Football, the Duchess, and The Chicks

Hello and welcome to a weekly rundown of popular culture detritus. Too bad this week’s collection does not lend itself to alliteration in the title.

Here’s what I’m loving this week:

Television: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney were on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week, talking about their documentary series on FX. I’d never heard of it, but after watching their interview I knew how I’d be spending my Saturday. “Welcome to Wrexham” (Hulu) is the story of Reynolds and McElhenney purchasing the Wrexham Football Club in Wales. While the interplay between the Philly-based McElhenney and the Canadian-born Reynolds is definitely hilarious, the show is a fantastic exploration of what it means to be a fan, and how sports can unite a community—even when your team sucks. 

Podcasts: I’ve spent the past week reminding my students that we literally fought a war to no longer care about the British monarchy, but Meghan Markle’s podcast “Archetypes” is fantastic. Each episode so far peels apart negative stereotypes associated with women: ambition, diva, and most recently—singleton. The podcast is currently paused for the duration of the official mourning period for Queen Elizabeth II, so it’s a great time to catch up on the first three episodes.  

Film: Last week I lamented the dearth of moviegoers, so I opened my AMC app to see if there was anything worth seeing coming up, and holy buckets. I very well might restart my AMC membership.

“See How They Run,” “Don’t Worry Darling,” “The Woman King,” “Bros,” “Amsterdam,” “Till,” “On the Come Up,” “Ticket to Paradise”: I could legit see a movie every week for the next two months. Come back next week to see if I actually make time in my schedule to do so.

Friday Morning Soundtrack: This week I revisited my favorite album from The Chicks, “Home.” Like the storytelling in country music? “Travelin’ Soldier.” Like bluegrass? “Long Time Gone.” Like pop? “Landslide.” Like soulful, longing ballads? “Home.” No skips, this one. 

Pop Culture Lesson of the Week: In honor of Constitution Day, Sept. 17, this week’s pop culture lesson is one I teach during the Internet Unit about online student speech. Is it a little self-serving, as it was the topic of my master’s thesis? Perhaps. We use the website Oyez and discuss the essential questions in five Supreme Court cases that ruled on what high school students can and cannot say when it comes to the First Amendment. It’s one of my favorite days. 

What rights to speech do you think public school students should have? 

What are you watching and listening to that’s worth your time?

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