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This is a conversation with Jonathan McIntosh who runs the Pop Culture Detective Agency, the video essay series focusing on the intersections of masculinity, politics and entertainment. He was also a producer and co-writer on the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games YouTube video series created and hosted by Anita Sarkeesian.
You don’t have to watch his videos before listening to this episode, but I think you’ll find it more informative if you do so first. At least the ones referenced below.
As the title suggests, this was largely a conversation about masculinity in pop culture. We spoke about the Big Bang Theory, Steven Universe, the character of Newt Scamander (of the Fantastic Beasts film series, but only the 1st movie), Stranger Things and Star Wars. So, you know, usual spoilers alert. We also spoke about one of the most dangerous fictional characters of recent years: Donald Trump.
Although Jonathan’s work focuses on Western and especially American movies and TV series, the episode is structured to highlight common tropes that are present throughout the world. After all, it is quite difficult to ignore the influence of Hollywood on movies throughout the world, not that other film industries are necessarily better or worse when it comes to unhealthy masculinity tropes.
Photo of Steven Universe taken from ‘notKiller’ on DeviantArt, modified for the preview image. You can check out their work here. I played around with the Big Bang Theory characters and added Trump’s hair on them.
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Music by Tarabeat.