering way.

Anthony, Vicki, and Jack take a deep dive exploring the elements of this show that appeal to each of them and how this show compares to other programs. We also discuss why we think Netflix’s business model seems to have garnered so much success. This podcast does contain SPOILERS so please beware if you have yet to complete the series. So grab yourself a beer, pick a seat close to the ring, and listen as our panel manages to “body slam this podcast.”

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Ep. 17: Gawker Media, Hulk Hogan and the ‘Scumbaggery’ of Journalism

June 28th, 2017

This episode, Anthony Venutolo and Jack Lugo talk about the Netflix Original documentary “Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press.” The new documentary takes a close look at the lawsuit stemming from the Hulk Hogan sex tape and the ultimate downfall of Gawker Media including several individuals responsible for that publication.

There are also broader implications that go beyond the surface of this case that the documentary chooses to highlight with varying degrees of success. Anthony’s 20 year experience working in newsrooms as a writer and web editor lends him a unique insight into some of the events that drive this documentary as well as many of the current relevant topics involving the media today.

This may be a complex and, at times, divisive topic, but we hope you find our observations of interest nonetheless. Grab yourself a drink (perhaps make it a double) and listen as we discuss this controversial yet fascinating topic involving the media, the First Amendment, the right to privacy, and how all of these issues converge in our complex society today.

Editor’s note: Anthony was having temporary mic problems that should be fixed by the next episode.

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Ep. 16: What’s Old is New Again… Beware of Rejoice?

June 15th, 2017

Anthony Venutolo and Jack Lugo discuss the never-ending slew of remakes, revivals, and reboots of TV shows and films that permeate pop culture. Grab a drink and join us as we talk about some of the current and upcoming nostalgia productions that have piqued our interest this year. Some of the properties we discuss include: 'Roseanne,' 'One Day at a Time,' 'Fuller House,' 'Twin Peaks,' 'Fargo,' 'Get Shorty,' the Universal Monster films, 'Creed,' 'Dirty Dancing,' 'Lethal Weapon,' 'Miami Vice,' and Stephen King’s 'It.'

With all these franchise properties being remade or redone in some way, it’s a wonder anything original ever gets produced at all. The phenomenon of the remake remains a perennial staple of popular culture sometimes much to our collective chagrin, however, a select few of these recent 'new' remakes pleasantly surprise us and dare we say exceed our expectations. Find out which of these productions earned our respect and which of them deserve to be cast away never to return (even though we know at some point they will).

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Ep. 15: Break out the Bell-Bottoms! Showtime’s new ‘I’m Dying Up Here’ has Arrived

June 11th, 2017

Bell bottoms... Check. Porn stache. Check. Wretched excess? CHECK! Anthony Venutolo gives his quick impressions of the new Showtime period drama "I'm Dying Up Here," which takes a deep dive into the gritty stand-up comedy scene of the seventies. Based on the book "I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Standup Comedy's Golden Age" by William Knoedelseder and executive produced by Jim Carrey, the show is chock-full of period detail and boasts a stellar cast that includes the terrific Melissa Leo, Robert Forster, Cathy Moriarty, Alfred Molina and Ari Graynor. But does it deliver? Anthony explains...

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Ep. 14: ‘The Leftovers’ Series Finale Discussion [spoilers]

June 4th, 2017

Anthony Venutolo and Jack Lugo discuss their thoughts on the series finale of 'The Leftovers.' After three creative seasons, the critically-acclaimed HBO drama was never one to shy away from complex themes and subjects centering on faith and loss. But did the finale deliver? Jack and Anthony dive in. Caveat, however, it's filled with spoilers. 

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Ep. 13: Can ‘Wonder Woman’ Save DC Comics on the Big Screen?

June 3rd, 2017

There's a lot riding on DC Comics' big screen version of 'Wonder Woman.' And for good reason... Many of the previous DC films were overbloated, bleak and severely misguided. Could the big-screen incarnation of the Amazonian princess and warrior save Big Blue, Bats and the rest of DC's big screen universe from the monotonous glut they've written themselves into? Don't get your hopes up. Jack Lugo reviews the film and tells us why he just finds it all so tedious. 

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Ep. 12: The Forgotten Bond

May 26th, 2017

Go grab that martini (Shaken, not stirred, of course) because we have something very special: Anthony Venutolo and Jack Lugo chat about the new Hulu documentary BECOMING BOND which delves into the fascinating life of forgotten James Bond George Lazenby.

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Ep. 11: Look Up in the Sky … Superhero Documentaries!

May 20th, 2017

Faster than a speeding bullet... Anthony Venutolo and Jack Lugo chat about four incredible superhero and comic book documentaries: 'Batman & Bill,' 'Behind the Mask: The Batman Dead End Story,' 'The Death of Superman Lives' and 'Doomed: The Story of Roger Corman's Fantastic Four.'

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Ep. 10: ‘Hap & Leonard’ Season 2 Finale & ‘Fargo’ Season 3 Premiere

April 26th, 2017

OUR FIRST MINISODE. Think of it as a shot and a beer. Pop culture expert Jack Lugo gives us his take on the 'Hap & Leonard' season two finale and a quick review of the season three premiere of 'Fargo.'

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Ep. 9: Decisions! Decisions! Too Much Great TV

April 21st, 2017

Together, Anthony Venutolo and Jack Lugo discuss the fact that there's too much great goddamned TV on at the moment and their DVRs are working overtime. Among the topics: SundanceTV's 'Hap and Leonard,' IFC's 'Brockmire' and AMC's 'The Son.' Plus much much more...

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