Podcast cover

Pop Culture Detective: Audio Files

Jonathan McIntosh
10 episodes   Last Updated: May 29, 23
This podcast investigates the messages embedded in popular movies, tv shows, and video games from a sociological prospective, featuring in-depth discussion on themes of politics, race, and masculinity. Audio Files is an extension of the Pop Culture Detective video essay series on YouTube, also hosted by Jonathan McIntosh.


In this episode we explore a relatively new subgenre of science fiction called Solarpunk, which aims to imagine better ecologically harmonious futures. In many ways Solarpunk is a reaction to both the real-world climate crisis and to the many apocalyptic visions of collapse that fill our screens. Andrew Sage from the YouTube channel Andrewism joins us for this conversation.
In this episode, we discuss the fair use doctrine and why it's so important for everyone on the internet. We also dig into how fair use interacts with YouTube’s Content ID system. Two legal experts in fair use join the conversation: Art Neill and Erika Lee from New Media Rights.
An in-depth conversation with award-winning Swedish artist and storyteller Simon Stålenhag. Simon is the creator of narrative art books like Tales From the Loop, Things From the Flood, and The Electric State. We discuss what it’s like for a small artist to be courted by the Hollywood machine. We dig into the meaning and messages in dystopia science fiction. And we talk about the negative implications of AI art generators.
In this episode, we investigate the mind-bending multiverse movie Everything Everywhere All At Once and discuss the messages and meaning embedded in the cinematic madness.
We investigate The Book of Boba Fett and discuss how this new Star Wars series pulls many of its themes and motifs directly from old Hollywood Westerns, including a few regressive tropes popular in that genre.
In this episode we investigate the second season of the hit Apple TV comedy series Ted Lasso. We see much more character development this time around as the writers attempt to complicate Ted’s happy-go-lucky wholesome persona but a few outstanding issues remain unaddressed.
In this episode we deconstruct what is probably the worst Steven Spielberg movie - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. We discuss the film’s misrepresentations of Indigenous peoples and dig into the ways that media tropes about ancient aliens and alien uplift contribute to the problem. Professor of literature and culture Dr. Felicia Lopez lends her expertise to this conversation.
In this episode we investigate the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and discuss how the Marvel Cinematic Universe represents or misrepresents themes of racism, activist politics, masculinity, and male friendship. We also examine the show's depiction of men in therapy.
In this episode we investigate Disney's new adventure film Jungle Cruise, starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Hoping to copy the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Disney's latest attempt to turn a theme park attraction into a blockbuster movie tries to sidestep some of the ride’s more racist history but still leans on tropes of exoticism and colonial adventurism. We also discuss Disney's baffling choice to include a series of gay jokes in the movie.
Our first podcast episode investigates the hit television series Ted Lasso. We discuss the ways in which season one subverts the expected conventions in sports comedies, especially when it comes to masculinity. We also take a critical look at some of the areas where the show misses the mark.