Pretty Much Pop #101: The “Conjuring” Retroverse

Mark, Erica, and Brian delve into this 8-film horror franchise started by James Wan in 2013 through The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Do their demons scare us, and do their Catholic defenses provide a convincing antidote? Is it OK to valorize the Warrens, the supernatural detectives who were most likely hucksters in real life?

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Sponsor: Visit hellofresh.com/14pretty and use code 14pretty for up to 14 free meals plus free shipping.

Pretty Much Pop #100: Directing Comedies w/ Heather Fink

Director/writer/sound operator Heather Fink joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the role of the director in making a good comedy, covering TV vs. film, sex scenes, not telling actors how to read their lines, editing, and more.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.

Pretty Much Pop#96: Modernizing D&D w/ Amanda McLoughlin

What’s the status of Dungeons & Dragons and other table-top role-playing games in pop culture? Fantasy settings are no longer just for the ultra-geeky, but role-playing may still seem foreign.

Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by the host of Join the Party to discuss acting out your fantasy, RPG basics, real-play podcasts, racism (“kill all orcs!”), and more.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Pretty Much Pop #95: “The Nevers” With a Side of Whedon

Mark, Erica, and Brian discuss the HBO Max show out Victorian-era super-powered feminine outcasts, helmed and now abandoned by the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, etc. Does this reduced-by-the-pandemic show still work? Does knowing the complaints about Joss Whedon affect our consumption?

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Pretty Much Pop #94: Psychology of Video Game Engagement w/ Jamie Madigan

Why do people play video games, and what keeps them playing? Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by the host of the Psychology of Video Games podcast to discuss player types, motivation vs. engagement, incentives and feedback, as well as the gamification of work or school environments. We touch on Donkey Kong, Dark Souls, It Takes Two, Returnal, Hades, Subnautica, Fortnite, and Age of Z.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.

Pretty Much Pop #90: Godzilla vs. Kong vs. All the Kaiju!

Are giant monsters stomping on cities just stupid fun, or do they channel deep fears of helplessness? Do we care at all about the humans in these films? Are they legit sci-fi or political commentary?

Mark, Erica, and Brian reflect on the MonsterVerse films, plus the filmic histories of Godzilla and King Kong, Pacific Rim, Colossal, The Host, Cloverfield, and more.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.

Pretty Much Pop #89: The Chicago 7 (and the Aaron Sorkinverse)

Brian, Erica, and Mark consider one of this year’s Oscar-nominated films, The Trial of the Chicago 7, and the film and TV career of its writer/director Aaron Sorkin. We get into The West Wing, The Social Network, Steve Jobs, The Newsroom, and more, focusing on his recurring characters, plots based on true stories, and whether his speechifying is manipulative in the ways that we enjoy or not.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Sponsor: Get premium wireless service starting at $15/month from MintMobile.com/PRETTY.

Pretty Much Pop #87: Female Buddy Comedies w/ Erica’s Female Buddy Micah Greene

On Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, and how inserting women into the buddy comedy format might lead to deeper exploration of friendships. Two sets of long-time friends–Erica and Micah, and Mark and Brian–look at tropes and character dynamics, touching on Booksmart, Bridesmaids, Sisters, et al. 

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Pretty Much Pop #85: What the WandaVision!? w/ Rolando Nieves (and Bonus Aftertalk)

The debut Disney+ Marvel series is… a tribute to classic sit-coms? Mark, Erica, Brian, and guest Rolando try to figure out whether this experiment was successful, whether you have to be a die-hard to get it, and the potential for future oddball superhero outings..

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Sponsors: Get 15% off wireless earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/PRETTY. Get AudiblePlus for 30 days free at Audible.com/pretty or text pretty to 500-500.

Pretty Much Pop #57: Back to the Damn Arena – The Hunger Games Prequel

Remember when The Hunger Games was everywhere? Suzanne Collins returns to Just War Theory lessons with the prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Mark, Erica, and Brian review the new book and look back on the YA novel/film franchise. Does the work critique yet glorify violence at the same time? Will the film version of the new novel be our next Phantom Menace?

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.