Podcast #37: Ben and Rich Look Forward, Part 2 (Television/Politics)

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This Week: Ben and Rich discuss the things Christ and Pop Culture writers are (or were) looking forward to in 2009, including: Dollhouse, The Oscars, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, the truth about Obama, The Soul of the Republican Party, and Local Politics. Also, Ben eats a gummy worm! Against his will! Something for everyone!

Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett sit back and discuss the posts of the previous week on Christ and Pop Culture, acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture, and give a sneak peak at the week ahead. We love feedback! If you’d like to respond you can comment on the website, send an email to christandpopculture@gmail.com, or go to our contact page. We would love to respond to feedback on the show, so do it now! Subscribe to us in iTunes by clicking here. While you’re at it, give us some good iTunes feedback! We’ll love you forever!

Readers, we want to know:

  • Has anyone else watched Dollhouse? Has anyone been able to appreciate it, or did we all give up on it?
  • Is it time for Christians to give up completely on the Oscars? Is it a lost cause?
  • Is Rich wrong to enjoy the Daily Show?
  • Is anyone out there willing to defend the focus on the economy at the expense of the pro-life movement?
  • What are some ways your churches are impacting your local community lately?
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  • Carissa

    Re: Dollhouse, I’m really not impressed so far. I figure I’ll give it at least one more episode (three have aired so far, and I missed the first one) before writing a scathing critique.

  • So, just on a whim after seeing you were going to talk about Dollhouse (a show that is being pretty much roundly chastised by the Wheadon faithful), I decided to watch an episode. I liked it okay, though I doubt I’d tune in often.

    Full disclosure. I saw the first episode of Firefly and felt that I had easily seen enough. I watched the first disc of Buffy: Season One and felt I had seen too much. I did enjoy the Astonishing X-Men volume I had picked up about three years ago. But I never made the effort to pick up the second volume to see how the story concluded. Three years ago. Apparently I am not, I guess, a member of the Joss Wheadon Faithful. I don’t hold any particular love for Wheadon’s over-heated, cutesy dialogue, but I can see how someone might be amused by it.

    That said, I think some of Ben’s criticisms were actually strength’s of the show. Granted, I missed the pilot (and, I gather, the explanation of pretty much everything that’s going on), but from what I gather, we’re supposed to see the questionable morality of what these cats are up to. In fact, that seemed to be one of the main ideas (at least from the show that I saw). Kinda cribbed from first season of Alias, when Sydney’s a protagonist who is working for a terrorist organization. The feeling of prostitution Ben was sensing is what the show’s about and whether it’ll end up being worthwhile will depend on how it deals with the theme over its (probably) short lifespan.

    I’ve liked the Daily Show‘s treatment of Obama’s presidency and how it’s attempted to realistically deflate the HOPE-propaganda that convinced many to sign on to Obama’s presidency. Well, I’ve liked it in the four or five episodes I’ve seen since he hopped into office.

    @Rich – Is it really a crisis if it’s been happening for thirty-five years?

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • I loved this episode guys!
    -it’s great to hear you two disagree as much as you did. It definitely makes the show more interesting to hear your views differ more often.
    -Ben, it’s interesting that i also only made it half way through the first episode of Dollhouse. It seemed as though the show had very little depth. I would also describe it as Fox’s unoriginal spin on My Own Worst Enemy.
    -I’m not into politics. In fact, I really hate it. However, I need to say, no matter which way Obama is swaying with his decisions, it really annoys the heck out of me when in his speech he deliberately says that he is NOT in favor of big government, when the opposite is obviously true.

    Nick Keutzers last blog post..A Parent’s Praise

  • oh and I think that you all should have some sort of CAPC contest where the winner is given a bag of gummy worms.

    Nick Keutzers last blog post..A Parent’s Praise

  • Nick just wants free gummy worms. And pee es, nobody eats a gummy worm unwillingly.

    Not even Ben.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • Dane,

    That’s a good thought. I didn’t finish the show, so if Whedon is going for that approach it might be an effective way to do it.

    The counter-evidence might be than in all his stuff, he’s pretty gleeful about taking pretty, skinny young girls with long dark hair and then having them kick people’s butts. I get the impression that he enjoys that picture far too much to be making any kind of negative statement about it.

    For instance, though I never saw it, Buffy the Vampire slayer was a TV sex symbol for a long time. And in Firefly there are four main female characters… one is a beautiful military woman who can beat up basically any man. One is a beautiful innocent young gal who fixes spaceship engines. One is a beautiful young hyper-professional prostitute. One is a beautiful, brilliant young girl who, we learn by the end, can take on hords of ravenous zombie-type creatures and come out unscathed.

    So it’s hard for me to think he’s making any kind of statement against exploitation of young, beautiful women for money. After all, who is he to complain? That said, we’ll see.

    But all that said, Firefly really is a good show. The above is NOT a proportional description of the show’s themes or moral point.

    Ben Bartletts last blog post..A Father’s Gifts

  • If it’s any consolation, I think in Dollhouse he uses both men and women (the men are also beautiful) in this exploitative fashion. At least it seems like that—that a pretty man was getting the mind treatment too. Of course, since it was kind of hard to figure exactly what was going on without having seen the previous episodes, that may not have been it at all.

    In any case, I’d say Yes, it’s fair to say that Wheadon likes pretty girls.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • Alan Noble


    I’m right there with you on the Daily Show, as I wrote about long time ago.

  • Have you seen the “Brawl Street” on the Daily Show between Stewart and Jim Cramer (CNBC Mad Money)? It is the most serious for an extended period of time I’ve seen Stewart. Stewart’s genuine anger with the financial media for letting this happen with people’s 401(k)s.

    Gregs last blog post..So When Did AIG Become FDIC Insured Anyways?